Since early adolescence, a precarious and perilous bridge was featured in one of my reoccurring dreams. The form of the bridge itself changes with the dream: sometimes it is antebellum, wooden, and headless horsemanesque; other times it is an obsolete rail bridge with gaping holes between the ties; perhaps it is a modern, nondescript, concrete beam bridge; and on still other occasions it is a bridge under construction, incomplete and absent guard rails.
What does not change is the relative location, width, and height of my dream bridge. Always, it passes over water (rivers- particularly the Mississippi, the great lakes, bays, etcetera); always, it’s extremely, exceptionally narrow (like those heart-stopping, hair’s-breadth, Rocky Mountain passes); and always it’s of a tremendous, vertigo-inducing height. No bridge in my waking life is even remotely as sky-scraping as the one in my dreams -- it is sensational and fantastic -- more of a cloud bridge, than a land bridge and, often, with an incline comparable to the lift hill of a roller coaster.
The most nightmarish form of the dream occurred many years ago. At that time, the bridge was of unknown building material, as it was wholly coated in an impenetrable layer of mud. Moreover, the dream was set on a moonless night and frequent, bilateral flash-flooding made traffic matters exponentially worse. There was a beleaguered, stumbling crowd of unfortunates who were attempting to pass over this bridge on foot, but precious few succeeded. Indeed, most were washed away into the white-capped, malicious water underlying and swiftly dismissed as dead by the survivors. Rescue parties were laughably out of our purview. Truly, every man, woman, and child was exclusively for themselves. I recollect making the attempt, on my hands and knees, to cross this monstrosity several times, but invariably turning back at the threshold out of profound, mortal fear. Someone was on the other side of the bridge, someone whom I loved and whom needed my help, but I couldn’t cross over to them and rightfully expect to remain among the living.
Last night, I again dreamed of my stratospheric bridge, but in a manner unlike any I’d ever dreamed before. On this occasion, the dream took place on a brilliant sunny day; the sky was an impossibly stunning and rich electric blue. I wasn’t on foot, but in a comfortable car and I was not the one driving. Instead, I traveled carefree in the passenger seat. My driver was The Girl’s roommate, close friend, and former love of her life. Despite its smooth, unblemished pavement and readily apparent structural soundness, he knew that I was terrified of this bridge. Somehow, he intuitively understood that I had a labyrinthine relationship to this monument. In an attempt to diffuse my trepidation, he teased and playfully distracted me from the supposed danger involved. I smiled Mona Lisa’s smile and kept my eyes meditatively trained on the horizon as he goofed off beside me. And then my dream winked out of existence. I do not know if we made it across or from whence we came, but I do know that I felt safe and that I trusted him without reservation.
After having transversed this serene blue zenith, it seems that I’ve arrived at a significant point of departure in my dreamscape. And I’m curious to know if I’ll ever encounter this obstacle again.
la Contra Yogini