I was dreaming this morning when a cat woke me with a bladder massage.
In the dream, my extended family was celebrating my birthday at my childhood home, around a redwood picnic table my father had built, on a sunny summer day, in the shade of a cherry tree, a maple and some redwoods.
There was picnic food on the table, no animals were trying to steal it, the sun was warm but gentle and not blinding, the way summer sun used to be.
Everyone was happy at the same time, but not excited, there was no drama, no one was sad or mad at someone, everyone got along.
My grandmother was not there. I imagine she was in Montana, as a teenager, riding horses.
My uncle, who sometimes felt compelled to be weird at gatherings, I suppose due to anxiety, was not there. He might have been in the hills filling his green and white Ford pickup with scavenged firewood.
My parents (whom I remember missing yesterday) were there. They were younger than they had been when they died. 30s or 40s. My father looked fit and was not wearing a shirt, which was typical of him in the summer at that age. I talked to my mother.
I talked to my father. I asked him how Heaven was.
No one is upset and nothing hurts, he said.
My sister gave me a letter she had written for my birthday. It was written with a wide calligraphy pen in several colors. Each color said something else, and the colors intertwined, and tangled, and she had written it in her normal handwriting not calligraphy despite the nib she was using so I was unable to read it.
I asked her to read it for me.
She was about to read it when I woke up.
Tag Archives: dream
I was dreaming this morning when a cat woke me with a bladder massage.
“The body takes what it needs,” said my acupuncturist about my acupuncture treatment, during which I had fallen asleep, head back mouth open.
So I went to bed early that night and had a dream, the first in a long time.
The wall was covered with something that looked like corrugated cardboard, seen end-on, this rough uneven texture, and that was covered with all kinds of moths of all shapes and sizes – clothes moths and kitchen moths and porch light moths all flying about and walking about on the walls and I was trying to kill them all, mostly by swatting them with a rolled-up periodical, but also by clapping them in my hands when they flew around.
The wall was lit gently, as if with evening light through a window or one or two 50-watt bulbs, and I went about the killing calmly and with a sense of purpose, until my alarm went off.
A long line of strangers’ cars in the darkness, headlights off, idling or moving slowly. A little moonlight. People walking beside and amongst the cars.
Near you, a strange woman has a baby and a lot of other things to carry. Maybe she is pulling a wagon. You hold the baby for her.
You want to comfort her and the baby, so you comfort her by comforting the baby.
You hold it gently to yourself, protecting it, and hum.
There in the night, among strangers, you hear a beautiful noise and it takes a while to realize it is the baby singing.
The night is quiet, people murmur, engines idle, tires grind on gravel. Footsteps and your tinnitus whining and whirring and jingling.
The baby’s song rises above all of it like wind whistling through a canyon.
You share a look with the mother. How wonderfully it sings, your eyes say.
How wonderfully the strange baby sings in the night.
What is all this, you ask the dream.
The necessary coexistence of the strange and the beautiful, says the dream.
Two beggars came to the door
Laborers, or criminals; foreigners, male and dark.
They could not speak our language.
I did not let them inside.
They looked hungry. I will make you a sandwich, I said
I found bread, white loaves. I couldn’t decide whether to spread butter or mayonnaise on the bread. Then I found mayonnaise I had made and thought, it will go bad faster than butter so I had better use it up.
I made them cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise and sliced cheese that was beginning to go translucent around the edges. I fed them before I woke up
What does my dream mean.
Fear and liminality
You are an old man blind in one eye. Long white hair and beard, and blind in one eye.
Still you love the unknown and secret and feed it freely.
Next time feed it something richer than old cheese sandwiches with old mayonnaise.
And see what happens.
Of course the question is, should you take a trickster’s advice.
I was picking out clothes.
I had this medium-length tan coat, similar to what Steve McQueen wore in a movie. Bullit I think.
And this knit cap, like what Daniel Craig wears in a scene or two of that remake of that brutal Swedish movie about the reporter and the hacker, which I happen to like (the cap. And the movie, as it so happens, despite the brutality).
It was kind of a strange combination, and wouldn’t look good on me, I don’t think, but this was a dream.
I was going to see my dad. I was real happy about that in the dream.
I was still happy when I woke up; then I remembered that my father passed away years ago.
Suddenly, the dream was disturbing.
My wife says I was moaning and groaning in my sleep.
Remember the old days of blogging, when we wrote about our dreams all the time?
I remember, back in the early days of blogging, back when my first computer was powered by a little steam engine, that bloggers often wrote about what they had dreamed.
