Sonnet: Powerful Spirits Speak (Reprise)

A poem for my poet friends this fine Monday morning….is this you?

Timeless Classics

*****

A poet is the strangest sort of soul
You in this life may e’er expect to meet
More broken, even while more truly whole,
Innocently intending well, more sweet

Than any but a five year old should be
Unfit to meet a callused world’s demand
Or to behave aught expediently
All grace in flight; an albatross on land

But don’t the all too common error make
Do not fall into the too easy trap
Avoid the fatal egoic mistake
Imagining that poet as a sap

Powerful spirits, classic and antique
Give voice when poets ope their lips to speak

*****
The poet/editor of this website is physically disabled, and lives at a fraction of her nation’s poverty level. Contributions may be made at:

https://www.gofundme.com/are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

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Making Dreams Reality

What are we if not our dreams?

Are we any less because our dreams did not come true?

It depends on our dreams.

If we dreamed that one day we would be out of a particular situation and finally be happy and free, and never made it out of that dream, that is one type of disappointment. For as the ‘now’ generation says (and I wholeheartedly agree), all we have is NOW. Make that dream happen today or tomorrow, don’t wait until forever gets here.

But if we dream that one day we will buy a Ferrari or travel to some foreign land, and never buy that car or visit that place, that is another sort of dream. That is the dream of merely having fun stepping out and running around, rather than running away. This sort of dream is safer because, even if we don’t get that car or visit that world, we had a great time pretend planning it.

Well, I have a secret.

I have a pretend planning dream.

Well, lots of them, but this one has overwhelmed me for the past six months. A dream that, if I decide to take this gigantic step, will change my life. Kinda.

I want to go to a writing workshop in Paris next year.

Now. I have no money. I am still working. I have bills and a mortgage and a hubby and grandkids to think about. I am one step away from flighty, have to write everything down or I forget it, am 15 pounds overweight, over 65, and a hundred other legit reasons to wonder why I’m even considering it.

Yet I am considering it.

The biggest hurdle has been overcome — sorta. Hubby said go for it. I don’t think he thinks I’m serious. I could take money out of my 401K plan. After all, if I leave it all to my kids all they’ll do is spend it anyway.

So why does a 66-year-old scardy cat woman think Paris is the only place I can write?

I am not sure.

I know Paris is not the stuff of movies. There is no Midnight In Paris car to whisk me away to meet Hemingway or Picasso. There is no Eat Pray Love or Under the Tuscan Sun ending that will change my life, for I’m happily married and in love with my family. There are pickpockets and tourist traps and muggings like in any big city.

Why am I even entertaining going?

Maybe it’s because there are few challenges left in my life besides illness and death. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been afraid to do something all by myself, and figure there’s no time like the present to try it. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a wonderful imagination and believe I’ll overcome my apprehensions and actually enjoy exploring a world where I don’t speak the language (except for the American-sponsored writing workshop).

Am I crazy?

Perhaps I’ve always been a bit crazy. Who else would write novels about time travel and being taken to another part of the galaxy for adventure?

It’s easy to dream these things from the comfort of my livingroom sofa.

It’s quite something else to think that one day I might be dropped off at the airport and board an airplane and travel half way across the world to learn something I already know.

Yet I know nothing.

We all know nothing.

I don’t know if I will be brave enough come open registration season to really go through with it. But I’m having a ball planning and researching and picking out clothes to wear and what souvenirs I will bring back.

We all need to dream something that is just out of our comfort zone. Something just out of reach. It’s exciting and eye-opening and makes you re-examine your own hangups and fears.

And who knows?

Je peux aller à Paris après tout!

 

 

Come On — Let’s Go Dreaming!

I am in one of my magical moods this evening. One of my “anything is possible” states of mind.

Do you get those now and then? 

Those times when who you really are comes through, and it’s amazing?

It’s like when I get in the “zone” when I write. It doesn’t happen all the time…I think I would burn out like a firework if it did. Or reading a book that I just can’t put down. It’s read read read crash.  It’s that adrenaline rush that teases as it blows in and out of my life.

The one thing about my pretzel view of the world is that I’m often in and out of all sorts of adrenaline rushes. The basics never change…writing, cheeseburgers, looking for artists for SEAG. 

But other nirvanas blow in and out like Wisconsin weather. One day I love yogurt, two weeks later, ick. I was on a kick for a while of a homemade snack mix of sesame mix and chocolate Chex mix and pecans. That lasted two big containers full. The container has been empty and put away for weeks. Now I’m into raspberry sherbet, but I haven’t bought any in over a week, so who knows.

My interest in airy fairy always stays the same, though, even though my choice of airy fairy changes with that same wind. 

Now I’m into dreaming. I want to do more. 

Everyone dreams, but most just don’t remember them. It has to do with waking at certain times and slipping back into REM sleep and a whole bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo I’m not interested in.

What I am interested in these days is remembering those crazy mind trips.

Watching yourself in a dream. Controlling your dream. Making choices in your dream. Knowing you’re dreaming and following wherever it goes.

It sounds so simple, yet any idea of “control” is as far away as Pluto. I mean, how do you control the madness of your mind at so-called rest?

I know dreams are supposed to be reflections of what’s in your head during the day. A way of working out problems and situations and romances and your deepest fears. Blah blah blah. I don’t care about figuring out anything.

I just want to be able to remember and record these dream trips I have so I can look back at them and wonder “where did that come from? Man, that was fun!”

Something I read said that creative people tend to have more lucid dreaming. Are an active part of their own dreams. Of course, the line between creativity and madness is a thin one. I suppose that’s what drove Van Gogh to paint Starry Night and cut off his ear in the same lifetime. 

You are all creative people out there. I keep encouraging you to come forward, but you are timid. I see. I understand. Do you have wild dreams? Do you enjoy them? Like them? Are frightened by them?

I took a book out of the library earlier this evening on dreaming. If my attention span lasts on this I’ll let you know what I learn. My creative urges, as they are, will most likely take me in another direction somewhere down the road, but let’s have fun while we’re here!

 

Make Sure You Want to Hop That Fence

This is one of those posts where the title could go either way:

Don’t give up on your dreams

or

Be careful what you dream for

Those of you who have followed me through the years know I’m a 65 year-old granny of three, an Internet Data Specialist (fancy title for data entry), lover of chocolate and spaghetti, and a writer.

Writer is always last on my day job resume. Until now.

Yesterday my job title was changed to reflect the writing I’ve been doing for my company blog and other media.

I am now a Digital Writer.

