1000 Words, Take Two

1000 Words Take Two

A picture is worth a thousand words.

I have never been to the place where this picture was taken. More than anything this picture reminds me of a snapshot from a dream.

The cable car is ascending, so perhaps the passengers are making their way to their destination. The past looks deserted. The present is filled with motion, and the future is yet to come. How do I know? More steps. More climbing. More ascending. Upward. Onward.

Not there yet.

Dreams mean something to me. Sometimes I think my subconscious is talking to me. Sometimes I know God is speaking to me. The colors of my dreams offer clues to interpretation.

This photo is much like the mysterious dreams I’ve had. There isn’t much color, so I can’t decipher the good from the bad. When I dream in vivid color, I am at the peak of my creativity. When I dream in black and white, I feel as though an omen has lit upon me.

I’ve had three types of recurring dreams: my Idaho Customs House dreams, the bathroom dreams, and the cityscape dreams.

For a year or more, I used to dream of a Customs House in Idaho. Week after week. Day after day. And then the dreams stopped. To this day, I have no idea why I dreamed about this place. As far as I know, it does not exist. Why Idaho? Why a Customs House?

I’ve never been to Idaho. But the video that played in my mind was accurate. Beautiful. Well, as much of the Idaho scenery as I could see. In my dreams I was always on the inside looking outward—somewhat of a twist on the outside looking in scenario that might color most people’s dreams.

The Customs House itself was a busy place, lots of hustle bustle. It was old and wooden. I remember everything being brown, but it was a comforting shade of brown, warm, inviting. I always felt as though I had stepped back in time when I entered the Customs House. Truth be told, prior to having this dream, I really didn’t know what a Customs House was. I had to look it up.

A customs house, or custom house, is a building that houses the offices of government officials who process the paperwork for goods going in or out of a country.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a customs house. I passed by The Custom House in Salem, Massachusetts, and without knowing it, I have driven by the one on Broadway in Nashville at least a zillion times.

But the Customs House in my dreams looks nothing like what I’ve seen in pictures. And to this day I don’t know why I spent so many nights thinking about it.

As for the bathroom dreams, I’m embarrassed to say I still have them. But who wants to talk about bathroom dreams? Who wants to have bathroom dreams?

My bathroom dreams are always dark, as if I have walked into a partially lit room. But over and over—it’s never the SAME bathroom—I dream that I am in a bathroom in an abandoned building. It’s eerie. Nothing bad ever happens. I just find myself wandering in a cold place, looking for something. I never know what it is.

Psychologists would tell me that I am suppressing emotions that I need to release. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Not something I prefer to dwell on. Ewwww.

And then there is the cityscape dreams. These dreams are a combination of the Customs House and the bathroom dreams. I have traveled through New York City a couple of times at night. I remember riding on a multi-level bridge. I couldn’t see much around me as it was dark. I do remember seeing the water and the apartment buildings, side by side, one after another. I felt small in such a big space, scared, alone, as if danger I could not see was close by my side.

My cityscape dreams are similar to my New York City trips—dark, foreboding, mysterious. In these dreams I’m lost and looking for my way out. Sometimes I’m being chased.

When I look at the picture above, I feel as though I have stepped into a dream. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know the people. I can’t understand their emotions. As I look closely at the photo, I admire the mystique of the mosaic steps, but I can’t help but notice that the patterns of the rock resemble the scales of a snake.

The climb is so steep. How easy would it be to fall backwards and keep going?

Why is the cable car so narrow? Why are there only a few people outside it? Are they waiting to board? Could the cable car represent the passage from this life to the next? Could the people who are embracing be saying their final goodbyes?

A picture is truly worth a thousand words, but in this case it has inspired 834.

Need inspiration for your writing? Check out WordPress’s Weekly Writing Challenge. Let this photo inspire you to write a thousand words, more or less.

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12 thoughts on “1000 Words, Take Two

  1. WAY cool. Don’t think I would have looked at the photo so closely but for your interpretation. So, here’s my take….. I believe all life originates with God. Notice how the color gets brighter and brighter in the background until finally it is so very bright that there is only white. As we travel along life’s journey, we must struggle through rough times — but always shining our (head) light into the future. Along the way, we encounter love, activity, and even the occasional snake or two. Eventually, we make it “back home”, this mysterious future that we cannot see.

    The customs house… I think you dreamed that because of teaching. You felt like a foreigner in a foreign land, and wanted to know the “value of your goods”. After a time, you became comfortable (if not totally content) and the dream stopped. As for the bathroom — don’t drink water afore ya go to bed! 😉

    I dream about flying a lot. And other randomly bizarre things….

  2. You may be right about the customs house. It makes perfect sense. As for the bathroom dreams, I will heed your advice about the water. 🙂 By the way, I never have flying dreams, but you sparked a memory. I actually do dream about horses quite frequently. Those dreams are my favorite dreams because in those dreams I am never afraid as I ride, no matter how fast I go. I feel free. Then I wake up and wish I had a horse. (I temporarily fail to remember almost being killed by my horse when she kicked me full force in the chest. Oh well.)

  3. It’s great you remember your dreams so well! I was just talking with my future father-in-law about remembering dreams. I have several reoccurring dreams and I think back every time and almost have trouble believing I’ve had the same dream before! I get this eerie feeling I made it up or I might be remembering the dream I just had instead of one from before.

    • Have you ever thought about keeping a dream journal? I like to write, and I get some of my story ideas from dreams. I’ve heard if you don’t write them down immediately upon waking, you will lose most of what you dream. 🙂 By the way, thanks so much taking time to read.

  4. I’ve been to Idaho and never once saw a customs house. It was, however, the most nervous I’ve ever been on a flight. It’s a long story, but the crux is that the runway was too short for the plane to take off with an entire football team, equipment, and a full tank of fuel. So we didn’t load the fuel full … there was some “educated guessing” about the amount we needed. The runway ended at the edge of a cliff … i didn’t feel good about it until i heard the landing gear go up …

    • Songs, yes! I am really proud of one that I wrote with the help of my friend who is working the arrangement. It came from a name in a dream. The name turned out to be the patron saint of music, and the idea snowballed after that. I also dreamed an entire book one night. I have yet to write it, but I plan to start a new project, so that may be the one.

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