Tuesday’s Theme Music

Just from the line, “Don’t look back in anger, I heard you say, at least no today,” I began streaming Oasis and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (1996). I like the song but some of the rhymes don’t make sense. It’s like several different stories and perspectives are being shared, and none are finished.

But to not look back in anger is my takeaway for today.

Again

Remembering the past doesn’t do much good.

That’s what they tell me. The past is dead. Water under the bridge.

But we still spend a lot of time there, arguing about what happened in that particular moment (ah yes, I remember it well), trying to pick out the jigsaw pieces of memory that shows how we got here. (You’d think that weird shape would be easy to find, but the pieces are harder to place than you would have believed.)

Remembering the past can be entertaining. Like, remember how your football team used to win? Remember how skinny and good-looking you used to be? Thank god for photos, or no one would ever believe it, right?

Then sometimes, you pause, glancing up to see yourself coming in through a door in the future, then hold your breath as you look back to see who you were and squint at your self-image to know who you now are.

Then the present — which was the future and has now become the past — crowds in with needs about what you were going or where you were doing — oh, look how mixed up I am! — and then rights your direction until memory calls you away again.

A Chaotic Collage Dream

It was messed up from go, a frenzied and frantic circus. It took me a while to work into any semblance of coherent structured memory, and I could be wrong. Then, again, this is what I took from it, so…

The dream included Mom, wife, peeing, being in the military (yeah, again), cleaning, and, well, chaos.

Chaos was the overall theme. In the beginning, I needed to use the restroom. After I did, Mom came in to clean after me while I changed into my Air Force uniform and hurried off to work as my wife kissed me good-bye.

I was in command and control once again. Once again, I faced a disorganized situation. Aircraft were inbound. Some carried VIPs, but an inspection team was also due, and we were not ready. I scrambled to get us ready, working up checklists and procedures, trying to train other people, and setting up flight-following boards. This was being done against radios blaring with communications with commanders and aircraft, and ringing telephones.

Then I had to use the restroom again. Rushing over there, I found the facilities inadequate, but my bowels didn’t care. Lowering myself to the tiny seat on the tiny bowl, I did my business. When I finished, I discovered I’d pissed on the floor.

As I discovered that, old women who were present chided me, “Oh, your mother isn’t going to be happy about that.” Well, no, d’uh? Who would be? I rushed to clean it up using white towels, but there seemed too much of it for the towel, and it was taking up too much time.

Mom arrived, as the women predicted (and noted). While chastising me for the mess, Mom shooed me away (“Go to work, I’ll clean it up.”) She dropped to her knees to clean the floor as I donned my uniform again and raced away.

My wife intercepted me to tell me that there was a problem. As she did that, my co-workers called out to inform me that the aircraft were arriving. Then the commander called me and said, “There’s a change of plans.” Oy, vey,

The dream ended.

Yeah, I see how it all speaks to my current frenzy of thought and direction.

Just in Passing

That time is gone

the energy spent

the road left behind

resentments left unsaid

 

All that remains

is peering ahead

crossing new bridges

dodging monsters in your head

 

Think about yesterday

dream about tomorrow

Go on through life

deal with the frustration and sorrow

 

Then get up and out

get gone and back

live one more day

and do it again

 

 

A Little Surprise

September arrives with a little surprise,

it seems like it came along so fast.

No time to think of August, June, and July,

those months are part of the past.

Autumn is coming, summer will be gone,

and so will so many things.

No time to waste, hello, good-bye,

October is on the way.

The Direction Dream

It was funny, to me. 

Dreamed I got ear wax out of my ear (where else, right?), about a quarter-inch diameter ball of it. Said to self, “Self, my, that’s a lot of ear wax.” Then I ran around looking for somewhere to dispose of it. I was in a hurry to catch a train (or a bus – it seemed like a moving target).

The ball of ear wax kept growing. I continued to notice that, show it to others, and say, “That’s a lot of ear wax.” I realized that I was often saying that to myself in the dream, and laughed.

