Slip Slidin’ Away ~ a reflection on a long-ago dream and a melancholy song


Slip Slidin’ Away ~ a reflection on a long ago dream and a melancholy song

I’m not sure when I first heard this Paul Simon song, but it entered my unconscious and stayed there. I was probably about fourteen when the dream occurred. I’d already run away from school and was pretty troubled. The overall anxiety that I experienced daily had become such that the doctor had prescribed tranquillizers, which turned me into a zombie till I stopped taking them.

The dream had a luminous quality that is a recognised sign of a Great Dream, and the fact that I recall it so vividly thirty or so years later is another sign. In the dream, I could hear the song Slip Slidin’ Away being sung in the background though I never saw the singer. I just accepted the song. I was walking along holding the hand of a much bigger person; imagine being about three and walking with an adult and that’ll give you the scale. I couldn’t see the face of the person who held my hand, but we walked at a steady pace. Once in a while, I would let go of the hand and tell them I could manage by myself now and they would step a little aside. Then, of course, I discovered that it was as thought I were on a moving pavement, going against the direction and I’d try to run forwards, and after frantically trying to make progress, exhausted I’d fall to the ground and be swept away.

But at a certain point, I would be lifted up and set back on my feet, and my hand would be held, and progress would be made. We’d walk along quite normally; I had no sensation of the movement beneath me trying to slip slide me away.

I woke crying. I still find tears welling up remembering it. I still don’t understand that dream, even now.

I do believe though that for me, that figure was God. While I hold His hand, I move forward; it’s me that lets go, not Him. In the dream I remember wondering why I kept letting go. I still wonder why I do it. At a different level, the dream might mean that we are inter-dependant, that in cooperating with others we move forward and alone we can be swept away.

I don’t know, but the dream still remains. And the destination is no nearer.

8 thoughts on “Slip Slidin’ Away ~ a reflection on a long-ago dream and a melancholy song

  1. Oh, does that ever give me a sense of God’s Hand, Viv! I was delighted to read you felt the same. What a great dream to still hold so vividly in your mind and your heart. I wonder if I’ll be able to hear that song again without thinking of you! 🙂


    • In some ways, I remember feeling the same restlessness at certain points of the walking that I feel now. Maybe I am still to much of a baby to walk alone, but also, maybe the times I walk alone I am not alone, and that Tall figure is there, waiting to help me up. Maybe I am growing up.
      I felt confused too, and sad. And yet, relieved and hopeful.


  2. Where to start? Dream interpretation is as many layered & complex as the psyche they express, that made them for us in the first place! I know very well these ‘super numinous’ dreams that have that strong ‘aura’ of ‘Reality’ to them, and that can also connect you with your deepstmost feelings. I know that I, too, have awoken from such dreams crying, or so overwhelmed by that sense of numinous reality that the dream stays with me for ages afterwards. I can still recall one such I had 30 years ago of such an order (‘Oh Come my People & be Saved’!!)Certainly I’d say the figure you were walking with was symbolic of the Supraordinate Self (God!) but that of course if where all our ‘selves’ come from anyway; we all have that ‘imago’/concept buried in us & it must always be our highest guiding principle. I would say you’re interpretation is a good one – Jung always took what his patients told him about their own feelings & views of their dream very seriously, rather than imposing his own interpretation always on them. But he wote volumes on dream interpretation, & this is already overlong as a comment. Also I want to look again at your next post, ie the serpent dream!


    • It’s very good to read such a thorough and thoughful comment, Elizabeth. I think I’d have liked to have worked with Jung; too many doctors of both mind and body prefer to impose their interpretation onto a patient rather than help the patient find their own answers.
      thank you; am still thinking about your comments


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