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Fear of flying, or falling, or both

I had a cool dream last night.  Not sure what it meant, but I woke up feeling reassured, which has become increasingly rare in these days of climate change, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), financial “cliffs” (a crisis for the financial elite), and other foretold catastrophes.  To say nothing of the fact that my own financial state has been precarious for years now…so many years that it’s in danger of becoming my “new normal.” I’ve taken to sleeping with a mouth guard so that I don’t crack my teeth as a result of night-time tension.

In this reassuring dream, however, I was in an airplane high over the Pacific Ocean, which stretched so far to the south that I could see the curvature of the Earth.  So far that it gave me vertigo.  I was with a woman who was showing me a map of several islands directly below us and explaining to me the location of two ports.  I started to think that perhaps we were over the Marshall Islands, which have been on my mind lately as a result of the movie Nuclear Savage (www.nuclearsavage.com) and my interview of Tony De Brum, Marshall Islands Senator.  Both experiences enlightened me regarding the effects of U.S. nuclear weapons testing on these formerly paradisical islands.  Yet just this week the U.S. launched another ICBM missile into Marshall Island waters.  

Perhaps my subconscious was also working off the fact that the editor of a locally headquartered magazine has said that she’d consider publishing an article on the situation if I were able to get myself “down there.”  In my dream, perhaps, I was down there.

But I was in the air, not on the ground, and found myself hugely frightened of the precariousness of our situation.  We were in an airplane, but the enormity of the ocean, compared with the tininess of the islands we were over, had me completely rattled.  Then the woman asked me to step outside of the plane.  She assured me that there was some force field in effect that extended the protection of the plane into the thin air around it.  It would be just like walking to the back of the plane, she promised, only I’d be outside the plane.

I attempted to do as she suggested, but found myself overcome by fear. Just before my knees collapsed and I fainted, I managed to whisper, “Please, help me!”  When I awoke, a few seconds later, I saw that she had. She was bent over me, comforting me, as I lay completely safe on an invisible ground of air. The ocean was still thousands of feet below me, which I continued to find disorienting, but I was safe.  It was only my fear that had made me lose consciousness.

And so it is.


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