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Note: Dreams are weird. This is an excerpt from a dream I had a number of years ago. A vivid dream. I embellished it just a little.

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What on Earth!? The Princess stormed down the hallway, her slippers half-slipping on the smooth surface when she came to a stop. Mary, her fluffy Lady-in-waiting, had been hammering on the Panic Button for some long time now. It was quite unlike Mary to get so exasperated, and even more unlike her to persistently irritate the Princess.

That was a lie: it was exactly like Mary to be so annoying.

The Princess slid to a stop at the end of the hallway. The door out was boarded shut! Now what!? There was supposed to be a stair well here and a very useable one at that. She pulled on one of the boards. Nailed, but not firmly. It would take her forever to get through and the crisis could have altered everything in that amount of time.

Damn it!

Lady Mary was agitated. If Her Highness did not hurry up, the stupid thing might blow up and then where would they be? They were stuck in the Continuum at approximately the same point the Dragon had last been located, and Lady Mary had no idea if the slithery thing was still breathing, or not. Sir Brave had chased off after it, swearing to dispose of the sorry thing before it could cause the considerable damage it was wont to. Lady Mary was, of course, concerned about her own flesh here. She was well-rounded and meaty enough to appear as quite a little feast for the sinuous devil and she did not want to confront it in some bend in the hallway!

She lifted the panel on the big box again and sighed. The gauge still registered HOTTER THAN IT SHOULD BE!  And the other arrow was pointing to the bright yellow section marked IT WILL BLOW UP AS SOON AS IT TURNS RED!

What was taking Her Highness so long??

Lady Mary lifted her heavy skirts and pressed her weight against the heavy outer door. She paused in the stair well and listened. Faintly, ever so faintly, she thought she could discern a dull pounding somewhere up above. The light was very dim, and Mary was reluctant to climb the four flights, not because of her weight (for she was considerably more athletic that the fluffiness of her build suggested) but exactly because she was plump, and that darn dragon might be making all the pounding.

Still, because she was the faithful Lady-in-waiting, she felt obliged to go search for Her Highness. She went slowly, peering upward into the grey light. If there was a dragon in wait up there, she hoped she would see it before it pounced.

The stairs were clear of reptilian life, but she had a terrible fright on the first landing. Two boys pushed the door inward, nearly striking Lady Mary in the face. Boys! Teen-aged ones, or almost teen-aged. They all seemed so young nowadays that it was hard to guess how old a child was anymore. These boys were fixated upward. Both carried little torches in their left hands. Their backs were to Lady Mary and she supposed they didn’t know they had nearly broken her nose with that infernal door when they pushed it in.

“You think it’s that guy, again?” the short boy whispered. The skinny one shrugged. They stood still, blocking the way as the pounding above became more desperate. Or furious. Lady Mary could now make out the exasperation in the Princess’ voice, shouting from behind one of the upper doors.

Given the problems with the infernal machine behind her (and its imminent threat to explode), and that she was the Lady-in-waiting for Her Highness, Mary had no choice but to make the decision she did, and to make it on the fly. She was going to have to expose her presence to the gawking youths. She reached out and pushed the pair aside, so she could pass, and then she began up the stairs as quickly as she could run.

The boys let out surprised yelps but recovered much too quickly: she could hear their feet on the steps behind her.

Lady Mary could make out the Princess’ words as they rounded the second floor landing. They were still quite muffled, coming as they were from the other side of the third-floor door, but their meaning was clear.

“MARY! DARN YOU! THIS DOOR IS NAILED SHUT AND I CANNOT PRY THE BOARDS OFF AND IF THIS IS NOT A REAL EMERGENCY OR YOU ARE NOT OUT THERE TO RESCUE ME I SHALL HAVE THE DRAGON BURN YOU TO A BLACK LITTLE CRISP. CAN YOU NOT HEAR ME? MARY! MARY! GET THIS FWEEPING DOOR OPEN, MARY!”

There was more, of course, but Mary had the sense not to listen to the ranting of frustrated royalty. She assessed the situation quickly: The door had been shuttered on the inside with large pieces of wood. Her Highness was on the opposite side of the door, possibly trapped in a dark hallway with that dragon slinking down on her, taking advantage of the situation with a diabolical plan to capture the Princess and hold her for ransom. The door was boarded up with pieces of plywood on the inside, not on the stairwell side. That meant she could not pry the boards back, but she would have to open the door and leverage the plywood outward toward the Princess.

She turned around just as the two scrawny teenagers skidded to a stop beside her. Not big, but masculine. Perhaps clever.

“I have a plan, Your Highness!” she shouted.

“You two. She’s stuck on the other side and you must help me push the wood away. Now.” Her voice carried the authority of one used to ordering lesser around, and the boys skidded to a halt.

