Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Serpent

I usually don't remember my dreams nor do I write about them if I do. However, I do frequently have that odd sensation of remembering the feeling from a dream days or weeks after it actually occurred. I always enjoy that otherworldly deja-vous that is often best left unverbalized and simply experienced internally and silently.

That said, I woke in the middle of the night with what Mary describes as an escalating and gut-wrenching scream. I know that the scream was in reaction to an enormous snake which was winding its way through the ventilation system of a large house where I was hanging out. My fellow blogger at Swamp Things (http://www.swampthings.blogspot.com) already knows about my innate fear and loathing of the serpent citizens of the world, and their surfacing in my dreams is always a provocation of utmost terror.

Mary says that I need to develop the skill of "lucid dreaming", wherein I consciously face my fear during an actual dream, remain asleep, and confront the demon which is often in the form of a snake. Perhaps I will some day be able to swallow the instant scream that rises in my throat when the serpent rears his head, and actually ask him what message it is that I consistently miss due to my ever-present fear.

It's said that snakes represent change, with their slithery selves shedding skins and transforming anew each year. I am not afraid of change, but from an early age, snakes have evoked within me a primal fear which I have never been able to shake, whether it's a photograph in a magazine or a show on National Geographic. Although I love to swim in ponds and lakes, I much prefer rivers with running water and less chances of my least favorite members of the animal kingdom swimming about. I'm sure if I was ever a participant on Fear Factor, I would be assuredly faced with my worst nightmare a la Raiders of the Lost Ark. At any rate, give me a bloody and infected wound any day of the week and I will gamely clean and dress it. A new amputation? No hay problema. Suction a tracheostomy? Pas de probleme. Gangrene? Lay it on me. A colorful and beautiful snake, with excellent (biblical) references and a long heritage through the millennia? Pass me a bucket or an Ativan.

I welcome change in my life. I have transformed myself several times and will do so again, no doubt. For now, keep the serpents at bay, and I'll continue along my merry way.
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