I am familiar with some of the common “Theme Dreams:” flying, public speaking, nakedness in public, taking an exam, etc. I am wondering if a dream I have had with variations is a common theme. I have had the dream since I was seven years old, and it has occurred at every major turning point of my life. The dream used to be an enormous anxiety dream, but now I have come to welcome and recognize the dream. The dream is a “Bridge Dream.”
In the dream I’m traveling from one location to the next. Sometimes I start the journey with friends, family, or lovers. Sometimes, at the loneliest stages of my life, I have started the journey alone. However, at the crisis point of the dream, I am ALWAYS alone. Not very long into the dream, I come across a bridge. The location and style of the bridge and what it crosses differs widely. I have had dreams about stone bridges in the English country side, steel bridges in cities, suspension bridges with cities and museums built along the sides, “sci-fi”-type golden rail bridges that are impossibly high and with no railings or suspension at all, and simple asphalt bridges in suburbia. In the dream I get partially across, and then the bridge becomes very frightening. It goes straight up, and although I can see the apex, I can’t see anything on the other side. I can’t imagine driving or walking over the rise in the bridge. I can’t go around it, and all of the alternate routes lead up to the same bridge again. At the point when I decide not to heed the fears and consequences of the laws of physics, and I just GO, I find myself at the other side of the bridge at my destination, with my friends, family, or one chosen unknown figure I’ve labeled as “the guide” congratulating me and asking why it took me so long, wanting to know the details of the trip. I wake up with a profound sense of joy and relief, and my anxiety about whatever life change is going on (career, college, children, marriage, changing schools, living overseas or traveling to a new location)- is gone.
--Many Rivers to Cross