Here’s a dream I recently heard, and received permission from the dreamer to post it with my response.

The dream:

The center is the mountain.  It is large, steep, rounded on the top, and devoid of vegetation.  On the mountain is a road covered with the train track.  The only way around this mountain is to walk the track.  I am heading to the other side of the mountain and I must go on this path.  I move leftward as I circle the mountain. I worry because I know when the train comes, there will not be room for both of us, the train, and you and I.  We are walking together.  You seem younger, like an adolescent, and we walk side by side.  Our clothes are drab, long and yet I am totally comfortable.  The train is here.  We have no room to stand on the side.  We do the only thing we can, we hang on to the edge of the road by our fingers, clutching the dirt just inches from the track rail.  Our feet dangle in the nothingness below.  I am now the observer, watching the train go by as the two hang for their lives.  It seems impossible they can hang on for the duration of the trains passing.

Apparently, we make it to the town and on the way back, the train comes once more.  This time as I dangle, there is no dirt ledge left, only the rail.  I see my fingers wrapped over the top of the rail and I know the train will amputate them and I will surely fall into the darkness below.  I am feeling more curious about my lack of options than I feel frightened.  I wonder why it couldn’t be different, a feeling of resignation.


My response:

For me, the mountain is very breast-like, and so might represent my relationship to feminine, nurturing parts of myself. In my dream, the purpose of the travel is not to get to the town, but the journey itself. The only way around the mountain is to walk along the track, which in my dream is some belief I have about how I should be doing things–a training or lesson, likely one learned in adolescence, as I see my companion as an adolescent. The first time the dream comes, I have the option of just standing on the track, letting this part of me represented by the dream ego die in the impact, but I choose to avoid that and dangle precariously over the abyss instead. The dream allows me to avoid this death the first time, but when I return, the dream offers me another chance to willingly sacrifice who I think I am. This time, I will surely die and lose my fingers in the process. My fingers are very dextrous and sensitive parts of myself, and in losing them I will lose “touch” with this train track, with this old entrained way of doing things.

For me, the part that has to die is the part that sees no other way past my obstacles than this well-laid track that goes around the mountain. I’m resigned rather than frightened because I know, at some level, that this death of who I think I am is necessary before I’ll be able to have other options.

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