Of Dreams and Revelations

ThinkingI’m one of those weirdos that thinks sometimes your dreams are messages from your subconscious.

Not all dreams, obviously. At least I certainly hope not since I have what I like to call the nightmare trait and tend to have a lot of bad dreams. I’m used to them now; rarely does a dream upset me enough to keep me awake. And many of them end up being great fodder for stories. There’s no waking trigger for them (like watching a horror movie, for example). That’s just how my brain works.

My poor youngest niece has the same thing. She is somewhat comforted by the fact that Aunt Kiki deals with the bad dreams, too, and that she’ll get used to them. In the meantime, I’ve told her of a few ways she can cope with them. So far, it’s seemed to help her, but we’ve both agreed that we don’t our dreams coming true. No one would want that. Trust us.

Anyway.

I think most dreams are probably just the brain’s way of entertaining itself while everything recharges. It takes whatever it finds lying around and uses it to put on a production, like some kids in a backyard on a summer afternoon or Roger Corman.

But sometimes, I really do think that the subconscious uses dreams to send a message to the conscious. I think the conscious brain continually asks the same question that the subconscious knows the answer to and the subconscious finally gets tired of the conscious being so damn stupid when the Answer. Is. Right. There. that it blasts the brain with the knowledge it seeks in the form of a dream.

Granted, sometimes it’s like trying to figure out interpretive dance.

And sometimes you don’t need to have a dream symbol book handy to understand the message that you’re receiving because your subconscious is so tired of you being an idiot that it basically stopped short of spelling everything out.

It, in fact, drew you a picture.

I had one of those dreams the other night about something that I’ve been thinking about off and on for the past several months. Sure, there were fantastical elements to the dream (a fashion show? why am I wearing a dress that looks like I stole it out of Blanche Devereaux’s closet? why is there a kiddie race track in the middle of this? night, day, night, day, winter, fall, pick one and stick with it!), but the overall message of the dream couldn’t be clearer. I woke up feeling like the biggest moron in world because the answer I had been seeking, had been ruminating over all summer trying to find, was in my brain all along, Toto. Should have clicked my heels so I could have found it quicker.

I feel like I need to send apology flowers to my subconscious.

Let’s Be Brave

“Let’s be brave” is my new motto. It’s advice I received from the most unlikely source.

A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed about Michael Nesmith of the Monkees. He appeared to me in this dream as he looked back in about 1966, with the wool hat and the denim jacket and the young face with great sideburns. And in this dream he suggested to me that we stage a 1950’s fashion show. I don’t know why he wanted to do that, but I loved the idea of it. And I told him so.

He told me that I shouldn’t love the idea, but that I should love that he was brave enough to have the idea and share the idea. Then he looked at me and smiled and said, “Let’s be brave.”

I woke up in love with that sentence. “Let’s be brave.”

Too many times I’ve found myself holding back because I was afraid. Afraid of how I might be judged for having an idea and putting that idea out into the world. I don’t want to be seen as a failure. I don’t want to be seen as stupid. I don’t want my ideas to be judged as stupid.

This fear of being judged is keeping me from being brave. I can’t get anywhere, doing anything, be anything if I don’t make some bold moves and give my ideas the respect they deserve. First of all, no one else will respect my ideas or support them if I don’t put them out there. And if people don’t respect or support my ideas, than I’m getting the same amount of respect and support I’d be getting if I didn’t tell them at all.

The point is to be brave enough to own and accept my ideas for all the world to see.

I’ve made small steps in doing that already. I posted a novel chapter on the blog for people to read. This is something I don’t do because I don’t like anyone to see what I’m working on. I don’t like talking about it. I don’t want anyone to know.

Well, that’s silly. I’m a writer. I write. Here’s what I’m writing. Enough with this chicken shit.

Enough with the yellow-streak down my back that’s effecting more of my life that just my writing. Yellow is a terrible color on me anyway.

Let’s be brave.

Tornado Dreamer

A tornado near Seymour, Texas

I dream about tornadoes a lot.  I suppose that stands to reason since I live in a cornfield located in the eastern portion of tornado alley and have been ducking and covering all of my life.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. I fully admit that I’ve only ever taken cover during a tornado warning at school and at Walmart, the only job I’ve had that made me. The only other time I was at work during a warning was when I worked at Taco Bell and then we were slammed and I couldn’t take cover if I wanted to. A lot of people wanted their last meal to be a gordita, I suppose.

I haven’t taken cover in my own house since I was a kid (and I was the only one that did). My parents, hell everyone on my block, would go to the window or go outside whenever the sirens sounded. We still do. Twenty-five years ago, when the warning system wasn’t the greatest, false alarms were the norm and a seeing-is-believing attitude was adopted. It’s become so normal to me that if the warning siren goes off and I’m told to take cover, I get anxious because I can’t SEE what’s going on.

I’ve been on the computer playing Word Whomp while a tornado touched down a mile from my house. I’ve grilled during tornado warnings. I drove through one on the way to a bar (in my defense, I didn’t know there was a tornado; I just thought it was a really bad storm and didn’t learn differently until I got to the bar). The only precaution I take it putting on my shoes because I’m convinced a tornado won’t hit my house unless I have to climb out of the rubble barefoot.

Despite all of this, I’ve never actually seen a tornado (like I said, I drove through one without actually seeing it). But I dream about seeing them all the time. In the dreams, I’m almost never concerned about being hurt. In most of them, if I haven’t taken cover, I usually have an easy time of doing it. And then as I’m watching the twister do its thing, I tell myself that this time it’s not a dream. This time it’s real. I’m really seeing this tornado.

Inevitably, I wake up and spoil it for myself.

According to dreammoods.com, dreaming about tornadoes could symbolize extreme emotional outbursts and temper tantrums. It could symbolize volatile situations or relationships. It could symbolize feeling overwhelmed and out of control. I suppose it could, for a normal person.

But, the wonder and awe I feel during these dreams kind of cancels those interpretations out, huh? To me, tornadoes are beautiful, amazing things, yet I don’t discount their ability to destroy anything that gets in their path. However, I feel like (particularly in my dreams) that they won’t hurt me.

It’s like swimming with sharks. They’re beautiful, but potentially lethal creatures and you have to have some confidence that you’ll emerge from the water unscathed if you’re going to get into the water in the first place.

Did I mention that I dream about sharks a lot, too?