Deep Sea Dreams

OceanI’ve gone on at length about my rather intense dreams, which are in full colour and within which I feel pain. Usually, I have a common thread going through my dreams; water.

Even as a child, I was obsessed with water. From the time that I nearly drowned when I was around Kai’s age, I become obsessed with being in the water as much as I possibly could. I couldn’t get enough. I took to swimming lessons like a pro. When we moved to my parents’ house in the country and had our own pool, I would swim in it at all hours, at all temperatures, from the time we opened it and it became “safe” to swim in, until the very bitter (and I do mean that literally) end of summer when my dad forced me out to close it. The majority of my summer days were spent swimming, often as much as 12 hours a day. I would go into that pool when the water was only 13 Celsius and the temperature outside of it barely 24. I was diagnosed with an allergy to chlorine around the same time I started to REALLY become obsessed by swimming, and I never cared that my skin would blister and my eyes would blur, and I would be wracked with pains in my chest for it. I just loved the water so much, it didn’t matter the cost.

My dreams that involved water were always pleasant then. Some of my best dreams, happiest and most desired dreams, involved finding that the screen of cedars behind my old house led to a path by a hidden stream, with a bubbling waterfall nearby. After I started meditating, I made that the basis of the beginning of every day’s meditation. When I had one of those dreams, I knew I was going to have a really positive run of luck; that something I wanted I was going to get.

However, there came a time when instead of finding that stream, I became consumed by it. When my dreams of water became things I almost dreaded. Dreams where I was swept away by a raging river, soon to realize it was the Niagara River, and the moment I made that association, I would be heading towards the Falls, to be swept over them and crushed by the rocks below. Or the dreams of giant waves, knowing they were coming, being unable to do anything, and drowning in my dreams over and over again. The dreams of being in the ocean and being trapped there, usually by ice or by a tsunami of broken, rotting bodies. Finally, the dreams I hate and dread most of all; the dreams of going to the deep, dark parts of the ocean, kilometers under the surface.

Even before I had seen the pictures and videos of the deep ocean, I knew what it looked like down there. I knew what strange creatures could be found. I knew because I dreamed them. I feel no shame in revealing that the first nature show I saw with the footage of black smokers and strange, monstrous creatures that I saw, I was shaking so badly I spilled a cup of water all over myself and in such a state of shock that I didn’t even notice. It wasn’t that the appearance was scary so much as it was my dreams were accurate to the tiniest detail. Even now, I am getting chills.

I cannot stand to look from the shallow end to the deep end of a large pool without getting a feeling of terror. As if I know what is waiting for me. When I dream of going into the deep sea like that, it’s almost always with equipment. It’s never that I’m drowning. It’s just the unending darkness with monsters around every turn, and there I am, stuck in the middle of that which I love the most–being immersed in water–yet at once terrified of what’s to become of me when I find whatever ends I’m looking for there, down in the deep.

Why is it that something that gives such joy can bring so much sorrow and terror when you’ve crossed from one place to another? Which is mostly a rhetorical question; I even have a theory or two. I just find that it’s something that’s been happening a lot lately, and it’s really bugging me, those visions of the deep sea. Sometimes, I really hate knowing as much as I do.

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