 

Charley and John found themselves putting shoulder to plywood and shoving with all their might. They paused and pushed again, when the funny woman in long skirts suddenly lent her heft and the wood squeaked out from the nails by an inch.

“THAT BETTER BE YOU, MARY!” An hysterical female voice screeched from the other side.

Mary (they presumed it was she) rolled her eyes and signaled the boys to push again with her. “That dragon is on the loose!” she shouted.

“Well, I do not see him. Just get the blasted door open!” Her Highness dropped her screams by a notch.

 

The plywood gave way suddenly and clattered to the floor. One of the boys fell in a heap on top of it. The other one barely caught himself from falling by grabbing the door sill. Lady Mary stumbled, but righted herself in time to make a cursory curtsey.

The Princess barely glanced at any of them, but stepped over the fallen wood and splinters. A little black box on her belt began buzzing.

 

John shook his head. Charley was still trying to get up from the floor. The girl who had been locked behind the plywood marched past as if they didn’t exist.

The old woman from another century was dressed in a long, flowing gown that was held at the waist with a wide leather belt. John had seen the flash of pantaloons (he knew what they were because he had taken Drama class in the 8th Grade) when she stormed up the stairs ahead of them. She had plain leather shoes and white socks that had flashed in the gloom of the stair well when she pushed past the boys below. To top it off, she wore one of those pointy hats with long ribbons coming out of the point, like the fairy tale princesses in John’s little sister’s story books.

The girl, on the other hand, was dressed in a pair of tight faded jeans, topped with a dark blue Navy Pea Jacket. She had naturally wavy hair that flowed just below her shoulders, brushed away from her face. John made out a pale blue blouse, tucked in, as she passed She did not hesitate but took the stairs down two at a time, shouting back questions at the personage of Mary. Mary left the boys and hurried after the younger woman, answering the questions almost as soon as they were uttered, their voice overlapping each other. The older woman in the pointy hat, being somewhat heavier, preferred her steps one at a time.

John pulled Charley up and they followed the two women down.

“I just do not understand. It was working fine an hour ago. Whatever could be the problem?”

“I know it was working fine an hour ago, but this is a Continuum and you know darn well an hour ago could be two years ago or three hundred light years in the future.”

“What did you feed it?”

“The stupid Dragon was here, and I thought Sir Brave was after him, but you know how they can mess up things.”

“What is it doing?”

“It is building up pressure and clanging something awful.”

“When was that dragon here? And do not capitalize its name, it’s such a bother… If Sir Brave were here, why didn’t you call on him to fix this?”

“He is a doddering old fool when it comes to mechanics.”

“If it is building up pressure, it must be hungry, and we can just feed it something…”

She stopped suddenly on the first landing. Lady Mary barely slid to a stop, before the princess was out the door into the main hall and turning toward the exit. Lady Mary, Charley, and John were on her heels. It didn’t even register on either boy’s mind that the entrance was suddenly not boarded up, and the doors opened outward easily. They followed the fast-moving girl out into the parking lot.

She paused at the foot of the outside stairs. “Metal. Anything metal and anything big. There should be enough litter out here to work.” She pointed at a discarded shelving unit that leaned against the building. “Let’s take that.”

Her eyes met John’s. “Be a sport and pick up the other end, will you? We need to feed it scrap metal.”

“And quickly!” Mary huffed.

The boys hoisted their rusty treasure and followed the princess back into the south wing of the old warehouse. She took them around to the stair well, again, and led the way down.

Charley hesitated. There was no basement to this building. He’d been in the stair well before. There were no stairs going down. Yet… there they were. He stole a glance at his best friend, who looked back and shrugged. The girl with the curly hair was nearly to the bottom of the flight now, with the big woman on her heels. The boys followed.

Another door opened at the bottom of the flight, this time to the south which put the rooms it opened into under the parking lot.           There was no time to think about it. The boys followed the fat woman through the double doors. She was wielding a fender she’d found on the ground outside. A blue fender, like something off a pick-up truck.

John looked over at Charley, “Basement?”

Charley shook his head. “Fender?”

They were now aware of strange clanking and grinding noises. Low lights hung in the ceiling. The princess (or whoever she was) stood positioned along the wall, holding open the metal front to what looked like an old laundry chute. A red glow emanated from inside it.

“We have offerings,” she spoke into the abyss. “But your chute is too small. You are going to have to make accommodations.”

There was a grinding and squealing. The room shuddered. Charley reached out as if to grab the wall for support. John shouted, “EARTHQUAKE! We have to get out of here!”

Just as suddenly, the shaking was over. The princess was staring at him, as was the lady in the funny hat. “What earthquake?”

“That one, the one that…” his voice trailed off as he looked from woman to girl and over at Charley, who was, in turn, gaping at the wall. John’s eyes followed Charley’s open-mouthed gaze. The chute now appeared large enough to accommodate the entire old shelving unit. Warm, red light glowed from below.

