I’m a dreamer. Not in the sense of daydreamer, or some one whose thoughts are proverbially in the clouds, but in the literal sense.
We all have dreams when we sleep, or we should have. If you don’t, meaning you haven’t reached REM sleep, a number of difficulties can result. Even if you never remember your dreams, you have them. In my particular case, sometimes you have them, and you want to forget. But I learned a long time ago, there’s no way to avoid the ramifications or terror of a disturbing dream. I face them.
For me dreams have a way of putting life and events, even people’s behavior into perspective. Also, sometimes, although cryptic or difficult to interpret, eventually they can bring clarity and enlightenment.
I toggle between weeks of not being able to achieve REM sleep while dealing with insomnia, and sleeping extremely deeply a short period of time and having intense, disturbing and profound dreams.
The other morning I awoke surprisingly early considering I’d gone to bed around 2:30am. At 7am my eyes opened to yellow morning light. A first, after days of round the clock precipitation and gloom. For over two hours I lay lounging listening to house sounds and thinking until unexpectedly, in the middle of deciding whether to get up or not, I again fell asleep.
10:48am. Pain in my right shoulder and hip. My heart was racing, and my body felt as if it were made of lead. I shivered despite being under several blankets as I reviewed what had been happening in my dream. The dream I forced myself to wake up from. No hesitation at getting up this time, and I pulled on clothes in my chilly room and went immediately to my laptop.
The dream had begun innocuously as usual, I was in Berlin:
“It must have been the Friedrichshain area, because looking from the window on one side of my corner flat, the configuration of the streets, the style of the buildings made it seem so. For some reasons, to me, I always have an impression of grey, neatness about that particular district of Berlin.
I looked down and there was a parade taking place. On a float trimmed by a double row of blue and white balloons there were singers seated neatly, lifting their voice in song. It was a spiritual I remembered said to have been sung by Jehovah’s Witness prisoners in concentration camps. I was surprised, and knew my mother would find this of interest. The float was just beginning to slowly turn the corner to go right around the building. I hurried out of the room to tell her.
As I approached I saw found her sitting at the dining table with my sister next to another window. The float would appear very soon. I gave them the news, and chose to hurry streetside so I could see the rest of the parade. I walk through the lobby. It is an unusual configuration, rather like a theatre or opera house, with at least four staircases leading upward in different directions. I notice there are more people standing around inside than usual, and that each has touches of red on their clothing. A sliver of unease in my gut. I hurry through them, surreptiously taking details but meeting no eyes.
By the time I arrive outside, I feel very small, unlike in the flat, which was on one of the higher floors. The buildings tower over my head. I realize that was the end float of the parade. I am deflated but resigned, and turn to head back upstairs. My son is a toddler again, and though I know my mother will care for him, I wish to do everything myself as much as possible.
I go back through the glass double doors which look suited to a department store rather than a flatblock. A distinct chill of heightened awareness seizes me. Three men almost simultaneously exit from the doors leading up. They stand stiffly, rifle muzzles pointed upward. The various members of what I realize is a group began to move in concerted effort. I steathily attempt to reach the fourth door, but as my tread falls on the bottom step, a man exits to stand on the landing. He is gunless but I sense he’s infinitely more dangerous. All eyes turn towards him.
“Take them,” he says.
I, and unfortunate others are herded together to be their hostages, forced back out onto the street to sit on the front stone steps. The steps are wide, grey and cold under my buttocks. The riflemen take point. There are some young women I somewhat recognize sitting beside me but they don’t seem to be distressed. In fact, they seem to be watching our responses, unconcerned about the threat of violence. I can only think of my son. I feel overwhelming regret at leaving him. I am sickened with the thought he might be facing danger without me to comfort and protect him.
One of the girls has a cellphone, and I ask if I can use it. They look at me strangely but give me the device, but my hands are shaking too badly to dial. I cannot even stammer the numbers out for someone else to do it for me.
“I remember you,” one of them says scornfully. “You have that Chinese baby.”
“Not Chinese,” I manage to say. “We’re Native American.”
“Hmph,” she says. She stands to walk over and speak to one of the men. My feet turn to pure ice, my head. He slides a look over at me, then back at her. She seems confident of her attachment to him. His willingness to listen to words and allow her a certain freedom of movement.
He is a tall tanned skin man with short black hair. Handsome in a fierce way, intensity in every movement. Behind his right shoulder, between the buildings, the mid-morning sky is that special shade of German blue. He walks away from their group, across in front of me, moving to the left.
An improbable café appears only two or so metres from where I sit slightly apart from the others. I see a man I know. I mouth his name, giving sharp little moves of my head, trying to give his attention. He calmly sips from his cup, eyes looking into space. I softly but emphatic call his name, but still he doesn’t see me, or any of us. I hear returning steps and fall silent, but they don’t stop too close. Just the same, I can feel the menace. It is the leader again.
He calls out a name. It’s the name of the girl who’d spoken to me. She is standing in front and to the right of me, and turns at his query. I don’t look at him, only at her, and her face changes. The confident near sneer falls away from the aggressively rouged lips, the eyes hollow, the shoulders drop. She returns a nervous question of her own in a language I don’t understand, but I know the tone. She takes a step back.
A soft cough immediately followed by a near insectoid buzz sounds to my left, streaks to my right. I stop breathing. The solid thunk the grappling hook makes as it punches through her chest is deafening. I can’t take my eyes from the horrific widening of her eyes, her mouth, the spray of blood arching from her back.
The sound of retraction. Not cord rope, but a wire of some kind which can be controlled at the other end. For with a grunt, he hurled her body sideways to smash into the ground. She’s still alive for she emits a ragged scream, then another as she is tossed to the right smashed into the crowd of her co-conspirators. I only sunk lower, head between my knees as the wire scythed over me. With a savage snarl followed by dark laughter the leader manipulates the snagged body up to slam into the building above us. It must have stuck, or perhaps it’s held their by his will.
