Tag Archives: dreams

It’s the weather- or, Subconscious Wanderlust

I’ve been having vivid dreams. The kind of dreams that stick with me and color my day. It’s like looking through a stained glass window. A translucent filter with images of seaside cliffs and towering masts of tall ships, desert military encampments and high school parking lots. I run through fields of tall wheat, and sail crystal blue waters with vibrantly colored sea life. I bark orders in dusty fatigues, and escape failing space crafts with barely enough breath to rocket safely into the glittering promise of other galaxies.
Then I wake up. Usually just as I am about to do something dramatic or discover something important.
What a gyp.

I grow restless when the weather turns warm. I used to, (when I was single and childless), suddenly just take off for the beach without so much as a moment’s notice; or walk into a gas station, grab a map, close my eyes, point to a spot and head there. Too bad I was so broke I usually couldn’t make it farther than one state in any direction. My car, at the time, was a 1978 Malibu Classic. Blue with a little bit of metallic flake – or so it appeared when the sun hit it just the right way. It guzzled gas & ate oil. Also, toward the bitter end, the speedometer would freak out and flit back and forth like a metronome set at 300 bpm. On the one hand, a terrible car for a broke adventurer to set off in (as it cost a fortune to get anywhere); on the other hand, a perfect car for this broke adventurer (as it kept me out of trouble – for the most part). Anyway, maybe that’s what these dreams lately are all about. I certainly can no longer set off for parts unknown at the drop of a hat, so maybe my subconscious is doing it for me – only so much better. And all expenses paid.
I’m not just the chick with the fiddle or the mom with three kids in tow. I may seemlike just plain ol’ me, but last night, I ran barefoot across cold marble to escape from my tormentors before sailing to an uncharted island only to discover that I was a pilot sent to free a group of people held captive underwater and bring them aboard the space vessel orbiting wherever it was that we were.
Yeah, I’m a space cadet all right. But the weather’s warm, tomorrow is a school day, and I’m not going anywhere; so, space cadet is fine by me.

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God

My Aunt P. and Uncle R. are special people. They met when Aunt P. was riding her bike and was hit by a car. Uncle R. was the “Good Samaritan” who stopped to help her. That’s been pretty much the shape of their relationship since then: they help each other, and they help other people. When they realized that they couldn’t have children of their own, they became foster parents. I’m not sure if they were ever given the choice of the ages of the kids they were to care for, but they took in the teenagers: the kids who’ve been bounced around in the system. The ones with a lifetime of abuse, neglect, and the scars – both physical & emotional – to show for it. They took them in, and loved them as if they were their own. As time went by, they became “grandparents” and cared for some of their grandchildren. Their house was always full. There was always someone home, even if it was just the dogs or the sheep they keep. So, it seemed only natural when the last of the “kids” left, that they should take in someone else. That’s when Levi came to stay, and then Pedro. My mom describes them as folks who “just need a little help”. I’m not sure of the extent of their disabilities, but Pedro seems to me to need a bit more than “just a little”. But to my aunt and uncle, it doesn’t seem to be anything but a joy to help him, and as Aunt P. says with a smile “he’s such a Love!”

This brings me to Easter Sunday at my parents’ house.

I was having a conversation with Aunt P. & she mentioned to me that the other day she was driving along & suddenly felt sad. Deeply and profoundly sad that she never was able to have any children of her own. She said that’s when she felt that God was speaking to her, and He said “I gave you Pedro.” In an instant, she felt better. Joyful. Grateful. Happy.

Now, normally, I try to stay away from the topic of God. Belief or disbelief in God is a deeply personal thing. It brings people together, but it is also something that polarizes. As for me, belief in God is something that I try very hard not to struggle with. A strange way to phrase it, I know. You see, I have a memory. As a child, I thought it was an actual memory of a time before I was born. I was with God. I was without form, but I was me. God told me I was going to be born, and where, and my job (for lack of a better word) was to not forget Him (again, I lack a better word). He told me I might fail. I promised that I wouldn’t. A promise to God is a serious thing, and I felt that everything depended on me succeeding – Succeeding in believing. Now that I’m older, the rational part of my brain ( and I do actually pride myself in being rational, despite all my little quirks and obsessions) tells me it was very likely a memory of a dream. This makes me sad. It makes me feel sick inside, so I try very hard not to allow myself to debate His existence. I try very hard to keep any belief – or doubt – I have to myself. I call myself an Agnostic Theist: I choose to believe in God, but allow that there is the possibility that I am wrong. And that makes me sad, too, that I should even allow for such a thing.