“Um, no, he was just, you know, startled by the shaking.” Charley seemed to gather his wits quickly. “Not used to rooms shaking like that. Are we supposed to put this in there?”

“Well, of course you are.” Mary scowled at them. “And hurry. It is not a patient machine.”

The boys obeyed. Neither one of them said what was really on his mind: they were too confused by the events to formulate any coherent questions. The shelving unit was hoisted into the air, turned and pushed down into the red glow. It dropped noisily.

The fat lady tossed in the fender, “And dessert!” she said.

The princess let go of the handle as soon as the items had been tossed in, and ran across the room where a panel had suddenly come to light with green and blue lights. The strange grinding and clunking changed to a low, humming, vibration.

“There! That should hold it for a while!” She whirled around with a satisfied smile on her face. A smile which disappeared as she saw the boys for, apparently, the first time. She had to look up at John and down at Charley.

“Why?? Who are..?? Oh dear, the thing truly is messed up! MARY!”

“Here I am, m’lady.” Mary sidled around the boys, trying to look surprised and humble, but succeeding in looking rather smug instead. Her face read, I told you so!

The princess sighed. “I suppose I have to go ask for help?”

“Well, they are here. I do not think the machine will drop them off now.” Mary shrugged her shoulders.

“No, no. I suppose not. This is just a terrible inconvenience. It isn’t telling us where we are going – or when.”

“Um, could I say something?” John attempted to get a word in edge-wise.

“NO!” Both females snapped at the same time. The old woman’s eyes practically bulged.

She bellowed, “You may not, you simply cannot, address the Imperial Royal Highness Princess Boo without first being admitted into her court. You must be properly interviewed first.”

John felt like a gnat was buzzing around his ears. These people did not make sense! “Can I talk to you, then?”

The round face recoiled in horror.

The princess, however, seemed to like this idea. “Yes. You speak to him, Mary. I think I will go up and see if the café is open. I am famished.” She made a little bow and exited, stage rightt.

John looked at Charley who looked at John. “Did we just get played?”

“No way am I staying here to talk to her. I’m following her.” Charley made an uncharacteristic first move. John followed him.

The Lady-in-waiting threw up her hands and huffed along behind them, muttering loudly. “No manners. Not that I have answers. No manners. Heathens. Oh, where are we going now?”

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It was a hot and steamy affair between the copy machine and the handsome postage machine, but they were separated by a wall they could only breach by cable…

Wait. Let’s try this again.

I had a dream last night.

I was in a house that resembled the elementary school I attended in the early 1960’s. I had the sense that the dream was picking up where my subconscious left off the night before: leaving that building in a pouring rain storm, thinking I was late for high school and wondering why I was even bothering to go.

I was leaving the elementary school in the pouring rain, wearing my son’s black windbreaker with the hood pulled up over my carefully coifed and heavily hairsprayed hair. I only had to walk the two blocks to my childhood home. The first block had a Farmers’ Market going on that I had to pass, but I pulled the hood down and avoided the stares and calls of the hawkers. I crossed Bridge Street to the last block. There was a ditch between the one-way streets, but in my mind I knew the ditch had been covered over since we moved out and so I forced it to appear as it would now. It was covered in snow. The house looked the same, but the entire drive way was blocked by snow piles up to three and four feet in depth. We didn’t live there, but I needed to get to the door and I was crushed that I couldn’t get past the snow.

I returned to the school and decided to start over. This part of the dream was jumbled: I was in a house that was the school, but I was also at work and a coworker was there. I did not recognize anyone else, but they were incidental. A pile of work mail and files was atop the coverlet to the bed in the Master suite. I commented that I was “off the clock” now, but I noticed that a check in a UPS envelope was among the items on the bed. “I’ll just put this in the safe drawer before I leave,” I said.

I repeated my walk home, but this time the ditch was covered over in grass and the drive to the house was wet concrete. “I made the snow melt!” I thought, and I felt elated. I had a key to the house and as I put it into the lock, a stranger approached. She wanted entrance because she knew the people who lived there now, and I let her in. I no longer needed to enter the house; I was happy to know I had access.

I went into a guest house (unfamiliar to me) and locked the door. This was where I would be staying. A king-sized bed awaited me and a long glass window that ran the length of one side of the house and which opened only at the top and at an angle to let in the air. I headed to the shower.

I googled the meaning of snow before I headed off to work and this is what struck me: “To see snow in your dream signifies your inhibitions, unexpressed emotions and feelings of frigidity. You need to release and express these emotions and inhibitions. Alternatively, snow means that you are feeling indifferent, alone and neglected.  If the snow is melting, then it suggests that you are acknowledging and releasing emotions you have repressed. You are overcoming your fears and obstacles.” (from DreamMoods.com)

The fact that the dream has stayed with me all day is also significant: I only remember dreams that God wants me to remember and they are often prophetic or they are important in other ways. I don’t sense this one is prophetic, only that it is a clear working-through of an issue, or a problem. It is significant to me that it came on the heels of yesterday’s first post about looking for passion in my work.