I’m not telling you this to get your congratulations — I’m telling you this so that once you get to your greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence place you are prepared for what’s there.

All my life I’ve been a writer. I do not have a college degree — perhaps the one regret I have in life. But no matter. I’ve been a secretary most of my life, moving to a coordinator 15 years ago which included proofreading. Right up my alley.

I’ve worked my way up the proverbial ladder, although the rungs are narrow and so far apart I need another ladder just to move up one. We had a company blog that just sat there, some nebulous person posting every three months or so.

Because I am a blabbermouth on this blog, it was a natural to start blabbering for the company. The form has changed, but I now blog for the company two times a week.

After yesterday’s meeting, I found out I’m going to be doing a lot more writing than blogs and an occasional Facebook post.

And I’m nervous.

It’s one thing to toot your horn when no one is listening; it’s something else to put your money where your mouth is. Now all of a sudden I’m going to have to perform. Diversify. Research. Take a few online courses.

Am I up to it? After all, I can retire in 9 months.

I am going to give it the best I can give. I’m going to work my a$$ off to keep up, twist around, speak up. I am going to do the thing I’ve always wanted to do and do it the best I’ve ever done. I’m going to make this position a POSITION.

The purpose of today’s sermon is to reaffirm to you not to give up your dreams. And make your dreams reasonable. I mean, you can dream you are the first artist to walk the moon, but, you know…

But if you dream to have a better job, lose weight, get out and see the world one city at a time, don’t give up. Work towards it. Finagle your way around it.

I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if I hadn’t bugged my boss to take over the blog. It went to once a month to twice a week, and I fear more often in the future.

I might have been a 65-year-old pain in the a$$, but I did listen to Kenny Rogers:

You got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run.
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealing’s done.

A Poem for the End of October

dreamlike-autumn-forests-janek-sedlar-22__880October is for Dreams

 

Poetry, like short stories, novellas, chapterbooks, and song lyrics, are music to the ear. Whether that music is a symphony, a hum, rap, an Irish ballad, or a rock band guitar solo, matters not. Something about the rhythm, the cadence, the meaning of the words transports us across time and space to a place that brings a smile — or a tear — to our face.

Born in 1788, Lord Byron was one of the leading figures of the Romantic Movement in early 19th century England. A poem he wrote 200 years ago brings to heart the crossing of the dream world and reality. It serves up nine stanzas, but the first is the one that caught my eye — and my ear. Like a symphony.

Here is to October, to Dreams, and to the music of language.

The Dream

I

Our life is twofold; Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past—they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power—
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not—what they will,
And shake us with the vision that’s gone by,
The dread of vanished shadows—Are they so?
Is not the past all shadow?—What are they?
Creations of the mind?—The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dreamed
Perchance in sleep—for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.

 

 

 

It’s Almost the End of October

 

turrets_3370385kOctober is for Dreams

 

October has really been full of dreams, hasn’t it?

I hope you have enjoyed our wandering in and out of dreams and nightmares. If it seems that although the world around us is strange, it doesn’t hold a candle to the world inside of us.

I have a wonderfully talented artist lined up for Sunday’s Art Gallery — a fun way to tie together Halloween and All Hallow’s Eve, dreams, and, who knows — nightmares, too.

But what have we learned, spending the last month in and out of the dream state?

  •  We all dream. Whether or not we remember, we do. It’s the body’s way of relieving stress, rebuilding on a cellular level. It’s just that some of us sleep so hard that dreaming seems a drifting dream itself. So quit running around saying “I don’t dream.” You do. Keep on doing it. Even if you don’t remember it.
  • Many dream about people who have passed on to the next life. And some are upset about that. To me, dreaming about my mother (who passed away 30 years ago) and my dad (who moved along to be with her 5 years ago) just keep them in my life. I remember at first, going along with the dream, then suddenly saying (to myself or to my mom in the dream) “Hey! You’re not supposed to be here! You’re dead!” Now I know this is just a way to continue my life with the two of them. It’s often in the house I grew up in, and I love hanging out there. I love, laugh, talk or argue, then move along through the rest of the dream. It doesn’t hurt. And it shouldn’t hurt you, either.
  • Nothing makes sense in dreams. Studies show dreams (and nightmares) are a way for our unconscious side to deal with our conscious side. But I’ve also come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter if they make sense or not. People I haven’t seen in ages, places I’ve never been — where does that come from? Who cares? We have to quit trying to make “sense” of everything. Like black holes, most of their evidence is indirect. Probably with a “to be continued” sign hanging metaphisically on the doorway.
  • Nightmares are also a way of life. A way of coping. Some people bring their day nightmares into their dreams; others pick them up on the way. A bit of advice from a non-psychology major. If your day job (family, job, friends) give you nightmares during the day, leave them. You only go through life once; don’t waste it on those who don’t understand or appreciate you. Get professional help. Or listen to the friend who has been there for you all this time. But get out of the toxicity.
  • To those who have a fairly balanced, often off-center, goofy, busy kind of life, let the nightmares do their thing. Most times they don’t make sense anyway. The monsters, the chasing, the cars flying off the cliff, all are ways we cleanse the soul, the mess we have to deal with every day. If you can find a way to stand back and just watch them, do it. If you wake up with your heart pounding and your mind dizzy, sit up, breathe, go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, and slip back under the covers.
  • Sigmund Freud believed that every action and thought is motivated by your unconscious at some level, and that in order to live in a civilized society we have to repress our urges and impulses. Because these urges and impulses must be released in some way, an easy outlet is through your dreams. Because the content of the unconscious may be extremely disturbing or harmful, Freud believed that the unconscious expresses itself in a symbolic language. That’s why they don’t often make sense. That may be true, but I don’t believe the “content” is always disturbing or harmful. Dreams are alternate choices, alternate paths, our minds take, each one as valid as the one taken during the day. Don’t psychoanalyze what more often is a vivid playground you can only visit during sleep. Go play.
  • If you can retain the essence of your dreams, retain it. Savour it. Write it down. Transform it into poetry or a painting or a piece of jewelry. Let it encourage the creative side of you. Explore those feelings that float in the mist just beyond your reach, the light just around the corner. You will find that there is such a thing as magic — and the magic is you.

Quotes About Dreams

stock-photo_george-redhawkOctober is for Dreams

 

With the growth of social media, people are throwing out inspirational and tell-tale quotes left and right. So in honor of October, the month of Dreams, I have gathered some wonderful ditties you can post away whenever you are in need of something deep, warm, and mystical to say.

