Dreams of the Times

First, in a response to the current situation, I dreamed that I opened a cupboard in the house and found an opened package of toilet paper. Toiler paper, as you probably know, is one of the most sought commodities in America in the age of the coronavirus. In the dream, I found an opened twelve pack and laughed as I saw it, remembering that we’d had so many rolls of toilet paper that we’d put some in another cupboard. One roll was gone. I told my wife I’d found it and then put it in the proper cupboard, which, in the dream, accurately reflected our current TPSIT. That whole thing amused me; we’d not stocked additional toilet paper. Fascinating how my mind seemed to gloam onto the tp as emblematic of current thinking and trends.

The next dream segment remembered featured me in a car, which is one of my standard dream features (I dream of being in a car, finding a car, or driving a car a great deal). Sometimes in this dream, I was driving, but sometimes I was a passenger. This changed without reasoning that I could discern. It never bothered me in the dream, and I didn’t think about the other drivers. It didn’t seem to matter to me. I was preoccupied with other things, mostly music.

I had a tiny flesh-colored plug in me. It fit into my upper arm by my shoulder, where you’d typically get a vaccine. I could access it through my clothes. Post-dreaming reflection showed that I was completely oblivious to doing this in the dream; it was normal.

The plug had a tiny flesh-colored line, thin as a spider web, attached to it. Removing the plug from my arm, I’d stick it in my ear and hear music. This process absorbed me. After a while, I began understanding that the music was originating somewhere outside of my body. My body was picking it up as if it was an antenna and then playing it in my head.

Then I figured out (with a lot of surprise) that the music that I was attracting and playing was being amplified out to millions of people. As I assimilated this in the dream, I understood that it was part of a position that I’d been given as some sort of keeper. I completely understood it and it made sense in the dream.

I rotated this responsibility with another man. Older than me, he went through the same process of discovering as I’d endured. As he did, I watched him. Seeing his reaction, I guessed what was going through his head and then told him about what I thought it was. He nodded, beginning to understand what I was saying.

That took place in a car. It seemed like an huge car. Dozens of people were in the car with me, but there was so much room, I could easily walk around it, going from window to window or seat to seat. I’d been driving, but now I was somewhere toward the back of the car when we stopped for gas.

When we stopped for gas, we discovered pieces had fallen off the car. I began looking for and finding irregular chunks of metal. Applying them to the car, I started repairing it. I told others what I was doing so they could do it, too. They ignored me, so I worked alone, finding metal and fixing the car.

I ended up going off by myself in another car. I was driving now, taking a small car up a winding mountain highway. Night was falling. Missing a curve, the car crashed through the white guardrail and fell thousands of feet down into a dark bay.

The car hit the water and immediately dropped toward the bottom, passing quickly through fathoms of water. Unfazed by what was happening, even feeling a little amused, I exited the car and swam up through the light grey-green water until I broke the surface.

It was night. The combined events, crashing and swimming, had taken me a long way from where I’d gone off the road. Using searchlights, others were looking for me way over in another area. Bobbing around in the dark water, I waved my arms and called them, but no one saw or heard. Giving that up, I swam a long distance to the shore and left the water.

They were still looking for me. I could see them but they didn’t know where I was. Exasperated and drenched, I began walking along a road toward them. I guesstimated them to be miles away. Accepting that, I increased my pace.

The dream ended.

The Flagman Dream

I spent a lot of time thinking about this one. 

To begin…I’m in some ill-defined place (think of petroleum jelly smeared across a camera lens and you have a sense) that’s green, white and black (think white sidewalks and buildings (maybe), and a grassy pitch) (I think the ‘black’ were dark windows, but I’m not pos). It’s a big, noisy crowd, and I’m with a small group in this rowdy crowd. It reminded me of a Pink Floyd concert I went to in Germany back in the late eighties, where one hundred thousand people swallowed my group of five.