Several images jump out at me. I cut and pasted from the website (my favorite dream interpretation site). What is in italics is my interpretation and thoughts:

school – a dream that takes place in school may be a metaphor for the lessons that you are learning from your waking life. You may be going through a “spiritual learning” experience.

I can’t find it tonight but I searched “late for school” yesterday and the result was about looking for answers, feeling unsettled in life, and general turmoil. It is a common dream thread.

ditch –To see a ditch in your dream indicates that there is something in your waking life that you need to avoid.  Alternatively, the dream suggests that you need to let go of the emotional baggage and frivolity that are holding you back.

I’m not sure of the significance in my dream. When I was a kid, the ditch was real and had steep, rocky banks. Sometime just before we moved, the city put in culverts and covered the ditch, covering it with a nice park-like lawn. If the ditch had significance in my dream, it was that I was in a lucid dream state and I could control the imagery. I knew the ditch was covered up and I “forced” it to appear that way in my dream. Therefore, I was forcing the emotional baggage and frivolity back.

The dream may also be on pun on ditching school, work, appointment, or something that you are now feeling guilty about

Now, that is funny. 🙂

childhood home/not needing to enter when I finally knew I could – In particular, to see your childhood home indicates your own desires for building a family and your family ideologies. It also reflects aspects of yourself that were prominent or developed during the time you lived in that home. You may experience some unfinished feelings that are being triggered by some waking situation. To dream that you cannot find your way home indicates that you have lost faith and belief in yourself. It may also signify a major transition in your life.

I find this interesting. My childhood home has often been a theme in my dreams, but only because it was a haunted house and I was still dealing with the poltergeist of my childhood. Sometime ago, I finally banished that demon. In this dream, the house was not haunted, did not pose a spiritual threat, but only beckoned to me as a place I needed to return to. Once the snow was removed and I could reach the door, I no longer had a need to enter the house. I even allowed someone else to go in and take up residence there, because I knew I did not have ownership of the place – nor did I desire that.

key – To see a key in your dream symbolizes opportunities, access, control, secrets, freedom, knowledge or responsibilities. You may be locking away your own inner feelings and emotions. Or you are unlocking the answer to some problem.

OBVIOUS.

the check – To see a check in your dream suggests that you may feel indebted to others. The dream may also be a pun on checking things out. To see a blank check in your dream symbolizes your unused potential. It may also indicate unclaimed rewards.

This is interesting. I thought it was just a reflection of what I do for a living (I receive in checks and make the daily bank deposit). I didn’t actually see the check so parts of that may not apply – but I knew a check was in the envelope because that is what I do for a living in real, waking, life.

being ‘clocked out’ (but needing to finish the job – at least by putting the important mail into a safe place) – To see a clock in your dream signifies the importance of time in some waking situation. You may be feeling some anxiety of not being on top of things. Your mind may be preoccupied with a deadline that you have to meet or some other time-sensitive issue. It is time for you to tread on and speed up your actions. Alternatively, clocks symbolize the ticking of the human heart and thus is indicative of the emotional side of your life. If the clock has stopped, then it signifies death

Death is not necessarily physical death, but death of the past or a spiritual or emotional death. Death is always symbolic of change.

shower – symbolizes spiritual or physical renewal and forgiveness. You are washing the burdens out of your life

That would be appropriate. I had the very definite sense of washing off the old (the former school) and entering something new (the guest house which was a new structure to my dreams).

To see a guest in your dream signifies new challenges and interests in your life

Ya think???

—–

The windbreaker is not important: it is merely an image of the black windbreaker of my son’s that I took possession of when he moved out ten years ago. It’s a nice windbreaker and he was amused that I still wore it when I visited him last week. The subconscious picks up on strange things.

Carefully coiffed hair – probably not important, just an image of how impossible it is to keep my hair “carefully coiffed” even with a ton of hair spray and gel products. It rains and my hair-do is toast. Heck, my hair-do is toast by noon on a dry day. I have lame hair.

I share this dream because I believe it has everything to do with what I am looking for. It’s a sub-conscious extension of the blog I posted yesterday and of what I am looking for in my life. It is also an answer.

I just need to find the key to the answer – but I know something has already shifted in my search because the snow melted. That is significant.

 

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The Zombie Dream

I have weird dreams all of the time. Some I remember. Most fade with waking. Some are prophetic. Some are healing. Some are warnings.

And some are plots from B movies.

This is a plot from a B movie.

I lived at home with my mom and dad. Only I wasn’t “me”, I was a character in a B-movie or a zombie novel. I was about 23 in the dream. We lived in a little house on a river in a rural location. But we were getting ready to move out and I was packing my car, which was eerily similar to the 2006 KIA Sportage I presently drive. My mom was also packing her car. We were getting ready to evacuate.

