25 July 2011

A Nightmare Come To Life

   Someone is after me - a threatening and dangerous someone, with a weapon or just with the capability to hurt or kill me.  And I can't get away - can't run because my feet are stuck, my legs won't move.  Or I find a place to hide from the danger, but know, somehow, that the person will find me anyway.  
   This is one of my worst dreams, one that will reoccur, a dream I continue to seek to understand.  It varies, but is always about being "got" by someone who wants me dead and I can't do anything to stop it.  Brrrr - makes me shiver to recall it.  But that dream has been on my mind, poking at my consciousness - since hearing about the recent slaughter of nearly 80 people at a youth camp in Norway.  
   My usual Saturday morning ritual is an NPR marathon - propped up on my bed with coffee, a notepad for ideas or thoughts or interesting words heard, and, lately, a stash of kleenex to handle the allergic responses to our lovely Kentucky summer weather.  This past Saturday the first story I heard was about the massacre at the youth camp.  Suddenly Click & Clack, Bob Edwards' Weekend, and even This American Life lost their appeal.  It felt to me obscene somehow to be relaxing and enjoying myself after hearing a mother speak of how her daughter had hidden in a bathroom while the (apparently) lone gunman had shot another youth right outside of her hiding place.
   With each report - of how the murderer had chased those who tried to escape the island by water and shot them as they swam, of the young man who hid behind the very rock the gunman stood on - he could hear him breathing raggedly, of the woman who watched while the man (dressed as a police) called people to him and then gunned them down - I imagined the fearful music of Pan's pipes playing in my head.  I felt a connection to the mothers and fathers of those children at the camp.  Every parent's nightmare - being unable to protect a beloved child - urged me to a need to speak to my own daughter even though I knew she was safe, and sleeping, not far away.
   And my own dreams, of being unable to escape from sudden danger, certain death, were aroused - brought into the waking world for review and interpretation.  Just recently I wrote about my understanding that the world isn't safe, that safety (if such exists) lies in ourselves rather than in the environment http://companionforthejourney.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-in-world-is-safe.html.  Yet here I was reacting to an event in that world from and around an unconscious and deeply held fear - one I don't usually let myself know about as I go on my daily round.  
   Why is it we respond so emotionally, so strongly from the unconscious, to some stories, some events and not to others?  Across the planet, every day, people are killed, mass murders take place, terror as well as weaponry is used to do no more, often, than make a point.  I don't usually react to those stories so strongly.  And I suppose that's good - for if I were to take every story of death and defilement to heart I don't believe my heart or my psyche could stand it.
   Is it enough that my dreams and my waking life connected through hearing this story of horror and madness?  In doing the further work to open my unconscious, my shadow, to connection with the conscious - in furthering my own healing through writing (for I hear several "stories" knocking, requesting awareness, wanting to be told) am I contributing something to the collective consciousness?  
   Given that this is all I CAN do - I only hope it will be enough.

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