We’re meeting others, laughing and having fun, when I see a man off to one side raise and lower a flag. It happens so fast on my vision’s edge that I’m not certain that I saw it. I’m momentarily at a loss, wanting to continue what I was doing versus going to check on the man with the flag. Why was he there? Was the flag for me?

As the dream’s events progressed (and I kept going), I thought, wait, was that a white flag or a green flag? Uncertain, I thought again, I should check, but was distracted by others, and didn’t. Then, with a start, my memory said, that was a checkered flag. But a checkered flag is used for finishing a race while a white flag is used for surrender or to warn that one lap remains. A green flag means go.

Those conflicting ideas took me out of the crowd. I needed to know which flag it was. I had to find the man with the flag and see what flag he’d waved and if it was for me. I didn’t believe it was for me. As I remembered him, I thought he should be easy to find; white, he was short with a small mustache, and was wearing a bowler hat. Someone wearing a bowler should stand out, except he’d been so short, I thought that would make it hard to find it.

Perusing that dream thinking, I saw bushes and concluded (with some excitement) that he’d been over by the bushes to the side, or maybe some bushes somewhere else. Now separated from the crowd, I hunted for bushes and then thought, go back, go back to where you were, retrace your steps and you’ll be able to find him, right? Sure, made sense. But there’d been no markers or landmarks that I could remember. My friends, who might’ve been able to help me, were nowhere in sight.

So it was that I found myself alone, unsure where I was or where I’d been, searching for something, looking for something with only a vague idea of it.

That’s where it ended.

 

A Knowledge Dream

This dream could’ve been named a number of things. I first referred to it as the “Born to Run” dream. Then, as I remembered it, I decided the new title was more appropriate.

I was traveling by airlines in America through multiple, crowded airports. After going through Duluth, Minnesota, I went through Fargo, North Dakota. After Fargo, I found myself in a huge building. We’re talking a Superbowl stadium size.

Old, the building was well-maintained, with cavernous but mostly empty rooms except for towering gray cabinets. A woman introduced herself as a director. I was at a knowledge warehouse. Speaking to the air, the director told her staff to assist me with whatever I wanted. She told me to fill out my requests on a request form. The request form should include a learning objective. Catalogs of learning objectives were in the cabinets. I could use them to expedite the process.

Six other students showed up. They’d arrived before me but were coming to meet me and continue with their requests. The director asked me how I got there. After thinking, I said that I’d come through Fargo because that was the best way to get there. After acknowledging that, she departed.

I quickly completed a half-dozen learning objective requests. The other students went off to continue their learning. Thick folders for the first learning objectives soon arrived. Within minutes, I had a stack of them in front of me. Perusing them, I selected one for attention and started reading it as I walked around.

I found myself with a microphone. The warehouse was lit like a stage so I decided to perform “Born to Run”. As I was doing my performance, I realized that security cameras were present. Embarrassed, I quit my performance. Someone was trying to raise me, but I ignored him because I didn’t want to be mocked.

Wandering the warehouse, I soon found myself in wooded thicket. Movement ahead drew my interest. After some investigation, I saw a squirrel, and then a cat, and realized that the cat was chasing the squirrel.

I was summoned back to a meeting room. The other students were there. We sat at a table and talked about our learning objectives. More folders arrived for me. The director called for a few of us to go into another room with one specific folder. It was our choice which folder to bring.

Aha, epiphany. I needed to decide where I wanted to go, and it was a journey to a different, isolated location. I also had the responsibility to educate myself but resources were available to help.

Now, weirdly, the dream ended with “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” by Lesley Gore (1963).

Thursday’s Theme Music

Slowing it down today. Thursday, innit? I’m starting to brake for the weekend, let me slide in there nice and gentle.

One of my preferred U2 albums is The Joshua Tree. A number of songs from that album speak to me, including “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. After the song was released, I often reflected that I was still looking, and I often didn’t know what I was looking for. In the years since, I’ve refined my sense of what I’m looking for. I attribute my writing efforts to closing that gap; writing prompts introspection and thinking about, well, what I’m thinking. It all helps.