I don’t remember what Mom packed into her car, but I remember the details of everything that went into my car.

005

I made sure that this brass ash tray made it into my car. I grew up with this ash tray.

004

The cobras simply crawl over it.

003

And up it.

I also packed cooking utensils, spatulas, miscellaneous silverware, and clothing. I remember emptying a drawer in the kitchen and putting it into my car along with the suitcases of clothing.

My mother and my little sister left about a half-hour ahead of us. My dad, my baby, and I left as soon as the car was loaded and the house locked up. The house was a light green colored house with a picket fence. We were not the only people who lived on that side of the highway as there was a joint road and intersection at the highway.

When I got there, we had to wait for two lumbering delivery van type vehicles. I pulled out behind them and we saw the road was littered with some sort of slime. Traffic was excruciatingly slow and the problem was revealed as some sort of giant snail-slug-alien thing that excreted a jellied slime of human remains. (I told you this was a dream, right?)

We didn’t want to drive over any of the excrement. I don’t know why, but it just seemed gross: jellied slime of human remains? Anyway, we hit a straight stretch and I called on the KIA’s great power for acceleration and we passed the two vans and the snail-alien-slime thing. We were worried about my mom & sister who were about 30 minutes ahead of us, and now we had been delayed even more by the snail-alien-slime thing.

We entered a winding stretch of road through a deep pine forest. Nighttime fell. My dad, who sat in the passenger seat and who wasn’t really my “dad” but who was a kinder, more benevolent sort of person, kept tending to the toddler in the car seat behind me. he handed her food, bottles, toys. He unbuckled his seat belt to change her diaper while we traveled. We had no option of stopping.

This section of woods was dark and depressing. It was known as the Zombie Woods because in recent times, zombies had taken over it. I could not stop or hesitate. We felt things land on the car and at some point, we realized there was a zombie clinging to the side of the car, by the baby, staring in at us and trying to distract us. I kept the windshield wipers going so they couldn’t land on the windshield and wreck the car.

Early morning found us on a sagebrush butte, coming in to a ranch compound that was gated off. We could see Mom’s car in the compound, so we knew they had made it safely. I came up to the gate, honking my horn. The zombies abandoned the car as we approached because the compound was zombie-free.

The gate raised and we were allowed in, but we had to be quarantined to ascertain we were not somehow zombie-ized. It was a very rustic place with log cabins, outdoor showers, eco-friendly out houses, and a main compound. Razor wire surrounded the place. A large barn was central to the place, with hay and grains and other storage.

Then the zombies attacked. We all headed to the barn and out the other side of the barn, where the zombies were concentrated. I thought we were in the defense & winning, but then my baby was out there in the sagebrush & I had to go rescue her. I got behind enemy lines somehow and had to fight my way back to the barn by throwing handfuls of gravel at the growling zombies. But I did it, with my baby in hand.

Then I climbed the stacks of hay in the loft of the barn and hid by a window that overlooked the yard of the compound. I couldn’t tell if we were winning or the zombies were until someone came into the barn and climbed into the loft to tell me it was OK and we were safe.

Woke up briefly and fell back asleep.

Dream resumed.

My sister-in-law, Debbie, and her husband, Don, came walking up from the far side of the compound. My dad was no longer in the dream, but my husband was. Deb and Don came into the compound and were quarantined. They told us (Don & I) how proud they were of us for having made the safe run to the compound and avoiding zombie infestation. However – they had discovered that it was OK to be half-zombieized and that maybe we (humans and zombies) could get along.

And I woke up for real at that point.

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Today is Thanksgiving Day 2013. I am thankful for a vivid imagination, even when I am sleeping. The following is what happens when I oversleep:

It was a slow day at work. I was sitting at a school-style desk, and I’d just finished closings. I double-checked on P’s desk (also school-style) for the pay-out sheets. We were in an open room, not offices. Went back to my desk and opened up the new accounting software on my lap top and entered the Training mode. I got really lost in the system and had to back out a few times, but I was slowly narrowing down what it would do for us.
Then our new HR person (who happened to be a schoolmate of my oldest, a woman named Christy) came and had a question about procedure. P sent me to show her on her  computer (Christy had a regular office). It took a long time because Christy was ill and she had to tie her hair up (not sure why, but it was a dream) and she couldn’t get the headband to work. Anyway, turned out it was a non-issue and didn’t pertain to her end of work. <sigh – wasted time>
The accounting software webinar had already started and I was a bit tweaked that I’d missed the intro. The webinar was in a narrow office full of desks and chairs (nostly chairs stacked up) and all the Office Coordinators staring at computer screens while the trainer talked over the phone. Two women to a screen. I squeezed in behind Dorothy (a real co-worker) until she finally unstacked one of the empty chairs and I could sit next to her. Everyone was uncomfortable and the session was redundant to me.
Suddenly, the chief of operations (who happens to be a friend of mine in life, but works as CFO for a large church) came in. Michael H. Michael said that there were important people waiting for me and he had to track me down.
He said the “Monkees Hall of Fame” was there to see me & said we had an important meeting. So, P urged me to go as you cannot keep someone as important as that waiting. Only what they didn’t know was that the Monkees Hall of Fame was just a group of girlfriends from my past who sometimes came to Portland and we’d go out to dinner or lunch. I didn’t know they were in town, this was a surprise visit.
In the hall, as Michael led me around the mall (so now we’re in a mall-like structure with busy professionals everywhere), he said there was someone named Lola (my former supervisor in real life)with the group, but she’s come separately and want to see me. I was delighted.
Lola had already made friends with the Monkees Hall of Fame: Linda?, maybe. It’s  weird – I didn’t really know any of these people in real life, but in my dream we had been forever friends and they all lived elsewhere. They were ready to go out to lunch with myself & Lola. Michael knew about it and was going to stay mum on the subject, so I basically had a free lunch pass with a group os girlfriends and got to skip out on the dull accounting software meeting under the guise of the Monkees Hall of Fame (Club – Club was never mentioned, but we knew that’s what we were).
Oh – and each of us represented one of the Monkees.I think Linda? Was Davey, Lisa? Was Mickey,  and Diane? Was Peter. I was Mike, of course. I even had a dorky beanie to wear that was just like Mike’s in the TV show.

(What my brain does when it’s over-tired…)

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A Visitation at Night

I had two dreams last night. One was an intense story between good and evil, with a heroine who tempted evil until it got so close she could smell the brimstone. I awakened from that dream, and felt the girl’s mind as she gained the wisdom that she did not wish to flirt any longer with that danger. And just as quickly, the danger dissipated and faded, unwilling to stay in my mind if I would not engage it. A warning from my subconscious, perhaps, or my subconscious rising to take back ground I’d ceded to evil.

I mention that only because in real life, I am struggling with some angry emotions. There’s an ugly side to my heart that I don’t want to look at, but in waking I am reminded just how ugly it can be. It is the dross rising to the surface of the refiner’s fire, needing to be scraped off so I can be a more pure – and joyful – person. I always find the process painful.

But that dream, because it did not linger, was not the visitation. When I drifted back to sleep, I hoped only that I would not reenter that world.

I did not expect to see my mother.

I do not dream of my mother very often. She was my best friend in my early adult years, the person I called with all the details of my life. Once a week we spoke on the telephone.  After I had children, we did not speak so often, but even my husband knew “that ring” when my mother called – and my mother knew when it was me calling her. The dreams I had of her after her death were dreams of someone I never knew in real life: she was angry, angry about everything and angry at me. I tried not to dream of her, because I didn’t understand the anger that was suddenly pitched in my direction.

It was not until my father died two years ago (and today is the anniversary of his birthday: he would have been 85 today) that the dreams where my mother appeared changed. She has not been angry since my father died.

But those are the dreams of the past. Last night’s dream (or this morning’s, as REM sleep often catches me just before the alarm sounds) took place in a big rambling house. I’d never been in this house before (in a dream or otherwise – often my dreams return to the same settings). It was my parent’s new house and I was visiting, home from college, I think. I was an adult, and adult-sized. I walked from the darkened living room area into the light kitchen.

It was an Alice-in-Wonderland over-sized kitchen. Even though I was an adult, I was dwarfed by the appliances, the counter-tops, my mother on a step-stool – even the step-stool seemed over-large. I was looking up at my mom from the eyes of a five-year old girl where she seemed larger-than-life.

In reality, my mom was smaller than me as an adult. She was 5’2″ in her prime, but slowly shrank. At one point, she had a 20″ waist and she still wore a girdle. This was the age she was in my dream: early thirties, her hair tinted a soft auburn, wearing capri pants. She was reaching up to the cabinets to put dishes away.

My mother was never tall enough for tall cupboards and so we never had them in the houses we lived in but what she had a step stool (I am the same way and I stand 5’4″). But these cupboards were much too tall for a reasonable kitchen, and yet she was there. putting things away in them.

I asked her if I could help do something. This was normal between us. I looked around and said I’d clean out the sink. But when I reached into the kitchen sink, I found the faucet had been broken off, and it was not dirty dishes in there, but my work clothes. My sister had taken them from me when I’d changed and promised she would “take care of them.” Now they were in a sink, splatter with tomato sauce. White pants and tomato sauce.

I was not angry. My sister stood in the kitchen now, a wee bit of a girl no more than ten years old. My sister is always ten in my dreams and my visions of her. But in real life, when she was ten, she was rapidly approaching my height. In real life, she surpassed me in height: she was 5’7″ or 5’9″ when she stopped growing, a rail-thin woman with a hunched back and a misguided sense of fashion. But in the dream, her age ten self was as short – a reverse of the Alice kitchen – as my mother was large.