 

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~ Oscar Wilde

I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now? ~John Lennon

It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream. ~ Edgar Alan Poe

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. ~ T.E.  Lawrence

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars. ~ Victor Hugo

I’ve dreamed a lot. I’m tired now from dreaming but not tired of dreaming. No one tires of dreaming, because to dream is to forget, and forgetting does not weigh on us, it is a dreamless sleep throughout which we remain awake. In dreams I have achieved everything. ~ Fernando Pessoa

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together. ~ Jack Kerouac

The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened. ~ James Arthur Baldwin

All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. ~ Plutarch

Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy. ~ Sigmund Freud

Deaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare. ~ H.F. Hedge

Dreams are more real than reality itself, they’re closer to the self. ~ Gao Xingjian

In sleep, fantasy takes the form of dreams. But in waking life, too, we continue to dream beneath the threshold of consciousness, especially when under the influence of repressed or other unconscious complexes. ~ Carl Jung

Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you. ~ Marsha Norman

A dream is a microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul. ~ Erich Fromm

Dreams are the most curious asides and soliloquies of the soul. When a man recollects his dream, it is like meeting the ghost of himself. Dreams often surprise us into the strangest self-knowledge…. Dreaming is the truest confessional, and often the sharpest penance. ~ Alexander Smith

The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time.” ~ Haruki Murakami

You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting. ~ J.M. Barrie

 

 I was born to catch dragons in their dens

And pick flowers

To tell tales and laugh away the morning

To drift and dream like a lazy stream

And walk barefoot across sunshine days. ~ James Kavanaugh

 

 

Angels and Witches and Dreams

s-l1000October is for Dreams

 

Ever since I started this month-long series on Dreams and Nightmares, my night life has really been cranked up. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been focusing more on my crazy dreams, wanting to remember them more, or are just fascinated by the worlds that are only accessable through those states.

I want to end the month with more light and fascination.

I really love the bloggings of Austin and his blog The Return of the Modern Philosopher. He is funny and creative and talks to gargoyles, THE devil, and other various characters about life, love, politics, and everything inbetween.

The following blog is from way back in 2013. It is based on a supposed “fever”, but, knowing Austin, it could be just another state of reality. But it does tie in wonderfully into my October is for Dreams segment. Enjoy!

 

Delirious Ramblings Of An Angelic Man In A Cauldron Fever Dream

Posted on November 10, 2013 by Austin

I remember waking up on the porch of The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers.  I was still in my pajamas with my Magic robe pulled tightly around me.

I was soaked in sweat as I slowly opened my eyes and glanced out upon the falling snow.  Why was I sleeping with my glasses on?  Why was I out on the porch?  Was I shivering from the cold or from my fever?

“Why are you out here, Austin?” came the sweet, soothing, familiar voice to my left.

I glanced over, and the mere act of moving my head sent a violent pain throbbing through my skull.  My tired eyes focused on the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen, Rachel the Archangel.  Her wings were still visible and she held her mighty, flaming sword in her right hand, a sure sign that she sensed a threat.

I told her I didn’t know why I was on the porch.  She strode towards me, her eyes constantly checking to make sure there were no surprises.  After what seemed like an eternity, she finally arrived at where I sat.  Her big, brown eyes looked down at me, she sighed, and then finally smiled.

“You don’t look so good,” Rachel advised as her wings vanished and the flame extinguished on her sword.  “Judging from the sweat pouring off of you and that deranged look in your eyes, I’d say you have a fever.  Let’s get you inside.”

She reached out and offered her hand.  The second I grabbed it, I felt a chill race through me.  My body temperature immediately began to drop as goose bumps popped up over every inch of my 6’3″ frame.

I told Rachel how beautiful she was, and that I knew she would come for me.

“I’ll always come for you, Austin,” she cooed and that was the last thing I remember. The next time I opened my eyes, I was in my bed and saw my three closest Witch friends staring down at me.

“He’s finally awake,” Ti-Diana whispered to Waltzing Matilda and Volcanica Ivy.  All three of them approached the bed with caution.  “How are you feeling?”

My throat was dry and extremely sore, but I managed to ask them where Rachel was.

“The Archangel?” Volcanica Ivy asked as she looked down on me with concern.  “She wasn’t here when we arrived.  Are you expecting her?”

Why had Rachel left?  Did she just bring me up to bed and vanish?  Then I saw it.  Rachel’s sword was leaning up against the wall in the corner of the room.  She had been here.

“Gary the Gargoyle came to fetch us,” Waltzing Matilda explained as if she thought the perplexed look on my face meant I was wondering how the three most powerful Witches in Maine had come to be in my bedroom.  “He told us that you’ve been extremely ill and wandering aimlessly around the house.”

“We’ve come to cure you with Magic,” Ti-Diana assured me as she squeezed my shoulder.  “There’s a cauldron of Feevahbraykor Elixir bubbling down in the sun room.  Once it’s ready, we’ll give you a dose and all will be well.”

“Just rest for now,” Volcanica Ivy suggested.  “You need sleep.” The next time I opened my eyes, I was on the couch in the living room.  I was in my pajamas with my Magic robe wrapped tightly around me.  My fever was gone, and The House on the Hill smelled as if an apothecary had exploded in the next room.

I got up to wander into the sun room and find the source of the smell, but the room was empty.  The only thing I discovered was a dark smudge in the middle of the floor, as if something large, round, and hot had been set there.

I trudged up the stairs, crawled into bed, and settled in under the covers.  I looked over to the corner, expecting to see something there, but there was nothing.  I couldn’t quite remember what I thought would be there, and my mind was too tired to form any further Deep Thoughts on the topic.

I’m pretty sure I fell asleep the second I closed my eyes…

October Dream Poetry

9572440208093fac1c038300b1bd0500October is for Dreams

 

Dream House

I went to the house of the Lady of Dreams
For a dream to carry away
That should ferry me over the blackest streams
I had to cross by day;

For comforting dreams from her small white hands
Rise up like butterflies,
And dreams like the lakes in old fairylands
Lie back of her shining eyes,

And gold-riddled dreams like tapestries
Cling painted along her walls
And yellow bird-dreams from shadow-trees
Come fluttering when she calls;
And all of the day-dark when she spoke
Was shattered and rainbow-hung,
And she gave me a dream like a scarlet cloak
And a dream like a wreath rose-strung . . .

But I went from the house of the Lady of Dreams
And my packet of dreams blew wide,
And only a red-rose cloud in streams
Swung torn in the west outside!

