Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I haven’t experienced it lately but I used to have this regular dream about falling. The total dream lasted less than even a second…really more of a feeling than an actual dream. It felt as if not only my bed but the whole world was suddenly ripped out from under me. Laying there in bed my body would jump startling me awake – never an impact. Eyes wide open, now wide awake, heart racing like I’d just looked under the bed to realize the boogey man was in fact under there; I’d spend the next fifteen minutes struggling to rejoin the unconscious.

In the moments after while coaxing myself back to sleep I often wondered why the dream was so frightening to me. Heights have never bothered me – I’ve dangled my toes off the edge of the Grand Canyon, arms spread wide and felt overwhelming freedom but no fear. Falling doesn’t bother me – I’ve jumped from bridges fifty feet above the water, repelled off high cliffs and anxiously await the day I can put a check in the box next to free-fall sky diving. But then the saying goes – it’s not the fall that kills you but the sudden stop at the end.

There are several interpretations of falling dreams most of them involving some sort of insecurity, lack of control or fear. Then again there is also an interpretation that says that these are archaic memories from the time when we were tree-dwelling monkeys. The ape-men that survived their fall passed on their genes with the memory of the event. The dead ones did not. And that’s why so often you dream of falling but of never hitting the ground. Other interpretations range from an upcoming monetary loss to informing you that someone has lied about you – the later if in your dream you fall into mud. Judging by the facts that I don’t fall into mud in my dreams, I’ve never had enough money to worry about losing and I’m pretty certain my granddad wasn’t a monkey; my recurring dream probably had something to do with an insecurity or feeling of lack of control.

I haven’t had the dream lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve begun to relinquish control…If I give up control I no longer have to fear losing it. This past year I’ve felt just like in my dream that the entire world has been torn out from under me and I’m now in a free fall from so high that the ground isn’t even in view yet. At first I was panicked trying desperately to find a way to slow the fall, deploy a parachute or at least find something soft to land on. But now I think I’m starting to enjoy it. I’m no longer flailing around wildly tumbling end over end. I’m now steady; arms freely out to the side, legs tucked behind me, big wind-forced flappy smile on my face. Although I can’t see where I’m falling, I’m not falling blindly. God is in control…he always has been. I know there is a chute on my back it’s just not time for it to open yet. If I can resist the urge to pull the cord and take over I’ll get there much faster and with much less risk of being blown off course during a parachute slowed, personally controlled decent. So here’s to enjoying the free fall and not being a financially challenged, tree-dwelling ape-man with mud on his face.