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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_H-LY4Jb2M

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.

Dreams and reality collide

Yesterday I wished I had brought my camera with me. We’d taken the dog to the beach and on the way back nipped in to the little nature reserve near the car park there. Now there’s been a lot of work done on this area and it’s looking like becoming a grand area for nature to get on with it, and some paths through to stop people trampling.

One of the nicest features is a large pond, almost a small lake, and to make things even nicer, a large bench has been constructed out of old railway sleepers so you can sit and enjoy the view over the pond. As we did so, my hsuband spotted something unusual in the water: goldfish! First one and then a whole shoal of bright flashing fish, clearly released from bowls and aquariums when they got too big. They were all a good six inches long and obviously thriving, and as we watched we saw something else, just below the surface of the water. A gigantic and utterly majestic carp shadowed his brighter cousins. This fish was massive, several feet long perhaps, and the goldfish seemed unperturbed by him. He seemed almost a guardian of his domestic relatives.

Now on a number of occasions I have dreamed of ponds, lakes and rivers, where first massive goldfish and then other fish of improbable or even impossible sizes have lazily swam just below the surface, often raising their mouths and tasting the air. I’ve never been sure what if anything these dreams mean, but it was peculiar to see a version of my dream played out in real life.

Like I said, I wished I’d had my camera with me.