When I am at peace, I marvel at the universe and the beauty of this world and feel – actually feel – God’s presence in something as simple as a flower, or in the air itself. I feel lighter – actually, for a brief moment, I feel like light; and I am so grateful to have been put here on this beautiful planet. It’s wonderful. Then “reality” pushes in, and it has its way of fighting light with reason. I shouldn’t have to look for signs, and I don’t feel that I have the right to ask for them, but I wish for them and I try to keep those wishes from God. (As silly as I know that is). I think that’s why I – and humanity in general- love a good ghost story. I will swear up and down to my kids that there’s no such thing as a ghost, but I will listen in earnest to any of you with a tale of the supernatural to tell. I want you to have a real life ghost story, not because I want you to have been frightened out of your mind; but because it means that we really are more than flesh and blood.  It’s a sign – or at least more than a hope that there is more. It means that I really am feeling God in the wind that blows through my hair; and I really was standing in blissful innocence next to Him before I was born; and He really did send my Aunt a man-child named Pedro, and in her moment of sorrow tell her so.
Tonight, when I pray I will quiet my mind, let my soul dance with the stars, and with a heart full of love and apology embrace what I believe is the light of God.

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“What dreams may come”

I have vivid dreams.  They are the kind that are difficult to wake from and leave me wondering what is real.  They are complicated and complete, as if I were living an impossible secret life.  Nearly every night I wade in the most vibrant hues, hear the most beautiful sounds, and feel as deeply and completely as when I am awake – more so, sometimes.  Often they are an exaggerated and accelerated version of my day.  Sometimes they are beautiful and profound; other times, though, they are grotesque and disturbed.  The one constant being that they always they seem so very real – and I remember the vast majority of them.

Last night I walked willingly into danger with the knowledge that the steps I took were likely to be my last.  I felt the very marrow of my bones resonating a kind of fear that made me feel ironically alive.  I knew it was the end and this gave me a strength of purpose, a courage that numbed that part of my brain which might cause me to falter or second guess my motives.  I knew I was going to die.  It was whispered to me in a red flash of eyes, and repeated in a way that insisted that there was no other way –  but I was determined to prevent the deaths of my family, a group of strangers … and well, myself, (if I could), in the process.  In the end I was betrayed, but alive – as were most – and trapped, and then it all became very “Kubrick”.  Not that the outcome really matters, because in the end, I woke up as I always do.   This was one of those dreams, though, that I just couldn’t shake.  The kind that affects my understanding of the human experience and the world in general … & gets me thinking.

Tonight, I am thinking of our soldiers past and present.  I am thinking about what it must be like walking through each day knowing it will most likely be the last.  Marching into Berlin or the beaches in Normandy or Gettysburg or Vietnam or Iraq.  My grandfather would talk mostly of the humor from the days of WWII and Korea.  He once told me that during WWII his camp was shelled – while he was bathing – (as luck would have it the nearest was a dud), and all he could think was that his wife was going to get a notice that said something like “Your husband served valiantly in the European Theater.  Died in the bath.”  No life flashing before his eyes, just that thought “I’m in the middle of a war, and going to die in the bath”.  An old boss of mine, on the other hand, absolutely refused to talk about his service in Vietnam.  At all.  It’s very odd the effect mortality has on life…

I have it easy.  All I have to do is close my eyes and wake up in the morning.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll dream something profoundly horrible that is so real, it takes awhile to untangle the unconscious from the tangible “real world”.  But I will always wake up.  I have the luxury of waking from a nightmare to live an absolute dream of a life.  Tonight, I give thanks to those who wake from a nightmare to live something much worse…And to those who wake from pleasant dreams to live in danger so that I might dream undisturbed.

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