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Falling All Over Again (S&D)

by Catherine Smith
(Stanford, CA)

I went skiing on Saturday at Lake Tahoe with my dorm. (Importantly, on my last run of the day, I fell quite spectacularly on a very steep slope that was not actually skiing terrain while attempting to follow my expert skier/snowboarder friends.)

That night, I dreamed that I was falling all over again, but in different ways. I had countless short sequences where I was falling while skiing in various scenarios. In one scenario, one of my skis crossed over the other and I couldn't gain control to realign my skis; I collided into a tree in the process. In another scenario, I was skiing on a gradually-inclined slope but off the side of the slope was a steep descent into snow-covered trees and rocks. Somehow I lost control and went flying off and down the side of the mountain and crashed into a rock. In another similar scenario, I was skiing well on the same easy slope but another skier barreled into me and sent me flying down the treacherous side again.

In another scenario, a small child on skis had fallen into very light and unpacked snow and had sunk so that all that was visible of the child was her face and part of her skis. I couldn't control my speed and skied right over her face. (In the dream, the girl was uninjured. I know this because in the dream I immediately intentionally crashed so I could run back to check on her.)

Another time, I was skiing on a slope so steep and so icy that I simply fell straight down the mountainside. In another scenario, I toppled over sideways, headfirst, because of the steepness of the slope.

These short sequences and others, each of which seemed to last on average between four and twenty seconds before switching to another scene where I was falling, repeated themselves numerous times throughout the night.

I woke myself up once during the night, right as I had just begun to fall asleep, because I jumped in reaction to my dream-falling. In nearly all of the sequences, the most unpleasant part wasn't the crash but the sensation of a total loss of control.

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