Dream of: 26 December 1996 "I Saved It"
I had been alone in the Gallia County Farmhouse for several days and was beginning to feel the pressure of my solitude. I liked being alone, but I knew that it was difficult for me to be completely alone for very long. I was already beginning to feel tense and anxious and I began pacing back and forth through the living room. Finally I stopped and thought that this would be a good opportunity for me to meditate. I knew I used to meditate quite a bit, but lately I had completely neglected my meditation. If I could just sit down now and meditate for an hour, I was sure I would calm down.
I did sit down, but instead of meditating, I began thinking of a little project. In my mind I was imagining a machine which looked like a tractor, but which had some kind of circular bore-like device on the front of it. As the tractor would move through a field, this device would be submerged in the ground in front of the tractor, boring through the ground abut a meter deep. The remarkable aspect of the device was that it could plow through anything, even solid rock. In my mind I could vividly see the path left through a field of rock, and a row of broken rocks scattered behind the tractor.
I was seriously thinking about acquiring one of these devices. If I had the device, perhaps I could find a field of rock and plow through it. Not only could I clear the field of rock, but I would also then have the large rocks, – which were around a 30 centimeters in width and height – which I could use to build something, such as fences, or even a road. I even carried my thoughts so far as to imagine stacking the rocks up, and how cement would have to be poured over them to hold them in place. I envisioned a road which rose higher and higher, like a ramp, finally turning into a bridge.
I was sitting in the living room, looking through one of the large picture windows on the east and south side of the room. My musings were abruptly interrupted as I noticed that several cars were coming down the gravel road from the east, and that they had turned into the driveway at the bottom of the hill. I hadn't been expecting anyone, and I began scurrying around the room, trying to straighten it up a bit. Although my grandmother Mabel had moved out of the House several years before, her old furniture was still here, and none of it was in good shape. I was a bit ashamed for anyone to come in and see the old couches which she had used in the living room. Plus one of the couches had junk on it, so no one would even be able to sit on it.
But it was too late for me to worry now, for someone was already at the back door. I walked to the door, opened it, and stood amazed as a whole group of people, mostly women, began marching in. We headed into the living room, and I pointed to the couches, where they began to sit down. But the couches soon filled up, and the rest of the group was left standing in the kitchen, looking into the living room.
I myself sat down in the living room and began looking at my guests. Indeed most were women, and were dressed in typical plain dresses that would be expected of a farming woman living in this rural area. At first I thought that most of the women would be the average unattractive farm women. Bit looking closer, I saw that several of them were quite attractive. They were young – in their 20s – with black hair, dark eyes, and soft lucent skin. I didn't mind their being here at all.
But I was soon disappointed when I learned their mission: they had come to sell magazine subscriptions. I could hardly believe it when they told me. I looked at them in amazement and asked if they thought it was necessary for so many of them to come to sell a magazine subscription. I assumed that they thought that when they approached someone en masse like this, there would be less chance that the person would decline to subscribe to a magazine. But I knew that wouldn't work on me. When asked, I quickly told them I didn't want to subscribe to any magazines. I elaborated on my answer, saying that I had subscribed to magazines in the past, always thinking that I would read them and learn more about some topic or other. But I always ended up just tossing the magazines aside and not reading them.
I felt sure that I had probably offended the women by refusing to subscribe. But I was a little offended myself that they had descended upon me this way. I thought to myself that if they had visited when my grandmother had been here alone, she probably would have subscribed, just to be polite. And I didn't really want them to leave with bad feelings. After all they were probably neighbors. So I began talking with them, asking where they lived. Besides, they weren't hard to look at, and I wouldn't mind knowing more about them. A couple of the women began naming roads in a nearby township, and although I didn't know exactly where the roads were, I feigned as if I did.
