The White Wolf, Revisited

I had one of the strangest dreams of my life last October.

Not strange as in bizarre or disturbing. It was more that it was just unlike any dream I’d ever had before, or since.

And it seemed meaningful in a way I’ve never experienced before. That’s the particularly memorable thing about it – this sense, this strong sense, that it meant something.

I don’t mean it was some “message from beyond” or something (though in my wonkier moments I’m inclined to not discount anything!) It could very well be my subconscious trying to bring something into my conscious mind.

Either way, it was a very, very notable dream.

*

So, I blogged about this dream when it happened. I had to; it felt significant in a way I’ve rarely experienced. I had to mark it in some fashion.

After a while, of course, the power of it faded, and I didn’t really think about it much anymore. I did tell my mom about it some weeks later, and she gave me a blanket with a wolf on it for Christmas because it reminded her of what I’d said. That was cool. I love that blanket! It’s so warm! I use it on my bed every night now – but I can’t say I’ve given the dream itself much more thought.

Until recently.

*

So…why bring this dream up again now? Five months after the fact?

Well, it’s because I had it again last night – or part of it anyway.

And, just like before, I have the feeling – the very strong feeling – that it means something.

*

Let me first backtrack to the dream itself. (The original dream, from October.)

It was very, very detailed – but to go through those details would just be to re-type that other blog post, so I won’t do that. I’ll just sum it up (briefly) by saying:it was essentially a dream of me hiking up a wooded hill at night. Cool night air, lots of stars. Rocky terrain – but nothing I couldn’t handle (and I was feeling good about that.)

Then I got near the top and came out of the woods to a clearing – through which I could see, sprawled out below me, a cityscape. Beautiful. Its lights were shining and twinkling, but not obscuring the starlight – which was also shining and twinkling. I felt like the city (and I had this weird sense that it was on the West Coast – L.A.? San Francisco?) was somewhere I needed to get to. I didn’t feel any urgency particularly; I felt very alive in this dream – but in a non-nervous way. Very alert and engaged, but also grounded and peaceful. I just took in the fact that the city was far away yet (untouchable as yet) but that I was on my way there – and that this was a good place. That this place was right for me.

And then I turned – and there, sitting silently on a big flat boulder, with the city sprawled out behind and below and the sky and stars above, was a white wolf. An absolutely beautiful creature – majestic, powerful, with very wise eyes. It was just looking at me. And I had this strange sense that it approved of me – that it was evaluating me and what I was doing, how I was living, and that it approved.

And that was it! (That was actually a little more of a synopsis than I meant to give – but there it is.)

*

I kind of get where some of the dream likely came from: About late August/early-September I started feeling like I’d turned some sort of creative corner. (So, a few weeks before I had this dream.) I started feeling like my life (which had been in something of a state of questioning for the several months prior…and a lot of flux in the two years prior) was in motion again…rather energetic, forward motion.

This was a good thing. I was excited by this and stimulated. I had a lot of ideas; they’d been growing through the year, and I was now beginning to feel a degree of clarity and “can-do” in regard to them that felt really, really good. September, October, November…these were really good, really creatively productive months.

The dream came in late-October – and I’m sure it was related to this new “zest” I was feeling. What I could never figure out though (and still can’t) is why the dream took the shape it did.

Everything was so crystal-clear, for one thing. Usually my dreams aren’t as crisp. They’re more vague, more subtle, more soft. (Even bad dreams.) More “dreamy” I guess would be the best way to describe them. And this wasn’t like that at all. The details were so precise…almost tangible. The feeling of the rocks beneath my feet…the way the air felt…the way it smelled…the way the city looked, and the stars. The sound of the breeze in the trees. It was so, so vivid.

And then the wolf! That’s the really perplexing part: the presence of that wolf. I’ve never dreamed of an animal like that before. I can’t really remember any time at all that I’ve dreamed of any animal – except maybe the dogs I grew up with, or my dog now. I’ve never, ever (to my knowledge) dreamed of an animal in the wild like that before.

And I’ve absolutely never dreamed of an animal looking at me like that – communicating with me like that. It was the strangest thing.

