Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Dream

I (Donis) would like to talk about dreams today, Dear Reader. Have you ever had The Dream? You know the one. You wake up in the morning and realize that something extraordinary has happened.

A couple of days ago I conducted a journaling and memoir workshop. I pulled out some of my own old journals beforehand and went through them in hopes of finding a couple of creative examples of entries I could share with the class. Here is what I discovered: It’s horrifying to go back in time and see what was on my mind twenty or thirty years ago. Mainly because I really haven’t changed much. I was hoping I’d have learned a thing or two.

The journal that interested me most was one that I kept about a dozen years ago. At the time I was going through a period of recording my dreams.

   Mar. 5, 2004 — I dreamed that Lois and Beckie and I were sitting around smoking weed…

I have always been a big dreamer. When I was very young, up through my twenties, my dreams were incredibly vivid and sometimes prescient. As the years passed, my dreams became more mundane. Now that I am no longer young, I mostly dream about something I read or ate or just saw on television.

   October 12, 2004 - last night I dreamed I was driving John Kerry to a political rally but I got hopelessly lost. He was very patient. I kept acting like I knew what I was doing.

Like everyone else, I have the occasional weird, archetypal dream of the sort that you can find in any dream interpretation book.

   June 11, 2004 - I dreamed I went to a deli for a sandwich. I realize I’m naked, so I wrap myself in my newspaper, which turns into a gauzy blue scarf and looks very pretty. Finally I order a roast beef sandwich but realize that I can’t sit and read my paper without getting naked again…

I actually believe that many of the dreams of my youth were out-of-body experiences—floating around the house, or over the house, or visiting people in my sleep. Oh, yes, I do believe that dreams can be a portal to something. The other side, the past, the future, the answer to the question that had no answer. Early on in our relationship, my husband and I had a long discussion about The Dream that sometimes happens when someone you love dies. This is a dream that is different from all others, and I don’t care how many logical people try to explain it away for you, you know you’ve been a party to something extraordinary.

Don said three of his five siblings reported that before they knew their mother had passed, she had come to them in a dream so real that they all swore they were awake. In fact, she woke his brother by squeezing his toe. Maybe they were awake. Who am I do say otherwise?

My own mother told me that a few months after my father's unexpected death, he visited her in a vivid dream and assured her that he was all right.

Many, many years later, the January that my mother died, I told Don that I had never had The Dream, even though for decades I had really wanted some contact with my father, and now I longed to know that my mother was okay. Wanting does not make it so. But that didn’t keep me from wishing.

   Sept. 20, 2005 - I dreamed that my father was leading me through a forest. We found the nest of a tiny hummingbird, with a tiny blue egg in it. I said I wished I had a little egg like that, and my father produced one and told me to hold it in my mouth. I put it between my lips and a little bird flew up and took from my lips with its bill, and I realized the egg would eventually hatch into a blue butterfly. I knew I was being given a gift of magic words.


Aline Templeton said...

Fascinating post, Donis. And yes, I had The Dream the night my father died.

Sybil Johnson said...

I had The Dream when a dear friend died very unexpectedly. And, strangely enough, when our oldest cat died (who was very dear to me). I know that sounds strange, but I felt at the time that she was telling me she was okay.

Donis Casey said...

Thanks for letting me know about your wonderful dreams, Aline and Sybil.