Margaret Widdemer, 1918

 

Margaret Widdemer (1884-1978) was an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (known then as the Columbia University Prize) in 1919 for her collection The Old Road to Paradise (1918).

I’m Watching Me Dream

lucid-dreamOctober is for Dreams

 

You are engaged to your old boss from 40 years ago, even though in reality you have moved to a different state and have been happily married to someone else for almost as long.

You have an important dinner date or presentation to make. All you can find to wear is some tatty t-shirt and dirty shorts. All the clothes you’ve ever owned are piled way high around the washing machine. You watch yourself throw clothes everywhere, digging, digging through the pile. Yet everything looks the same.

You are hiding from some unknown monster/entity that is clearing out your apartment complex floor by floor. You are running from room to room, finally settling on hiding under a shelf behind the clothes rack in some closet. You’ve never lived in a high-rise apartment, and you don’t believe in monsters. So you hide and wait to see what happens.

Are you dreaming? Or lucid dreaming? Is there a difference?

I’ve scoured the Internet looking for clues, for some sort of distinction between the two.  If you want detailed explanations, the Internet is your portal. If you want the I-enjoy-your-blog-so-give-me-the-short-version version, stick around. Because you and I want to have fun with this.

According to Web MD (Dream1), dreams are basically stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid, happy, sad, or downright confusing. They can occur any time during sleep, but most vividly during deep REM sleep, when the brain is most active.

Lucid dreams, on the other hand, is more like having a dream where you know you are dreaming. In other words, you know the house you are walking through is not your house or your spouse is not your spouse and you follow along anyway. You don’t have to wake up to know that whatever is happening is not real. Lucid dreaming represents a brain state between REM sleep and being awake. More like those twilight dreams at the edge of waking.

I think most of us experience a combination of the two. Most times we find ourselves in situations and places and memories we have no control over, and we go with the flow. But sometimes we make decisions to do certain things in our dreams like jump off buildings and fly or open doors that lead to huge mansions and strange factories and more. We don’t fight the dream – we actually encourage it.

You can scour the Internet (my favorite phrase today!) for ways to become more aware/involved with your dreaming. Some sights are hokey; but others share real information.  The Goddess and I have a few suggestions for this next step of evolutionary dreaming, though.

  1. Don’t pay for seminars, pills, lectures, or anything that concerns moola. Simple – and free – ways are available.
  2. Sleep in complete darkness. Don’t let the stray light of a bathroom light or hall light unconsciously raise you from your well-earned dream stroll.
  3. Keep a dream journal. I know it’s a pain the buttocks to turn the lights on and off all the time, but the act of writing forces the art of retaining. This training will help you acknowledge and track your dreamscapes.
  4. When your weird dream ends, don’t jump up. Don’t move. Don’t even open your eyes. Recall as much of it as you can. Even if it doesn’t make sense. The mere act of recalling the feeling and actions encourages more recollection.
  5. Condition yourself at night to let your dreams go where they may. The final thoughts you have before switching gears into dreamland help influence where your dreams go. So go lightly but firmly.
  6. Allow yourself to check in and say “Hey! Cool dream!” Let it flow as a passing thought, not a change in the river’s flow. The more you find yourself letting your dreams go where they may, the more you can stand back and watch them.
  7. Unless it’s a nightmare, don’t try and force yourself awake. Many squiggly dreams make it to the surface to taunt you then fade back into the abyss. The more you let the dreamworld take you by the hand the more you will remember.

Dreaming is a wonderful way to explore the worlds of “what if” and “if only.” Not to mention “Wha??” and “Woah!!”  Those are the ones you want to explore, continue, and repeat.

Happy Dreaming!

 

 

Dreams Give Us Strength

 

landscape-022October is for Dreams

 

The other side of night is day. Despair, hope. That is what the dream world provides. An escape from the horrors or pressures or stress of the day, or perhaps a continuation of the love, good times, and everlasting friendships of the day. Either way, the word “dreams” become part of our every day vocabulary.

I follow a blogger who has become a good friend through the years. Ann Koplow has been writing through the ups and downs of life, including a very recent heart surgery. Her blogs are full of unique pictures that relate to her topic at hand…all written with hope and love and a bit of humor. She shows us all that we should never stop dreaming.

It is her blog of December 28, 2015, that I bring to you this evening. If you like the ring of dreams, please check her blog The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

 

Day 1092: Dreams

Here are some of my associations with “Dreams” on this Monday of the week between Christmas and the New Year of 2016:

  • This time of year feels particularly dream-like to me.
  • I think and talk a lot about dreams, at work and elsewhere.
  • One of my favorite books is Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, about the amazing healing that happens when people share dreams in groups.
  • Even though I’ve been living the dream of blogging daily for (almost) three years, I’ve written only four previous posts with “Dreams” in the title (here, here, here, and here).
  • When I got my first cardiac pacemaker at age ten in 1963, my being alive and well over fifty years later was just a dream.
  • I’ve had several dream jobs — including creating the recruitment video for Berklee College of Music in the 1990s — but nothing more satisfying than my current work as a psychotherapist.
  • When I was 44 years old, I consciously gave up the dream of ever having a child.
  • One month later, I found out I was pregnant with my dreamy son, Aaron.
  • Two nights ago I had a dream when I was falling from a great height to certain death, but because I knew I was dreaming, I wasn’t afraid, at all.
  • If a dream comes true and I get a call-back when I try out for The Voice on February 21, I’m going to sing  Mad World, which has this line:  The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.

Because I was dreaming so much yesterday, I forgot to take many photos. Which of these images seems the most dream-like, to you?

Dreams and Nightmares — Nightmares and Dreams

 

leslieannodell_01October is for Dreams

 

Nightmares and Dreams. Two sides of the same card. Two sides of the same mirror. Two breaths from the same mouth. We cannot have one without the other. For how can you reach for the light if you’ve never been lost in the dark?

My friend  Kat McDonald  (Inner Focus)  is an exceptional writer. Her writing is gritty and vivid and imaginative. I read this story back in 2013, and I remember it like it was yesterday. It stretches longer than my usual blog lengths, but do take the time to read it all. Get lost in her mind and figure out for yourself. Is it a dream? A nightmare? Or both?

