Skipping class and Beach Balloons
I am a student at a university campus. I’m in a kind of crisis about classes – don’t want to go, just can’t seem to find the interest or energy. I’ve just skipped one class and am debating about going to the next. I’m talking with another student, and she is feeling the same, so is sympathetic, says she feels the same way, why bother?
And yet, I can’t help feel guilty. This is the third or fourth time I’ve let it go, stopped my studies, and for no real reason other than that I’m tired of hunting for the classes, (I never seem to find the classrooms and am often late or just don’t make it) and I’m tired of trying to keep to a schedule, remember what comes when. I just don’t think I can do it again. I am seriously considering stopping altogether, and know this is something I often do.
Some other students have come over – friends, and they are now talking with us, saying it’s a beautiful day and we should just blow it off and go to the beach. One guy in particular interests me, is a crush I’ve had for awhile, and I imagine him at the beach, wet from the water, and think I’d like to take my camera with me and get some pictures.
There is some discussion as to what beach – I point out a beach that is right on campus, but the others suggest one further away. Apparently bigger, more private, perfect for a day in the sun. I shiver from a chilly breeze that is blowing and wonder if it might be a bit cold for the beach, but then I think again about seeing my friend wet from the water and the pictures I could take. However, to my disappointment the plans change and the group decides to go in a few days.
[change of scene]
Same group of friends, but now a bit older, no longer students, but some kind of investigative agency, investigating strange phenomenon. We have come to a beach to watch for something – we’re in a kind of cabin near the beach, with a lookout place on the porch. The phenomenon will be happening near the beach.
Suddenly it starts, and the whole cabin vibrates as we stand on the porch watching in awe. Lights from the sky, rumbling in the earth, it’s like the lights strike downward – not lightening, thicker, less violent, beautiful crystalline colors of blue and purple, reaching down into the sand, and then something starts growing up from the sand, smaller at the base, and widening, like tree branches, but with more order to them, and intertwined – honeycomb but not so regular, more chaotic. It grows out wide, and then narrows back in at the top, and the colored crystal like lights flicker and fluctuate and remain reaching up now into the sky from the form. It has little depth, is more like a flat plane, though maybe a foot deep. The branches are more square than round. It is incredible and majestic and awesome, something never seen before.
We walk down to see it close up, some carrying instruments for measuring and taking samples. First thing is to measure it. We have these special weighted balloons that will float up into the atmosphere. The weights are different sizes, so each balloon will stop at a certain altitude. We can then use them as markers for our measurements. I notice the weights look like angels with folded wings. They are carved out of pewter, and have long robes and their wings are folded against their backs like cloaks. They are tiny, several will fit in my palm, but each is calibrated specifically for a certain height.
I watch as each one is released, and eventually floats up and finds its place, somehow managing to line up in a column. Others start using measurement instruments. I am just staring at this phenomenon, in awe of its beauty. My job is to climb it, as well as one or two others with us. I start finding footholds in the spaces. The form is almost like some kind of polished stone, and all the spaces in it leave plenty of ease for finding hand holds and foot holds.
I discover something both strange and curious. On some of the “branches” where they happen to lay flat, parallel to the ground, small items are placed. In one nook, I see what looks like tiny, dollhouse sized, porcelain teacups. How strange. I wonder if there are other objects collected on this wall of wonders.
They are to my left and slightly higher, so I climb up a bit more and suddenly in a nook that was just above my head, I see, all gathered together, the tiny pewter angels that we sent up with the balloons. How can this be? They are exactly the same. I look up to see if the balloons are still in their column, and they are. I want to call to the others, show them, but suddenly the construct I’m on begins to vibrate, and then shake. I watch in horror as the teacups fall to the ground. The angels are tilting, ready to fall too, but instead, it is me who falls, landing lightly in the sand. Fortunately I was not too far up.
Another member of our team was not so lucky – she has sprained or perhaps broken her ankle. We need to get her back. But as we turn back toward the cabin, we see a cliff (of sandstone?) that wasn’t there before. No way our friend can climb that – we will have to go get other supplies to help her up the cliff.
We start climbing, it’s not too hard, there are footholds, but it is rather high and takes awhile. Finally at the top, we see the hard surface stretching before us – our cabin is further away than before, but we start in that direction. We come to one place where there is a deep crevasse, maybe a foot wide, easily passed over, but looking down into it, it seems deep and bottomless. I shiver as I pass over it.
Back at the cabin, the ground is different here, too. Instead of beach, there is grass in front of the cabin, and it has grown up even with the porch. Several people go in and grab some supplies with which we should be able to lift our friend up the cliff. On our return, we notice that the crevasse is a bit wider – something is still happening and we need to get our friend back before it gets too wide to negotiate. We get to the end of the cliff – some of us will stay up at the top, while others, including myself, will climb down and get our friend, prepare her for the lifting. I feel suddenly tired, too tired to climb down and back up that cliff. It is like a heavy weight on me, but i don’t see how I can ask anyone to take my place. I just feel so tired…
The school theme is familiar – only too familiar. Kind of like a recurring theme and I’m always either reluctant to go to class, or can’t find the class or can’t remember when it is. Sometimes I decide to give up altogether, as in quit school entirely, others it’s just a class in particular.
The feeling is more of a mental fatigue than physical – and something I often feel in daily life. I want to start making computer art again, and have reformatted my computer, but haven’t installed anything other than Photoshop yet – because the programs I use have advanced, and I need to relearn them to a degree, and the idea of relearning it all weighs heavy on my mind.
As for the second part of the dream, I wish I could better describe the phenomenon that erupted from the beach – it was beautiful beyond words. Interestingly enough, it was something that I could only show, not tell, perhaps another nudge toward opening up those art programs and getting busy? For how can I illustrate it other than with art? Impossible. Though to be honest, I doubt my ability to illustrate it even under the best of conditions. All I can say is, I feel like I’m on the edge of that cliff, looking down, and thinking of starting at the bottom again and climbing up, and it feels exhausting, even though I know in the long run it would be healing.
Setting: university campus, cabin, beach, deep crevasse
People: university students, investigators, crush
Props: skylights, crystal tree, balloons, angels, dollhouse teacups
Actions: skipping class, observing, investigating, climbing (crystals then cliff), falling, rescuing
Feelings: tired of study, romantic crush, anticipation, awe, then fatigue
Snippets of thought: