Thursday, September 06, 2012

Making The Jump :: Carnival : Chains : Dreams

Early this morning, I dreamed that I was walking with an old friend from high school through an abandoned field where tents and game booths had been set up as if to host a carnival. No one was around but the two of us. In one of the booths there was one of the pop-a-balloon, win a prize games, and the prizes were those painted glass pictures in the paper frames. Higher up on the wall there were the small poster type pictures with the gold edged frames.

My friend and I were picking out what we would choose if we won the game. I chose something that had  trees and leaves and animals...something like that. Something very "me". And she picked out a picture of Elvis, which totally caught me off guard. I asked her why she would want that one. It didn't seem like her style at all, and she explained her reason to me, which I understood, although I don't remember exactly what the reason was.

We laughed about it then walked on, and soon we were out of the tent area and headed toward a raw wood line. There were tall dry-looking grasses at the edge of the woods, and I stopped a few feet from it, because only now did I begin to wonder where the heck we were going. I was sort of ambling along and chatting with my friend, and not really thinking about where she was leading me.

Still talking, she walked straight to this open, wooden crate sitting a few feet from the fire break. She pulled out a bright pink, padded ski jacket (or maybe it was a hunting jacket, I don't know) from the box, and put it on. Then she reached into the box and tossed one of the jackets to me. I was confused by the jacket, but I put it on without questioning her while she continued to ramble on about mundane things. I was reluctant to ask her any questions at this point.

About that time, I noticed the fire break in front of us wasn't a simple mowed trail next to the woods. It was a wide ditch, and we stood right on the edge of it where some boards were half buried in the ground.

I looked down into the ditch and saw that it was very deep and filled with dark green, foamy, flowing water. Very scary! It looked like a water channel for one of the log rides/circuit boat rides. I realized then that we stood on part of an old pier that didn't go very far out over the water because gondolas would go around the water track, loop back through a zoo area, and return here.

It was then I asked my friend where we were going. She said we were going hiking. I couldn't imagine why anyone would go hiking out in the woods past an abandoned carnival. I didn't even know if the trails were suitable for hiking. From across the field, it appeared there was nothing out past the carnival but grass and raw woods.

My friend must have noticed my hesitation and skepticism, because she pointed over her shoulder, indicating a narrow path cut through the tall grass. The path looked rugged and was no wider than a deer trail. I watched in shock as she casually grabbed hold of this short chain hanging from a beam - I assumed at this point the pier had been covered at one time - and then she swung over to land on the opposite side of the ditch.

Color me stunned, because I was. It dawned on me at that moment I had reached an important milestone. This was the point where we "jump to the other side". You either make it, or you don't. And I was terrified.

I looked up at the chain, and wondered if I was too short to grab hold of it. My friend was watching me, waiting from the other side. I told her I was nervous, and didn't know how to swing across. For a moment, I even contemplated turning back and returning to the abandoned carnival. All the while, my friend said nothing, and just watched me as if waiting to see what I'd do. I realized then that this was something I had to do on my own, by my own strength and effort.

I grew frustrated with myself, and with what I knew I had to do. I dreaded swinging to the other side. For one thing, I didn't think I could do it. I was pretty sure I was going to fall short and land in the water. Nevertheless, I grabbed hold of the chain. It turned out I could reach it after all. But when I looked up to swing over to the other side, my friend was gone. While hesitating at the jump point, she had gone ahead into the woods without me.

I have no idea if I actually made it to the other side or not. Maybe that's the part I'm supposed to fill in during my waking life. I only vaguely remember starting to pull back with the chain in hand as I got ready to swing. All I know for sure is that I wasn't panicked when I woke up - and I wasn't soaking wet. ;o)

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