As I do, whenever I have this dream, I spend most of the day consumed with what I did wrong. I contemplate what I would change to have saved her from the abyss. If I could just go back to sleep, find this lake and dive in sooner, perhaps I wouldn't wake with guilt. Perhaps I could have pulled her through to the surface to wake on the shores of lucidity.
I've always wondered who she is. Who was this person I was trying to save, who I felt I must rescue? If nightmares aren't real, then why do we wake in panic? Why does that which is not real affect that which is with my burden of failure? Why does my mind invest so much in this same dream, night after night? I tell myself that perhaps, you just can't save everyone. Maybe this is the answer? Maybe I've invested too much into things that really don't matter?
So I go for a walk to clear my mind. I get lost in the city, lost in my thoughts. I end up in a familiar place, somewhere I've been before. There, at the wharf, I stand on the edge and look down at its dirty water. I look for a moment of clarity in the rippled water, wondering what's below the surface. I contemplate all that's below its darkness. All that's hidden below its mirrored images, reflecting back on reality a distorted facade. I feel inclined to touch the surface, to change what I see. There I see myself, looking back from the abyss, reaching up from the reflection. Reaching up to be saved or to save me, I do not know which.
I know now that she wanted a hero, someone to save her, so she became one. That no one saves us but ourselves. That below the surface of who I am, I'm desperately scared of drowning in my own fears, but that I must not fear crossing the dark waters alone. I know now, everything I've ever wanted to be is on the other side of the this deluge.