My dreams are so real that I don’t feel like I am dreaming. They are usually pleasant, and amazingly diverse, as though my brain is sorting through my memories, the seasons of my life, books I have loved, and people who have been important to me; playfully creating a game of mix-it-all-up and see how it looks when you play it back.
I wonder if this is the beginning of senility. Or, if this is one of the benefits of living to be old enough to have wrinkles, grey hair, and arthritic bones.
Now and then, however, my sub-conscious dregs up something from the dark basements of my childhood, or the deep-black somewhere of my tomorrows. Most recently I was walking through a rather large group of people, searching for someone. It felt like perhaps my husband, or my children, or someone very close to me. It was important, I wanted to say good-bye and to share my love. I kept looking, but could not find anyone that I knew. I kept asking strangers, but no one responded to me. It was unsettling and a bit frightening. I didn’t sleep well at all.
I was telling my husband about the dream later the next morning, and the truth he spoke hit me like cold water in my face: “If you can’t communicate with anyone, you are the one who is dead.”
I wondered aloud if being dead could possibly be that troublesome. Would I wander forever, through groups of strangers, looking for my loved ones? Was this my personal hell? Why wouldn’t death be the peaceful sleep and relief from the troubles of life that I had always hoped it would be? I do not know the answer, only the question.
When my grandson was five he was having nightmares. My daughter was beside herself. Every night he woke up crying. I finally bought him a dream-catcher, and told him that he wouldn’t have any more bad dreams if he hung it by his bed. That was years ago. I had forgotten about it.
Recently his younger sister said to me: “Grandma, I have to move my dream-catcher closer to my bed. I had a bad dream last night.” (And here I thought they never listened to anything I said.)
Ahah! My dream-catcher was taken down months ago, for cleaning or some such nonsense . . . it must be time to hang it back up. It seems to me that it doesn’t matter what you believe, only that you believe it.