All the while, I was wondering what the women thought of me. I figured since I hadn't bought any magazines, they might think that I was practically penniless. Of course it appeared that way. I wondered what they would think if they knew I was a lawyer, and that I actually had quite a bit of money socked away in the bank. Soon, although I didn't mention anything about my money, the subject of lawyers did come up. In the conversation I began talking of the pressures which a lawyer faced. I specifically talked of the pressures that I felt when I practiced law. I told them that the problem was that some lawyers tended to think about their cases too much, that the lawyers couldn't get the cases out of their minds. I said that even if a lawyer only had one case – and I gave the example of a simple case involving a dog bite – the lawyer might tend to think of the case all the time, trying to look at all the angles. Only if the lawyer got a second case would he think less about the first case. But now the lawyer would be thinking about two cases instead of one, and the lawyer would still be thinking about them all the time. I concluded by saying that this was the reason why some lawyers tended to drink a lot. Only when they were drinking were they able to stop thinking about their cases and put them out of their minds.
The women finally began to realize they weren't going to sell any magazines here, and they rose to leave. I walked them to the back door, and let them all out.
I then returned to the living room, and found that my mother was there. But I paid little attention to her, and instead looked out the south window, down toward Symmes Creek, the muddy creek at the bottom of the hill.
A riveting sight on the creek commanded my attention. Hovering just 20-30 centimeters above the surface of the swirling water was a large brown eagle. I had heard of brown eagles before, but had never seen one this close, or in this area. It was a splendid sight indeed. It appeared that the eagle was trying to catch a fish which was swimming just below the surface of the water. The eagle made several attempts, but failed each time. Finally, on the last attempt, the eagle swooped too close to the water, and the tip of its right wing went into the water. The eagle lost its equilibrium and toppled out of the air into the water.
I was amazed. The eagle was clearly in trouble. I was uncertain whether an eagle could swim, but I had the feeling that it couldn't. I had the feeling that if an eagle were to fall in water that way, unless it could quickly make it to shore, it would drown.
And the eagle was struggling, trying to make it to the shore, which was only about two meters away. But the eagle couldn't seem to navigate; its feet weren't webbed, so it couldn't paddle; it couldn't push itself with its wings. And now I could see that its head was starting to go under, and that in fact it did go under several times, and then bob back up.
Now I had to make a decision: should I try to save the eagle? The problem was clear: the talons and beak of the eagle. I knew that if I were to try to pull the eagle from the water, it would probably attack me, and that it could rip my arm to pieces. I could just imagine those sharp talons piercing my skin. But then again, how bad could it be? I could endure a little pain.
Suddenly I ran to the door, realizing there wasn't a second to lose. I ran outside and raced down the hill, toward the creek, about 30 meters from the House. Reaching the creek, I didn't stop, but jumped feet first into the water, not even considering the temperature of the water. In an instant I reached the eagle. I knew I would still need one hand free to swim back to the shore, so I reached out with just my left hand and placed it on top of the eagle's head. Immediately I felt the eagle's beak sink into the palm of my hand. I could feel two punctures, from the top and the bottom of the beak; and I could feel how the eagle was bearing down with its beak into my hand. I braced myself now for the talons. I was sure that the eagle would now clutch onto my arm with its sharp talons, sinking them into my soft flesh.
But the assault didn't come. The eagle didn't attack me with its talons, but simply held onto the palm of my hand with its beak. I struggled to swim, holding the eagle in one hand, trying to tread water with the other. Fortunately the shore was only a few meters away, and I made it.
Once to the shore, I climbed up out of the water, still holding the eagle, which wasn't struggling, but merely holding onto my hand with its beak. I headed back toward the House, and when I reached the cement steps, I stopped and dropped the eagle from my hand. It let go of its hold on me and fell to the ground. I could see that it was still dazed, but I thought now it would obviously recover.
Strangely, through it all, I hadn't felt any pain in my hand. I knew the wound must be significant, but it didn't hurt, and I was mostly grateful that the eagle hadn't attacked me with its talons.
I walked back up the stairs and reached the door. I walked inside to the living room, where my mother was standing watching. I announced triumphantly, "I saved it!"
All my mother could say was, "Oh my God, Steven."
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