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.
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.
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.
This one was a bit different. In the military again, with a friend, and our wives, and others, in a hotel. He’d once worked for me, but eventually passed me in promotions while I chose to retire. Now, here he was a CMSgt, E9, which is the senior enlisted rank and pay grade in the Air Force, urging me to come with him to party and do things.
A special guest was due, the highest enlisted position in the Air Force, a position and rank called the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. There is only one at a time. My buddy was eager for me to meet him and have drinks with him.
I went along at first, but then decided, no. I’m done. Not interested. I’m passing.
He came by in his mess dress with medals and ribbons, and black tie to collect me. I was in jeans and a tee shirt. He said, “You’re not ready.” His face fell when I told him that I wasn’t going. He tried cajoling me to change my mind. I held firm.
“That’s not me,” I said.
He shook his head and said, “Man, I’ve so disappointed in you.”
I told him, “You’ll get over it.”
Then he went on, and I turned away to do other things.
The dream ended.
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
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.
I know multiple versions of today’s song, but a little background to coming to it.
I dreamed of ear wax and getting rid of this morning. That apparently opened a direct channel to the mid-sixties in my head (that’s the 1960s, boys and girls, in case, you know, you were wondering…) because I was channeling sixties music this morning. Some early Beatles, Beach Boys, Lovin’ Spoonful, Richie Valens, Little Rascals, Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Supremes, Dave Clark 5, Stevie Wonder… Whole songs didn’t playing. A snippet would begin, I’d identify it, and the stream moved onto another song. You can see from the list that it was mostly American pop, with a little Motown thrown in.
After a bit of this, “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” settled into the stream. Although I enjoy the Sex Pistols’ version, in keeping with the stream, I chose the Monkee’s 1966 version. You should watch the video just for a taste of 1960s TV pop America.
The song’s sentiment, though, resonates, which is probably why the stream settled on it: “You’re tryin’ to make your mark in society, you’re using all the tricks that you used on me.” I like that declaration: I know what you did, and we’re done.
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.