Last night following a busy Christmas Day in which we celebrated at three different homes, my mind went to work when the head hit the pillow.
The dreams that came about were all about what it means to have a sense of place. That’s what the inventive part of your brain can do sometimes. The mind can really run you around when it wants to try. Thus I found myself dreaming about an obligation or commitment to an animal rescue facility at which I was supposed to give a fundraising speech.
But first I was scheduled to speak at a church about the book I published on religion. The pastor and I sat talking about the address, and the more we talked, the less things we agreed upon to talk about.
“I know the way…”
In fact, I offered to simply cancel the address to his church, but asked him for a ride to the next commitment on my schedule. We climbed into his car and within seconds were off into some neighborhood that I didn’t recognize. That feeling got worse the further we went along. Finally, I turned to him and asked why we were taking such an odd route.
“I know the way,” I told him. “Why don’t you just ask me?”
He turned to me and with full conviction said these words. “I don’t believe in bridges.”
“Any kind of bridges?” I asked him. “Even little ones?”
He shook his head. So we kept driving and I felt a sense of irritation growing within me. We showed up on the far west side of a town I partially recognized. When I hopped out of the car, we were parked in a vast industrial park next to an airport. It was a local airport I knew from the size of the hangars. Making my way toward down, the tips of the buildings disappeared below the nearer buildings. Slowly I felt a sense of being lost in a place where I did not know where to turn.
So I walked inside a building and it was some sort of official government office. An employee swooped over and guided me into a room where a woman sat me down for questioning.
I asked, “How do I get downtown?”
She was not forthcoming with answers. In fact, a series of increasingly oblique people started coming by trying to confuse me somehow. The entire notion of “knowing where I was” started to dissipate within the dream.
And then I woke up.
The whole “lost in the downtown” thing didn’t bother me. That’s a product of a loose schedule the week following Christmas. This zone between holidays is always a bit unsettling. One has the feeling of pending obligations, yet all sorts of people are taking time off. You have to do this dance between working diligently and letting things slide.
But the “I don’t believe in bridges” thing? It takes a little analysis to parse that out.
So…you know… they always say that dreams are all about what’s wandering through your own head.
So I looked up bridges on one of those dream interpretation sites and this is what it said: To dream that you are crossing a bridge signifies an important decision or a critical junction in your life. This decision will prove to be a positive change filled with prosperity and wealth in the horizon.
That’s all okay with me.2016 has been a year in which many life changes have occurred. One could say that I’ve crossed a number of major bridges just this year: engagement, selling my home, finding a new home, melding our families as we all plant our futures together.
So it is not fear of change that might be holding me back. Instead, I’m going to defer that interpretation by considering the notion that it is resistance from others that more typically makes it difficult to cross those bridges when you come to them. When we set out to “chase those dreams” there are often people who tell us it can’t be done, or refuse to believe in the bridges we map out for ourselves. This can even occur at the macro level in a society. And so it has.
Real people dreams
It so happens that the pastor who appeared in my dream is a real person from my past. I know his belief system fairly well because he preached it from the pulpit for many years. He does not, for example, believe in science such as theory of evolution. He also takes the Bible literally on many fronts. To me, is symbolic of so much going on in this world. The idea that someone “does not believe in bridges” is simple an example of an obstinate denial of practical reality. Thus it is also evidential of the major impediments in rational discourse these days. People who don’t abide in facts cannot be convinced their beliefs are wrong. Thus it’s possible to let one’s fear of knowledge take over to the point where one might make the statement, “I don’t believe in bridges.”
Cultivate our garden
Certainly, we’re all about to face some of that in the year to come. 2017 will be a journey worthy of the book Candide, in which a band of liberal innocents stray into the world and wind up getting all kinds of spiritual and physical abuse before they straggle back home, having been robbed and raped and disabused of their idealistic intentions.
At the end of the book, they gather back home and admit to one another that perhaps it is best to get back to basics. “We must cultivate our garden,” they all agree.
It so happens that I’m at work on a book titled Nature Is My Country Club. The book uses the game of golf as a way to look at the natural world, and how we human beings interact with it. So that’s my garden to cultivate. It speaks about issues of sustainability and perception. It also places the human race in context with creation. To me, that is the bridge to sanity we all must consider.
The garden of fitness
The other garden I plan to cultivate is a better plan for personal fitness this year. I’ve been a bit of an “echo” triathlete, drifting along with whatever training life offers. But I know better. I need my own focus and plan and structure for swimming, cycling and running.
I know how to do that quite well. The training plans I’ve written for myself in the past were productive in achieving running and cycling goals. So that will be the bridge I construct this week. It will be done with pen on legal pad. Then I’ll set up a journal in which to map out and document the plan as it goes along.
Because I do believe in bridges, and many other kinds of rational structure, evidence of evolution and cause and effect in this world. There are some things you can trust to God, but there are many things you need to do for yourself. That’s how it works. And that’s the bridge between life here on earth and whatever comes after.