what is the bear

I dreamed about a bear in the woods behind where I was walking, with my friend, to get groceries. 

She saw it first. Told me, in a panic, there’s a bear, we have to run

She ran on ahead. I couldn’t run. Then, I was lying flat on the ground, trying to move forward, but I could not. I was completely immobilized. 

We were on a grassy hill and I could see the road from where I was. She was running back and forth, yelling for me to run. But I couldn’t even stand. 

I could see my own arm, reaching forward. A motion like swimming. 

It’s too hard, I thought. I can’t.

What is the bear? Is it my past? My future? I’m stuck, unable to move. I can’t take any action. 

The threat is closing in. 

There are things I think I want, and I can see them now, their proximity. 

There are moments I feel a deep, unnameable terror. Not panic, but a fear so profound, so bodily, it precedes language.