I have always dreamt of wild animals and the story is always the same. I have the responsibility/honor of housing a truly wild animal, something big & far beyond my capacity to control with my physical strength, usually a big cat, almost without fail a tiger. In these dreams, I have a very tenuous relationship with the feral creature, which means IF I pay attention & allow my energies to mesh with the creature, then they will both stay close to me AND not hurt anyone else. It is never clear what will happen if I stop paying attention but I do obsess over harm to other people, people wandering, even half asleep, in the predictability of their everyday lives & unexpectedly running into across a ferocious feline, hungry & disoriented.
The other day Amalia & I stayed too long at the beach. Two Mediterannean girls on the first really gorgeous day of summer, we laid close to the waves & alternately slept & gossiped & read fashion magazines & snacked. It was way too late when we started to feel the burn, but being the gypsy beings we are, we enjoyed the refugee feeling of straggling home on the subway, sandy & a little forlorn.
Night fell in Red Hook & we pulled the futon out into the middle of the loft, lit candles, made a little avocado & tomato salad with some popcorn & settled back to watch VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA on iTunes . . The Love Artist (of course) fell asleep immediately, or at least an half hour after drooling over Javier Bardem's droopy eyes & Penelope Cruz's gorgeous screaming & ranting . .
I began to dream, a loopy lucid dream that involved a very emotionally present gorilla. Now, I have never dreamt or even briefly fantasized about a gorilla, they are not in my repetoire. But the scenario was familiar: a huge, powerful & potentially dangerous creature left in my care. In my dream (as in real life) I was so so so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. But how to care for my ward while I slept?
I had the idea (as many mothers have had) that if we fell asleep together, perhaps this would sooth my wild animal & keep him close to me. I took him in my arms & laid his head against my chest. LET ME REMIND YOU OF THIS: the dream was so real which means the gorilla was BIG, SMELLY, HAIRY. Big like bigger than me. I could telepathically feel how happy the gorilla was. This is what he wanted. It was extraordinarily deep, his contentment, his serenity went to the core of the earth & certainly to the core of my being. I felt him letting go, surrendering to sleep. I felt him in love with me.
As this slumber process happened, he became heavier & heavier in his letting go. I was becoming one with him and then I panicked. Too much: too much hair, too much gorilla, too much . . . love . . . .
I woke him & tried to get him to sleep on the floor. He kept climbing back into the bed. He became full of despair. He became frustrated, angry. Suddenly I was in danger.
As is the case with lucid dreaming, wakefulness was so close. I could barely see Amalia sitting at the computer in the dark next to me. I was dreaming & telling her of the dream at the same time. I snapped the dream & woke up & stared out into a thunderstorm.