Posted in Freedom Friday

The Elephant

I had a dream the other night. I think it safe sharing it with you. I mean, it’s not like you’re going to tell anyone, right? Aw, heck, it is Freedom Friday so if you feel like telling someone, go ahead. I won’t stop you.

Elephant/Butterfly by saulinis
Elephant/Butterfly by saulinis

I dreamt I was leading a marching band. One of those big, fat New Orleans’ marching bands. You know the kind, with the flutes shrilling, trumpets blaring, and drums banging. I blew on my whistle, twirled my baton—the whole bit, really. I was in my element. As I led the zombie-like musicians through the street (they weren’t zombies, they just followed me that way), an elephant appeared right in our path. I kid you not. It stood there not moving. We had to come to an abrupt halt. No more shrilling, blaring or banging. And no more whistling or twirling for me. A dead stop.

I looked at the elephant hoping my stare would cause it to move. It didn’t move. It just thrust its trunk back and forth, and blew a heavy sound. All I wanted it to do was for it to move from our path in order for us to continue doing what we did best—make music. It wasn’t having any of it. It sat its dump truck behind on the pavement and wouldn’t budge.

When I awoke, I immediately wondered what I had eaten the night before. It was unusual to have a dream this vivid and remember it in detail the next morning. I thought back on those tacos stuffed with spicy meat, shredded cheese and delicious salsa. It couldn’t have been the tacos. I wasn’t burping them through my nose.

McDonough #35 Marching Band
McDonough #35 Marching Band

As nighttime neared, I prepared for sleep. My nighttime ritual consists of kissing my wife, saying goodnight to the kids, changing into my PJs, brushing my teeth, going to the bathroom and making up the bed. It’s during the course of making up the bed that my mind races a mile a minute recapping the day’s events. It was here where the thought of the elephant kept pounding my head. It wouldn’t let go. Stupid elephant.

That same night, I fell asleep and dreamt of the same big, fat New Orleans’ marching band. The same flutes shrilling, trumpets blaring, and drums banging. And of the same stupid elephant sitting its massive rump on the pavement where we needed to pass. The next morning I was at a loss. Is it possible someone was trying to tell me something? Was my subconscious playing tricks on me? Had I crossed over to the throes of insanity, never to regain my tempered state?

Therefore, I did what any other person would have done on the brink of a mental breakdown. I told a friend. I blurted out everything, the band, the elephant—everything. My friend thought for a moment and said, “Don’t ask, why the elephant got in your way. Ask, why you were leading a big ass marching band.”

Could I have missed the obvious? I was so busy worrying about the elephant that I’d forgotten about the band. Once I looked at it that way, I wondered where all the cheerleaders were.

Ever have strange dreams? Care to share? Promise, we won’t tell.


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

18 thoughts on “The Elephant

  1. i vividly pictured your dream in my head. i’m thinking you feel there is something blocking your way in something you want to accomplish. Something the rest of your world may think is insane. who knows? i’m no psychologist.
    my entire writing life is filled with weird dreams i’ve had. one that sticks out in my brain and i did write about it once: i was stuck in this hotel and i was trying to check out. But the clerk, who looked just like Jim Morrison, said i wasn’t allowed to check out and that i should just meet him later in the hotel bar for a mai tai. every time i walked out the door i would end up being sucked into some sort of dimensional portal and i would end up in my room again. it was ticking me off. my kids were in the room and kept asking me to take them swimming and i kept leaving and going back down to the front desk. and the same thing would happen over and over again.

  2. leader of a marching band….hmmm well that just means you’re the leader in life. whether at home or work. The Elephant is something that is in your path at the time…. Why couldn’t you have normal dreams like going to school naked like the rest of us……lol

  3. That is a weird dream. It must mean something. I wonder what the dream dictionary would say. It’s a shame you don’t know the significance of the elephant. Did it join your band or disrupt it? I love that picture by the way, it would be great for Metaphor Monday.

    1. Thanks, Catherine! From dream dictionary, dreaming about a marching band is defined as: “To see or be in a marching band indicates that you are a team player and able to work in harmony for a common cause. You show great discipline.”

      …I’m good with that! 😉

  4. Cool dream…I wondered as reading it if the elephant came because it liked the music. Elephants have many spiritual associations, all good, so I’d take it as a good omen. 🙂

  5. I love to try to interpret dreams. I tend to look at the emotions in the dream rather than the objects. I see a person who is proud of an achievement in his life. He is proudly leading a band but then an elephant blocks his path. I imagine that the elephant represents a something that is blocking you from completing your goal. (Of course, this is just a guess. Play with it if you like and see what you think if you like.)
    I love the picture of the elephant with the butterfly wings. Did you make that picture? That is what drew me to your blog from the WordPress reader.

  6. I must admit I snickered at the “burp through my nose” comment. I’ve had weird dreams before. Last night I dreamed of walking down the street and seeing these painters working on a house. I know exactly what that dream meant. My life has been chaotic and disorganized for quite some time. I have a lot of monkeys on my back that need to be tossed off. This week at work has been extremely rough for me. I think the painting dream means covering up the bad and starting with a fresh coat of paint. Its all about starting with a fresh perspective, allowing the Lord to see me through and not worry about the little stuff. Sorry to get preachy but hey, you said share. 🙂

  7. Got plenty of weird dreams.. sometimes, my dreams continue a few nights in a row. Most of the time its random wandering in either familiar old places or in new worlds. I recently had a really weird one about zombies and survival…haha~

  8. I had a weird dream once (won’t get into details here) but the oddest aspects of it were picking up a ton of bacon with Katherine Hepburn (we were riding a bike together – neat trick) and seeing killer whales fall from the sky (Douglas Adams moment?) and then catch fire. Very weird dream.

    My mom suggested, if I wanted to find a meaning in the vivid flight of my neuronic fancy, that I discern what the different aspects of my dream mean to me personally as far as symbols go. And then I might figure out what my head was doing.

    I haven’t had a lot of luck with that. 😉

    If I dream of elephants OR marching bands tonight? I’m blaming you. And the tacos. 😀

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