The thing about the song as well is how it plays against a greater theme. Consider the import of the lyrics as Bono sings about climbing highest mountains, run through fields, and scaled city walls to be with someone. The stuff of true love, right? But yet, he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. It’s like, they thought that one thing would satisfy their itch, only to achieve it and realize, that’s not it.

Most of us have been there, hey? We have a gap, ache, or longing, and we’re trying to understand it, and then, understanding it, try to understand how to fulfill it. It often feels with the journey of our life. People fill us with tales about how work, love, or having children will fulfill us, but that doesn’t work for all. Some find fulfillment with God or nature. Some of us look for it in art.

And some of us write like crazy.

 

The Gold Dream

I was in a house that felt familiar, like something built in the seventies, two stories or more. The bottom story is a garage.

I’m a spectator off to one side, watching this dream. The dream begins with me standing in a room, looking at the clock, and saying, “It’s time to go.” I know that it’s very early, dark, and rainy. The others are up. They’re ready to go, waiting, like me, for the moment. We didn’t want to go too early, but it’s something that we all need to go and do.

Several of the others are my sisters. One is a brother-in-law. Others are not recognized as anyone from my life but I know that they’re more family. There are eight of us.

After I make my announcement, I go downstairs to the garage to wait. Down there, I see water pouring in from the garage’s ceiling. That’s not good, I know, wondering where it’s coming from. It’s an impressive amount. Although not consistent, it seems like the strength and volume available from a garden house.

I’m impatient to leave and call back upstairs to the others to come on. There said they were ready, so why is there now a delay? My brother-in-law comes down first. I point out the water and tell him that we’ll need to check that out later. He agrees, and we speculate about where it could be coming from.

The others come down. The garage door is opened. We go out into the rain. Crossing the dark street, we come to a field. The ground is sodden. I walk forward and find eight markers. They look like brass grave markers with raised letters. They have our names on them.

I find mine. Rain water is collecting on it. The others are talking about what they’re supposed to do. They don’t know.

I think I know what I’m supposed to do. I get down on my hands and knees in the soaked, muddy ground, and put my head on the marker. After I do that, I draw back to confirm that something is going on with the marker and see that a red dotted circle has formed on the marker. It spirals around and around and then goes green.

I tell the others that they need to lay down prone on the ground and put their foreheads on the markers. They don’t want to because of the rain, water, and mud. I tell them, “We can’t go until we’re all in position.” Reluctantly, they get down.

I watch each, confirming that their grave markers show the red dotted circles. I expect them to turn to green. My sister’s circle doesn’t turn. I tell her that she needs to put her head on her marker. She complains but does it. The light goes green. We disappear.

We end up at a complex series of highways, bridges, and tunnels. I’m in Pittsburgh, PA, but it doesn’t look like the Pittsburgh that I know, except we’re at the point, where the Ohio forms from the other two. We’re looking for a VA complex. Nobody knows where it’s at, so we walk around, trying to find it. It’s exasperating.

I talk to the others about the roads, bridges, and tunnels. Suddenly, I’m very knowledgeable. I tell the others about a similar place of roads, bridges, and tunnels, and how they found gold. Since it’s so similar, we can probably find gold here, too, I tell them. That gets them all excited. We begin walking around, looking for gold.

I break away from the group. Turning and looking out, I see a green vale. Gold nuggets dot its sides.

“There,” I say to the others. They come over. I point. “There it is.” I smile at them. “I found the gold.”

 

A Searching Dream

It’s been several months since I’ve had a military dream. Being retired military, I always think of these dreams as representative of my desires for structure, order, and accountability. The dreams usually lack these things, which might be evidence about my state of thoughts when I’m awake.

This dream found me again as an U.S. Air Force master sergeant returned to active duty. As in my final years, I was working for the commander, a brigadier general. In this case, though, nobody was expecting me. Announcing my arrival, I was given a large packet of mail that’d arrived for me in anticipation of my arrival. Other than that, nobody noticed me at all.

