Thursday, April 12, 2012

London Bridge Fell Down

Last week I was in London, taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting the town where I spent 5 months as a student in my 21st year. As we wandered and reminisced, I mentioned to my friends that since those days, I have had a reoccurring dream about the London Bridge. Well, it’s wasn't really the London Bridge. That fell down. Several times.

This is the real, modern London Bridge. 

Not very impressive, is it?
This is the Tower Bridge...the bridge in my dreams.  Much better looking and the one most think IS the London Bridge.

Dreams, I've discovered, are a powerful thing. I rarely remember mine and have never taken much notice; even the ones that cause me to wake up laughing hysterically or crying in the same manner.  But some people take more stock in them. My last love was a premonitional dreamer. He didn’t tell me about this odd phenomenon until I recounted a dream to him (one that I actually remembered which is why I was detailing it to him) and he immediately took notice and asked me all sorts of questions. He took such an interest because the dream was, in fact, predicting an life event for him, something he understood immediately and which bizarrely came true several days later. So I was premonitionally dreaming for him.  Other times, I would describe conversations that I’d had with him in my dreams and he had had the same conversation with me in his sleep.  We were conversing in our sleep which actually worked out pretty well since we both had a tough time with the other’s language during waking hours!  And once I had a dream that alerted me that a dear friend of mine was in grave trouble.  He had almost exactly the same dream on the same night.  Problem is, I interpreted it correctly; he misinterpreted it and broke up with me. Again. But this whole experience made me think that perhaps I should be a little more alert when it comes to my dreams.

I do seem to remember reoccurring dreams. When I was younger, the dream had to do with a giant wolf dressed in green clothing who chased me up and down the steps of a Cathedral. In college and still, I have the dream all students seem to have. The one where it’s exam time and you’ve never even attended the class, or a version thereof.  And I often have dreams about a writhing pit of snakes. I know, I sound like a whack job!

Since my time in London, I’ve had this dream about the bridge. I’m always looking at it from above and to the right. It’s not situated in its proper place but it’s most definitely in London. I can’t seem to figure out what the rest of is about except that it involves some sort of regret. Something I didn’t do, something I missed, something undone.

My mom’s advice to me was always do what you want, take chances, but don’t do something that you think you’ll regret. It’s probably more sage advice than that which I gave my boys : always have a valid passport and use two forms of birth control. I hope my boys are better at following my advice than I was with my mom’s because I’ve done plenty of things I regret. Nothing serious, but hey... how am I supposed to know I’m going to regret it until it’s already been done? (Geez! Now that I think about it, what kind of advice is that?) And I’ve not done many things and regretted that as well.

So when my friend said to me, on my last day in London, “don’t you want to visit the bridge and find your regret?”, I was all for it. After my experiences with “the dreamer” perhaps something magic would happen.

As Amy and I approached the bridge it felt almost surreal, seeing it again 'in the flesh' after visiting it so often in my dreams. We traversed its expanse... slowly...waiting for my regret to jump out at me, on the alert, slowing down at the finish in case we were going too fast for the regret to catch up with us. It didn’t. NOTHING happened. Nothing. We ate lunch on the other side and then took one more swipe at it for good measure. Still nothing.

Not much of a story is it? A big build up with an ending that fizzles out. Good thing nobody is paying me for my stories. So I just can’t figure this out. Perhaps my regret was just never having actually walked over the bridge. Perhaps it was that I feel I didn’t take enough advantage of my first excursion abroad, spending more time learning the inside of the neighborhood pubs than taking in the sights. Maybe the dream comes when I’ve felt I’ve not properly grabbed hold of a moment or an opportunity. Perchance, in another life, I was imprisoned in the Tower of London (which would be exactly the view that I have in the dream) and I'm regretting ever having gotten mixed up with that damned Henry! 

There's a chance the dream will never come again, now that I've revisited the bridge, and I'll never know what it was all about. Or maybe when I have it again, I'll now know exactly what it was telling me. Or maybe it was just a dumb dream with no meaning or message whatsoever. In which case, I'm sorry about the long-winded explanation.. of nothing! 

Still, I'm hoping for clarification. Eventually. It would make a much better story.



  1. You probably picked the wrong day to walk across... ;)

  2. I love your advice to your boys, having given my boys similar advice. If you live a life without regrets, you've been too cautious. I like the idea of a previous life, but the bridge didn't fall down then, did it?

  3. Brother in law is a Jungian and likes nothing better than to interpret dreams.
    I am often surprised to recocgnise that what he tells me describes pretty accurately something that has been happening in my life even if under the surface.

  4. An older version of the London Bridge packed up and went to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, around 1970, a current hangout for the boating set, or so it says here. I visited there once.

    I likely saw the old one before its relocation as well, but can't remember whether I saw the current version on my most recent trip to London. I think I was wandering through museums in a stupor.

  5. At least you're staying open to the messages coming through. I think that's the important thing.

    I had a recurring dream for many years about driving past a hillside close to my home and viewing a plane crash that had happened there. I was overcome with grief and would wake crying. I tried all different ways of interpreting it.

    Then one August night in 1992, I received a phone call that my brother, a pilot, had died in a plane crash, the wreckage strewn across a hillside in Phoenix.

    I never again had that dream.

    Just to be safe, I'd rather you keep a safe distance from the London Bridge.

  6. According to the Betty Bethards dream analysis book, the bridge represents transition and the towers represent growth. But then she would ask a lot of other questions too, like what did you see from the top and is there a color that is more prominent. Dreams are so mysterious and weird but when there is a recurring one, it must have significance. It will be interesting if you have it again and if it has changed in some way. Bravo for going out on the bridge to settle the curiosity anyway.

  7. Sarah-You're right. I'll just have to go back...soon.

    Paulita-The previous life thing explains why people have always told me that I've lost my head.

    Fly-Hand him over my dream and see what he thinks. I'm curious as hell. Don't mention the snakes!

    Lee-The current bridge was built in 1973 and yes, the last one (there's a long series of them) was taken down and rebuilt in Arizona.

    Jo-I'm so, so sorry about your brother. Since this dream sometimes involves tears...maybe you're right.

    Renee-next time I'm going to have to take note of what's going on in my life at the time of the dream.

  8. Very curious! I find dreams to be fascinating but have no idea what they mean or how to interpret them (bar the usual work anxieties, etc). It's incredible how the subconscious works, the poor old 'conscious' is too dumb to figure it out, let alone if you are receiving transmissions from elsewhere - which your dream kinda sounds like. It will be interesting to see if you have it again and if it changes as a result of your visit!

  9. It is also cause of your humour...
    A dreamer...


Talk to me!