Dream – Sinking Ship

So, bit less than a week ago – actually morning of 2014-03-24 – I had a particularly interesting dream. I thought it rather noteworthy in its relative uniqueness for me, what it did and didn’t include and how, how I, and others, did and didn’t react, felt or appeared to feel, setting, depictions, etc. Interpretation? I’ll not specifically comment upon that (not that I even necessarily know), but some metaphors and idioms and the like do certainly come to mind, e.g., “sinking ship”, “that ship has sailed”, etc., among many additional possibilities. So, without further introduction – the dream, or at least most all I recall of it.

I’m on a ship, sailing from port. Not even out of the the harbor yet. Seemed kind of like a tall sailing ship, but much more ship than sail, and I don’t recall seeing or noting any sails – don’t think I even noticed masts, though perhaps I didn’t notice – fairly small relative to the rest of the ship, or perhaps from where I was positioned, or the relative darkness, wasn’t particularly visible. Weather? Clear, calm, quiet, dark. With an emphasis on dark. Most everything appeared quite dark. The ship of dark wooden construction. Rather of wood heavily stained and darkened from weather exposure – most everything on the ship looked like that – certainly at least the exterior, and not much better on any interior bits.

So, the ship – not even yet out of the harbor. Not sure exactly where it was coming from or going to, but I somehow got the impression that it was coming from the US or Canada, bound for somewhere in Western Europe, or the other way ’round. In any case set out for a very long sea – neigh ocean – voyage. But the ship was very tall – at least in proportions. Seemed almost more like a tall building than a ship – appeared very disproportionately top-heavy, and seemed to me rather remarkable that it even stayed upright and didn’t very immediately topple over and fall to one side. Yet it stayed upright. And it was teaming with people. Highly overcrowded. Not quite to the point of being packed in like sardines, but all pretty much standing shoulder-to-shoulder, and having quite to shuffle to even move some modest bits about each other. Deck upon deck, seems probably at least a half dozen or more decks high, all likewise packed with people. Men, women, children. Dingy dark clothes. Sort of like a scene one might imagine of an impoverished neighborhood from some 150 or more years ago plucked somewhere out of Western Europe, or perhaps slightly less likely some town on the US Eastern – or perhaps Western? – seaboard. And I remember thinking it seemingly remarkable that the ship was even staying upright. And that sailing across sea or ocean seemed … well, seemed to me the ship would barely be seaworthy enough to make it to a close by adjacent harbor – let alone across sea or ocean. It seemed as rickety and run down and battered as the dark appearance of the wood it was constructed of. Seemed almost more like some shanty wooden weather-beaten shed – or of such materials – that somehow existed as a much larger ship, than some modest shed. Many stories tall of ship decks – decks got larger going up, then seemed to get a bit smaller at the very top two decks or so – but not by much. And the ship appeared exceedingly top-heavy – lots of ship above the water, and didn’t appear to conceivably be any way that what was beneath the water could support and balance all that – yet it moved very straight, tall, and upright, though slowly, out from port.