My mother = larger than life, my sister = a mite of a thing.

I explained to my sister that white pants would stain with tomato sauce and they needed to be placed in cold water immediately to forestall the stains. My mother looked down and said, “Deni, show your sister where the washing machine is so she can wash her clothes.”

Because it was a home I was unfamiliar with, my sister had to show me where things were. As we walked through the kitchen to the other door (this kitchen was a hallway, much like one we had in our first home in Ely), my sister told me that “Mom and Dad have a new washer and dryer.”

I knew this (I’d been writing my folks) but it was nice to hear it from my sister. She continued that in order to work the washer right, “We have to fill the toilet with extra water.”

The toilet seemed to be in a manufactured home pre-1970’s, except it had a shut-off valve. Deni turned the valve and filled the tank and bowl with clean (for a toilet) water – I mean to the brim, filled – before turning the valve back. “Now we can use the washer.”

I thought it was quite odd.

The washer and dryer were huge and in-ground. Red enamel. The washer was made up of three different tanks – the one you put clothes in and the one you took clothes out of and one in between, right to left. And they, like the dream kitchen, vacillated between underground and too large as Deni showed me how to work them.

The room was at first like a shed: dirt floor, cob-webby shelves above the appliances. Then it slowly changed into the opening of a very large horse barn, like the kind you find at a county fair with rows upon rows of box stalls and wide aisles. I was not concerned about the room, only knew that it was there and changing. And that my mother walked past us, behind us, dressed in her jodhpurs and headed to the stalls to work out her horse.

My mother hated horses. Horses were an obsession I shared with my sister, and even my brother. But my mother categorically hated horses. Horses and domestic birds, like parrots. Creatures I love. She loved dogs.

Once my clothes were in the washer, I needed laundry soap, but there was none. I was looking for Tide™ (my parents never used any other brand of detergent because my father was allergic to everything else. So they said). Deni pointed out that there was a box of powder detergent that belonged to our “foster-sister” and I could use it. I hated to, because I knew Cyndi needed every dime she could save and the detergent was for washing diapers (apparently Cyndi put cloth diapers on her little girl, Tomi).

I don’t know why Cyndi and Tomi came into the dream at all. Deni was 17 when Tomi was born, not 10. And I doubt seriously that Cyndi did the Whole Earth Mama thing. That was me. I used cloth. I breast-fed on demand. I let my children wean on their own timing (one at 13 months and the other at a ghastly 8 months. That second child hauled a bottle !! around until he was four).

I climbed up on a step stool and retrieved the soap, dumped a measure of it in the washer (now oversize) and attempted to replace it. In doing so, I knocked over a cat food dish with kibble in it and some of the kibble spilled down into the washer before the top could be shut. Oh well, I said as I righted everything.

Deni seemed amused.

And then the dream was over.

 

Cyndi and Tomi are living. They never appeared in the dream, they were only mentioned. My dad was only mentioned. My sister and I rarely got along as well as we did in the dream. I’d have read her a riot act for spilling tomato sauce on my good white pants (if I had owned any). She idolized me; I tortured her. We loved each other fiercely.

My brother was away. We knew he existed but he was not part of the dream any more than my father was.

It was just us: Deni, Mom, Me. A vivid dream, the kind that doesn’t fade, even 12 hours later.

There are lessons in there, I just have to puzzle them out.

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I am going to do a little cut-and-paste project tonight. I have to because I simply can’t remember all of the words. And this is important to me: to remember the words.

It started with a dream I had which I posted on a homeschool forum that I have been a member of since, um, 1997. I think 1997: I joined when I first started homeschooling my kids who are now grown and moved away. The women on the list are old friends and some I know in real life (IRL). Kris is one I know IRL.

I have a photo of us somewhere in my vast collection of digital photos, but I have no idea where.

I posted my dream, Kris posted an interpretation of that dream that brought tears to my eyes (I think she was very close to right), and then Kris had a dream. The following are excerpts from those exchanges:

