Page 6 - A drowning dream
"The instant I was stung... I was in pain, but it was sudden fear and shock which made me faint." 

"As I passed out, I knew the sea would take me!" 

"Dark fear consumed me!" 

"I wonder if you, the reader, ever fainted?" 

   "I think as I relaxed... 

     ...I lost all the air from my lungs in one go!" 

           "I am not certain now about those seconds in the water when I was unconscious. It was like  
               a dream but I suspect stranger things were at work - maybe just powerful things caused 
                  by the way your mind works when starved of oxygen... I really don't know!" 

                        "The dream was a story of the past, of the sea, and yet a vision of the future..."

"As the ocean roared in my ears, I saw a terrible scene of a flooded land. Houses lay strewn and broken - their parts, once strong, now nothing more than stones upon a watery grave. And strangely... against the rushing noise in my ears, I heard the distant cry of over a thousand souls... muted and suddenly cut by silence. 

I knew instinctively, I was seeing the floods of 1953 which claimed the lives of over 1800 people in the Delta region. For a moment, in the confusion, I thought I was at the Delta Expo watching an old news film, as Larry and I had done the day before. But there was something far more real and urgent... and a sense that these images had not originated from a human perspective or captured by our  technology. It was as if the sea itself was filling my mind even as it filled my lungs!"

It is easy for me to think back now and describe this dream sequence to you but you must remember events were far more illogical at the time. For example, I remember  opening my eyes in the water (or was this part of the dream?) and seeing a fish-like creature riding over a grid of light. It spoke to me... really... it did - or that's the way it seemed at the time! It said only two words, and I must confess that when it spoke, it sounded like Larry after he has drank too much beer. It said: "thank you!"   
"In this dream, I was not just me... but Lizzie and also me! It seemed natural at the time: the mind is tricky!  
Maybe this was a subconscious thing... me wishing I was her and safe above instead of drowning here alone?"
"Then like a stream, images came one by one, like frantic pourings from some timeless memory - urgent to share its experiences. They showed a desperate struggle of man against the sea. Great minds planned a mighty dam to hold back the sea... and mighty machines were built to turn idea into reality!"
"The sea bed was to be covered with special mats made far away and transported on special sheets which would lay them."
"The sea was the enemy! The people of the Netherlands had decided once and for all to shut-off its wild penetrations into their homeland. Nothing would stop them until it was truly held at bay: all tidal inlets (except the ports of Rotterdam & Amsterdam) would be closed by man-made barriers!" "As I saw the ships in my mind, I felt  an emotion not born from my soul: it was fear and terror! I felt it from the sea itself... like a 'collective'  response from the life within it!" 
  "As the sea held me then, clutched in its watery hand - my fate in its dark cloak - so did I sense a time long ago when 'it' too sensed its own fate held within the closing fist of humankind!"
"It's fear grew... and as it did - an invisible hand, cold and determined, clamped itself across my mouth. It was as if the sea had form and was alive... as if it too knew panic and desperation." With each new image from its memory of humankind's determination to defeat it, the sea's hand tightened its grip upon my own lips - as if to seal my fate within 'its' own  past!"
I awaited my own fate as I watched my drowning dream unfold... 
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  (c) Vanessa Summers, Larry Legg, & Lightscape 1998  
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