When I was younger, from the time I can remember, up through my mid 20s, I had a recurring dream every time started to get sick. The dream always preceded the illness by a day or two, so it was likely triggered by the immune system waking up. I was in my late teens before I suspected a correlation, in my early 20s before I became fully conscious of the dream/sickness relationship, and about 26 or 27 before the dream came to an obvious starting point.

It went like this: I would open my eyes and find myself laying on my side on a hilltop, or, more accurately, a high levee. I could see way out into the distance, and zoom in on various details, pick out individual shrubs far away. The effect was much like the tilt-shift miniaturizing effect.

As I lay on the levee, looking out over the landscape, it would become obvious that I was a massive thing, much larger than anything else around. 

I would lay there for awhile, examining various parts of the landscape—invariably small shrubs for some unknown reason—and then suddenly find myself in one of those shrubs, but it would be like a giant forest.

For the first 10 or 15 years of the dream, at this point, I would wake up, usually a bit frightened, and always covered in sweat. One night, I was in the dream and realized that I was in the recurring dream. I made a conscious decision to remain in the dream and see what was in the forest.

The forest was in spooky, contrasty, greyscale, with many dark tree shapes and lighter patches where the branches thinned slightly.

I was creeping along a path, and then off the path, around a large open circle that was bright white, and emitting a screeching sort of television static noise.

[Now that I say ‘television static’ that’s what the forest looked like in the dream, like it was made from analog television static.]

For 5 or more years, I woke up at this point. By now, I was over 20, and found it ridiculous that I was waking up frightened and in a cold sweat from something I knew to be the recurring dream, even as I was in it.

I crept closer to the clearing, trying to look past the bright light and the screeching noise to see what was happening. I expected to see some dark seance or strange religious practice going on.

And then, when I was maybe 26 or 27, I saw it.

A giant spider, all dripping fangs and million-eyed, completely filling the clearing, and towering over me, cowering from the light, which seemed to gather around and press in on it.

That was the last time I got really sick.

All my illnesses since then have been exceedingly minor, and short-lived, and I haven’t had the dream at all.

Anyway, this sorta looks like the landscape from the early part of the dream, when, lying on my side, I first opened my eyes and began to raise my head and look out over the valley below.


D7000. Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI, reversed. ISO100, 1/3rd (AP Mode), f/8, -1EV. Lit with a blue LED light bar thing, and the mini maglite to bring out the knife edge. Minor processing in Aperture, including a straightening and cropping.

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