Standing outside, don’t know where it was. Bit dark, like false dawn was just coming on. The light was weak and faded, and color was seeping into the world. A cool wind toyed with my face, and I thought, “This is nice.”
Motion in the air took my attention up and to one side. I thought it was a bird but then gathered it was a leaf. Carried by the light wind, the leaf followed an erratic, tumbling flight. With my first gaze, I mistook it for brown but then realized, no, it’s green. I thought it was a maple leaf.
Pale blue was creeping into the sky by then. After a moment, my orientation changed. Temporarily baffled, I puzzled over what I was seeing and then realized that I was looking down. A split second later, an epiphany went through me that I was the leaf. It so surprised me that I started awake.
Awake in the dark, I stared upward, still seeing the leaf as it faded, amused by the thought, I’m a floating leaf.
Birds were outside. (Yeah, where else would you expect them to be, amiright?)
I spied on them, flying around (and monitored the cats as they chittered and stared).
Out of that came memories of a Facebook post. Back in the last century, they were saying flying cars could be coming soon. Instead, we’re hoarding toilet paper and sneaking out of the house.
Out of that came a wish, time for me to fly. Songs hovered above the stream, ready to jump in. “Big Ol’ Jet Airliner”. “Learning to Fly”. “I’d Fly Away”. “Time for Me to Fly”.
But Lenny took it with his hit, “Fly Away” (1998).
a few of us live
life on a ledge
thinking we might fly
if we had wings
and the will to try
As far as I can remember, the dream began with me visiting my aunts and uncles and father. We were across the country somewhere. He needed to have his car driven home and asked me to do it. Sure, I said. He and the rest would fly.
I don’t know what the car was. Sometimes it was an exotic sports car but then it had a huge trunk, where I put several suitcases, along with books. Wherever I drove the car, it attracted a lot of attention.
I was supposed to arrive before Dad, but I was goofing around, playing with the car, and doing other things. When I realized that I was going to be late, I hurried up.
Driving the car down a hill, I passed a number of people. Somewhere going down the hill, I went from being in a car to being on a motorcycle. Going fast, I went up boulders and into the air with people pointing at me and talking about it as I did. Even though I was on the motorcycle and dozens of feet away from them, I could hear the people talking. They were really impressed with what I was doing.
After this huge jump over a boulder that was about twenty feet high (where people didn’t think I could do it), I landed and got off the motorcycle. Putting it into the back of the car, I raced away, passing a long line of people in cars and buses. There were many children on the buses, and some of the buses were school buses.
That traffic was all stopped, and was the opposite direction. As I sped past, they all pointed at me and the car in excitement.
I reached my destination. Even though I’d dawdled and had been running late, I was surprised to learn that I’d beat my Dad and his siblings. They were supposed to have already arrived. I was sort of relieved, too. Then, going into another room, I found them sitting around having drinks and laughing.
I thought I’d already gone through that room and that they hadn’t been there. I asked them, “Did you just get here?” Several replied, “Oh, no.”
Dad said, “No, we got here yesterday. We’ve been here at least a day. Did you just get here?” As I answered yes, he said, “But you left days ago. Where have you been?”
Two of my younger sisters and I ended up together. We were playing separate games. They were looking for game pieces. I noticed my game pieces were missing, too. We started investigating, hey, where did the pieces go? I started finding some and putting things together. But then, I realized that it was time to go. I didn’t want to go, so I tried hurrying. I then began writing. I said, “I need to write. Give me time to write.”
Dad come by. The scene changed. Several of my cousins, Dad, aunts and uncles were there, along with my younger sisters. We were browsing in a well-lit record store. As I said something about the extensive music selection, Dad said, “I’d go for Genesis. I like them.”
I said, “Genesis? You like Genesis?”
“Sure, Genesis, Journey…I like just about all of them.”
That surprised me. I don’t recall Dad ever listening to music or commenting on music or groups. It was strange, because Mom loves music.
Going outside, I found Dad squatting by the curb. He had a new car. Dad loves sports and luxury cars. He’s bought a few economy cars, and will drive anything, but he’s usually in a Corvette (he’s bought four or five of them), Cadillac, or a luxury SUV, these days.
This car seemed to be a Ford Escort. That’s a car that’s been out of production for a while, but this was a new one. Weirdly, though, Dad was painting or applying decals all over the car. I talked to him about it but I don’t remember the conversation, except that he seemed very matter-of-fact about what he was doing, when it was something that I’d never known him to do in his life.
