Friday, November 22, 2002

On losing things: For a year I dreamed that I was trying to cross bridges. These bridges could take a variety of forms. Sometimes they were rope bridges, like in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with alligators snapping their jaws at me in the river below it. Sometimes they were covered bridges over creeks in the countryside. Sometimes instead of a bridge, it was a tunnel under a lake I had to try and use to get to the other side. Invariably, something would go wrong. The rope bridge would fray, snap in half, and I would fall into the river below with all of those alligators. The covered bridge would begin to creak under my weight (I always had everything I owned strapped to my back) and would collapse beneath my feet. In the rope and covered bridge dreams, all of my things would wash away in the river or creek, and I would be left with nothing. In the tunnel under the lake dream, I would get halfway through, crawling on my hands and knees through the slightly muddy space, and then I would come to a place where, directly under the lake, there was a leak. Water dripped in. Then suddenly a hole in the tunnel would burst, and it would fill with water and I would drown.

Someone told me bridge dreams were good--that it means you're making a transition in your life. But I kept dreaming of crossing bridges, and never being able to get to the other side. It was dreadful. I'd wake up in a sweat, as if I had actually been dumped in a river, or flooded in that tunnel. I couldn't get to the other side.

I've stopped dreaming about bridges, so I'm assuming that I don't need to any longer. I'm hoping that means I made it to the other side. I feel like I have, to some extent, although I haven't made much headway into the new territory on the other side. I keep looking back, or down at my old life that has been swept away in the current.

I think a moment of pause to regroup and reconstitute is completely due. In the Bible, God turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt for looking back. I always thought that was a bit harsh. I mean, come on! A pillar of freaking salt! Bad form, God! It's not a bad thing to look back on your life, especially when you're leaving it. It's not a bad thing to long for it either. There were good things there too. Don't forget that. Don't think just because you have to leave a certain place of your life that it's all bad. A lot of it was good. That's why it's so hard to leave it.


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