Sunday, January 16, 2011


The following journal entry dates from several years back, but the images and ideas it describes still inspire me.
May 5, 2003. This morning I dreamt I had an extraordinary home, not merely “by the sea” but almost one with it: powerful waves crashing, thunderously, against a transparent wall. Picture a typical apartment—a living room or bedroom (though furnished more darkly than mine)—but with one wall replaced by unbreakable but clear plastic or glass, and giant ocean waves breaking against it. Strangely no view of sky or earth, just the waves coming forward, rising, crashing against the room, taking up the entire wall.

In the dream I felt both awed and intimidated, as something like a tidal wave approached and frighteningly smashed against the wall, right in front of me. But then my intimidation turned to satisfaction as I realized that I would not be harmed; in a sense, I felt that these tremendous waves smashing so perilously close were acknowledging me—like an aggressive beast that does me an honor rather than hurting me. I did not feel in command of the waves—they were too wild, too mighty to be controlled by anyone—but I felt coexistent with them, and almost equal (although quite different and nowhere near their equal in physical strength). And I felt unusually fortunate to be able to live, with relatively little fear, in such intense proximity to their ferocity.

I find it interesting that this dream of bursting waves came to me early this Monday morning after a weekend during which I struggled to reconsider certain aspects of my fictional work-in-progress. (It is now Monday night, and I am finally jotting this down before going to sleep again, after a too-full workday followed by a too-short evening.) It is the kind of dream I do not like to limit by interpretation, but I can’t help but make the Jungian associations of sea and mind, sea and unconscious. It is as if the crashing waves, source of my psychological and creative vitality, pounding right against that side of “where I live” through which I can see them, want to make it clear to me that they are still wild, still powerful, still right next to where I live—and, though almost terrifying in their potential, still allied with my being. I felt a gift of, or from, their strength—a renewal of awareness of power, and a reminder that I am lucky to be able, on some level, to live in their realm.

Perhaps this is also an inheritance of some of the power I tapped into on my visit to the West Coast nearly two years ago, where the quite real Pacific crashing against rocky coastline inspired me so deeply. Although this dream was much different, surreal, it did carry a barely discernible trace of West Coast waves and salt air. Is the power of these psychic ocean waves accessible to me now, as an author and, more generally, in my personal life as well? Of course; it must be.
Image: Carla Crow, Aluna. Mixed medium collage on Handmade Mulberry Bark Paper, 24"x32", 2010. (More at Salon Foxy.)