Delirium

a new fever has me in its clutches… i can feel her long, bony, icy fingers twist my spine and contort my brain… i need paracetamol… i need a glass of water… i need to sleep…

but sleep won’t come easy…

paracetamol… a glass of water… bed.

i climb into bed… i am shaking… my hands are tingling… am i hungry..? am i over-tired..? i feel exhausted… i feel sick… nausea rushes at me like a jealous mistress… my head feels twice the size it should be… my forehead is hot… my feet are cold… i am shaking… i swallow the pills and wash them down with a long drink of water.

i climb into bed… the pillow feels cool beneath my heavy skull… i close my eyes and then it starts… i must ride this out until it breaks…

micro flashing neon lights spark inside my minds eye, igniting visions… visions… murky, but i look deeper… deeper into the grain and chaos… i see a face… a man’s face… it is Stalin… he is standing outside an old house… a house on a wild beach… a house with a red door… suddenly, he vomits all over himself… then dissolves into a puddle on the ground… i look out to sea… but the sea is not a sea… it is a vast expanse of rippling silken fabric, billowing in the breeze… i look up to the sky… a pterodactyl swoops in low over the water towards me… i duck for cover and close my eyes tight, anticipating being snatched up by the giant predatory bird… nothing… the wind has picked up the pace and snatches my breath… i gasp and open my eyes… i find myself atop one of the steel eagles that grace the lofty Chrysler Building in NYC… i am terrified… the wind is strong… my hair whips my face… i am too scared to look down… but i do… and now my palms are wet, sweating… i cannot hold on, i lose my grip… but wait! i am typing…

i am sat at a desk, in the middle of a forest, and i am typing… typing incoherent words on a sheet of stiff, white paper… The typewriter is old and battered and clunky… a pale blue Olivetti electric typewriter… my curious eyes follow the flex… it is plugged into a giant snail… the sound of my fingers tapping the keys rattles my brain… the words make no sense… the words make me shiver… i open a cupboard… an old farmhouse style larder- just like the one my Aunt Mary had at Fullerton Farm… i open the door and find hundreds of tins of Baked Beans… i close the door… but the door is a mirror now… i stare at my own reflection… i smile to her, but she does not smile back… she is naked… pale, gaunt… two headless horses appear behind me… one black as night, The other white as snow… the white one speaks to me in a language i cannot comprehend… but we start to dance… the floor beneath me turns to silver sand…

the sun is beating down on me… i pull the quilt around me and nestle into the comfort and familiarity of my bed, despite the madness of these visions… visions i have no control over… i cannot make them stop… they come, in a flood… my mind is a fairground… i look at my hands… six fingers on each hand… i cut off the tips of my fingers with a large pair of shears… they are bleeding… i put on a pair of bright yellow rubber gloves and go outside into the night… there are two moons in the sky… both are full and resplendent… the night is cool… i am alone… i look to my left and the buildings start to crumble and fall… an apple falls from the sky and rolls towards me, stopping at my feet… It speaks to me… beckoning me to take bite… i pick up the lilac apple and bite into its soft, juicy flesh… it tastes salty… so i throw it away… it explodes on impact… in the distance, i hear a child’s voice… it is my lover’a son… he appears out of nowhere, wearing a flappy bird t-shirt and red jeans… he is barefoot, as i am… he takes my hand and tells me to follow him… i do…

suddenly, i find myself, alone, inside a computer… i look at my hands… i am made of pixels… i peer through the screen and see a morbidly obese man, sitting on his sofa with a boxful of donuts… he is playing a computer game… he is controlling me and my movements… he is controlling the CGI world i now find myself locked in… i like it here, but i cannot stay… i call out for my lover’a son… but he is gone… he has left me a note… it reads “gone fishing, be home Tuesday!”… i smell coffee… i look down and find myself in a bathtub full of warm, steaming coffee… it stains my skin… my lover appears… he dries my wet skin with a cloud, gently patting it dry… he lovingly combs my wet hair and strokes my face… we kiss… and float out the wind into space… we swim through the stratosphere and look back at Earth… it looks radiant and blue… i take a bite… it tastes like battery acid… the shock cuts my tongue and i spit out blood and a chunk of France… “it never used to taste like this…” says my lover, his eyes filled with tears… he spits a mouthful of India out into the blue stratospheric air… he fades into the night… “soon…” he says, blowing kisses as he dissolves into the ether… i find myself in a deep, Belfast sink… the cold tap is turned on and the sink is filling up with tiny sea horses and goldfish… they sparkle and shimmer and swim around me… but i need to urinate…

i open my eyes, climb out of bed and make my way to the bathroom across the hall… my legs are shaking… i feel weak… perhaps sleep will come soon… i hope for a dreamless sleep… but instead, i find myself in a field full of rabbits… hundreds and thousands of rabbits… rabbits of all different colours… the pink ones are my favourites… odd… i hate the colour pink… but they are the friendliest… i reach up to the sky and reel in the sun… i hold it in my hands… it burns, but only momentarily… my cold hands chill its fire and it turns from burning amber to brittle blue… the sun shatters in my hands… i am left holding fragments of turquoise glass… i throw the shards up into the air… they tinkle and twinkle against the sky, like dying light… The tranquility of their peaceful chimes turns into an ugly chaos as the fragments of harmless light turn into bullets… they rain down all around me… everything has turned to dust… children lie dead around me… women scream… another bomb goes off… the ground shakes, like the thunder of the apocalypse… there is no colour… everything is grey… the course of death… i hear the wail of an electric guitar… someone, somewhere is playing a guitar… it wails, like a wounded animal… i cover my ears and crouch down, holding myself… crying… i open my eyes and see a young deer, chewing a leafy twig, at the foot of my sweating bed…

the pillow is damp… i turn it over and, with trembling hands, i gulp down a glass of cold, clean water… i close my eyes… please let me sleep… a dreamless sleep… please… these rapid fire flashbacks of former trips inside my minds eye and visions of my subconscious’ innermost thoughts and fears, as surreal as they are, are raping my brain… i am exhausted… i want calm… i want to feel well again… i look at the time… three hours have passed… i have been away for three hours…

i take two more pills, and water… and close my eyes…

but wait! my feet are covered in sand…

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery Blog — Dreamcatchers

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DREAM CATCHERS

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An ancient Chippewa tradition
The dream net has been made

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For many generations
Where spirit dreams have played.

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Hung above the cradle board,
Or in the lodge up high,

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The dream net catches bad dreams,
While good dreams slip on by.

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Bad dreams become entangled
Among the sinew thread.

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Good dreams slip through the center hole,
While you dream upon your bed.

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This is an ancient legend,
Since dreams will never cease,

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Hang this dream net above your bed,
Dream on, and be at peace.