Meanwhile…the dream filled with people, family, friends, previous co-workers, and strangers. Some night of something had just ended. We were looking around and rejoicing that we’d come out well. Everything was in good shape. I finally disposed of the ear wax, which was basketball sized. In a weird epiphany in the dream, I saw that the ear wax was my past.

Someone noticed some vomit on the floor. The scene became a little CSI oriented. Questions were asked about who and when. The consensus was a cat had puked but the identity remained a mystery. The bigger mystery was, who is going to clean it up.

Somehow that was handled. Leaping forward, I was well-dressed and ready to travel. Had shiny black shoes on, and briefcase in my hand. But the area was chaos. No one knew where to go. Separating and isolating myself from others, I scanned the situation and decided on a direction.

I headed that way. Others wanted to know where I was going. “Out of here,” was my reply. “I know the way out. Come with me, if you need to leave.”

Others said, “Can I come with you?”

Amused, I shrugged. “Sure, but I’m moving fast.”

Dressed in a suit and overcoat, suitcase in one hand, briefcase in the other, I took off, walking fast through the crowd. Others, a knot of eight people followed me. As I dodged others, I kept looking ahead and refining where I was going. Fewer people were around. At this point, I was on a train station platform. Others behind me said, “Where are we? Do you know where you’re going?”

I smiled, because I knew where I was, and where I was going. It was all very affirming. My last thought was, I’m leaving the past.

Dream ended.

The Sci-Fi Dream

Yeah, another dream post. I’ve been avoiding them, but…well, here I am.

We were in a dark, dark future. It seemed like most of the light was sucked out of the world, but that may have been because we were confined to a small, claustrophobic keep. Blue dominated. It seemed like everything that was lit was indigo blue – clothes, walls, and machinery. There weren’t many of us, we didn’t have much food, and we were dying.

We were trying to solve multiple huge problems to stay alive. To do that, we’d learned how to look into the past. To solve the future problems, we discovered that, while seeing into the past, we could move people into the future, where we were. That was helpful. We then tried moving objects, like food, medicine, equipment, and machinery into the future. They couldn’t be moved. Whenever we tried moving anything but people into the future, it turned to blue and black dust.

We were puzzled; why could we move people, but not food and other things? Why just people? The question was never answered.

***

In an aside, I then dreamed that I was making my bed. When I untangled the sheets and covers and began straightening them, I heard jingling. I pulled back the corner of the sheets and found a pile of silver coins.

 

Future Me

I read a recent article about how we see ourselves. The article’s essence was that a study showed that people could readily see how they’d changed, but didn’t think they would change in the future.

That’s an odd conclusion. Looking back on how and why I change, I can appreciate how the world changed, forcing me to change. Mentors, friends, and family members have died. Their influence remains, but it’s faded.

Sometimes, I think of it like dominoes. I’m in a long row that’s been set up to fall over when tapped, part of a pretty design. Matters that tap me over include my changing body. My hearing is damaged and my vision has lost its acuity. My metabolism has slowed, as has my physical energy, and my muscles are weaker. My joints are stiffer, and my athleticism and coordination have diminished. My sleeping patterns have changed. I endured illnesses and injuries which changed my trajectory. I’ve gained weight and developed gluten and dairy reactions.  I mostly bloat. Before I bloated, I didn’t understand what people meant when they said, “I feel bloated today.” Now I understand.

Our food chain has changed. What impact that has on me, I probably won’t ever know. I was introduced to new foods, and dishes from other cultures, and I was introduced to better quality food, increasing my awareness of what quality means, and how it influences me.

Technology has advanced, enabling me to hear more music, inviting me in as a witness to more amazing events and moments. I usually have a laptop or tablet nearby to keep me connected to others. I’ve never met many of the people who are in my circle of friendship. Science has advanced, giving me more to think about. Researchers, psychologists and sociologists have gained insights into how our bodies, societies, and civilizations function. Engaging TED Talks and blogs help socialize new information. Big data analytics keep expanding on what we know, or what might be going on.

Our society and government have changed. Events like 9/11 changed us. I make more effort to understand the world than I used to make. After traveling and living outside of the United States, I became more watchful about politics, equality, justice, and our environment. As our politics have changed, and groups like white supremacists and Nazis have grown, I’ve been forced to question what I know. Likewise, revelations of sexual assault, news of murders, and lies by politicians and others sharpen my desire to know the truth and understand.

