Dream of: 11 May 1996 "I Never Thought That I Would Linger"
Puzzled by where I was, I was trying to figure out exactly what was going on. It appeared I was on a rather large river boat, floating along a muddy river – actually more like a muddy creek, where I had the feeling alligators might be lurking in the water. The boat moved along lazily and grazed the branches of the overhanging trees, which may have also had Spanish moss hanging from them. I felt sure I was somewhere in the deep South, perhaps Florida or Louisiana.
The scene seemed set sometime in the 1800s. Other people were also walking around the spacious wooden deck of the boat, all dressed in clothing of the last century. Like me, the others didn't seem to know why they were there or where they were going. I didn't know how I related to the others, but I did feel as if I were involved in an extremely intricate story, a mystery actually, and as if I were in the process of solving the mystery.
Suddenly the solution to part of the mystery became clear to me. A strong man had come up behind me and forced me down to my knees on the ground, then forced me to bow my head all the way to the ground. Out of the corner of my left eye I could see a woman dressed all in white being forced into the same position next to me on my left. It was immediately clear to me that I was taking part in my own wedding, about to marry the woman at my side.
Suddenly the man let me up and I backed away from the woman. We were standing in the center of the large deck area of the boat. People were gathered all around the sides of the boat – in a circle – looking at us. As I continued to try to solve the mystery of what was taking place, new ideas and thoughts passed through my mind. I knew my wife-to-be had come down south from somewhere up north, perhaps New York. People had discovered she had a blemished past and was far from pure. But I was undeterred by her past, and I thought she was a good person.
In harmony with the unreality of the scene, I suddenly began singing, as if I were in a musical. In a pleasant voice I began singing about my bride, "She is a good girl, a very good girl."
Midway through the song I suddenly solved the riddle of what was taking place: I had simply been dreaming. The visions around me vanished and I was now wide awake, left to ponder the dream. I was somewhat disappointed because I realized I had awakened before the dream had finished, and it had been one of the grandest dreams I had ever had.
But I realized it didn't really matter that I had awakened because something far more important was at play. The dream hadn't been an ordinary dream. I realized this particular dream had been a pre-constructed dream. By that I meant the dream had been prepared in advance before I had actually dreamt it.
I now remembered how this had been accomplished. Before having the dream, I had read a book which had been designed to instill a dream in me. Everyone who read this particular book would have the same type of dream, that is, of a boat floating down the river, the marriage, etc.
But now something even stranger came back to me: I hadn't just read the book, I had written the book. And I now realized other people had read the book and had had the same dream. When I had written the book, I had known my idea for the book was novel, and I was unsure whether it would work – whether I would be able to instill dreams in other people. I had spent a lot of time on the book, but had always been unsure of myself. Now as people (still dressed in clothes from the last century, one man even wearing a black stove pipe hat) walked up and began congratulating me on the success of my book, I realized my idea had worked. I was unsure whether the people now congratulating me were the same people who had been in my dream, or whether they had simply had a similar dream which had been instilled by the book, but clearly everyone had been able to have the same dream.
At any rate I was so emotional and choked up to think that my book had been a success and that I was actually able to pre-construct dreams, that I almost felt like crying. Someone walked up with what appeared to be a record album cover and asked for my autograph. The cover was red, except for one white spot where the cover had been torn. I took the album in hand and in the white spot, I tentatively wrote, "I never thought that I would linger. Steve."
My writing was very poor, almost like a child's. But I thought that would just add to the interest of it. However what puzzled me was what I had written. I hadn't even thought about what I was writing, but it had just come out of me automatically. It was strange because it didn't seem like something I would write, and it didn't make much sense. I didn't know what I had meant by "linger." I didn't think "linger" had anything to do with the plot of the book, but it did seem as if the idea had something to do with the writing of the book. It seemed as if it had more of something to do with my life in general, as if I had always had confidence that I would succeed, but that I had nevertheless lingered in doing what I needed to do with my life.
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