A Couple of Dreams 

Lately, I have been trying to get to sleep earlier each night as a way of incrementally forcing myself into a more normal sleeping schedule. I do not want to stay up all night staring at my computer screen trying to not think about my myriad personal problems; unfortunately, I have found this is more difficult to put into practice than I had initially expected. It is far too easy for me to focus on the emotional set-backs I have experienced in the past couple of years, to dwell on what seem to be missed opportunities to improve my lot, and to float blithely on the stagnating ponds of introspection. To exert the effort to recognize these "default" negative thoughts and counter them can be particularly difficult, especially if my energy is low, and my emotional guard (sometimes exhausted) is down. Still, I am trying. What else can I do? There is a noble struggle in moving forward, even if it doesn't seem like you're going to succeed.

This has been the main concern in my life, especially these past few weeks: getting back on track and pulling myself together in spite of what appear to be depressing odds. If you were to see me, just assume that this thought is working itself around the many dark and electrical parts of my brain. I may be feeding the cats, a task that can take as long as twenty minutes, but my mind is continually singing verses of failure from shadowy and soul seducing songs. I'm fighting them most of the time. This isn't anything new, really. If you have read the past posts of this blog, you can read these various verses from those songs of failure.

However, sometimes, with all of the thinking that I am doing. I do come across some personal avenues that do not make much outward sense to me. These are the personal things that I find fascinating. At times, I think that perhaps the recognition of these points of confusion is actually a sign of progress because it highlights a place to start getting better or it illustrates a problem I haven't yet considered. Maybe, I say to myself, "this is another stepping stone on the path of healing."

One of these avenues that do not make much outward sense to me is my dreams. Admittedly, this is a small aspect of both my personality and my problems, but maybe, I hope to myself, these dreams will lead to the clarity I seem to be seeking so much of the time.

Recently, I have had a couple of dreams that have stayed with me. The reason for the dreaming is very probably due to my poor sleeping habits. However, the thematic message or the meaning of the dreams are much, much less clear. I feel that dreams have an emotional logic. If you can figure out the progression of emotions that are hidden inside your dreams, often hidden by symbolic imagery, you will have discovered an insight about yourself and will have gained a key to unlocking that part of your unconscious thoughts and motivations.

Here is an example of one of my dreams: It is dark outside and very cold, but the inside of the cabin is being kept warm. The cabin is somewhat rustic, and the low ceilings make it feel very small, despite the amount of people crowded inside. The walls are bathed in low yellow and orange light, almost as if the rooms are lighted by oil lanterns. The biggest room in the cabin is the dining hall, if it can be called that, but even as the biggest, it is only the size of a small living room in a cottage of some kind. The people cramped inside the hall are mostly teenagers, and they are sitting on long benches around wooden tables having tea and desserts. The furnishings are notable for their elegance and simplicity. The knick-knacks on the buffet and various small tables lining the wall are all obviously antiques of humble yet dignified quality. The hostess of this cabin, a late middle-aged British woman, is remarking on how delicious the tea is that evening, evidently pleased with it considering how quickly it had been made.

Suddenly, I walk in. I am a tall man, dressed in blue old fashioned breeches, large white billowy shirt, and paisley waist-coat. I silently put my great coat down on a table and sternly stride away from my officers in the tiny foyer into the dining hall to do a sudden inspection. The teenagers, mostly men as far as I can tell, all stand up at attention. I am irritated with this group for some reason. It may have to do with their lack of discipline, but I say nothing. I prefer to let them see my anger burn out slowly from underneath my furrowed brows. My stern manner does not dampen my ultimate duty towards them though. Ultimately, I know these people to be under my care and protection. I am doing my best to instill a sense of discipline in them, a discipline that they can feel bloom out from their co-fellows as a fireplace at home will slowly warm the hearth stones.

In another dream, I am journalist making contact with a college educated Afghani woman in her country. We have agreed to meet at a small town bazaar. Her country is in great turmoil, and she is not too happy with me because, to her, I represent all of the "Western" values and behaviors that she despises. However, her great desire is to tell "her side of the story," so she somewhat petulantly grants the interview. The interview in unusual, because as designed, it is more of a documentary than a one on one, back and forth, asking and answering of questions. Over the next few days, she will be showing me her life and the way she has to live it in the world of turmoil around her.

I am so grateful for her having agreed to this, I do everything that she asks. I ignore her thinly disguised contempt of me and contempt of everything that she believes I stand for, and I do my best to assimilate, however temporarily, into her society. I even adopt the local manner of dress to better fit in. Mostly, I commit myself to following her meekly around, drinking up everything she says with my ears, devouring everything I see with my eyes.

As we leave the relative safety of the indoor bazaar, I note the parking garage across the street is nearly engulfed in flames. Despite this, there are three or so men on various levels patrolling with rocket launchers, ready to shoot anything and everything they want. Their bodies burn in the flames, but they are unconcerned. Slowly, they pace back and forth on their respective levels as dark smoke rolls out from the top of the building. I cannot help but ask about the fire or the burning soldiers, but the Afghani woman expresses that very same contemptuous irritation that she had shown before in the bazaar. She considers me naive for not knowing just how much her country is in turmoil.

Both dreams have more to them, more parts that I have since forgotten. I can't remember the full dreams. In any case, I will probably dream again tonight as I have pulled another "all-nighter" that I didn't intend. Like I mentioned before, I hope to get back on a better sleep schedule soon. Still, blog posts will be few and far between. That may change when I start feeling better, but then again, I have a lot of other projects that need doing to that are suffering from my inability to pull it together. I guess we shall see when I am able to post next.

25 January 2009
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