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  First People

Flash Fiction Dreams

41524-autumn-leaf-heartOctober is for Dreams

 

This flash fiction piece was inspired by my first novel (yet to be published), about a woman who drives through a cornfield, crashes into an old oak tree, and wakes up in small town 1880.

Was it a dream? Or did it really happen? Who is to say?

 

Pretzel Dawn

Her car streaks down the highway in the granite dawn, her heartbeat matching the thrum of the tires. Fluorescent pinpoints from distant skyscrapers become nothing more than blurred starlight as she madly races towards her destiny…a destiny she has waited to fill longer than she can remember.

A sliver of apprehension cuts into her thoughts. A foreboding, like a ghost crossing her path.  Why is it an effort to remember the number of the exit? Why does the city in the distance waver as if seen through crackled glass?

Metropolis turns into suburbia and then into country, yet she cannot slow down. Eventually the Buick veers from the concrete onto the tarmac of some long forgotten road lined with the skeletal remains of fall.  Her window is open, the last breath of night air chilling her, thrilling her.  It’s not far now.  Instinct drives her forward ― instinct and desire.  He is somewhere ahead, pacing on the dew-covered grass beneath the maple archway. Watching. Waiting. She senses the sparkle of his chocolate eyes, his scent of sweat and hay and the muskiness from his turn-of-the-century charm.

The road ahead is shadowed.  She doesn’t remember the giant oak tree on her last drive through this part of the countryside, nor the weathered barn in the distance.  She cannot remember many details of her last visit — but it doesn’t matter.  Her heart pounds faster as crimson streaks highlight the horizon.  She cannot bear to let him slip away again.  Not without a word, without a touch.  He is dark and deep, passion and fury, a flicker of days gone by. He said he would wait for her, and she promised to return.

The car’s acceleration slows, and tears of frustration well in her blue eyes. She is lost.  Too many turns. Too many distractions.  She cannot tell cliffs from moors, fields from meadows.  The dark crimson glow over her shoulder is now a soft magenta ribboned with blue.  She is running out of time. Hills to mountains to boulders along the side of the crushed gravel road, yet this has to be the way. The road twists in a pretzel design, dead-ending at a forest dark and primeval.  She drives to the maple archway at the edge of the wooded glen and stops.

He stands at the hedgerow, a masculine glow in the twinkling dawn. She fumbles and stumbles through the tall brown grass and into his arms.  She has made her way back through time. Her need reaches out to him in the pale light of morning, his response soothing and gentle. His loving words curve and twist around her soul and down into the abyss of her dreams, curving and twirling and tumbling and swirling until they slowly turn into echoes from a conch shell.  Eternity disappears in a starburst of angel wings, only to reappear as the soft drone of the morning alarm.

 Once again, she has returned. Awake. And alone.

 

October is for Dreams — Dream Poetry

October is for Dreamsred-and-orange-flower-4

 

My thoughts this cool October evening drift to the twilight mist that exists between worlds…the world of dreams. I also love to share the thoughts and creations of other dreamers.

Tonight let me share the magic of my friend and fellow blogger Brenda Davis Harsham. Her blog, Friendly Fairy Tales, is full of poetry and flowers and everything dreamy. Here are her thoughts on dreams.

 

If I Remembered My Dreams

If I remembered my
dreams,
I’d have great stories
with ambushes and
car chases through
city streets. I’d easily
evade cross-dressing
grandma clowns
and black-feathered
ballerinas.
I’d be chased
by giant grasshoppers.
I’d get away
in the nick of time.
I’d soar over over treetops
in a hot air balloon.
I’d solve impossible
theorems.
I’d invent a spaceship
or stow away in one.
I’d speak Spanish,
know the names of
all the stars,
and birds would take
seeds right from my hands.
Instead, I sleep as deep
as the Mariana Trench,
and if I swim with lantern fish,
dine on sea cucumber
or comb my hair with jellyfish,
I will never remember
or wake to tell the tale.

Take some time and wander through Brenda’s website https://friendlyfairytales.com. You’ll be glad you did.

October is for Dreams

200I admit it. I love Fall.

Not just because I am at the end of my hot flash phase. But the smells, the sights, the feel of warm afternoons and cool evenings, gorgeous sunsets, cuddling under blankets, and since I love the night time, earlier sunset times so I have more snuggle writing time.

Lately my world feels like its drifting in and out of the dream world. My dreams, others dreams, the magic and absurdity of our subconscious as it dances at the edge of twilight, gives me the sensation when I wake that I just had the most incredible adventure.

If I could only remember it.

So throughout the month of October, I’m going to hang around the dream world, bringing you poetry from other dreamers, pictures, stories, tales and myths. That way you can pull your blanket up a little closer to your face and hide when you must, play along if you want.

Four years ago today I wrote a blog about dreams. How perfect to start the month off getting lost in the shadows. Hope you enjoy.

To Dream or Not To Dream…That Is The Question

One of the yin-yangs of hormone fluctuation is sleep, or lack of it. Between hot flashes and finding a comfortable position, my REM’s make rare visits, leaving my consciousness floating in the bubbles of semi-sleep through the world of dreams. Now, many people say they don’t dream; others leave a notepad on their nightstand so they can record the ching chang jumble that comes out in the middle of the night. I believe we all dream, but length, depth and retaining capacity is what makes everyone’s claim different.

Scientists and talk show hosts tell us our lives are influenced by anything and everything, and our dreams are one way of dealing with all of it. Dreams, and  their alter ego, nightmares, can result from everything from eating pizza before bed to an argument earlier in the day. Dreams can be triggered by stress, anticipation, having too much time on your hands or, more likely, not enough.  Scary movies, sappy movies, long distance phone calls — everything can leave a chip in your mind that can explode into a myriad of dreamy scenarios.

The great thing about this flight through those shadowed clouds, though, is the variety of experiences it presents. I doubt my conscious mind could make up half the things my subconscious does. And if it could, would it be as fun?  In my dreams I interact with bosses from 20 years ago and talk to family members who are no longer with me. I wander the halls of my grade school, look out on Lake Michigan from a high-rise balcony, and walk through castles of long ago.  I have driven off cliffs and been chased by  unseen dragony/monster things. I have stood in a shadowy alley talking to Edward Norton and had coffee with Kiefer Sutherland. I have run from building to building to building, either looking for something or trying to get somewhere, and have jumped and bounced and flown my way across the landscape.

Where in Jove’s name do we get these ideas from? 