*

Last night was the first time since October that I’ve had a dream that had anything whatsoever to do with that first dream. Until last night, there’ve been no wolves, no cityscapes. No woods-walking. Nothing that would connect in any way.

But it didn’t completely start with last night. That’s the other weird thing. In the weeks prior I’ve had some (like a dozen) little it’s-probably-coincidence-but-doesn’t-feel-like-it moments involving wolves. Which, incidentally, is something that happened in the days following the first wolf dream – and added to the general weirdness of that experience.

It’s started up again in the last weeks. It’s like, wolves and wolf-related things just keep popping up through odd sources. My daughter…my dad…a headline…an article…a music video. It’s just…weird.

It seems worth recording, at any rate. Hence this post.

*

And then of course the new dream.

This dream didn’t have the clarity of my previous wolf dream. It was much more chaotic – a cacophony really of faces (I don’t remember any…except Benedict Cumberbatch’s – but that’s, I’m sure, because I just watched an episode of Sherlock before bed), blurry objects, and sounds. Lots of blacks and whites and grays, all cutting and slashing against one another. Not an actual storm, because the sky was clear and visible – but there was that sort of energy. Like a thunderstorm energy. Ominous…chaotic.

The setting though was the same. The sky with the stars was above me in the dream, just like before. The city likewise  was out beyond. I couldn’t tell if I was closer to it or not. The trajectory was a little different – and it was hard to gauge in the chaos.

I wasn’t viewing the city through a clearing this time. I was deeper into the woods – though I could still see the city through the tree trunks. I don’t think it was the woods that were obscuring me from the city view though; it was more the stuff that was cutting and slashing all around me, distorting my vision, making it hard to navigate.

And then, through the chaos, I saw the wolf. It was standing this time, a few feet away from me. And it might have been a gray wolf this time. I’m not sure. Like I said, it was hard to see clearly. It definitely wasn’t as sleek as the white wolf in the original dream. It was leaner and it had a kind of streamlined energy (I don’t know how else to describe that. It was all lean muscle – just wiry power.) It was standing there, half turned toward the city. And it was looking at me – sort of over its shoulder, just staring at me. I felt like it was telling me to follow it, that it would lead me out of the chaos and toward the city.

That was it.

*

So, okay – on one hand, this dream makes perfect logical sense. My last post was all about the qualms I’ve been grappling with regarding the very, very strong urge I have to adjust my creative course and pursue some different things right now. This creative divergence is really cool on the one hand; I feel like I’m unearthing parts of myself that have been long-buried and this is satisfying and kind of fascinating.

But it’s been stressing me out too – quite a bit, actually. I’m worried about the time pursuing new things will take away from working on more “practical” things – and I’m worried that taking that time might be self-indulgent…in a bad way. I’m worried I’ll look back later (from some not-so-palatable future) and feel like I squandered my time.

I guess I’m just worried about mis-stepping. I have time right now to think about what I want to do and where I want to go, and time to work on building a foundation that will get me to those places. I don’t want to waste this time. I want to be smart right now – with my time, with my resources. They’re not infinite (time or resources). I don’t want to mess up – and look back later and kick myself for being stupid (or unfocused or too ambitious.) I’m really nervous about this. (really, really, actually.)

There are so many things I want to make happen for myself! So many things I want to experience…so much I feel like I have to say, so much I feel like I have to contribute. I want so much to shape my life to be what I envision.

I think the wolf is telling me to trust myself – like, that’s the way to get to the city in the distance.

But maybe that’s just how I want to read it. I don’t know.

*

And why do I dream in “wolf” anyway??? Why a wolf? What does that mean?

Though I will admit to being a little superstitious at times, I’ve never put much into the idea of “spirit animals” or anything like that. I’m starting to re-think that a little bit!

*

Incidentally, during the time I was drafting this post, I checked my blog stats – and somebody visited the blog and clicked on the original post I wrote about the wolf dream, last October.

Which is weird because nobody ever reads that post. Even when I first wrote it, only a very small handful of people actually read it.

And now, the day after I have another wolf dream, somebody looks at it? Actually looks at it while I’m writing another wolf-related post?

*

It’s not being overly fanciful to find this all a bit strange…is it?

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