A Writing Prompt

The Writer’s Digest prompt for September 23rd. “The Never-Ending Dream”

At an old bookstore, you find a book that helps you interpret your dreams. But something is strange about it. You fall asleep reading the book, and find yourself in a dream that you cannot wake up from. What is it? And how will you snap back to reality?

I’ve been mulling over this prompt. It intrigued me, but nothing came to mind right away. A dream I had the other night has stuck with me and just may fit the prompt.

I don’t know where this fear originated, but the one thing that really scares me is being trapped under water or death by drowning. I did have the misfortune of whitewater rafting with a rather incompetent guide (several years ago) who got our raft hung up on a large rock in the middle of a class 3 rapid. Despite trying to free ourselves without disaster, our raft flipped. When I surfaced I was stuck under the raft, gasping for breath. The next time my head broke through the churning waves, I was free of the raft but being pulled this way and that by the current. Another raft load of folks managed to rescue me. I was shaken but otherwise fine. Needless or say, that was the last time I’ve been whitewater rafting. I’m guessing it cemented my fear rather than helping to clear it up!

I’ve had enough water/ boat related dreams that I now do a pretty good job of waking myself before the darn thing capsizes and pins me in the dark, cold water where the bony fingers of death pull me farther and farther away from the precious oxygen my body craves. I think the worst one in recent memory was when one I was on a riverboat and it began violently rocking, to and fro, taking on massive amounts of water. It was like an out of control amusement park ride until I just knew that the boat was going to flip, yet I was powerless to do anything. I did wake myself after the boat began to sink with me beneath it. Then, I had the bad luck of falling right back into the dream. My mind thought it would be smarter than the dream this time. In the continuation-redo, I decided I would jump from the boat before it flipped. Still not such a good idea. This time when the boat capsized I was in the water watching it come down on me.

The most recent dream featured an odd sort of boat, very flat and wide. I have no idea how it managed to stay afloat. The ends of the boat started slipping beneath the warm waters of the Caribbean (I had been on a tropical island in my dream – why didn’t I just stay there??), and my brain recognized what was to come. I successfully pulled myself from the dream, and when I fell back to sleep, I was far from the warm sunshine and turquoise waters.

I tend to have vivid dreams, and depending on when they occur in the night, I usually remember bits and pieces. Given this, I invested in a dream dictionary. You know, curiosity killed the cat kind of thing. It is titled, I Had the Strangest Dream…The Dreamer’s Dictionary for the 21st Century by Kelly Sullivan Walden.

I looked up “drowning,” and this is what it said (p. 121), 

…signify that you are feeling overwhelmed and that you have been indulging in negative, fear-based emotions. Dreaming of drowning is helping you to release your fear of being unable to keep your head above water.

I would say some of this applies in that I feel like I have so much to do and not enough time to accomplish everything. I feel like I get inundated and have difficulty catching-up. I’m the type of person who wants to do the job or task correctly and not rush through it just to be done. Maybe I need to put less pressure on myself? Then I can find another dream to interpret! 

Do you remember your dreams? What triggers the need to wake from a dream for you?

You can find their prompts at http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts 



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