Last night, for the first time in a year or so, I dreamed that I was flying. These dreams don’t come often, but when they do, they’re usually a lot of fun, and when I wake up I always wonder when the next one will come along. This last dream was a bit different from others, because I was using this odd mechanism to get off the ground. It was sort of like a chair, but more malleable than a chair, and the way it worked was that I pushed down on the armrests to get higher in the air. Getting off the ground was always a little difficult; a couple of fruitless jumps always had to occur before I was finally airborne. For the majority of the dream I was flying through this large wooden tunnel, and I felt very proud and mighty as I zoomed past all the people who were just walking through. “They must all be amazed by the sight of me,” I remember thinking. Then at one point there was another person, hovering just below the ceiling of the tunnel, strapped into a similar contraption to the one I was using, and when I went up to talk with them, I went a bit too high and nearly bumped my head on the wooden roof.
I did a bit of hasty research on a couple of dream sites about what flying symbolizes in dreams, because I was curious as to why these experiences have spaced themselves out throughout my subconscious life. One site said something about how flying symbolizes liberation from something that one has been struggling against, but if the dreamer finds it difficult to get off the ground, or finds his or her flight interrupted by some boundary, that means there is an actual boundary in real life, someone or something in the way of some sort of goal. Freud was of the opinion that flying represented sexual release, while the Greek myth of Icarus illustrated the repercussions of trying to fly too high. Icarus’s father made Icarus a pair of wax wings, and warned his son not to go too high or too close to the ocean. Icarus became too absorbed with the exhilaration of flight and did both of these things; the wings were melted by the sun, and he fell into the ocean.
Based on this research, I’m assuming that something in my subconscious feels dually liberated and constricted, since I was able to fly above everyone else, but there were times when I had trouble with getting into the air, and there was the physical barrier of the tunnel roof. Perhaps the liberation could be the powerful feeling of being a senior in college, and the constriction the fear of next year? Who knows, but all I can think to do now is to wait for that wooden roof to lift, and when it does, stay a safe distance away from the sun.