Old Brick and Cobblestone Streets

Of the levitational dreams, two stand out in my memory over all the others. In both of these I was plunging through space but instead of arriving at any kind of recognizable destination, I seemed to enter what I can only describe as a time warp or perhaps - who knows? - perhaps it was the navel of the universe, or a cosmic seam, an extra-dimensional cul-de-sac or - who knows? - maybe it was the great fishhook in the sky, or maybe I was tucked into God's watch pocket.

It was as if I had found the cradle of all life, the genesis of creation, the original fertilized egg, the universal zygote, the fountainhead of sex. One dream was asexual. In the other, I rested my head in the unclothed lap of the most desirable woman in the world, or so it seemed.

Aside from the levitational dreams, which I experience less frequently nowadays, I have many dreams that are more conventional, which in their own way can be interesting and occasionally bizarre.

One that I recall was a sweet dream that I have remembered clearly through the years, and you know how it is with most dreams, even when you are thinking about them, they can fade away like shadows when a cloud passes over the sun.

We were walking along an ocean coast - she and I - a woman I seemed to be very close to, but otherwise unidentifiable, maybe a composite of all the women I have ever confided in - when suddenly, as is the case with dreams, another scene interposed itself on the first and we were swimming in those cool, brackish waters. Somehow, I understood that I was to swim ahead of her for seven days, go far to the north, for some kind of award, and she was to follow.

I was to wait for her and when we met we were to wed, and she was to continue on without me for another seven days, and she too was going to receive some great honor.

Then I awoke. The realities of the dream were already fading, the splash and smell of salt water, the keen sharpness of pine-scented air, all suddenly gone. All of it evaporated, beyond reach, like being suddenly snatched away from another life.

I frequently dream of such settings, far to the north, some small town or village by an inlet of the sea, looking for oceanic birds, walking past faces that are strangely familiar, wandering through the twists and turns of old brick and cobblestone streets. The dream recurs, the incidents differing, the locale the same. All of this is what I perceive, within the dream or immediately afterward, but I have also learned from experience that dreams can lie.

Persons of certain persuasions might say of the dream I just related that it was a manifestation of reincarnation. "In some previous life", they would say, "you lived in some far northern fishing village or seaport." To which I would gently reply, "Well, maybe it was reincarnation of a genetic kind. Perhaps it was the stirring of ancient memories stored deep within my mind, buried somewhere within the quilted layers and aqueducts of cerebellum, past the Medulla, the image and the reaction coupled together, transferred and safely stored in the vault of the midbrain. That kind of reincarnation. That kind of occurrence.

Perhaps it is a phenomenon not yet fully realized by science. And I would remind them that it is common for us to presume such traits in birds and animals. We say that they draw on mysterious powers retrieved from the dim corridors of time-past. For lack of something better, we call it instinct or a fifth sense.