Late for a flight, I headed to an airport. My flight was already boarding. The boarding process was random and chaotic. Seating seemed to be open. Inside the aircraft wasn’t like any aircraft that I’ve ever been in. Seating areas were in clusters of rows. The clusters seemed to be at forty-five degree angles. The seats were orange.
Many were familiar with the process, but I wasn’t. Everyone was rushing in. Confused, I noticed a few guys who seemed to know where they were going and followed them. They went down some steps and hurried into open seats. I followed but then, realizing that it seemed to be the flight deck, I stopped. As flight decks go, it was as wide as a house. The pilots were seated at windows up front but flight attendants were preparing food and drinks at counters on either side. The men I’d followed were seated. Other open seats were available. The seats were light gray. They looked like they were leather.
From behind me, a young boy, maybe ten, said, “Look at that dipshit. He’s going into the cockpit.” Many people laughed.
I turned to a flight attendant. I said, “Can I sit down here?”
My question seemed to surprise her. As she picked up a tray of beverages, she said, “Yes, if there’s an empty seat. And there are.”
Turning around, I said to the little boy, “You’re allowed to sit down here, if there are seats. People are already sitting down here. Now who’s the dipshit?”
We landed. I didn’t know where I’d landed. Well lit, with multiple levels and vast highways weaving in and out of buildings, it seemed like San Francisco with elements of San Mateo (CA), Pittsburgh (PA), Portland (OR), and Frankfurt, Germany. It teemed with people. Most were business people but some were shoppers. Somehow hurrying the place, I figured out where I was supposed to be going (although it was never stated). The next thing I knew, I was in a car and driving.
The dream ended.
It was an exhausting dream.
Today’s theme music was my dream’s theme music. It was a flying dream, and involved one of my little sisters, so I don’t know why my brain used this song.
“Fox on the Run” (1975) is by Sweet. I know of them and their music mostly through radio play, or from their music being used in television shows or movies. I’m more familiar with “The Ballroom Blitz” but I’m accommodating my brain and its choice here. The song played constantly in the background during the dream’s flying segments. There weren’t any foxes in the dream but that would be literal. There was a young woman who was attractive to me and who told me that she wanted me, so I guess the song could be a reference to her. We used to call attractive women foxes or foxy. That’s what the song is about.
The flying was effortless, by the way, but the aftermath — this morning — I feel exhausted. Coffee, stat, you know?
Meanwhile, I didn’t much about Sweet, so I read their Wikipedia coverage and a few other sources. The singer, Brian Connolly, died of renal and liver failure. when he was fifty-one after suffering multiple heart-attacks. Back in 1974, he’d been beaten and kicked in the throat, which damaged his vocal cords. Life didn’t seem the same for him after that.
So, here. Gotta get this out of my head and my dream. Cheers
Last night was a serene, cool night but wild storms were on the dream menu.
One dream began with me outside, on a worn but mostly green hillock. I think I was in a park, as copses of trees grew around open spaces and statues.
Although bright afternoon blue associated with summer was overhead, dark clouds gathered, moving in like they were answering a whistle. People, including me, were anxious. Talking persisted all around me. All were strangers, though, and I couldn’t understand exactly what they were saying.
I was thinking that I needed to get inside and safe before the storm broke but I was worried about my friends and family. I was also puzzled; I didn’t see any of them but I was certain that they’d been with me. Looking for them, I became frantic as the temperature dropped and the clouds darkened into a fresh charcoal briquette darkness.
I started walking fast. Others were running. Growing drumming like a drum and bugle corp was approaching announced the storm’s beginning. Lightning licked from north to south in long and spectacular prolonged, brilliant slashes, captivating and frightening me. With a sharp suddenness, a wind howled through, knocking me over. After rolling and tumbling, I struggled against the wind to stand.
I heard rain hammering the ground. A deluge like a fire hose was being sprayed began. As lightning struck trees and thunder shook the air and explosions boomed, the wind tossed and slammed me, eventually shoving me against a tree trunk. Arching with pain, soaked and cold, I managed to hang onto the tree as the wind tore my clothes and hair. I was shivering with cold and fear.
