“I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”
–Vincent van Gogh
One of my cats woke me up from a funny dream last night. (Yes, I am that woman.) In the dream, one of my sisters and I were in a building that was supposed to be a hospital or rehab facility. Apparently, my mom was there, but we were not upset, so it must not have been anything serious. (My mom is 91 years old now, so any situation involving her health in real life is serious, but in the dream it wasn’t. What can I say? It was a dream.)
So my sister and I were in a room in this place that was supposed to be a hospital. It was about the size of a doctor’s office waiting room, but it seemed somewhat unfinished and not really like a hospital lobby. We were wondering if my mom was at this facility or someplace else. You can tell this was a dream because both this sister and I hate to drive, and we would not have randomly driven to a hospital without knowing if my mom was actually there. While we pondered, we noticed some people drinking slushies that they had purchased, I suppose, at the check-in desk that had one of those sliding glass windows. (Yesterday in real life, we had several hours of rain and then several hours of snow. I told my husband it was slushy outside. I am amused at my own mind for putting this visual pun into my dream. Good one, subconscious!) There was a sort of fake wood picnic table in this waiting area, and we sat there and sipped our slushies through straws.
We finally determined—somehow–that my mom was at this place, and a nurse began to lead us to her room. My sister walked ahead of me. A man—a doctor perhaps—stepped in front of me, as we were walking on this narrow wooden plank through construction and an archway that led into another area. Not quite a hard hat area, but almost. (Not very hospital like). The man and I did that kind of shuffle thing that people do when there is only space for one person to pass and you don’t know who should go first. The indecision ballet. “You go. No, you go.” By the time we worked it out and I reached the other room, my sister was gone. I had no idea which direction I should take, or where my mom’s room was. So I was suddenly in a large different waiting room, and people were talking to me—asking me questions about various things, just friendly chitchat, as though we were all in some sort of social situation together. I was pulling strange phones and devices out of a briefcase to text or call my sister. The devices were odd—one looked like a calculator–and I couldn’t text anything on it. I kept trying though. I think that’s when I woke up.
I was reviewing this dream in my mind—unfinished construction, getting lost, distractions, socializing, a briefcase, and electronic devices? Whoa, Brain! A bit heavy-handed (heavy-brained?), don’t you think? OK. I get it! I’m supposed to be working and not allowing all of this other stuff to distract me. Thanks for the lecture, subconscious.
Then I thought. . .hey, maybe that was NOT the point of the dream. Does a dream even have a point? I’ve read that sleep and dreaming allows a person to process everything that happened during the day. I have two book projects “under construction,” and I’ve been facing a vexing situation with a contributor. Maybe I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and in need of distraction. Maybe I needed some time to sit down and sip a slushy (or better yet, eat a brownie. Maybe it was time to put down the electronic devices—that clearly were not helping me.
In one of those strange coincidences that seem to occur regularly in my life, I read an article this morning about how it appears that men and women have different types of nightmares. In men’s nightmares, there are typically physical disasters that they face alone. Women tend to dream of relationship troubles, and they often have a friend who helps them. I didn’t have a nightmare, but I thought it was interesting that though most of my dream was about me trying to work my way out of situation, it began with a situation involving my mother and sister. Relationships.(Here’s the link to the article.)
So I left my work unfinished this morning and went to the gym. Yes, I was planning to do that anyway. But I made a very deliberate, conscious decision to go to the gym this morning . . or did I? We’ll see what my mind has to say about that tonight. I’d like to dream of a masterpiece, some perfect piece of prose. I don’t mind though if I get another lecture, as long as there are no nightmares.
Thanks for reading. Pleasant dreams!