I’ve read many more books since I was young. I’ve written books. Both activities encouraged thinking, and from the thinking has come change in my views, approaches, appreciation, and understanding.

My brain has changed, apparently from triggers built in at some genetic level. I’ve become more impatient. Lessons learned through betrayal, resentment, success, and failure have fostered changes to my behavior. I work on improving myself more than I used to, when improving myself meant working out or taking classes.

I’ve lost hair on my head. My hairline recedes and my baldness expands. My hair thins and grays. Meanwhile, the rest of me becomes hairier. With my aging and changes, I became more invisible to a larger segment of population.

Or maybe that’s just me and my perceptions. They can change.

I can extrapolate some ways that I’ll probably change. I think I’ll be more withdrawn, speaking less, and enjoying small talk less. I hope to be writing and publishing more, but that’s a hope that I’ve been nurturing for over twenty years. My future diet will probably be more limited, I’ll be less active, and pop culture will seem more alien. I’ve always disliked talking on the telephone, and avoid it when I can. I suspect it’ll be hard to get future me on the phone.

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve escaped being caught in disasters. That luck can change. It feels, sometimes, like the hazardous air from the wildfires of the last few years have changed me. Certainly, that smoke, combined with the blazing heat, increased my depression, depleted my energy, and sapped my will. It certainly changed my summer and expectations.

Then, there are the other people in my life. Their changes, illnesses, success and failure will change me, too. That’s one constant that’s not likely to change.

All these variables will cause changes in me. I don’t know what I’ll be like in the future, but I don’t think that who I am now is who I will be.

The Revelations Dream

Once again, dreams thundered in like tornadoes, leaving much to contemplate in their wake. The most prominent dream was about unknown talents and changes, in my mind.

  1. I could see things that others couldn’t see, including the future.
  2. While I was demonstrating this to a friend, I used a wrinkled, old Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog to show her.

Many people were present in my dream. Most were strangers, but friends and family were present. We seemed to be in a large room in the upper floors of a tall building. Windows were on the two outer walls. This vantage let us look out across a cityscape. Crisscrossing white cement roads connect business parks surrounded by manicured green spaces reminiscent of places that I worked at in San Mateo, Palo Alto, and Foster City, California.

Inside, we were looking at long gray counters located under the windows. Strolling along, we were looking at these. To me, they looked blank. I don’t know what others saw, but looking at the gray counters absorbed them. Seeing an orange button on the table, I pushed it. Silver metal boxes arose at regular intervals on the counters. They had controls on top. Feeling bold, I examined the controls of one. They seemed simple. Although I didn’t know what they did, I pushed one.

The light changed, revealing other objects around us. Turning to another box, I pressed another button and exposed another aspect of our hidden reality. My thought was, these machines help us see the world. I was excited and wanted to talk to others, but when I did, I discovered that they didn’t see the boxes or their influence.

Taking my mother by her shoulder, I pointed to where the boxes were. When I did that, the boxes became visible to her. Likewise, when I guided her to the two boxes that I’d used and pointed out their influence, she could now see them. Understanding that I seemed to be a connection, I went to others and showed them. Excited conversation spread as more and more people were engaged. I pressed more buttons. The lights shifted into something dark that revealed bright strips of existence and threads running from the people to the sky. I couldn’t see where the threads ended, but I thought that the strings went to stars.

My friend came in. A college professor who teaches network security and cyber-forensics, I told her what had happened. She was astonished. As I told her about this, I realized that since I’d been exposed to the machines’ influence, I could now see these things without the machines.

To prove that to her, I found an old Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog. Using it, I told her, I can see the future. Then I knew, it’s not the machines or the catalog, but using them encouraged me to see.

I was astounded. Even as understanding seeped into me and epiphanies bloomed, I grasped that if I touched some of the exposed objects, I could peel away more limitations. Touching the closest thread, which was connected to my friend, I saw her future flash into existence like a giant movie screen. Gazing up into it with amazement, she and I said, “Wow.”

The dream ended.

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