I don't generally think of dreams as anything other than a manifestation of our subconscious minds at work. I'm not convinced that there is anything to be interpreted in them, other than an active imagination working while we sleep. I tend to think of the dream phenomenon as the playground of our suppressed subconscious minds. Sometimes though, a dream has such oddity that we simply can't shake the feeling that it had an underlying meaning that we need to uncover. Last night, I had one of these.
My wife, April, and I were driving on an old country road -- it actually reminded me of Spurr Rd. (near Georgetown Rd.) in Lexington -- but it could have been any narrow winding country road. It was a stormy night, and the sky was dark with bulbous and billowing clouds that swirled light grey highlights onto a rapidly undulating charcoal and black canvas. Wind-blown rain was pouring down, hard. The lightning flashed violently in the sky and the thunder roared at a deafening volume.
As we were rounding a curve (similar to the one near the old school on Spurr.) there was a very large tree that had fallen across the road. I nearly ran into it before becoming aware of its presence. I looked behind us, and gave a moment of consideration to reversing our route. I sensed, however, that we were fleeing something worse than this storm. It was clear that going back was simply not an option.
I decided that I had time to get out of the car and move the downed tree. I could, at least, move enough of it to squeeze the car around it and continue driving. It was sufficiently shattered that it should be fairly easy to pick up a few of the larger pieces and toss them off the road. I stepped out of the car and felt the rain beating down onto my skin. It was powerful enough that it caused me to consider the possibility of hail being mixed with the rain.
I looked toward the tree and started to walk in that direction when a bolt of lightning flashed and lit up the entire scene as though it were daylight. During that brief flash, I was able to catch a glimpse of a figure standing in the distance. It was about 100 feet from the tree, to the right of the remnants of the trunk. The figure resembled a person, but very large and somewhat hairy. It actually, more closely resembled Sasquatch. The most notable feature of this creature, or lack thereof, was its face. It could have even been wearing a gas mask.
I was paralyzed with fear. I had no idea what I saw, but it looked menacing. I jumped back into the car and locked the doors. April asked me what was wrong. I started to ask if she saw the creature as another flash of lightning was followed by the loudest crash of thunder yet. She cringed, as my question was drowned out by the thunder, and commented on the storm. I responded to her comment, merely as a courtesy, and tried again to ask if she had seen the monster. She interrupted me with another comment on the storm. I realized that I would be unable to confirm whether or not I was hallucinating.
Regaining my bearings, I looked ahead and found the creature was closer. It was now visible in the beam of the car's headlights. It had come around the near side of the tree. It passed by the front of the car and started walking / climbing through the branches of (the more intact portion of) the downed tree. It seemed oblivious to our presence. It was clear that we both could now see this thing before us. We sat silently contemplating what, if any, action should be taken.
As the creature approached the foggy distant edge of my field of vision, for some unfathomable reason I blew the car horn. It turned and looked at the car, its face -- very reminiscent of a gas mask -- was expressionless but very visible. It bellowed with a moaning roar. It sounded like an angry cat looking to fight, but loud enough that it could be heard over the simultaneous rumbles of thunder.
I was immediately awakened. With that face and sound still haunting my mind, I was relieved to realize that it was just a dream. However, the recollection of the dream is etched in my brain as if chiseled in stone. I can't shake the feeling that I was supposed to gain some insight from it.
Dreams can often be strange, and this was the strangest I've had in a while. I see a lot of symbolism. I have attempted to tie it into my life, but with little avail. This dream was a very powerful, surreal, nightmare. What was I running from that was so disconcerting that I couldn't turn back? What did this creature represent? Was it supposed to show me that my fear was unwarranted? Why did I feel compelled to blow the horn?
I love a dream like this, but hate that I can never know the answers to the many questions that it creates.