Being a writer, I often bring some of the unearthliness of my subconscious and put it into forms that entertain me and others. Without analyzing every laugh and tear, I try to bring these esoteric beings into my writing. The more nonsensical, the better. Other people transform their dreams into paintings, gardens, photography, and card making. So why not writing?

Of course, the down side of dreams is that they don’t always give you a direct answer to your cosmic questions.  It is fairly obvious that when I dream of my son as a toddler rather than a college kid, I am searching for the olden days connection we had when I was omnipotent and he was subservient.  When I am wandering through corridors and cross loading docks and down long hallways filled with shops and warehouses and theaters I am lost in more ways than I care to admit. But instead of interpreting these dreams as portents of bad things to come, I would rather see them as insights to the possibilities that lie ahead. We have the ability to choose which meanings we take to heart and which  we toss out. We can choose to see rain in the clouds or we can just see clouds. 

The best course is always to choose a little of both. Don’t ignore the clouds that are thunderheads, and don’t step out of a plane to bounce on their springy tops.  But let those clouds be dragons or snakes or ships. Notice the thread of reality that runs through the middle, then make what you will of the rest. Don’t worry what others think your dreams mean, or if you can’t remember their endings. The old adage that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination, makes as much sense to your unconscious state of mind as your conscious one. Take that journey and run with it.

As for me, I’m looking forward to tonight. I told Kiefer I’d meet him at the coffee shop sometime around eleven.  Maybe I’ll even ride my dragon there.

 

 

 

A Friend’s Trip Through Alternate Reality

 

in-our-dreams-dreams-1600x1200Reflections of altered states, altered lives, is what writing — and life — is all about. It’s how I feel when I read, how I feel when I write. And there are times when I wish I could stay in those altered states a bit longer…

Enjoy this post from fellow blogger Tom Rains..

 

We long for altered states in life. Is this a bad thing? Is sobriety, the unaltered state, more virtuous? Is it more rational? Is it more real? Or should we aim to exist in altered states as much as possible? It seems like everything we love in life is similar to a drug-induced experience. Sometimes, […]

via Magic in Mundanity — A Blog for Humans

Dream A Little Dream

GODZILLA - 2014 FILM STILL - Photo Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

In my late night cannot-sleep mental meanderings, I often think how cool it would be if the afterlife were nothing more than eternal dreaming. Long after the neurons stop flashing, I’d still love to exist on a dreamplane someplace. Meeting people, doing weird things, drifting here and there, trying to make sense of nonsense.

Although the way I dream, I’d still have to have a “cosmic” wake up now and then.

They say we all dream. It’s just that some of us linger in the twilight longer than others. Hence, not enough deep sleep equals insomnia, dark circles under the eyes, and weird dreams.

Do you remember your dreams?

I would love to remember more of mine, although the more tendrils I pull out of the dream base, the more nonsense I find.

I do a lot of walking from building to building, making my way through warehouses, offices with eternal hallways, crossing city streets, and back through theaters and more underground buildings. I do a lot of “boss” dreaming, too, past and present, in offices I’ve never seen in my life. Strange people show up in my dreams, often TV or movie types, people I’ve often never given second thought to. I also still dream of my mom, although she’s been on the other side for 30 years.

Of course, weirdness is relative. I’ve seen godzillas in the distance but never a unicorn. I’ve flown and jumped off buildings and been able to take giant bounces down the street but have never gone to another planet. I write a lot of time travel stories, but I have yet to dream about going back in time.

In other words, I don’t encounter my daytime daydreams in my nighttime ones.

Maybe on some level that’s a good thing. Not being able to distinguish dreams from daydreams might be the first step to insanity. And I’m already a deal off-kilter.

But then, that would lead to quite an interesting writing career. Wasn’t Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft a bit on the “eccentric” side? (see http://brainz.org/10-writers-who-were-mentally-disturbed/ for a little eye opener).

I wonder what Stephen King or Dean Koontz dream about?

Maybe I don’t want to see where those tendrils go…

Ask

B3hKx3FCIAAGEIG Sometimes — no, wait — most of the time —  I feel like the machine that keeps track of your heart rate. Up, down. Spiky Up. Spikey Down. Rhythmic, predictable. Up. Down. Spikey Up. Spikey Down.

One minute I think — no, wait — I know — I know what I’m doing. Charge full speed ahead. Do it my way. Oh, do the work, do the research, but since most around me don’t listen to me anyway, just do it.

The next minute — no, wait — the next day — I have no confidence at all. What the heck was I thinking? It was a waste of time/energy/thought process.

This year is my Golden Year. Sssssssssixttty Twooooooo….(you know how hard that is to say). Golden because I finally have found a second wind, a second dream, a second chance. I’ve found a calling, and I don’t want to let go.

But also, being sixty two, I have had my fill of other’s ideas, criticisms, and opinions. I’m tired of listening to opinions that go nowhere, eyes that glaze, and minds that are always closed.

Herein lies the spike up and down.

I find I still do need eyes that glaze and closed minds to open my own. And I still need to reach out to others for help.

After all these years I still find that I still am afraid of putting out my ideas to others. I’m afraid of rejection, closed minds, eyes that glaze — all that negative stuff. And I find that all of that gets in the way of getting what I really want.

I know I’ve said this to you before, but don’t be afraid to share your ideas and directions with those who can really keep you on task. Those who enjoy your work and can give you the boost you need to take it to the next level.

Those who can see what you cannot.

Never take suggestions from those whose opinions you respect as criticism. Don’t take them as daggers to the heart, or balloons bursting in front of you. I know that’s the first place we all go. But it’s a waste of time and heart.

Tonight I broke bread — or rather ice cream — with a friend whose experience and friendship I trust. So I threw out my idea(s) for my Golden Stuff, and got some excellent feedback. Feedback I wasn’t expecting. Feedback that I hadn’t even thought of. Feedback I wouldn’t have gotten had I not “put it out there.” I know now that I have more work to do — and that’s a good thing.

Working on your dreams is a lot of work — whether you’re 25 or 55 or ___ (fill in the blank). Don’t settle for yesterday. Or maybe take yesterday and use it for today, which will be for tomorrow. And ask others. Take their thoughts and see if they fit within your own. If they don’t fit, that’s okay. But you’ll never know if they fit until you try.

Let’s work on this puzzle together.

 

Sunday Evening Art Gallery — Intermission

Tonight’s Gallery is a break between worlds. A pause between dreams.

