I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, January 9, 2011

More skydiving dreams

Last night I dreamed again about skydiving. I figure it must be because of my recent trip to Colorado and seeing all my old friends and remembering what it was like to have skydiving in the center of my life. In the 1990s and beyond, everything else was peripheral, including my job and any relationships I had at the time.

I took up video for awhile, since I really wanted to do something other than teach all the time and I wasn't really interested in competing myself. I figured it would be fun to film others who wanted to compete in four-way events, so I was happy to get the camera equipment and find out how to do it myself. It was a lot of fun, except there are some problems when you are trying to video people who are competing: you must be sure to show each separation and the grips that are taken. Four-way competition requires the camera person to fly high above the formation and at a fairly steep angle. As I was learning, I was told to keep getting higher and steeper on them until I finally was in danger of falling on them! It was fun to learn, and I did actually get close enough to fall on my teammates one time.

In my dream last night I had decided to give camera flying another shot, for some friends who needed me to help them out. I pulled out my old equipment and my little portable TV for viewing the pictures and was suddenly aware that all my equipment is completely out of date! Who uses video tapes any more? Everything is now digital, and I didn't have any of it, so as I was waking up out of my dream, I reluctantly decided it wasn't a good idea to get back into camera flying. It was as real to me as writing in this blog is right now. For some reason my dreams lately have been very vivid and realistic, not fantastic like they sometimes are.

My rational mind tells me that I am processing the trip to Colorado and that it's a normal evolution in my consciousness, letting go of that part of my life and becoming more at peace with what my life is today, perhaps. I'm not sure, but I do know that dreams have helped me in the past. They help me with loss, because every once in awhile I am reunited with loved ones who are gone, and in the most real and satisfying ways, too.

Years ago I studied Carl Jung and became fascinated with his view of the collective unconscious. He posits that we all have certain archetypes in common that are present throughout all cultures. My own personal unconscious comes out in my dreams, with strong overtones of the collective myths and desires of every mother who has lost a child. So even though it's possible that my dreams aren't actually REAL, they perform every task that I might require of them: remembrance, interaction, delight.

And just in case I wanted to take up camera flying again, I guess I'll have to update my equipment. You know, I would probably be the first 68-year-old woman to do it. I have to smile when I think of my dream in the light of day, but hey, it was my dream.

P.S.: when I wrote this post in the morning (it's 1:30 pm now), I looked around in my pictures for a scene of a four-way skydive, and I found this one a friend posted today on his Facebook page. I asked him if I took it, because I vaguely remember this skydive, and since I wasn't in it, I figured maybe I was the photographer! Neither of us remembers for sure, but here it is:
The camera angle is steep enough to see all the grips, which is how they count points. I thought you might enjoy this little synchronicity.


Anonymous said...

I don't remember my dreams upon awakening. Wonder what Jung would say about that!

As for videotapes, did you know you could transfer them to a DVD disk by hooking a VCR to a DVD recorder? David has been doing that with our old tapes of the kids growing up.

Linda Reeder said...

Have fun in your dreams. It's cheaper and safer.

Far Side of Fifty said...

In your dreams anything is possible.. I am not sure what they all mean.

Lately I just have "potty" dreams..I wonder what is up with that sometimes..as they are ongoing..but since I am a very vivid dreamer.. I will just be content with them for the time being:)

Whitney Lee said...

It's amazing how quickly technology moves. Chase bought me a digital camera when they first came out-very nice and very expensive. I pulled it out the other day and realized that my phone now has more megapixels than that camera. It's crazy!

I've always thought that part of the reason I enjoy sleep so much is because I have such vivid and entertaining dreams. I don't know how much emotional resolution I get out of them, but I agree that it's a wonderful way to see those I've loved and lost.

I've never thought about videoing the skydiving; it sounds difficult!

Donna B. said...

DJan: Selfishly, I hope you let go go of the sky diving part of your life. The last two friends lost through this sport, made me realize how much sadness and loss it would bring me if it happened to you. I have no doubt there are countless others who admire and love you, who would feel the same as I...

I totally agree with you on dreaming. The way it helps us work out issues in our lives. We have had this discussion before.

I too have read Carl Jung. The book PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates, using Jung's Psychological Types has helped me on numerous occasions.

gigihawaii: Could you please give more detailed instructions on transferring video to DVD disks?

I agree totally with Linda Reeder...

Far Side: "Potty" as in x-rated? Or as excrement? My daughter's friend's Mother used to win at Bingo after she had an excement dream...

Whitney: I enjoy sleep for the same reason!

#1Nana said...

DJan, I used to dream about flying. I tried skydiving once...for my 40th birthday. I jumped on a static line and got directions from the ground on a radio strapped to my chest. Before the radio started squaking directions to me I was floating gently in the quiet air...just like I dreamed it! Once was enough for me. i guess I can revisit the experience in my dreams!

DJan said...

Donna, don't you feel like you KNOW all these commenters? You are all part of my life so completely that I feel like we are having a nice little coffee shop chat and can almost hear the clink of my spoon as I stir... :-)

gayle said...

I love it when I am reunited in my dreams with loved ones that have died. After my dad died I use to dream about him all the time but not so much anymore. In my dreams I knew he was dead and was asking him about how it was. Sadly I have not had a dream in a very long time that I remember about my mom but I do have a feeling that I dreamed about her a few days ago.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

So interesting that your friend posted this photo today! One could take that as a sign that you should fly camera again, but I'd be more likely to take it as a sign that my "equipment" - in the broadest sense - was no longer up to the task. But then, I'm a big coward, as I've already told you!

CiCi said...

Did we all go through the Carl Jung phase, and how many of us learned things that are still with us? I subscribed to Psychology Today for years. I like your posts stimulate discussions.

Anonymous said...


We once owned a VCR-DVD combo machine that transferred material on a Videotape to a DVD, but we found that it lacked clarity and the resolution was poor.

So, we returned the machine and we are now using our regular VCR and have hooked it to our DVD Recorder. The video is in the VCR and the blank disk is in the DVD Recorder. David presses a button and the disk gets the video. It takes as long as the tape is long in terms of hours and minutes.

Quay Po Cooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quay Po Cooks said...

I guess I can only sky dive in my dreams. I admire your determination!

Nance said...

Certain medications can cause periodic bouts of unusually intense and realistic dreaming. I studied Jung, too, but he reads better as romanticism than as science--which is precisely, I think, why so many people love him to this day.

I was born entirely lacking the daredevil gene. Sounds like you must have gotten my missed dose.

Grandmother Mary said...

The very thought of skydiving is scary to me since heights make me queasy but the photo was cool. I had vivid dreams of my mother, favorite aunt and our dog after they died. I loved those dreams!

Robert the Skeptic said...

I think this is so cool that you are still doing this.

Arkansas Patti said...

Think I would read your dream like Blissed-out Grandma did but that is probably because I never got up enough nerve to jump out of a plane. Thought about it, just couldn't do it.
Thank you for stopping by TNS and commenting. Hope you enjoy the black rice. It is wonderful.

Susan Ellis said...

Wow. It's amazing how we're able to fly around the world, put it out there, and then land just where we need to be...think I'll follow a bit. /btw..have NEVER had the nerve to jump out of a plane...or bungee jump...or climb tall ladders. So am in awe of sky dwellers! BUT I am a birder!