I wish I dreamt like Dali or even Picasso. At least then I could easily tell that the dream wasn’t real.
I mean really, how often do you see clocks melting & running down the wall?
No, I’m not that lucky. I have full color vividly real dreams. Oh I know if I see Godzilla I’m dreaming, but usually my dreams are mundane and completely real. There’s not a detail that’s inconsistent within the context of the dream or nightmare.
Oh, the overarching theme of the dream / nightmare might be somewhat unbelievable but there’s a consistency within, and lets face it that’s where we tend to be during the dream. The same could be said of reality too.
Remember 9/11? I seriously thought I was dreaming. I kept waiting to wake up, safe in my bed feeling sheepish for paranoid “Irwin Allen” fantasies. Except that I was awake and burning buildings were a part of our collective memory forever.
This past week I’ve had disturbing dreams every single night. (Or Morning… since some research shows we dream only in the hour or so before we wake up. Sometimes it’s just minutes but as we all know the dream can seem like hours.)
This past week, I’ve dreamt of the collapse of the US several times.
In one of these dreams I’m hiking through rugged terrain with a backpack. (that I actually own, I guess thats why it feels real) I’ve got a standard recurve bow, an ample supply of arrows and my pack just has the essentials. A few clothing items, a jacket that handles 4 seasons and packs small. My tent, (another item I actually own).There’s a GPS and compass, maps, and tools for cleaning and cooking food. Nothing fancy with the exception of the GPS and a radio there’s nothing electronic. I’ve got a solar panel to recharge the radio & GPS batteries. It’s strapped on the outside of my pack.
My hair is long, as is my beard. I’ve been out for a long time.
Then suddenly, I see a uniform (Nothing like military or police we’re familiar with. It’s more like an Nazi SS uniform). I’m commanded to stop. With no other warning or explanation the uniforms are firing on me.
I take a few out with arrows and lucky shots, but know it’s a losing proposition. I yell at them “Why are you shooting?”
They yell back “Because you’re hunting on public land you belong in prison for defying the mandate to go to the relocation camps. You aren’t allowed to feed yourself you must be dependent on the government.” Then they start shooting again.
I’m hit several times, I fall to my knees, I’m bleeding out, I see the blue sky, wispy clouds, and then an angry man in uniform kicks me in the head. I wonder why they can’t let me die in peace, there’s a hawk in the sky, the uniforms start shooting at it, makes me angry… Then I wake up.
Another dream is me answering my front door. There are strangers there, they look dirty, tired, and hungry. I swing a shotgun into the gap between the door jamb and the door. I point it right at this guys face and tell him to leave. He begs for food and water but I’m firm with him.
I know they’re from LA and they’ve walked over the mountain to get here. They’re heading toward Las Vegas instead of the farmland in Central California. I know they’re going to die in the desert. They’ve got nothing, no maps, no preparation at all. They’re simply the latest of the 100s who have passed this way begging for help.
It’s help that I can’t provide. Even if I tried to steer them in the right direction, toward the farms they’d take it as softness, they’d linger, then a crowd would form thinking I had food or water to share and I’d have to start shooting.
I close the door, sliding down it to the floor. I’m crying for them, and angry that I’ve become a heartless bastard.
I wake up crying.
The last dream is one in which I’m trying to check into a hotel.
I’m actually carrying paperwork for three other people to check myself and them into this hotel. It’s not a nice hotel and I’m standing in a long line. I’m being patient and waiting my turn.
Then I notice that all the people standing in line are white, but the people being helped aren’t. I wonder where all these folks from other countries are getting into the line?
Then I realize they’re just walking past the line and being allowed to do it. The receptionists and the guy keeping us all in a nice neat line are ignoring the fact that all these other people are cutting in front of those of us who’ve been waiting.
I ask the man keeping us in line about this. He pulls a gun on me and shoves it into my mouth. He snarls “Shut the fuck up! We don’t want any trouble so they get to do what they want to.” Pretty soon all the rooms are full and we’re still waiting in line.
I’m very angry.
I wake up angry and it takes me a few minutes lying in bed to calm down. It takes even longer to convince myself that I’m angry because of a stupid dream, nothing more.
I watch the sun rise over the hills to the East.
It’s a cool morning, and the sky is pretty. I’m relaxing letting go of the tension from the anger.
Time to get coffee, and wonder if I’m losing it.
Before you think, “Dude, you’ve been watching too much Terminator, or Mad Max, or conspiracy films.”
I haven’t. One X-files over lunch every couple of days is about it. I don’t watch the news because it never ceases to annoy me with it’s one sidedness.
I read the paper briefly in the morning but try to avoid any “back page” politics either national or local. I’ll read the front page political articles & that’s about it. Mostly I’m reading the technology & science sections.
These dreams / nightmares aren’t fun. I think they speak to my personal loss of faith in our government. No I’m not pining for the “Good ‘ol days”. I’m also trying very hard not to ascribe much meaning to any of this. Normally, I might have one or two dreams like this in a month or three. But this last week it’s been every damn night.
I suppose this may be the final inevitable death of my idealism.
I’ve held on to the belief that things over time get better in general. Sure you have dips and peaks, but I’ve always believed that the general trend was up. Like wall street and land values. My faith that things get better has sustained me in some of the darkest times of my life.
Over the past 6 years things have gotten decidedly worse for me personally and I believe for the country in general. Perhaps I’m projecting because I don’t want to feel alone. Perhaps I’m just not able to delude myself anymore.
It’s frightening to think that the one constant, my life preserver if you will, may be fading away.
It’s not something I dwell on because It’s depressing as hell. But obviously my mind is trying to sort things out during dream time.
I’m drawn to Native American beliefs when I have these kind of dreams. I find myself watching for “spirit animals” especially in these weird ones.
Over the past year I’ve seen the Wolf, Lizard and now the Hawk.
Lizard speaks to agility or the need for/ability to change. Wolf is the finder new paths and teacher. Hawk is a messenger. This is according to my very limited understanding of such things.
The thing is I know I must change. I must adapt to the new realities of my career (or lack thereof). I’ve got to put aside the anger, and the hurt at feeling thrown away. I’ve got to find a way forward into the rest of my life.
Right now I’m in a holding pattern. I suppose that honestly I’ve been in a holding pattern for a very long time. It’s been so long, that I’ve forgotten what I’m waiting for.
Maybe that’s what these dark dreams are telling me. Move in a direction or you’ll not be happy.
It’s something I’ve known for a while. I’ve even written about it in this blog. It’s scary to change, it takes strength, courage, and sometimes just plain dumb luck. I’m not sure I have any of those characteristics anymore. Maybe the dreams are telling me I do and to use them. I don’t know…
So now that I’ve thought about it…
CAN I GET SOME SLEEP?