The command section was noisy with overcrowded activities. Threading my way through, I asked others where I was supposed to sit. Nobody could answer. As I kept looking, I came into a small room and up against a wall. (You have to love the mind’s sense of humor, right?)

Throwing the mail down in angry disgust, I complained, loud and long, about not having a place to sit and work. Then I told a senior admin person passing by to tell the commander that I was there, and needed a place to work. After walking off, I meandered a bit because I thought I was due a promotion. Where was my promotion. I saw others being promoted, but not me. That irked me. I was certain I was due a promotion, because that was one reason that I’d returned.

Next, I was off on an assignment that took me off base and into the real world. I was driving a truck and towing a trailer. Two others (strangers who were junior NCOs), were with me. We were seeking supplies.

I came to a crowded and chaotic camp full of Army soldiers. I asked a few where I was to get my supplies. They had no idea. Where could I go to find the information? No idea.

Exasperated, I drove around, up dusty trails and around compounds of tents and marshaling areas until I found where I needed to go. I was expected and the trailer was filled with quick efficiency.

Ready to leave, one of the troops accompanying me began acting strange. He seemed to become fascinated with weapons that others were using. I ordered him once to come with me. Responding in a daze, he said, “In a minute,” and walked away.

This intrigued me. I followed him. He seemed to be wandering. I asked him, “Are you looking for something?”

He nodded.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll know it when I see it.”

I told him, “We don’t have time for this. We need to go.” Yet, I wanted to indulge him in his search because it seemed so important to him.

That’s how the dream ended, with me following him through a dusty area as he searched for something that he didn’t know.

 

The Destination Dream

I was moving again in last night’s dream. My home that I was selling was a large white house. Built circa the 1950s – hey, that’s when I was born – the home featured a large front porch, two sprawling sugar maple trees, and a large green yard with squared off sidewalks.

The dream’s beginning found me doing yard work. I was busy and happy. In a brief aside, I then go to work and tell a woman how to use a specific computer program to conduct a search. She’s mute during the entire exchange, leaving me doubtful about whether she understood what the search could do to save her time, or if she understand what I told her. I would check back on her.

As I returned to yard work, my wife accosted me. She needed to go to an organizing event for some activity that she was involved with, and wanted me to drive her. We argued briefly, but I resigned myself. We would take our truck, I told her, leading her to a small Ford Courier or Chevy LUV sized vehicle, in other words, a small truck. A white tarp covered the truck. When I pulled the tarp aside, I had to dump water off the tarp, and worried about the trunk having water damage. But it seemed fine. Weirdly, the trunk had no top.

I got in one side, and was awaiting my wife. Two other women got in as well. I asked them who they were, and they said that my wife told them that they could get a ride with us. I had not problem with that, but then realized I didn’t have a steering wheel because I was on the wrong side of the truck. After getting out and circling the truck, I told the woman behind the steering wheel that she needed to move. She wanted to know why. I told her that I needed the steering wheel, which made her laugh.

As I waited for her to move, I looked at my sidewalks under the sugar maples. They all ha a green hue. I worried about what caused that and then noticed that my yard needed edging.

My wife arrived, so I jumped in the truck and took off. She didn’t know where the event was, so we started aimlessly driving around. As we did, she got angry, which made me angry. She was angry because we were lost, and I was angry because she didn’t know where we were supposed to go. Eventually, I saw another woman. Pulling over, I asked her if she knew where the event was.

She showed me on a cell phone. She and I then discussed where I was. Her phone showed where I’d driven, depicting my path as a fat red line. I saw how I’d circled around the same area several times. I wasn’t far from my destination but unsure how to get there. I thought I needed to go one way, but the woman corrected me, showing me a quick, direct path on her phone. Meanwhile, my wife and the other two women had left the truck and were walking around. I called out to them that I knew where we needed to go. They finally came over.

