Pistol River Beach Dreaming

I had a dream about the mysterious beach at Pistol River on the South Oregon Coast.

In the dream, I saw ancient driftlogs, bleached wooden whales, forts, sculptures, dunes, trails, hidden valleys, dry lake beds, and footprints of human beings, animals and birds. There was even old and empty brown 40-ounce bottles of cheap Pacific Northwest beer brands no longer favored by the growler people.

I ran on this beach once, when Ray and Sonny were in their prime and I was coming alive as an Oregonian. I came here with Sonny, again, when she was an invalid. Now I am here alone, as an existential invalid.

The dream drifted toward Pistol River, a river trapped at the mouth, trapped by sand, a river running parallel to the ocean, an ocean 30 yards away, a thin lake that grows and grows but never becomes fat. It is an estuary denied, stalled, but not forever.

Rain. The Pistol River awaits rain, heavy rain, to wash down the watershed, collect and collect, build a mass of water with enough power to break on through to the ocean and allow the salmon and eels to return.

I feel like a trapped estuary. I can’t break though to the ocean and start anew where all life began and begins. I need an existential mass of winter rain to burst me through the sand and release me to the waves. There I will swim and float. I might even surf. I will not drown.

At some point in the dream, I sat on a log and my husky was darting here and there. The ocean rolled green and white. I was rolling with it. I was harmonious in mind and body. There were no birds anywhere. The beach was agate and keyhole limpet free. A person I once knew appeared to me. She sat down on the log next to me. She was wearing a familiar green dress. We began talking. We had never done that before, just sit down on a log together and talk with the ocean rolling in yards away. That was a mistake. We never opened up at the ocean to one another like the ocean opens itself with every last wave that comes ashore.

It was a vague notion in the dream, this opening up at the ocean for us, but it felt like there was still time, if we act.

The dream ended.

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