I sometimes did.
Then that got old.
Also, it turned out that I might have interesting dreams, but they rarely are still there when I wake up.
A couple nights ago I had a vivid nightmare that someone had bought the wrong breakfast cereal.
It was just an image and an emotion. The image was this box of muesli. It looked wrong. There were too many puffs in it, for example. I do not like my muesli with puffs, or with chocolate. At the moment, it is hard to get muesli in Austria without puffs or chocolate, that may have been the source of the dream.
Or it may not. Who knows with dreams?
Anyway, in the dream, I removed the clear plastic liner from the box, with all the cereal in it, and double checked. But it was clearly full of puffs.
Someone had bought the wrong muesli.
I was filled with profound disappointment.
Then I woke up, as one sometimes does with nightmares, still saturated with the emotion.
Wow, I thought, that was some nightmare.
Once, I had a nightmare about a rock in a stream. A big, flat boulder about an inch under the surface, with the water flowing silently over it. At night. That one filled me with regret and guilt. Some terrible crime was buried beneath that rock.
I have never forgotten that one.
On the other hand, I once had a dream about trying to kill a guy who was absolutely impossible to kill. He kept fighting back, it was amazing. I was tussling with him in a friend’s basement while a couple friends watched television upstairs, so on top of everything else, I was trying to kill him quietly. For some reason, it was impossible to strangle him. He was about as strong as me and kept getting away. I finally stabbed him in the neck with a shard of window glass. I hit an artery, too, because the blood was squirting out real far. Unfortunately, I seemed to have only nicked the artery, because although the blood squirted out real far, it squirted in a real thin stream. It was taking forever for him to bleed to death.
In fact, he never bled to death in that dream. He just kept rassling with me.
Then I woke up, full of anger and frustration. Still, it wasn’t exactly a nightmare.
Dreams, aren’t they weird?
Where do they come from, I wonder.
“I was not old when I left home. My father beat us and we took refuge in my mother’s stories of a tree house sanctuary. We’d move someday to a leafy hide out where we’d see him way before he us, and play Aggravation and checkers, and read in hammocks, library books we’d check out when the coast was clear. Once I realized it was only a dream and not a plan, I left. I was a long haul driver’s punk for a year or two, after the money I stole from my father ran out. Then one night I heard a fight out in the lot of some poor bar as I huddled in the sleeper cab of my master’s rig, and him getting the worst of it. They abandoned him for dead and words bubbled from his lips when I went to him before the dawn. Get help he mumbled, so I did. I took the key to the strongbox and left with his savings, my second treasure. It was a lot for a kid. After that were dishes washed and unwatched tills. I never actually killed a man and all my loot I deserved more than the ones I robbed, high pressure systems move to low.
At eighteen I found myself at sea. I actually swabbed actual decks, and painted steel and served up slop and climbed up through whatever ranks one rose through and my foot locker filled with cash from paychecks never spent and jewels I bought to save space. One day, standing on the deck I realized I was at the place furthest from a tree as if I’d kept an oath sworn as a boy, which I had in fact not consciously sworn. But life can take us to these junctures unawares, where had we sworn an oath it would be fulfilled: no more love, no more trust, no more hope or faith, no dreams of trees it was for me.
And now I’m here with you on the bed of the sea they took my ship in a storm just like you. It’s over there, full of cargo. I’ve made my bed in a container full of mattresses, king size, and wander this shining city at all hours, looking for a place to spend my loot. Would you like to make a bet?”
“I’d wager that your trucker’s dead,” the magician’s assistant said. “I stole the clipping from your purse, that was my old profession, as you spoke and gestured. So you didn’t kill him but you let him die.”
The sailor shrugged. “To remind me of my life on land. My father beats my mother still for all I know and she still dreams of trees.” He got down on his knees. “Will you marry me? I’ll pay you well. I didn’t think so.” He stood back up. “I say that to all the girls, pro forma. If only we had a big casino with roulette wheel and blackjack and a stage and a red whorehouse in the back, or a mall.
A hobo robbed me down by the creek between my father and the truck. Or drifter, if you subscribe to the romantic notion that all hobos are above board by definition. I fought him and he knocked me down and pocketed my cash. Someday you’ll see how illusory this really is,” he laughed.
“Here’s your clipping back,” she said, the magician’s assistant. “And your other stuff I took. Are there many others here?”
“There are a few. Maybe more, who hide from me. I feel their thoughts and eyes. Captain Nemo is down here, the old liar, with his lying song of death.”