Monday, March 15, 2010

Training camp

Sometime last week I had a dream. I think it was Wednesday. Actually, I've been dreaming quite vividly a lot lately, though I've been trying all morning to remember last night's adventure and failing. I probably remember what I dreamed last week because it was sort of weird.

I dreamed that I was attending some sort of fitness camp.

I knew it was camp because it looked just like camp should look - lots of green fields, swimming pools, people wearing shorts and t-shirts. It looked exactly like my elementary school aged mind imagined camp would look, and when I went to Pioneer Girls camp in the third grade, amazingly, it met my expectations. We got to do archery! Swim in lakes! Canoe! We rode donkeys! I hated Pioneer Girls [check out their website, and man, it sounds worse now], but camp, even though I'm not an outdoorsy or athletic person, was awesome (also, I seem to remember there being a solar eclipse [maybe this one?], which we were all warned not to look at. I think we were on a hike when it happened). We did an overnight under the stars one night (the rest of the time we were in tents), where I had my first s'mores (I'd been camping a couple times with my parents, but nothing like this) and campfire stories - I loved camp, and don't recall any of the Christian programming I was subjected to during regular Pioneer Girls. The food was good, too. I wonder why I only went that one year?

Anyway, so back to my dream:

I was at the pool, but I wasn't wearing a bathing suit. Instead, like everyone else, I was wearing khaki shorts and a white polo shirt. We were barefoot. There were two pools right next to each other, huge rectangles of perfect blue water, reflecting the perfect blue sky. We were all lined up for lanes, waiting to get in the pool, but instead of diving in, we were supposed to just step out onto the surface of the water and walk. This is what they were teaching us - we were learning to walk on water.

It wasn't easy, and hardly anybody could actually do it. In fact, all of us were soaking wet. You stepped down from the deck of the pool about a foot to the surface of the water, which was not solid, not calm (with all the other people falling down ahead of you or in the next lane, there was a lot of movement to that water), and you were supposed to just... walk. Maybe they weren't really teaching us, but instead just finding out who could actually do it. We weren't stressed out about it. It wasn't scary - falling down in a pool has to be the safest place to fall down, unless you hit your head on the edge or something. Hardly any of us, myself included, could take more than a couple of steps. Sometimes you'd try it and take a step or two, and then you'd fall. Sometimes you'd step down and immediately flop into the water. Once in awhile, someone would fall in, shake it off, dog paddle down the lane and then? In the middle, they'd stop, look around, and, as if stepping up an invisible staircase until they were back to the surface, walk to the other end. There was no rhyme or reason to it, it just went on and on, everyone trying for a lap, with few successes. At the end of your lap, you climbed out of the pool, hung a right, and another right, and got right back in line. It was fun.

The last thing I remember in the dream was walking away from the pool. I must have left the area and immediately started climbing a hill or something, because I could look down and see all the activity going on. People were still in the pools. Maybe it was another session. But this group had an advantage: the camp counselors had inserted these clear plastic cubes down the middle of each lane. It was like a runway show on America's Next Top Model - let's make it look like these half-wit idiot girls can walk on water! But the illusion was poor, because though none of the people in my group had made it down the entire length of the pool, when we were successful, it looked precarious, as if we knew we could fall at any moment. The group with the plastic cubes "walked on water" like they were wearing rain boots, walking in a giant puddle: they had no fear, no grace: they just clomped along, dry above the knees, splashing and laughing and chatting with each other as they walked the lane.

That's when I woke up.

Now, I don't much believe in dreams as having meanings or being a clue to my subconscious yearnings or anything like that. I mean, I believe that they have to do with my brains and my thoughts, but I don't know if beyond being my own little weird movie night, there's any meaning that, you know, means anything. "I dreamed I won the lottery, and the next day I did!" That kind of shit doesn't wash with me. On the other hand, I think dream dictionaries and interpretation are interesting things.
From Dream Moods Dictionary:
To dream that you are walking on water, suggests that you have supreme and ultimate control over your emotions. It may also suggest that you need to "stay on top" of your emotions and not let them explode out of hand. Alternatively, it is symbolic of faith in yourself.
Now, since my efforts to walk on water in my dream were mostly failures, I'm not sure how this works. Another dream dictionary indicated that water represents our emotions. Maybe it means that I want to control my emotions, but I struggle with it and I fail because I lack a big plastic box to walk on...? I don't know. And the whole "faith in yourself" part is pretty funny, too. Maybe the group that got to walk on the plastic cubes represents how I think other people go through life with an invisible support system that I feel like I'm lacking - look at the clumsy lucky people clomp on by, while I'm falling on my ass every three feet or so! Who knows. It's interesting, but it's not that interesting. Well, interesting enough to think about, but for a limited amount of time, which is quickly running out.

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