Monday, October 13, 2014

Grown-up Dreams


I had a vivid dream the other night. My minivan had broken down, and the repairman told me it would cost $3600 to fix it. I had a million places to be, of course, and there were bags of groceries in the back. I told the repairman all about the endless problems we’d had with this particular van—electrical issues, bad brakes, manufacturer recalls—and about how great our last van had been. And if you're thinking right now: WHAT KIND OF DREAM IS THIS? Well, SO WAS I, when I woke up.

Shouldn’t your dream world be an escape from your real life? I started remembering some other thrilling storylines that have graced my slumber in recent months, sometimes repeating the same themes over and over. I dream that I can’t get to the bottom of a laundry pile, no matter how many times I load the washer and unload the dryer. I dream that I’ve been away from home for a few days and forgot to feed the dogs. And this, a popular one: I dream that I’m taking a trip, my flight leaves in TWENTY MINUTES and I HAVEN’T STARTED PACKING YET! This one always stretches itself out, from the hurried scavenging through drawers, all the way to the crazy run through the airport. It’s always good to wake up completely frazzled, with the bitter taste of failure on your lips, when there will be A MILLION things to do that day, every day, of your adult life.

What happened to dreams about flying? Wind rushing through your hair as you soar over mountains, through the windows of tall buildings, over the hassle of life on ground? What happened to that dream where you’re about to go on stage and sing, because you’re an AWESOME singer??? I’d even take those pulse-quickening dreams where you’re in a car on a tall mountain, about to fall off the side. And when was the last time I had what my grandma used to call a “racy dream,” involving a celebrity?

I suppose this is the divide between childhood and adulthood. A child’s subconscious mind is still heavily involved with make believe and possibility, while an adult’s total mind is addled with reality and responsibility. You don’t have to be psychologist to realize that most of my “grown-up dreams” have to do with dropping the juggling balls of adult life. I do notice a change, sometimes, when I’ve been to a movie, or have read or heard an interesting story. New drama might be infused with the day-to-day. Last night I dreamt that one of my son’s coaches had sent some guys to rough up someone who hadn’t paid their team fees. And there was a scary subplot involving a dog, because we had watched a movie in which a woman had to shoot her poisoned dog. So I still woke up unhappy, but at least I could easily dismiss the plot as implausible. The piles of laundry, on the other hand, are entirely too realistic.

1 comment:

  1. Remember the magic :) isn't it one of the balls we keep juggling in the air when we're addled with responsibility?


"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka