The Deep

A little over a year ago, I had a dream where I died for the first time in about a decade. It was kind of traumatizing. I woke up, recognized it as a dream, but…it was the novelty that did it. I’m almost 30, and the last time I had a dream about dying, I was a teenager. That’s a long time.

_I bring this up because over the past month, I’ve had a recurring dream. In this dream, I find myself floating in the ocean. I didn’t swim out into the ocean, I don’t dive into the water…I’m just there. I see the light from the surface, so I know I’m not that deep. I look down and I see nothing. It’s pitch black. I remember a story I heard about a survival instinct that the human brain has to start kicking when it sees an abyss at the bottom of a pool of water. It’s one of those things that was strange and random, and I never got a chance to actually test it to see if it’s true, and it just stuck with me. Anyways, dream me knows this. I look down and see a dark chasm of nothingness. So deep that the light can’t penetrate the amount of water between the surface and the bottom. But I can still see light above me, so I’m not that far from the surface.

Even knowing that…I just look down, and never start kicking. I don’t panic. There’s no sense of dread. I casually think to myself “Huh…look at that.” I’m not sure if it’s to express surprise that the survival instinct I heard about was false or that I was able to completely suppress it if it was indeed a thing. Either way, I can easily make a conscious decision to start kicking my legs and reach the surface of the water. I just don’t. I willingly and happily accept death. I don’t just accept death…I’m totally ok with drowning. It’s one of those ways to die that you’d never willingly choose for yourself. It’s not fast, it’s not peaceful, you have to go for minutes of suffering…and there I am. Dream Me just says “You know what? You know this life thing? Fuck it. I’d rather drown.”

_I’m not sure what my stance on dreams are. Are they super deep and meaningful? Is it when our brains go all super powerful and ESP and we see visions of the future? Are they just generally really dull, which is why we remember so few of them save for the occasional crazy ass ones? I think I’m somewhere in the middle. Mostly, I’m on the side of “dull.” Hell, there are a few dreams I’ve actually remembered because they were extremely dull. But every once in a while…I wonder. Granted, I don’t think I’m going to mysteriously find myself choosing to drown in an ocean any time soon…but the fact that I’m continually dreaming about drowning in the ocean? I think it means that there’s something in my life that needs to change. Something needs to change so that my brain can go back to “I want to live” mode instead of “Eh…I’m just gonna drown” mode.

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