Sunday, June 1, 2008


Tonight I'll tell you about the dream I had last night. Then, you analyze it. Try me.

So, I am on a bike. It's a big bike, and it's unlike anything you've ever seen before. I am riding the bike, and then I'm pulling an attachment, (kind of like those tag-along things you see where the child's half-bike attaches under the seat of the adult bike, so they pedal along behind, but really you are pulling them) only in my dream, this tag along is really, really long. And the tag along is pulling a regular baby bike trailer. In the baby trailer is Aoife. Then, on the tag along, is Liam, and in front of him, Greg, and in front of him, the infant car seat we bought for Charlotte, firmly attached in a special little holder like those special strollers where you click the carseat into a frame, and the car seat is empty. (I do realize this part requires no analysis whatsoever). We are trying to ride our bikes home, and I'm going up hill. The hill is long, and it's steep. I am really, really dragging, and I don't know if I can pull the weight of my entire family up the hill to get them home. The weather is beautiful. I am going along a familiar road, and then suddenly things don't look so familiar. I realize the buildings, farm buildings, around me, are all abandoned, more of an old institution than the farm I had thought it was. I am slightly afraid. I decide that we are going to go down the hill to find a restaurant instead (because although I had previously been dreaming I was heading home, now apparently I am going to a restaurant). I start to careen down the hill, being passed by big trucks, there are tall shrubs along the side making it difficult to pull off. I can see there is water at the end of the road (and I probably haven't told you before that all my nightmares are about drowning: Charlotte drowning, other little girls drowning, my other children drowning). We are careening towards the water, and the brakes for some reason aren't working anymore. I try to weave back and forth, using the gravel at the side of the trail to brake me. It starts to work. We land at the beach, and there are large-ish stones on the beach instead of sand, and it stops the bike-contraption. I am relieved beyond description.
Amazingly, there is a restaurant on the beach. We dismount the bike and go inside, settling into a booth. We order our food. Suddenly, a young woman approaches. I am ___, she tells me, and I forget what her name was. I have to introduce myself. I always read your blog. I am the one who posted the comments about __________. Again, I can't remember what she said. She claimed to recognize not me, but Liam and Aoife. I am abashed that I have been recognized. Honored.

Then, in the next room, Aoife awakens. So do I. The dream is over.


Jen said...

Whoa, what an intense dream! I love hearing about dreams and pondering their meaning.

These are the things that passed through my mind while reading about your dream:
You are searching for a safe haven in the midst of first, extreme weariness, and second, danger. I wonder why you were all on a bike? If this were my dream, it would have been clear what the bike was about: the imminent oil crisis. But I can't assume this is true for you. Oh, what the heck, I guess my dream analysis doesn't have to be right! Okay, here's my real analysis: you have been through so much struggle and pain in an effort to create and maintain a home for your family, Charlotte included. "Home" in this sense is not just your house, but a spiritual place. In your dream, you are struggling to get everyone to that safe, peaceful place. Then this is where I project my anxieties about oil onto your dream (just for total transparency): you are on a bike that you have gone to some elaborate trouble to turn into a family "car". You are going downhill faster and faster and the brakes aren't working and danger is all around; this is on the downward slope of oil production, past the peak. Local reference: for some reason I picture you going down Hospital Hill because of the reference to abandoned institutional buildings, and maybe because there are restaurants at the end. Big trucks are threatening your safety (in the case of an oil crisis, trucks not being able to haul needed goods would be the danger, but here they are threatening your family directly). There is no option but to hold on tight and navigate this treacherous descent as well as you can.

And you are successful! There is respite at the end, a restaurant after all, food, sustenance, a place to rest. You have kept your family safe. You are even approached by one of your blog readers who makes you feel honored. You have made such a vast difference.

Carol, if any of this doesn't ring true, please, you can toss it, seriously. I'm just writing what comes to me and it could all be way off.

Meg said...

I will take a stab at it, because if it were my dream, I'd want people to. I can pretty much guarantee it's wrong, though.

Ok, here goes.....
I think that while you are on the bike and your entire family is there, that you feel like you have the responsibility of keeping your family safe. I think the fact that the carseat is empty means that you are keeping Charlotte memory safe. It seems like you feel like you have to be the one to do it. And, when you are flying down the hill, and there's stuff coming at you and there's nowhere to go, I think it's like when life has thrown so many scary things at you and you have no choice but to roll with it sometimes. You can't quit or fight, just roll with it.
And, at the end, everything is ok. You are safe in the resturant. Also, when the person comes up and mentions your blog, I think it means that the work you're doing with this blog to keep Charlotte's memory alive and help others through that most difficult time, is doing it's job! You ARE keeping her alive for all to see and love. Also, you'll probably never know how many many people you've helped through a hard time. Also, those of us who haven't lost, to be more compassionate and understanding and tender.
So, I don't know if any of this is right, but it was fun to try. Also, I need to tell you how much you have helped me to appreciate my own kids even more! Just this past Friday, I had to be in NY by 9:30am and I live in CT. About 1 1/2 hour drive. So, we needed to leave between 7:30 and 8am. Not a big deal, except that I hate to be awake in the morning:-) But, I got my youngest (2.5) to bed nice and early at 8pm (that's early for us,hence the late mornings). So, right as the rest of us were heading to bed, the little one woke up competely refreshed at 11pm. She ended up staying awake till 3:30am and then I had trouble falling asleep because I was stressed out about having to get up in a couple hours to get ready. I was up till a little past 4am. Before I read your blog, I would have been upset and resentful. But, now that I have read your words, I was thinking, "You know, Carol would love to be able to be kept up all night with her beautiful baby." So, I made the best of it, and we had a pleasant time. Thank you for that. You are such a wonderful person and I'm honored to "know" you.