17 August 2015

I Had a Dream (Actually I Have Lots of Them) -or- Bags of Wet Rolls of Masking Tape

A former co-worker of mine left teaching a few years back and is making a living as a full time musician.* He’s a good one and his success is well deserved. Anyway last night I had a dream in which I volunteered to become his manager. He accepted and gave me some advice. The one piece of advice I remember from the dream was to always bring something when negotiating club dates. What did he suggest I bring? A plastic bag full of wet rolls of masking tape. And indeed I did show up to negotiate a gig with a bag full of masking tape rolls (but I'd neglected to water them).

This is an example of the wild and wacky events that have highlighted my sleep for as long as I can remember. Mostly I've kept my slumber time adventures to myself. They are often too bizarre to try to explain. I’ve met a lot of people who claim to never remember their dreams. I feel sorry for them.

Mind you I don’t spend hours and hours or even minutes and minutes interpreting my dreams. Some are pretty obvious and some I’ll ponder a bit and some seem to be for amusement purposes only. I once read that dreams are a way for your subconscious to work things out. To my mind this means I don’t need to sweat the meanings.

When I was teaching middle school I had a lot of firs- day-of-school dreams and last-day-of-school dreams. I had many of both variety around the first day of school and the last day and some in the great middle of the school year. First-day-of-school dreams that occurred toward the end of the year were never pleasant. Some bordered on nightmares. Of course I’m still teaching so I have a lot of dreams about showing up to teach totally unprepared or of having a difficult time getting to my class on time. I’ve also had dreams in which my class was impossibly large with dozens upon dozens of students.

Another frequent dream concerns peeing in public. I don’t know how many times I’ve dreamt about peeing on a carpet and mid stream realizing this is wholly inappropriate. I’m guessing that a lot of those dreams precede actual middle of the night trips to the loo. Then again maybe not. I'm too sleepy at the time to take note.

I’ve also had a lot of dreams about fighting in wars. Now that I think about I’ve had one helluva lot of those dream. Often I’m specifically in World War II (a war I’ve studied a great deal) and I also am frequently in the Vietnam War, a conflict that raged during my teen years and one that -- had it lasted just a year longer -- might have required me becoming a draft dodger. In some of these dreams I get shot but don’t die. In most I shoot someone and in most I’m fearful but not a coward.

There was a very disturbing dream I used to have. Actually I just remember the tail end of it. I would find myself standing in a very crowded rail car just as it would pull to a stop. It was night. The doors would open and I would realize that this was Auschwitz. Nazi guards directed me out of the train. Needless to say these dreams were most unpleasant. Someone might suggest from this dream that in a past life I was a Jew who was taken that most notorious of concentration camps. I wouldn’t say it though because I don’t believe in past lives. As to what it meant, again I can’t say.

The worst dreams — besides going to a death camp — are the ones in which a loved one dies. They are incredibly sad and I don’t like to think about them let alone recount them here. I suppose I could say that on the flip side I have a lot of dreams where the dead are living again. I think we all do, whether we remember them or not. My dad, my brother, other relatives and good friends are alive again in these dreams. Sometimes it is the most natural thing in the world that they are walking among us again and at other times I am baffled but accepting of the fact they are back. I don’t mind these dreams in the slightest as they are a way of interacting again with those who I cannot interact with anymore in a conscious state.

Another frequent participant in my dreams is old friends. These are often people who I’ve not been in contact for awhile. Sometimes I’ll awake from these dreams wondering whatever happened to the person or why I lost touch. Sometimes ex girl friends show up too.

Sex is another feature of my dream life. I don't suppose this would surprise anyone. But I'll refrain from commenting further as I aim to make this a PG rated blog post (hey, there's a first time for everything.)

Of course in many of dreams different people will play the same character and settings will change and events will alter like switching channels on TV. It seems that this should be a clue to the dreamer that he or she in in a dream. Not me. I accept the reality of my dreams. You don't watch a Superman man movie and say: no one can do that!

Speaking of superman one staple of my dreams is the ability to fly or flying an airplane. I do a lot of flying in dreams and these are always fun, liberating dream experiences in which I feel totally free and powerful. I like these. In many of the dreams in which I fly under my own power its just a matter of running enough to build up a head of steam and flapping my arms until I'm airborne. Maybe I'll try this sometime. I'll let you know if it works.

I’ve read that we only remember a fraction of our dreams, those that occur just before waking up. I wish I had access to more of them. (Maybe they’re on tape somewhere. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to watch your dreams after you wake up? I can imagine that technology becoming available in a few hundred years.) So much from early sleep lost. I also wake up remembering shapes of dreams but no details. Its like I have a feeling for the dream but nothing I can visualize or the picture is too hazy.

I’ve never kept a dream journal nor considered it. Maybe I should. I do think that a lot of my writing and general imaginings are inspired by dreams that lurk in my subconscious or in some cases right up there in my conscious state.

Oh yes, I have a half baked theory that I hardly believe myself: perhaps when we experience deja vu it is because the event and setting we are in is something we once dreamed. Just a thought I’ve had. In any case dreams are thought to symbolize one thing or another and you can even look that up on line.

But a bag full of wet rolls of masking tape, I just don't get that.

*Owen Plant, check him out. Star smile strong.




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