Tolkien’s “ineluctable Wave” & mine

I have a recurring nightmare about a great wave approaching, and like any reasonable person after said nightmare I immediately set to the task of googling what the wave symbolizes every time I dream about it.

My dream is always a bit different. Sometimes I’m on a luxury ship (once with my three year old niece, another time with my boyfriend) trying to protect them as the wave s l o w l y  builds from a distance.  Other times I am a victim, being chased by an unidentifiable man while the wave approaches to alter the circumstance in which I’d be (happily) killed by it instead of him.

This time was completely different. I was on a beach I had never been to. It was dark, yet crowded with people sitting on the surf, much in the way people would at a night concert. Everyone was looking at their smart phones, and while this would seem strange to real-life me? Dream-me waded in the water unblinking.  I was with my mother and she did the same, but she was also looking at her smart phone.  I don’t recall having mine.

I looked straight toward the horizon and I saw the wave as it began to grow.  I remember thinking, “Is this really what’s going to happen? I thought I was done with this nightmare.”  But it washed over everyone and we were swept away with it.  More waves grew and hit us relentlessly; we were thrust about and I allowed it to happen, I didn’t have a fight in me.  I don’t think I wondered where my mom was, I knew she could take care of herself.

My nightmare shifted into something strange.  I was living under the water, walking on the ocean floor.  Others were doing the same, I even found my mom happily sorting through her handmade Ravello ceramic pottery.  It was in that moment I realized all of my possessions were around me, but I ignored them.  Instead I looked intently for my boyfriend’s PS3 which was recently gifted to him (though he rarely plays with it) and became frantic thinking I destroyed it with the waves.

I woke up wondering if this was a strange sort of resolution to the fear of the wave overtaking me.  But unsettled over what it meant to survive and live with it.



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