 

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I am so delighted with the direction of the Sunday Evening Art Gallery that I am taking time to make it whole and circular and ever spiraling.  I hope that every Sunday Evening I bring more magic into your life; more sights to share with family and friends; more ideas to bring creativity to your own life.

 

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I hope to expand my site http://www.sundayeveningartgallery.wordpress.com into a continuation of the uniqueness I find around me. That includes changing the domain name and making it a presence like no other.

 

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So for our intermission, let me share a few of my (amateur) photographs of the world around me.

 

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Let us wander the roads and lake shores together, setting our imaginations of fire, and find out what lies just around the corner…

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TunnelVision

xListening to some mellow middle-of-the-road music yesterday, I began feeling a little melancholy.  A little sad. But not for the reasons you — or I — would first think. A few fellow employees have retired these past few days, and I find that I’m saying goodbye, not to those who are moving into the glorious sunset of the future, but to my own last days before into that same glorious sunset.

The retiring of two more “oldies” was an inevitable step towards the future. The changing of the guard, so to speak. Stepping out the door were two more of the microfiche and typewriter world, making room for the tablet and Bluetooth generation.  And while that is the natural order of things, I found my dreams of being someone, something, more, walking out the door with them. And I didn’t like that feeling.

The working world is built for the fast, the curious, the nimble. It moves too fast for those who grew up on record players and black and white TVs. The harder I try and keep up, the further behind I fall. Which is also the nature of things.  But when I looked at the picture poster boards of those who have left, I saw young workers, bright workers, working and laughing and making the working world a better place. Forty years worth of working and laughing and making the working world a better place. And suddenly those 40 years were gone in a heartbeat; a glance backwards to that ever-growing tunnel of used-to-be.

Through their 40 years I see my own timeline. I see flashes of my kids playing soccer, or sitting on Santa’s lap, or singing in the grade school choir. I see my first job as a linofilm typist and my most exciting job working in downtown Chicago and my failed job as a bed and breakfast owner. And as the retirees walk away from the only life they’ve known for 30 or 40 years, I wonder where my own past 30 or 40 years have gone.

In the melancholy of the last few days of their structured work place, I find a lifetime’s worth of struggle and passion disappearing in a puff of smoke, replaced for a moment by a cake with too-sweet frosting and a card signed by well wishers. How can one’s life achievements be reduced to a single goodbye? To a “thanks for the memories” speech?

I want to stand in the middle of the street and scream, “I am so much more!”

Yet looking backwards it seems I never got a chance to prove it. The fog obscures my vision, 20 or 30 or 40 years looking the same as 2 or 4 or 6 months ago. The mistakes I’ve made, the choices I’ve made, may have brought me to this place, but so would other mistakes, other choices. Life is really a game of craps, throwing the dice a symbol of pretending to have a say in anything. We are our DNA; we are our chemical imbalances and out superstar achievements. So we have to work with what we’ve got.

The tears that stung and blurred my eyes were not so much for the old guard passing as they were for my own life passing. Wondering if all there is to life is 40 years and a super sweet cake. Guess I’ll just have to wait until my own super sweet cake comes along to see how I weather the foggy storm of retirement.

Suddenly the music changed. Kick Start My Heart. I cranked it up.  And all I wanted to do was smush that retirement cake into someone’s face.

Damn, I love being me.

 

 

To Dream or Not to Dream…That Is the Question

       33 To Dream or Not to Dream     One of the yin-yangs of hormone fluctuation is sleep, or lack of it.  Between hot flashes and finding a comfortable position, my REM’s make rare visits,  leaving my consciousness floating in the bubbles of semi-sleep through the world of dreams.  Now, many people say they don’t dream; others leave a notepad on their nightstand so they can record the ching chang jumble that comes out in the middle of the night.  I believe we all dream, but length, depth and retaining capacity is what makes everyone’s claim different.

         Scientists and talk show hosts tell us our lives are influenced by anything and everything, and our dreams are one way of dealing with all of it. Dreams, and  their alter ego, nightmares, can result from everything from eating pizza before bed to an argument earlier in the day. Dreams can be triggered by stress, anticipation, having too much time on your hands or, more likely, not enough.  Scary movies, sappy movies, long distance phone calls — everything can leave a chip in your mind that can explode into a myriad of dreamy scenarios.

            The great thing about this flight through those shadowed clouds, though, is the variety of experiences it presents.  I doubt my conscious mind could make up half the things my subconscious does. And if it could, would it be as fun?  In my dreams I interact with bosses from 20 years ago and talk to family members who are no longer with me.  I wander the halls of my grade school, look out on Lake Michigan from a high-rise balcony, and walk through castles of long ago.  I have driven off cliffs and been chased by  unseen dragony/monster things. I have stood in a shadowy alley talking to Edward Norton and had coffee with Kiefer Sutherland.  I have run from building to building to building, either looking for something or trying to get somewhere, and have jumped and bounced and flown my way across the landscape.

            Where in Jove’s name do we get these ideas from? 

           Being a writer, I often bring some of the unearthliness of my subconscious and put it into forms that entertain me and others. Without analyzing every laugh and tear, I try to bring these esoteric beings into my writing. The more nonsensical, the better. Other people transform their dreams into paintings, gardens, photography, and card making. 

            Of course, the down side of dreams is that they don’t always give you a direct answer to your cosmic questions.  It is fairly obvious that when I dream of my son as a toddler rather than a college kid, I am searching for the olden days connection we had when I was omnipotent and he was subservient.  When I am wandering through corridors and cross loading docks and down long hallways filled with shops and warehouses and theaters I am lost in more ways than I care to admit. But instead of interpreting these dreams as portents of bad things to come, I would rather see them as insights to the possibilities that lie ahead. We have the ability to choose which meanings we take to heart and which  we toss out.  We can choose to see rain in the clouds or we can just see clouds.  We can choose to see dragons shapes or bouncy cotton balls in those clouds or we can just see clouds. 

            The best course is always to take a little of both. Don’t ignore the clouds that are really thunderheads, and don’t get the idea of stepping out of a plane to bounce on their springy tops.  But also let those clouds be dragons or snakes or baby diapers. Nod at the thread of reality that runs through the middle, then make what you will of the rest.   Don’t worry what others think your dreams mean, or if you can’t remember their endings.  The old adage that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination, is just as true in your onscious state of mind as in your conscious one.  Don’t read more into your dreams than what is there.  And create whatever you want from them.

            As for me, I’m looking forward to tonight.  I told Kiefer I’d meet him at the coffee shop sometime around eleven.  Maybe I’ll even ride my dragon there.