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Balloon Dive

Dreamed 2007/6/17 by Wayan

Boy drops from balloon into pond. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge


I'm on the Stanford campus, out near the Lagunita. A cloudy, muggy day; few swimmers in the shallow pond. Old fishermen line the shore, though.

A tall Tough Guy points to the clouds. "Look!" A flock of balloons are rising, big round ones a good 4-6 meters wide (13-20'). They rise too fast for hot air--hydrogen or helium. Tough Guy points at one in particular--why?

Oh. A small boy dangles from a rope beneath.

His balloon drifts over the shallow waters of the Lagunita. He lets go. A long fall, 20-30 meters, and he hits hard, SMACK!

But maybe he was right to risk it; the balloon was rising fast and even if he'd climbed that rope, the balloon had no valve to vent gas from; that balloon was on a one-way trip to the stratosphere. He'd freeze, if anoxia didn't kill him first. He let go at the only moment he had much chance.

A long minute later, he bobs up, motionless, face down in the water.

The low waves bring the body in closer. The old men, cynics all, ignore the corpse; but one old woman pulls back her pole and casts. She snags his coat, reels him in, turns him over on the gravel shore. A pale blond boy. Wax angel.

His eyes flutter, open. Just stunned!

Wow. I didn't dive for him because I thought he was dead for sure. Nope. His gamble paid off!

NOTE IN THE MORNING

NOTE TEN YEARS LATER

I shared this dream to correct an imbalance I see in much published dream-theory: the assumption that dreams always correct your conscious view, warn you to change course. Not so! I've often many dreams reaffirming a conscious judgment. But then, I'm a tentative, even timid person. Reassuring dreams make sense for me--they up the odds I'll act on my judgments.

In contrast, Freud and Jung were both forceful, proud characters with faith in their own judgment--too much faith, in Freud's case. Dreamworkers like that don't need encouragement; and lo and behold, their writing is full of corrective dreams, not confirming ones. But I think dream-reassurance is common, especially in marginalized people; we're taught to doubt ourselves, after all. We make hard choices, and often look, to the privileged, dead in the water.

Fishermen look at boy floating face-down in pond. Dream sketch by Wayan.
But we're not.



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