A slow patter of drops begin to fall. Thick, ugly explosions on the stone of the steps. One hit my shoulder, my back. It’s only a matter of time. Last bleed out as her heart stops. The rain becomes warm and turgid. It coats me. I cannot move. All the men laugh.
I had considered trying to escape, to react in a lax moment, to try to circle around and come in a back door to reach my son. I know now there will be no mercy from these men. No laxity. If I’d run, I’d have been shot down within steps. All I love is above me in the building. My only place now, is beneath this red waterfall. My only hope the prayer of the damned.”
There are times when I have constant dreams of such situations. Life and death. Decisions of split seconds with agonizing consequences either way.
Once I dreamed of sitting near the open window of my home, yet the room is a second story one. My son has been downstairs as I worked. I hear a scream and quickly turn to look out. I see a person with crooked arm around my son’s neck dragging him away. Split second decision: do I risk jumping out of the window, risking a debilitating injury if I don’t land correctly, or take my eyes off their direction to run through the house and out the front door? During that loss of only a few seconds of seeing them, they could take off in a car I don’t have details on, etc.
There are times I’ve had dreams of such vivid agony or heartbreaking discoveries I awaken exhausted, shaken. They always involve decisions I should have made differently. In the dream I’ve questioned my choices, or made one not the best, and then someone close to me had to suffer horrifically because of that bad choice. Sometimes it was myself.
The most significant dream I’ve ever had:
“I sit in a neat cabin, the fire is shimmering and warm. The room is comfortable and I am happy, expectant. My man should be home soon. I was waiting for him. He’d said he’d come at just this hour. I rock in my chair smiling to myself. I hear the door open, and my smile turns to a grin. I don’t move. I’ll let him surprise me with some crazy endearment like he always tries. I hear his steps, but he says nothing which is strange. I look towards the place he stands in the hallway, just outside the light. Bear is behind him in the hallway, his broad shoulders touching each wall. His head swings slowly back and forth as he makes a sad lowing sound. I look up from Bear to my lover’s face. It’s as handsome as ever but the normally hazel eyes are all dark like a demon’s. I go cold. I ask a question to which he responds normally, yet still not moving towards me. I can’t tear my eyes away from that black gaze. He lips curls into a smile.”
The next week all hell broke loose in a scandal that swept my department and his, the state police, as our relationship came to light. He vehemently and publicly humiliated me. Bear was telling me, warning me of the darkness inside the man I had loved.
I don’t say all dreams can and/or should be interpreted. But it is the belief of my people dreams, totems and items or events can have significance, and give you knowledge of a special kind. My dreams have unerringly delivered warnings for the most part to make sure my priorities are correct, that I not too fully lose myself in someone or some ideal and trust without caution or wisdom.
Just like the combination of instinct and information I use to navigate myself through the waters of life, dreams are another factor I take into account. No, not because of some mystical properties, although some might consider it thus, but through my study of psychology and the human brain I know the mind’s subconcious often presents us with emotions, situations we haven’t realized we have anxiety over. The fears, the concerns, or desires we keep hidden.
Sometimes dreams can be taken either way, a warning yes, but which choice to make?
“It’s night time and we are at my great-grandmother’s old country home. It’s night and full-mooned. We’re sitting on the front porch where we used to sleep when it was too hot inside. We’d lay out side by side on a mat and listen to the wind until we felt asleep. This time it’s not my sister, g-grandmother and I, it’s him and me. My beloved and much admired Apache man, my “brother” in our ancestral heritage. It’s a sweet peace we’re sharing, I sitting in a cane woven chair and he, at my feet. The long, ancient vines of the grapes stretching along beside the house on each side, their green leaves silver in the light.
‘Shall I brush your hair?’ I ask. That waist length, straight as an arrow rusty black hair. The brush is in my hand, the solid strength and heat of his broad back between my knees. I pull the hair over my fists marveling at its silkiness.
A ruffle of sound starts in the yard. I look up to see lupine shapes weaving back and forth across the lawn, moving in a curious pattern that seems coordinated. They soon all sit watching us. Not intently or avidly, but in the casual way, tongues lolling as they pant, a cough here and there, eyes sometimes on us and sometimes away. I feel no apprehension. He had risen slightly from resting against me but then settled back. I continue to brush his hair.”
I told him of my dream, and we discussed it minimally. That was kind of the way it was with us. We were together because we wanted to be, but there wasn’t much need for conversation, neither of us much inclined towards it. We simply were. And then simply….we were not.
A few weeks later he revealed he wished to see again a former lover. Understandably I was surprised but not shocked. We parted amicably and that was that. He did say the wolf dream made him think. He was comfortable with me but questioned if he needed something different. My eventual feeling was the dream was one of observation by the wolf spirits. They might have reacted to what happened between us. Had it been heated or negative, it could have created a dangerous situation for us, yet it had continued on the front porch in a natural way, so they could melt away back into the ethers.
Romantic view, eh? I don’t know.
I do know dreams are usually significant for me and often are the basis for my stories. My latest release, “The House of Doom, Dreams and Dreams”, was a dream I had which I wrote down in it’s entirety upon awakening. That erotic allegorical tale is easy enough to interpret however *grin*. It has heavy eroticism, but that’s atypical for me. Mine are usually about a real-life situation, or nearly so, which makes me question my choices and actions.
Dreams, mystical interpretation or not, can provide us with a view into ourselves which can be helpful in the waking world. If you can’t remember your dreams, it’s no worry. Consider, instead, the feelings you have upon awakening, well-being, joy, apprehension. Those can be your clues. I’ll keep listening to Bear and Wolf.