Posted by: normanlgreen | September 4, 2011

Dream, September 4, 2011 driving paralysis

Dream, home 5:40 am

Construction work on the Mt. Baker Highway has portions of the road closed down to two lanes. Driving East, I approach the curved bridge just before Nugents Corner with one hand on the steering wheel and the tips of my right fingers trapped between my knees. This is to keep them warm or perhaps to keep them from flying up into my face. The bridge is normally four lanes wide, but the amber lighted highway signs have warned that there is only one lane open for each direction. I will have to turn the wheel too sharply to be able to manage the turn with the one hand, so I try to lift my other hand into place to turn the car to the right. Yet again, I find that my muscles have me paralyzed. I cannot part my knees to lift my hand, and I cannot pull the fingers loose. There is no room to drift into the other lane as traffic is heavy in both directions. With a terrible grip on the wheel and using my full body weight, I make the curve. My heart pounds on the other side of the bridge. I am to collect a friend at a butcher shop and to collect beef (spelled on the sign with five e’s and an exclamation point: BEEEEEF!). On the return trip, my friend, Seth, sits in the passenger seat and we talk as we approach the bridge from the East side, with the grocery store to my left. The sun is in my eyes as it is late in the day – not too blinding as there is a lot of haze. I find my hands in the same locked positions. I ask my friend to break free my right hand. He laughs. I tell him that it is no joke. He is hard to convince. I see that I have installed a turning knob on the steering wheel to facilitate one-handed turns, so I have foreseen this situation. I shout, and just in time, he pulls my hand free, and I swerve out of the way of the oncoming traffic.

I open my eyes to see the glowing red hamster eye of my alarm clock, switch it off, then return to sleep where I dream that I have written down the previous dream. This dream of recording the dream cycles through three or four times.  Each time new elements are incorporated: the light on the alarm, typing paper, lighted signage around the house.

The theme of being crippled or paralyzed goes back to dreams at least as far as when I was four years old. Generally the paralysis creeps up on me, making it increasingly difficult to get something done, but is often worked around by means of levitation (the control of gravity) or through invention (absurdly simple machines crafted from handy objects). This is one of the few times I have asked for help, which proved challenging but ultimately successful.



  1. A really cool dream, Norman. I like how you handle paralysis, being the creative sort you are you turn crisis into creation. The knob… and then recording dreams in dreams. Cool.

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