Images of earth’s perpetual restlessness waves gently rock us, lift us up for an exhilarating ride – or inundate us in the terrifying phenomenon of a tsunami. Surfers surrender to the rhythm of waves, an embodied metaphor of attuning to the rising and falling of unconscious forces. Poseidon, Greek god of the ocean, was also the deity of destructive tidal waves, which can sweep us away and show up often in dreams. In physics, a wave is a disturbance that travels through space and matter, transferring energy from one place to another and, therefore, part of the fabric of the subatomic universe. From playful white caps on a summer’s day to waves that pound the shore as they break, waves are a potent image of energy and reflect inner psychic processes.
Here’s the dream we analyze:
“I am paddleboarding with my ex-boyfriend and several other people, mostly older adults. We are in a mountain lake, with an evergreen, tree-covered mountain rising from the lake behind us. The sun is out, and the water is calm. It feels pleasant. After some time passes, I notice several people quickly swimming to shore. The sky has suddenly drastically darkened, and I think it’s either about to rain or the sun is setting, so it’s time to leave. The water gets rougher now, too. My ex and I swim to shore, and I am surprised by how quickly and easily I am able to swim. When I get to shore, I notice that the older adults are struggling in the water. I want to help them, but my ex stops me. It is now that I notice that the dark sky is actually due to the fact that the mountain is completely on fire, and the fire is rushing down toward the water. I have to stand and watch, hoping all the older adults make it. The fire reaches the water, and the last of the older adults are thrust to shore. It is very dark now, and there is something beautiful about the fire. I want to get a closer look but am wary of getting near the water, which I know will be scalding. I get closer and try to take a picture, but at the moment I go to capture the image, the smoke obscures my view.”
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