November 20, 1997
Thursday, 4:30 am

This section is presented directly from my Journal. Only the most personal information is omitted.
    This page illustrates some of the key elements in working with dreams:
  – Providing context
  – Capturing detail
  – Describing feelings

     I only wish the entry had been more timely because some elements certainly were lost. But that, too, is part of the process.

Not able to sleep again, woke up at 3:15 for no particular reason, but was wide awake. Tossed around for about an hour, then decided to get up and record this dream. I actually had the dream two nights ago, but just didn't take time to write it down.

I am not certain what came before my recollection of this dream segment, but four of us – I am not sure who – were playing a board or card game on the second floor of a house. It was not a house I recognize. One of the four must have been my son, since he appears later.

At some point, I am in a hallway or a place in the room where I can see outside. I can see through the window and down toward the ground. About 50 yards away, in the back yard, I can see the base of a black tornado funnel, moving directly toward the house. I remember that it was small, but dense, black and brown swirling dust and debris – maybe 20 feet across, but I am terrible with such measurements.

It was clearly going to hit the house. I quickly organized everyone I could to go into the bathroom and get into the bathtub. My wife was trying to open windows, but I told her, “Forget the windows and get to the bathroom!”

Once inside, three of us (somehow) got in the tub. At first, I got in the bottom, which I thought the safest, but I decided I really should shield my son, so I put him underneath me, just as the tornado struck.

Picture: Tornado
The destructive power of nature is matched and often exceeded by its creative potential. Natural disasters rip away the old, making way for the new, and often improved.
The wind sucked out a section of the wall right above the tub – perhaps there had been a window. Tree leaves whirled in the rectangular hole, as though a tree was spinning right outside. I remember thinking the reason bathtubs were safe was because they are made of steel. Tree limbs couldn't just punch through them, as they could walls.

Suddenly, the whole section of the top floor was sucked away from the house. It was just pulled apart from the house, peeled off. We were generally safe inside the steel tub as we fell to the ground. Looking back toward the house, its insides now exposed, I saw my wife sitting almost leisurely on a couch. The tornado had completely passed her by.

When the storm passed, I went out to the road where rescue and assistance vehicles and workers already had begun to arrive. Things seemed to be pretty much under control, but the neighborhood had been pretty severely damaged.

As I recall, I didn't have any particular feelings of fear or anything throughout the dream. Just a sense of urgency to get people to a safe place. At the end, looking at the neighborhood, I really was only a little surprised at how quickly help had arrived – within seconds of the storm.


I don't have any particular attachment to this dream, as I have had for some of the previous ones in the series. Perhaps I have just given up trying to understand them. I recorded this one primarily to keep up with the series, and because it's 4:30 and I had nothing else in particular to do.

If I could get some kind of handle on what these dreams are trying to communicate, I would be more interested. But now, after more than a year, their meaning is no more clear to me than it was in the beginning.

My life certainly has not changed as dramatically as the overt symbolism would suggest. I can't find anything in the historical record that could consistently be called a clue. The dreams just seem to come and go.

Yet, the fact that they do come and have formed a consistent series seems to be significant.

I'm too tired and sleepy right now to deal with it, though.

Maybe tomorrow.....


Photo credit: Photo by KVUE television, Austin, Texas.
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By Gerry Starnes • All rights reserved.