April 10, 2013

Here Beside The Rising Tide


We all experience psychic events. Some of us process the signals a bit louder and clearer than others, but I believe we are turned to receive if only we allow ourselves listen. I certainly have gotten the message, so to speak, and I have talked with many people who have seen and heard many strange things, from talking ghosts to visions of dead people to dreams foretelling the future.

What got me thinking along these lines was a thought I had about recurring dreams. In my case, for as long as I can remember -- and that's getting to be a pretty long time -- I have had two recurring themes when I enter the dreaming world. The first is a night sky filled with a dizzying array of objects ... constellations, spirals, things moving, things bursting, untold thousands of them .. a dense-packed night sky. The feeling is somewhat ominous.

The second theme is massive, surging waves of sea water washing over roads and beaches in a rising tide that takes everything with it. Usually I am driving a car and trying to get some place and am forced to go through or past dangerous stretches of rapidly rising water. Sometimes I am standing on a beach watching enormous waves of biblical proportion roll on to the beach. Definitely ominous.

As noted above, I have been having these two sets of dreams for decades. If you go to the Internet, you will find many sites happy to render some sort of Freudian explanation for dream symbols. Rising tides indicate life changes that threaten to overwhelm us, that sort of thing. Up until yesterday, I was content with those explanations.

But as Freud noted about dreams, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Maybe my dreams about rising tides were just that ... dreams about rising tides. As so often happens when you sit by the ocean and let your mind get in synch with the waves and the gulls, you see and feel things differently, which is what happened to me yesterday while sunbathing on the beach in Kitty Hawk, my mind an even blanker slate than usual.

Suddenly, I had a different explanation of my dreams, a new Gestalt. What if my dreams of rising tides weren't simply the stowing away of Freudian flotsam and jetsam? What if they weren't symbols? What if they were visions of the future?

At this point, it no longer matters. Too late wisdom arrives. Rising sea levels are no longer the stuff of dreams. Just ask the folks in New Jersey. Or maybe sooner than we would like to think, Miami or New York or San Francisco, where the oldest continually operating tidal gauge in the Americas has tracked an 8-inch rise in coastal waters since 1854. How about Rotterdam, Bangkok, Tokyo, or Shanghai or any one of the cities most in danger from rising sea levels?

There is poetic justice in all this. Ocean acidification -- the increase in acidity due to increased absorption of the carbon dioxide we have poured by the millions of tons into the atmosphere in the last century -- is attacking the foundation of the ocean's food chain, plankton. The sea gave us life, and we are slowly killing it.

The ocean strikes back through the very mechanism that is endangering it. Rising temperatures lead to melting ice which raises the sea levels that threaten the millions of people who live at the sea's edge. And so the rising tide that laps gently at our shore becomes an instrument of our own destruction, one we created. Maybe more like rough justice than poetic justice, I guess you could say.

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