Dream number 689.
So I had one of those soothsaying dreams last night. It began on a street corner with a bunch of people I somehow knew, crossing a busy street. One of the guys was standing in the turn lane just before the median. Another guy had made it halfway and was safely in the median waiting for the light to change. I was waiting to cross at the beginning. Seeing the guy in the turn lane I yelled to him that he needed to go to the median or come back to the beginning with me to be safe from cars. He came back and joined me at the beginning to wait for the light. He was a black man. I remembering thinking he should have gone to the median instead of coming back to me, but at least he was safe for now.
The light changed and as soon as we crossed the street, we entered a bridge. Yes, the familiar bridge of my dreams. It’s a high bridge, sometimes swaying, sometime still, sometimes open, sometimes encapsulated, but always modern. The bridge crossing is always a fun beginning too; excitement and joy for the journey ahead, which never last long. I walk with confidence at the start, but then look down at the water below and feel woozy at the distance if I should fall, and when I look ahead, scared of the long stretch of bridge I know is ahead.
There have been dreams where there is a draw bridge in the middle of the crossing and it opens before me and pauses my journey. Not this time, nope, I was already at the end of the bridge where I could see a damp landing a few steps below. I immediately take it leaving the others behind. Yes, impulsive me as usual. There is a group of young people waiting on an elevator, guys in their twenties wearing leather jackets and flip flop footings. While waiting for the elevator I look out a window and see this is the last section of the bridge and it leads to a brick building that reminds me of those ugly government buildings built in the 20’s by Hitler and Mussolini. I’m puzzled, but nonetheless, excited. I push the elevator button, but nothing happens.
“We’ve been waiting a long time,” one of the youngsters says — I now realize that youngster was me.
I run back up the steps to the bridge where I left the others. They’ve moved on. I run back down the steps to the elevator platform. Still no elevator, I push the button and hear a mechanical sound which tells me that the elevator has arrived, but the door won’t open. Elevator doors never open in my dreams. I try to force it, but it only opens enough to show me a glimpse of the light inside, and then snaps back. The others are laughing.
“We’ve tried it a dozen times,” my younger self says, “it won’t open.”
I look out the window and see the others I left behind are at the end of the bridge. There is a father will his child in the lead and he’s at the very edge, however, the bridge is not compete. Or is it? I follow the projected path of the bridge and realize it will touch the shore if there are more people at the end. I run back up the steps and find a passageway that leads to other parts of the bridge. The first passageway goes backwards, the second passageway is where I came from. I’m loss in a dream again, as in life. I’m about to give up, accept things as they are. So what, I’ll go back to the beginning and start over. Only, there is no starting over at this point. And with this thought another passageway magically opens, it is a handicap ramp. I approach it and see a narrow path along its side that I must turn sideways to maneuver down, and so I begin my decent to the others at the end to help lower the bridge, but wait! As in all my dreams there is a break in the bridge, only at this time it is the final section. I’m so close to the end this time. I’ve never been closer. but then, NO, no, please god no…
The dream is over.
End of dream 689.
In analyzing this dream as I do all my dreams, I consulted my Cloud Nine dictionary written by Sandra A. Thomson. I began my analyzes with the main street where we were all trying to cross. Obviously, this is the beginning of my life, my youth. The characters waiting to cross the street I now realize are the different faces I had to wear in dealing with the adults around me at the time. I was born in 1959 and so became of age the 60’s during turbulent times. We lived in Detroit during what they then called the riots, but we now all know was just another step in the long struggle for equality and justice in America. We lived in a white neighborhood on the East Side of the city. The first black family had just moved in and I was the friends with Charlie, the kid my age. Charlie was funny, easy going, and very giving. The world around Charlie and me was crazy, but we just ignored it and played GI Joe and Hot Wheels like boys will. One day playing on the steps of my porch my grandfather came out and saw Charley and me and started calling him “boy.” Charlie and I were both embarrassed. I crumbled inside because I knew it hurt Charley. My grandparents were racist as were most white parents at that time. It was the first time I felt racism.
Another time, Charley and I were play-wrestling in an open field. We were imitating our favorite wrestlers, he was Bobo Brazil and I was Lord Athol Layton. I was about to deliver my sleeper hold when I felt a foot on my back. It was a black teenager who saw us ‘fighting’ and ran to help Charley. He kicked me twice before Charley could tell him we were friends playing. The teenager looked at me like my grandfather had looked at Charley. He said something like ‘fucking white boy’ and walked away. Charley and I decided to play a different game. A few weeks later the city violence was really bad and we could see smoke in the sky from the burning buildings. The National Guard parked jeeps around the neighborhood with armed soldiers. We could only play together until 6pm because of the curfew. That was my intro to life, and my dream hesitation in crossing the street at the beginning of my life. But with the help of others, such as the black man who came back to help me cross the street in my dream, I got on the bridge of life and began my journey.
Consulting my dream dictionary, a “bridge…can unite the past with the present.” And I’m certain that is a big part of Dream 689, but the greater part of the dream may be my ‘crossing’ of the bridge itself. Thomson says in her book: “In many myths, crossing a bridge represents the passage from life to death and into whatever is your conception of life beyond. This, or other crossings, would be a typical kind of dream for someone who is terminally ill or close to death.”
Ouch, reading that interpretation is scary, and to be honest I wanted to avoid it. But avoiding dreams only creates nightmares and so I must visit it. As many of you know I’m still recovering from having a cancerous part of my lung removed last month. So, I’m definitely closer to the ‘beyond’ than I am to the ‘beginning.’ As I have documented in previous post, my Buddhist faith has bought me some time in life, I don’t know how much, but I do know I plan on spending this added time in my faith. Therefore I must now tell you that I am a follower of Nichiren Buddhism in which we chant Nam Myho Renge Kyo for truth and happiness. I joined the Soka Gakkai two years ago and from the first time I chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo the right side of my chest hurt. I thought it was from never have held my hands together in chanting before and that in time it would go away with conditioning. It never did go away and so I went to the doctor and they found a spot on my lung. It was an early enough detection that they removed the cancerous part of my lung and so I am now a cancer survivor thanks to my chanting. I truly believe this. Since having the cancerous part of my lung removed my chest doesn’t hurt when I chant. And so I am the first one of my family in a long line of lung cancer deaths to have been given more time to live. My family karma of dying young from lung cancer has changed and I’ve been given more time to spread the news that chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo works. Try it if you don’t believe me. Just put your hands together and find a spot on the wall to focus on and chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo three times. The result will be enlightenment and happiness. That’s where it begins, and for more info go to the Soka Gakkai International – USA website and find a group close to you, and soon you’ll experience the happiness I have, and maybe interpreting a dream of your own.
Finally, back to my dream, I see now that when the elevator door does opens….