With lightning striking everywhere around me, I thought, I can’t stay here. I need to get out of here. Nothing was visible for the heavy rain and dim light. I didn’t know where to go. Desperate for movement, I struck out blindly.
The wind drove me forward and then lifted me. I tried grabbing the ground but the wind took me on a ride toward the trees. As I spun and spotted the looming branches, I was sure that I was going to be impaled and killed, but the wind carried me above the trees.
In seconds, I was out of the storm. The wind calmed but still carried me. Feeling its energy dissipating, I was sure I was going to plummet to the Earth and die. As I looked down to see where I’d land and what I could do about it, I realized that I was over the storm, and flying above it.
A cat hissing awoke me then. Scrambling out of bed to confront the situation, I saw that Boo was telling Papi that he couldn’t come in through the pet door. Boo ran out of the room and down the hall and Papi sallied in. Since I was up, I went to pee and think about the vivid dream, as my mind stayed wrapped in it.
It’d been a shockingly vivid dream.
Many recent dreams have been like movies or television shows. Often feeling they’re part of a larger series, I often don’t see myself in them. Instead, I’m a viewer.
So last night’s dream was a break from that routine. My and my jet were the primary leads.
Living in a huge, hyper-modern city, I became aware that it was going to be attacked. Warnings were going out. In response, me and another person climbed into our jet-aircraft. In design, they seem like single-seat twin-engine F-15 Eagles, but flatter and smaller, and dark, dark blue in color. Blue dominated the dream. Except for the jets’ exhaust flames, which were blue with yellow, and the final celebration rockets, everything was blue.
Incoming aircraft were reported. We scrambled, lighting a darkening dusk sky with our twin after-burners. I was lead. My wing-man was immediately attacked. Unable to lose his attacker, I stalked the aircraft, causing them to break off their attack on my guy. Flashing around the city’s sky, the other tried and failed to lose me. My aircraft was incredibly responsive, and I displayed a staggering mastery of its capabilities, so much , that in the dream, I thought, the aircraft and I are one.
Finally lining up a shot, I fired a missile at the attacker. It struck his aircraft, causing it to begin breaking up, giving him time to eject.
Afterward, I took my aircraft high over the city and throttled back. My companion joined me. The air was clear. It was night. It felt like we were on the edge of space.
Other aircraft were inbound to attack. He and I went at them. Multiple intense aerial combat scenes followed. Most vividly remembered is a scene where I was being chased. I took my aircraft down along the frozen blue river that bisected the city. My aircraft flashed under blue bridges at hyper-sonic speed. Unwilling to follow me there, the enemy broke off and climbed. Standing my aircraft up on its tail, I climbed up after him, and took him out.
That’s what was interesting about the dream. I was often in my cockpit as me. But other times, I could see myself in the cockpit, or I was watching the action from a third person POV. Whichever happened, I always knew it was me.
After we’d thwarted the attack, I radioed back to the command center to inform them that the city was safe once again. Feeling so brave and pleased with the result, I took my aircraft on a high-speed acrobatic flight over the city, and then, in a surprising twist, fired off colorful sky rockets to celebrate.
It was a damn good feeling.
I had no trouble relating this dream to my life, especially my writing and publishing efforts. My moods travel through a monthly cycle. I’m trending up this week. That translates to being incredibly optimistic and hopeful, truly on top of the world, ma. The dream reflects those emotions, taking off flying, being in control, and winning.
My last writing effort, Four on Kyrios, is out to several agents, awaiting their response. Meanwhile, the newest novel, April Showers 1921, is being dictated at breath-taking speed. I’m struggling to keep up with it. Its pace has startled me, and it’s twists and turns surprise me.
All of that fits with the dream. Even the dream’s blue coloring is cited as being optimistic by one source: “The presence of this color in your dream may symbolize your spiritual guide and your optimism of the future. You have clarity of mind. ” Of course, in their next sentence, they say, “Alternatively, the color blue may also be a metaphor for “being blue” and feeling sad.” But I like the first one better.
Time to write like crazy at least one more time.
It began with innocent travel planning with my wife and her family. One or her sisters and her daughter were there, but honestly, these folks changed throughout the dream.
First, we’d talked about where to go, details which I don’t remember. Then, we were trying to pile into a sky-blue station wagon. As there were so many people, this required some strategizing about how to pack the luggage and where everyone could sit. I was in charge.