Then I paused to go back to the woman that I’d shown how to use the search engine. She still wasn’t using it, so I showed her again. Then she seemed to understand. Feeling pleased that progress was being made, I got into the truck with my wife and the other two women and drove them to their destination.

Lot of women in this dream. I see all sorts of things percolating through my mind in this dream, and it’s very positive. It makes me smile.

A Weird Dream

My wife didn’t act like herself in this dream last night. Two things were most odd.

We were traveling and in a huge building. I wasn’t certain what the building was. Sometimes in the dream, I thought it was an airport terminal, but other times, I believed it was a mall, or an indoor military base. There were signs that it could have been any of those.

Whatever it was, the place was well-lit, clean, and modern. Wide halls with thick, white pillars dominated, with alcoves and shorter, narrower hallways off to either side. Wanting something to eat, my wife and I found some fake chicken (my wife is a vegetarian). It was in a green box. Acquiring it was only half of the problem, because we needed somewhere to cook it. We needed a microwave. I thought we could find one in a break room or snack bar, so we began searching.

But, for some reason, I opened the green box, laid out the fake chicken nuggets, and then attempted to eat one of the frozen, uncooked pieces. Repulsed, I spat it out in my hand and put it back on the back plate (where there were two rows of six pieces).

While that was going on, my wife took off. I didn’t know where she was, requiring me to look for her. I was carrying around the tray of fake chicken parts while I looked for her. There weren’t many other people in this dream, so I found it quickly and hastened to catch up. I reminded her that  we needed to cook the fake chicken parts. She seemed distracted, and after some back-and-forth, she told me she was looking for a car so we could drive somewhere.

We found a car and a microwave at the same time, but she went for the car. While she drives, when we’re together, I’m the primary driver. In this dream, though, she jumped in the driver’s seat. I think the car was a newer silver American sedan, like a Ford Fusion. We drove a short distance through the building, and then she stopped the car and left it.

Confused, I was asking her, “What are you doing? We can’t just leave the car here.”

She ignored me, proceeding to ramble around the aisles and alcoves. I followed, trying to make sense of what she was doing.

Dream ended.

I’m just not in control, am I?

The Boxes Dream

Looking out a window, I saw an elderly white woman gesturing as she ranted. I couldn’t understand what caused her ire, and then realized she addressed the presence of two white boxes. The boxes weren’t large, about the size of a VHS tape cassette each. Her issue seemed to be that they were sitting by the side of the road, and nobody was picking them up. After she pointed the boxes out, I could see the boxes and the road, and see that she stood on a yellow field.

A friend from my military service, Derek, came in and left me a box. Closed, made of brown cardboard, it was about four by four by four inches, a cube. After some time of sitting around the place doing other things, and looking out the window at the ranting woman and the two white boxes, I picked the box up and tried, but failed, to open it. Setting the box down, I left the house.

It was dreary and busy outside. The ranting woman was gone. The two white boxes were still there. I crossed the yellow field to them and picked them up. Cars passed me on the road as I examined the boxes. They were flimsy and empty. I couldn’t understand why the woman was so upset about them and their presence. I looked for a place to discard them. Not finding one, I took the boxes to my place.

I left my place again and went to what seemed like a parcel delivery place. It was very busy. I found a locker with three boxes inside it. They were addressed to someone else, a man. I knew his name, but I didn’t know him, but I believed I knew what was in the boxes. I wanted to know, so I took the boxes to my place, and opened them.

I can’t recall what was in two of the boxes, but shoes were in the third. Feeling ashamed of what I’d done, I closed the boxes and left with them, meaning to return them. I ran into Derek and explained what I’d done, and that I needed to put them back. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I’d done, and I wanted the rightful recipient to get his boxes. Derek couldn’t help. I eventually took the box back to where I’d stolen them and put them there.

After returning home, I took the two white boxes that the woman railed about, and put them back where they’d originally been. Then I went back into my place.

Derek came in and took the box he’d brought me. “Sorry,” he said. “This wasn’t supposed to go to you.”

He left, and the dream ended.

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