And then it was sinking. Not even out of the harbor. It was going down, and the waters were very deep. Not falling to a side, but just straight on down, relentlessly, not swiftly, but not exactly slowly either, … steadily, relentlessly, unstoppablely down. And the ship’s crew? – Abandon ship. Very matter-of-factly. Nobody seemed at all paniced – not in the least. Hardly concerned or worried at all. They were just following crew directions to abandon ship. There was a direction rather like “women and children first” – but that wasn’t quite it. It was first, young children, then older children. Then women, then men, and lastly crew – if there be time – but no one seemed concerned if their was time or not, or if there be enough life boats (there were hardly any) or life preservers. And off they went. Maybe some very few lifeboats first – if there were even that – I think perhaps one to a few – small ones, if even any at all. Then children – young children – with life preservers – off into the water. But a very odd sort of life preservers – at least those I saw. They were sort of like a cut-out chain of paper dolls, but of a white foam, like one would use for a packing material – not like styrofoam, but similar material that’s more flexible and squeezeable/squishable/bendable without breaking and some fair bit more translucent in appearance. And this chain of paper-doll-like life preservers, each “doll” – or life preserver, shaped more like a standing man or kid – about kid-sized – so I guess these were the “children” life preservers. And apparently the idea was – and the instructions were, each kid grab onto one, and also hold hands – so the kids were going off hand-to-hand in a chain like the preservers themselves, while also clutching onto the preservers. The perservers weren’t very thick – something between 1 cm. and an inch at most – and probably not even that. So these kids were going off, arm to arm as a chain, with these preservers, straight off into the water like that, dropping into the water as a chain. And drop into the water they did. Preservers and all, they sank, just drifting down into the water. Cold dark, but pretty darn clear water. And no one seemed particularly concerned that the kids were sinking like this. Not sure what my role in all this was, but I recall thinking/remarking that they weren’t working. That they’d be much better off busting up some of the wooden chairs on the ship – which had rather woven wooden backs to them, and using those and weaving their arms on and through those, rather than using the foam life preservers. That poor as the chair backs would be for “life preservers”, they at least would make for some bit of floating debris to hang on to. So I was encouraging them to do that, and some kids were going in like that, I think, and it seemed to be working, … though no one seemed to particularly care one way or the other. Well, even for myself, seemed like I didn’t much care nor was particularly invested in it – just seemed to be a practical matter – those don’t work, this (approach) works a bit better – use this, not those. Really not much concern beyond that – though when I saw chains of kids sinking down into the water I think it occurred to me “what a waste”, or something like that.

So, ship sinking in the harbor. And the people of the harbor? Though we’d just left port, and seems there must have, or should have? – been people at the port, perhaps many, as the ship was going down, the harbor seemed totally deserted and quiet – perhaps even “dead” in some way. There was absolutely no one at or around the harbor that noticed – perhaps there was no one there to notice. And all on the ship seemed to ignore the harbor and its proximity – as if no notice or attention, let alone help, would come from there. Or perhaps as if we were totally surrounded by people – yet all so very totally alone and mostly quite helpless – that seemed a relatively recurrent theme in what was happening. Everything pretty dark – harbor, ship, water – dark but clear, sky – I noticed nothing distinguishing at all in the sky – perhaps moderately high thick solid overcast. Harbor? Old, dark, like the ship – wooden. I think there was like one or two lanterns out on the harbor – just enough to illuminate it some fair bit to make out some key features – notably the nature of the wood construction and shape, where it ended, and the darkness of the water began – but really not much else.

And the ship continued going down. I quite noticed it was going down at a rate too fast for the rate of abandoning ship that was taking place. I could see if it kept going as it was, many on the ship would just get sucked under right with the ship – never having had time to get off the ship in its orderly evacuation. Somehow I noted that, and worked to improve that a bit. Not sure if I was somehow some lowly part of crew, or just someone who started to take action. But I noticed ship was going down faster than could be evacuated – at least as it was being practiced thus far. There were additional railing gates on the ship that could be opened. I noted that, and I think I remarked that they too needed to be used. Somehow I got them open – not sure if I did it myself, or got someone else to do it – but got additional railing gates open, so more people could get off the ship more quickly. That quite seemed to help. Yet all seemed to be quite going about it in a very nonchalant manner. Off the sinking ship, into the water, with whatever life preservers, or bit of floating debris (broken bit of chair) or whatever they could manage, I think perhaps some small number in lifeboats, but the rest all right into the water. And nobody seemed particularly concerned about it. And despite the very close proximity to harbor, all were quite accepting of the fate which they were sure awaited them. The water was cold – not icy, but cold. And they all knew that without rescue they’d die. And they all knew they would not be rescued – that no one would be rescued. And that all would die. And none seemed at all particularly worried or concerned about it. All just seemed to have a quite poor fate, and not be concerned about it or motivated to try to do anything about it, and they all felt there was really nothing they could do about it anyway. I guess I felt like all I managed to do was buy them a slight bit of time – nothing more than that. And I too, quite seemed mostly very unconcerned about the whole mess. And down, down, down, the ship relentlessly went – people off into the water, and ship down. I think that’s pretty much all I remember of that dream – and perhaps about all there was to that particular dream.

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