ME – “My dream is really bugging me.Most of it was the usual dream stuff: rooms and loud noises and things you can’t control. But the interesting part was when we went into the living room of the house. It was dark: dark wood, like all the houses I lived in as a kid. Curtains could all be open but it still seemed dark. There was a flagstone hearth in one corner but no fireplace. The house was a MESS: visibly dirty carpets, litter, things not put away. Not really as messy as dad’s old house is now in real life (with my nephew the pig at the helm), but certainly not presentable. I felt overwhelmed and wondered WHERE to start???  I decided to go with picking up, then vacuuming afterward. I zeroed in on the flagstone corner and went there to pick up newspapers &… Christmas ornaments? Silver, gold & blue glass balls with red curling ribbon, neatly arranged on the hearth by my mother’s hand. i thought how sweet: my dad never put the Christmas stuff away after Mom died (in reality, he got rid of it all or gave it to the mice in the garage). As I started to pick up the ornaments, I noticed there were several creations made out of heavy duty aluminum foil. I called my brother over to show him: Dad made little aluminum foil replicas of our baby shoes (Terry’s, mine, Deni’s), but he converted them into silver sailing ships with long “sails” of aluminum foil. There was also a pair of either my mom’s shoes or my dad’s shoes (the dream gets fuzzy, but I think it was Mom’s). I wanted to preserve these perfect little replicas but you know how fragile aluminum foil is? We had to figure out a ways to store them so the foil wouldn’t dent or the shoes lose shape.
I cut the “sails” away, deciding to preserve the foil shoes only. Then we boxed them individually in shoe boxes: one foil shoe per box. And stacked the weightless boxes in a corner in an attic, labeled. We couldn’t even put tissue paper in the boxes for fear the shoe-boats would crumple. And we were going to pull them out again next Christmas.

There was much more to the dream, but that part was so vivid. My mom felt much the same about Christmas as I do, so no surprise on the Christmas theme. But my dad creating little aluminum foil shoe-boats? My mom was the creative one. My dad sometimes rolled his eyes at her creations…”

KRIS: “A couple of things occurred to me, ornaments are fragile, especially the foil ones you found.  The ornament represent people, loved ones, and people are fragile.  Ornaments also represent memories, Christmas is a ritual that unites family.

 Your dad was a keeper of memories but your mom was an active memory maker.  She made the most fragile ornaments, also the ones with the most meaning.  They are extremely personal and individual.  They make those people part of every Christmas and the care you took with them is what you give to the memories of those people.
The fact that your dad never put them away seems to say that although he valued them he wasn’t sure how to handle them.  My dad, being from the same generation of men, was sentimental but uncomfortable being so.  The sails, to me, represent mobility.  I think with your father’s passing it could feel that those bonds are slipping/sailing away.  Taking the sails off means they can’t take off.  You needed to remove the sails and take possession of the ornaments/memories and keep them safe.
You know, already, that these cannot be taken from you but some part of you needs reassurance, needs to make sure they are safe and preserved.  You’re coming to terms with physical death but also that memories and love are more concrete than items.
That was the picture I got when I read your dream.”
And KRIS (again): “My dream…was about Jaci!  Last night I was thinking how cool Jaci’s dream was, so detailed and full of forward motion.  I guess I have dream envy, lol.

Anyway, then I was sitting in my living room (not my actual living room but a different one that, in the dream, was mine).  Jaci came in and said that she had been told that I had a letter from her father that he had sent.  Even though I had no clue what she was talking about I felt guilty, then I realized that I DID have the letter and that it had been opened because I had spilled soda on it.  I was afraid she would think I had opened it to read it but she didn’t really care why it was open, she just wanted to read it.
I handed it to her, it was stiff like paper that has been wet and then dried.  It was on blue paper, was hand written and had a title like it was a short story or poem.  The title was “Tears Of the Son”, interesting because I had just seen something on TV where the people were watching a movie called “Tears Of The Sun” but this was spelled S-O-N.
Jaci, read the letter then asked where the “signature page” was, I looked and there WAS another page with her dad’s signature on it.  I gave her this and she read it as well.  She then put her hand, still holding the letter, in her lap and began to weep.  I stayed with her and held her hand.  We sat there for some time and then went shopping at Big Lots and were talking excitedly about living frugally.
So, perhaps it is the curse of being the “dreamer”, I have only a couple of clues on what it means.  Of course, it could be just a jumble of my thoughts over the past few days.”
Now, I don’t really have a clue why we were shopping at Big Lots and talking excitedly about living frugally, but what the heck. I’m just excited that my dad thought to write me a letter, even though he sent it to Kris (a woman he never had the privilege of meeting). And I can guess at the meaning of Kris’ dream and the letter my dad wrote me, but once again Kris jumps in with deep insight:
“The only part that seems clear to me is that the dream was from your dad.  The title being significant, Tears Of The Son, seems to be an explanation of how his childhood and generation left him less able to express love and sentiment.  He sees it clearly now and wants you to know.  I didn’t read the letter, no idea what it said, obviously only you and your dad would be able to know what he would say to you.

Maybe because my dad had childhood trauma and came from the same generation, God was able to give me the dream to share with you.  Who knows?
As for the shopping, I think it just expresses how you and I are both on a journey of taking on the power of what we allow into our lives.  It’s about taking positive control, going out towards the world and expecting to find what we need.
Whatcha think?”
What I think is this: Kris & I need to meet for coffee & shopping in the near future. She lost her mom last year, so her grief is just as palpable as mine. That reads like chocolate and coffee and a shopping date at Big Lots.
Whatcha think??

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