Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dream a Little Dream of... Rocks?!

Something you may not know about me, even if you've known me a long time, is that I've been having the same dream since I was five years old. Several times a week, in fact. I was actually reminded about it, or rather about how abnormal it actually is to have the same dream over and over, without deviation, for 27 years, while reading Jodi's blog yesterday. I doubt her intention was to make me feel strange, but she mentioned she's having dreams about rocks, which immediately called my own rocky dream to mind. I nearly gave her the whole rocky (ha!) story in her comment box, but decided that it might just be enough to warrant an entry all its own and besides, Jodi asked me to divulge the details, so there you go.

Understanding what's going on actually requires a little bit of background, so here goes. I grew-up in the Mojave desert in Southern California which is, as the name implies, a desert.  Not just a desert, but one with a lovely desert landscape. Way out in the boonies, which is probably not actually the boonies anymore, where Victorville turns to Apple Valley, there's a highway (Highway18) that winds around amid a cluster of rocky hills, climbing up out of Victorville and dipping down into Apple Valley. The slightly winding drive out there is actually terrifying, or it was for me when I was a little girl... cars wooshing around the curves at 60 miles an hour, not to mention, I'm afraid of heights.

Okay, you know, Google Streetview can actually do me one better...

You can click those pictures to see them better. The first one is of the hills right off the highway, the second is too, but it shows the guardrail where it drops off into a deep ravine. You can't tell from the picture, but that drop off is pretty steep. This is the setting of my dream, it's a place that's actually called Happy Trails Highway now, but wasn't when I was little. It's called that because Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans used to live, and are now burried, out in Apple Valley. A bit off topic, but yeah, background... though my dream has nothing to do with Roy or Dale. I digress.

So, the dream begins with me climbing those rocks all the way to the top. I'm not afraid, I don't actually feel anything emotionally, I just climb. In the dream, I'm always the right age. So, when I was five, in my dream I'd be five. Now that I'm 32, in my dream, I'm in my 30's. Anyway, the dreams begins with me on the highway side of the rocks, where the highway is stark black asphalt with bright, freshly painted stripes. I climb to the top, and when I get all the way up there, I walk out to the back of the rocks, where it drops off. I always think, in my dream, how strange it is that I'm doing it, especially considering how terrified of heights I am, but I don't experience the feelings that come with marveling at something, or being afraid. I'm just blank.

I gaze down into the valley and rather than seeing the desert landscape, or the apartment complexes I know are there, in the immediate distance, I see boiling, molten red lava. I look up, slowly, into a pitch black sky, no stars, no moon, nothing, and I'm not afraid or even curious. I'm still just blank, it doesn't seem at all unusual to me. Following the sky to the horizon, I watch the place the black sky joins the red horizon for a long minute. Then, I look down and notice how remarkably white the rocks are beneath my feet. No graffiti, nothing, just stark white stone. Noting my surroundings, I nod and take a step forward, off the rocks, falling into the hot magma below.

I feel a surge of pain, but nothing comparable to what my logical mind knows magma should feel like. It's momentary and then it's gone and I sink beneath the surface of the liquid, closing my eyes, I reappear on the highway side of the rocks and begin to climb again. I feel nothing about having jumped, I know with certainty that I'll jump again, and I know that when I do, I'll reappear there again. It's a cycle, unbreakable, but rather than feeling a sense of hopelessness at eternally throwing myself from the rocks, I just go about the task and the dream repeats until I wake up. Over and over, same thing, same emotionless response.

When I was a little girl, the dream use to scare me. Now that I'm all grown up, and have been having it for 27 years, I don't feel the fear anymore. It's strange because, no matter how settled I am, I still have it. The frequency doesn't fluxuate, except when I'm having a really, really bad time in my life. In those cases, when I'm really distressed, I'll have it 4 or 5 times a week, rather than the usual 2 or 3 times a week. When I'm not sleeping well, or at all, I have it less frequently, but I think that has to do with my inability to reach REM sleep. No sleep, no dream, which has been my problem lately.

I read over some things about dreams, but nothing seems to be suitable for this particular dream. Everything I've read says that rocks are symbolic of security, but that just seems wrong in this case. There're simply too many elements with the rocks, the lava, the black sky, the stark contrasting colors, the emotionless responses; I have no idea what to make of it. After all of these years, I figure I'll just not try and let my subconscious go on being obnoxious as long as it thinks it needs be.

So, there you have it, my rocks dream, much more long winded than I thought it would be and with pictures, too!  Sweet dreams!!