The Path Dream

Just did a walk-about writing break, and thought about one of last night’s dreams.

I was helping a man build a path. We each had a length of nylon rope. What I thought of as his rope was yellow and mine was white. The white rope was in my left hand, and the yellow rope was in my right. It was reversed for him. We were using the ropes to lay out the path. It was a long path, and were squatting down to do this.

So, weird, the path already existed in my mind, because he was laying the rope on a long and straight stretch of black cement. On either end was a platform that people were to use to arrive and depart.

Others were watching from grassy areas on either side of me. The man would shift the ropes one way and then the other as I followed his lead. I didn’t understand why he was doing this. “How’s it going?” an onlooker asked me.

“Slow,” I said. “I don’t understand what he’s doing. One, the path already exists. Why does he need another one? Two, why was he trying different paths? I don’t see what the difference he makes? Why doesn’t he make a decision? As part of that, I don’t understand why the path that’s already there doesn’t satisfy him. Three, shouldn’t the path, if you were going to make it, connect the platforms that people were expected to use?”

The onlooker said, “I don’t know.”

That dream ended.

Of course, thinking about it during my walk, I realized that I’m the other man. I have the path establish but doubt keeps me looking for another path. Why, I keep asking myself, just as I do in the dream? Clearly, it’s because I doubt the path, even though it’s already established.



The Kinetic Dream

I dreamed I heard crashing waves and knew it was the sea, and then entered a place. I wasn’t alone but was with friends (yet there was no one I recognized from my life).

We walked grassy paths which sometimes had stone pavers. The paths were narrow. It was a haphazard arrangement. It seemed like the lanes wove around multiple small cottages.

A sense of age permeated the settlement. Made of rough stone, the picturesque cottages had small, red or green doors, low roofs and soft, amber-toned walls. Yellow light, like candle or fireplace light, was shining through their four-pane windows. Many windows had flower boxes with red or white pansies growing in them. Sometimes I saw people, mostly children, in the cottages.

As I walked about the place, I had a sense that they’d been separate cottages which had then had a roof built over them to enclose them. I made that comment, which incensed an older man (tall and white, balding, with a dark, disheveled mustache and goatee), who was apparently the owner. I didn’t know why he was upset; it wasn’t anything derogatory, but he seemed to take it that way. I tried to explain what I meant and why, but he brushed me off.

Meanwhile, a younger white woman with short, light-brown hair, told me to remember to say things from time to time. I gathered from her I was there to give a speech. I was to talk about energy. She was a teacher; she wanted to ensure that I explained kinetic energy correctly.

She and I separated. She was with one group and I was in another. My group were adults. They were all friends. Children made up the teacher’s group. She was talking to the children about kinetic energy and explaining examples, showing how kinetic energy held things up. I started thinking, that’s not what kinetic energy is. She said that kinetic energy was what made walls and chairs stand up. Hearing her, I’d look at her, and she would make fists and cross her arms and say, “Kinetic energy.”

Even though I nodded at her in agreement, I was confused because that’s not what I thought kinetic energy was. I tried remembering other forms of energy so that I could talk to her. We came across a large window. In it were two chairs and a table. I looked from it to her. “Kinetic energy,” she said, smiling and nodding, her fists clenched and her arms crossed.

I awoke.

After writing this and thinking about it, I see how it fits into the series I’m writing, Incomplete States, but more thought is needed.

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