Re: Dream

Rare is the night that I don’t dream while I’m asleep. Lately, I’m absorbing the world’s troubles and processing them somehow while in bed. Problem is, come morning, the result of all this subconscious mind spin is not resolution but exhaustion.

Dreaming holds a fascination. In my twenties I picked up lots of books on dream interpretation. Anything by Sigmund Freud I leapt on. Horoscopes held an amusing fascination. Texts didn’t have to be scientific in their approach to questions of a neural nature. I had the classic youthful dreams: going to school in underwear, being chased, escaping a locked room, peeking into a closet, running up an endless inclined plane, flying amongst the clouds. A recurring nightmare through my grade ten year had me staring at a dot in the distance, it got bigger as it approached, gained texture and, just before I identified it as a massive Brillo pad dripping with sticky honey, I woke shouting and in a sweat. I disturbed the household often enough that my mom considered taking me for therapy. To this day if someone asks me how I think I might die, I answer reflexively, “With a blow to my head.”

More positively, I believe I am a dreamer by nature. I love the way the word Dream appears in the songs I’m most fond of humming: Imagine, Dream Weaver, Rainbow Connection, I Dreamed a Dream. In this regard, here’s Rita Wilson singing one of my favourites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Cm7U9SCFPk

I love to project my thoughts of a better future while daydreaming. I’m looking forward to spending long stretches of time with my grandkids exploring clouds and watching dragonflies. Dream Boards were popular for a while. Cutouts arranged in a collage for the wall or a private journal are made with intention, while dreaming of better days ahead. Wishing is a close cousin to Dreaming; it’s a projection of all that stuff going on in your headspace. Hopefully the wish can be made manifest in order to keep hope alive.

Our grey matter is a marvel. At times I feel may brain is like a massive parabolic antenna , picking up ideas, messages, multiple conscious musings from countless souls. I long to be tuned to the right channel. It could be a super power like Charles Xavier has as Professor X. I could tap into others’ thoughts not to interlope but to understand my own convoluted self just a little bit better.

During my first year of university I went on a date to see a student production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. On the walk back to residence, the girl commented that I seemed like the main character to her.  I thought she was teasing, but I recognized that I had a brooding sort of personality. When we parted at her dormitory door, as if to make up for a potential slight, she kissed me on the cheek and called me a dreamboat. What a night! I strolled off to my room reviewing the words of the Danish Prince; “To sleep, perchance to dream!”

Re: Relief

“Plop Plop Fizz Fizz Oh what a relief it is.”

If only other forms of relief came this easily. Tummy troubles are one thing yet I have an atmospheric feeling that there are currently so many troubled people in this world that relief may be hard to find and a long way off.

My daughter-in-law recently gave birth to a premature baby, my second grandchild. After they both returned from hospital, safe and healthy, I asked her what her first thought was as she held her child. She said, “Relief.” Her head had been spinning with tension of the event and the wave of relief, that her babe was now well, filled her consciousness. I was relieved that I could be nearby.

In my youth the idea of being a relief worker had certain attraction. Red Cross, CUSO, OXFAM, CARE were all possibilities back then to anyone who had wishes to provide humanitarian support to the globe’s needy. As a teen I only thought of relief in terms of the dramatic: helicopters, food drops and maybe the blue berets of the United Nations mobilizing to save lives in crisis.

Our games recognize the need for relief. For example, wrestling has its tag teams. Football has defensive and offensive lines. Baseball coaches send in a relief pitcher when the starter underperforms. Religion respects the need for relieving our worries. When we are feeling guilty about something it is helpful to be told that we have not been responsible or that someone has taken that sin from us. With the burden removed we walk taller and with more assurance.

Most times relief is easy to find; a cool shower, some shade, a friend who listens, a drink of water, aspirin, an answer to a question, sleep, a good book, music, a meal. Often, however, life is so layered with complications that it is hard to figure out what might bring us relief, so instead we numb the pain. Or we try to take it away all together by attempting suicide.

I’m not very patient with pain. My medicine cabinet is stocked with whatever I can acquire to be there for me when a part of my body protests over the normal stresses of life. I try to keep my complaints to myself because they are minor. I feel fortunate everyday that I don’t have a chronic condition. I have visited a psychiatrist who admits his specialty is more related to pain management than a specific DSM-5 condition. He understands that there is pain in anxiety as our body responds to the stress of living.

Drug use is at crisis levels in North America, as people turn to physicians, or failing that, the street, to cope with the pain of life. Reasonable people, denied access to medication that once brought relief are seeking other ways to chemically address their symptoms. Many die taking these problems to the underground economy, where relevant controlled dose measures are not part of the deal.

Buyer Beware!