Then, in an eye-blink, we were off, and then arrived at our next destination. This happened to be my military unit in Germany. We were there to arrange fight via a C-130 to cross the ocean.
First, though, we needed to coordinate with someone for support. Now, getting a little weird, I found a listing for a Major Ward. Major Ward was a U.S. Navy F-4 pilot, according to the listing in small, black, bold print. The problem there is that the Navy doesn’t own a major officer rank. That didn’t occur to me in the dream, and I contacted him via telephone for help.
After explaining that I needed clearance and refueling assistance, he curtly told me, “No. It’s a holiday.”
I said, “Okay, but I’m going to tell the higher powers that be that you declined to help because it’s a holiday.”
After a pause, Major Ward said, “Fine. I’m not happy, but I’ll do it.”
I then entered a series of delays trying to herd everyone together, get the crew going, filing flight plans, and getting launched. Discussions were undertaken about which of the three C-130s to take, 1819, 1822, or 1828. These are the real aircraft’s abbreviated tail numbers. With my patience strained, I was suddenly airborne in the C-130.
Looking out the windshield from the cockpit, I was flying over ocean. The sky ahead was darkening blue with dark clouds limned by the setting sun. Off to the right was a Navy aircraft carrier and another ship.
The flight was bumpy, and we were low. Wondering about the crew and pilots, I remembered different pilots from my assignment and knew none of them were flying the aircraft. Feeling surprised, I thought, am I the pilot?
I think I was. As I’m not a pilot, I worried about what was going to happen. As the aircraft was dipping and bouncing around, I also worried about being too close to the aircraft carrier and other ship, and basically commanded, “Pull up. Climb.” The aircraft did, but sluggishly. We passed those ships and flew on.
We arrived at a beautiful tropical destination on a bright and sunny day. From the water, it looked like the Caribbean. Excited, I followed the landing instructions. We ended up landing in the water about a hundred yards from the beach. Speaking with someone on the radio, I learned that this was because Major Ward had ordered it. He was behind these flawed landing instructions. I suspected he was being spiteful.
Going ashore and into the terminal, I met Major Ward, a square-jawed tall and broad white man with thick black hair. He said with a flippant air, that the landing site was an error, probably because it was a holiday. His pettiness amused me.
Returning to the aircraft, which was floating on the sea, bobbing with the waves, I decided I could take off by turning it into the wind and surfing across the water until I achieved the required air-speed. I executed my plan. The aircraft climbed and banked into the sky, carrying me on toward my destination.
The dream ended.
My first thought was, “Shit,” followed by my second thought, “Shit!”
Going backwards, I struggled to grab anything nearby, a futile effort because nothing was nearby. As I went backwards, I was turning my head, taking in my environment, and processing information. This led me to a realization that I was falling backwards.
The sky was dark. It wasn’t night darkness, but stormy darkness. My dream mind split between addressing what was happening now and worries about surviving, to a more intellectual approach that wanted to understand how I’d come to be falling backwards and where I was falling from.
The where part seemed visible as a dark gray castle on a high mountain crag. Some trick of light played with it because I also saw it as a rain-whipped white concrete building with tall, dark windows. The image duality confused me, but they reminded me of ivory tower and Gothic horror. The background for both were thick, charcoal clouds that promised prolonged and violent storming. I seemed to think or recall, my dream self didn’t know which, I’d been climbing, it’d been wet, and I’d slipped. When I did, I lost my grip and the wind blew me off the mountain.
Meanwhile, I was falling straight backward, going down. Knowing that behind (below) me was a steep, treacherous ravine filled with fir trees and boulders, I didn’t relish landing, because it was sure to be painful.
Then, I wasn’t falling down. I seemed to be hanging in the air on my back. I looked left and right, enjoying that. As I did, the wind picked me up and righted me, an action that spread a grin across my face. “Thank you,” I thought to whoever or whatever did that for me.
The weather had delivered on the promised deluge. Winds roared around me as lightning ripped the sky and lightning boomed in best Wagnerian manner. But I was cool with it, calm, but wet, and weirdly, grinning and happy. The dream ended.
I still grin as I remember it, because I looked so happy.
After awakening and cruising through morning routines while drinking coffee and mulling the dream, I thought, this represents the past and traditional ways of doing things (the dark castle), and the intellectual writing process (the ivory tower), and my usual fears of failing (falling), with efforts to reassure me not to worry (floating and then flying).