“I don’t remember my dreams.”
Friends, colleagues, people in line at Target, they repeat the same strange indifference toward their nocturnal escapades. As a long-time lover of sleep time, I’d freak out if I didn’t remember at least a portion of my nightly wandering. Wake me up early? I’ll give new meaning to bear in hibernation.
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Not only does my creativity get a surge, my subconscious lets it be known in puzzle-wrapped packages that come in oh-so-disturbing falling/running/dismembered Oedipal bundles, that “Hey, kid, you should pay attention to this NEED over here. You’re not getting this. You should handle that before we sabotage yet another perfectly happy arrangement.”
Did I mention I cum in my sleep? Let’s not leave that out. I’m not talking about a wet dream in which I wake with a soggy patch and vague recollections of Fabio-esque duck lips. My glorious mind likes to take me on an adventure to times and places and lovers that symbolize You Name It Fuck Time. Men, women, orgies, Jeff Goldblum in the 80’s, spirits, dragons, all characteristic of one thing: balance.
I harp about this yoga-douche word a lot. Balance in all things, right?
It IS that important and here’s why.
The body, mind, and heart have one goal. It’s a simple goal swaddled in a skin-colored mess of complexity.
Chemically, our bodies do this with temperature and a fairly neutral pH level. Too hot or cold, too acidic or alkaline? We’re not happy campers. Our minds do this with a pleasure/pain ratio. Bored at work? Let’s fantasize. Working out hardcore? Rush of endorphins, please. Not feeling wanted, needed, or appreciated? Well, shit, let’s find an extracurricular endeavor to spark the Special Snowflake fuzzy feelings.
Most of the time, we live in a haze of life tasks that do not help bring clarity to the messages our systems send in order to stay balanced. In essence, we fight this knowledge like it’s a trip to the dentist without happy gas. We reach for lattes with extra whip. PornHub and it’s Lesbian strap-on scenes. Facebook and it’s never ending “99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of …Wait. Did she just UNFRIEND ME?!”
We’re hoping to blow off some steam. We’re hoping to drain the excess doubt, fear, regret or shame trapped in us like a geyser of ill-prepared mental gravity waiting to drag us to the bottom of the abyss. We don’t want to go down there. It’s dark and cold and we don’t have our blankies.
When did dreaming become so blasé? So unnecessary?
You dream, by the way. Boy, do you dream. Your subcon is doing a mad dash every night to slap labels on the day’s information and file them away. It’s a tornado of emotion, imagery, neurological connection, all whirling about in gale force winds and carving deep tunnels in the grey matter. Most of it surfaces in weird fragments, snippets of conversations we don’t remember, faces we’d like to forget, often disturbing and seemingly unconnected scenes that have more to do with our cat hacking up a fur ball than an insight or two that triggers a state of great calm.
Whatever you don’t remember, you don’t want to remember. Survival. Homeostasis at work.
There’s books about this, of course. Good ones that paint a scientific, grant-funded picture better than I ever could. Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head? by Brett Kahr is a great number. Jennifer Ackerman’s Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body is another. If you want to get all historical, Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” is a psychoanalytical Mein Kampf for the erotic masses, but I tend to veer away from dudes with oral fixations, cocaine addictions, and anyone who says a clitoral orgasm is not a true orgasm. How would he know unless he, what, dreamt it?
I doubt you’re here for that. Truth be told, I’m not here for that.
I dream and I like to dream. I tell myself I’m going to dream right before I go to sleep and I let myself be EXCITED over that possibility. I love the convoluted messaging at work. For example, a couple of weeks ago I had a dream about a man I met in session. We had instant chemistry. Now, I have a lover and we’re the quintessential kinky couple. Thoughts of others don’t bother us. We believe them to be natural and a fun topic of discussion and foreplay. But this new guy? He and I recognized each other right off like old friends. I love it when that happens and I find people on different frequencies of the radio dial. It’s the joy of being secure and independent.
Except when I start dreaming about fucking them. In my normal dream fantasizes, I’m with a stranger. A faceless, nameless hunk of whatever is missing from my daily dose of vitality and conquest. He may have characteristics of men I know and admire, lovers of days gone by, but overall he’s a puppet my psyche directs so that I may have my erotic balance.
The new man in question had a natural dominance that comes with attitude, skill, intelligence and experience. He was past the age and influence of needing to prove anything. Needless to say, we had a great session.
I was ready to leave it at that. The moment is the moment. Great work when you can get it.
My mind had other ideas. I tongued that toothless gap for three days straight, woeful addict that I am. Luckily, it was a cross-country episode, not easily repeated. I had time to ponder my fixation and this is what I dreamt.
We were in a hotel suite. He was sitting in a big chair. I was sitting in his lap. I was dressed, no surprise here, in a white blouse and pencil skirt. It felt like a secretary/boss role-play. I remember his hand (I have a thing for hands) edging toward the buttons of my shirt and the anticipation of skin on skin, hanging so close to the curve of my breast, gathered tingles in magic, dream proportions below the navel.
I stood up. The three days of angst were at an end. I was going to fuck this man within an inch of his life.
The room had a balcony and on the patio sat a little table. Something caught my attention. The drapes fluttered. The sliding door was open. While I watched, three birds flew unto the patio and landed on the table. Two were large birds of prey, hawks, and the third was a small songbird, a teenage Passeri with bright plumage and a frantic look. High on their heels came Mama Bird. To protect her offspring, she was ready to claw and peck her way to an early end.
In reality, this doesn’t happen. You don’t go up against two hawks unless you’re human and have a vicious Underdog fetish. In my dream, they all paused and looked at me, waiting for my decision on how events would proceed.
Here’s my choices. I could intervene, shoo off the hawks, and save mom and babe to sing another day. Or I could turn away and let nature take its inevitable course, recognizing the order of the food chain and the lack of control in death.
What did I do? I closed the sliding glass door.
Then I woke up.
I know and remember all of this because I wrote it down as soon as I could work the blur from my eyes. I took the time. And by doing that I realized what the dream was really saying to me.
I have a ridiculous Save Everyone mentality, pre-existing from days on the playground when the little kids needed protection from bullies, most of which were just boys being boys. I also believe that everything happens for a reason and we all have a part to play in the evolution of the species. I was the Mom Bird, the child in need of guidance and protection, and the hawks basking in their primal natures.
On one hand I wanted to save this man from my devious game, the rules he’s not privy to in their entirety or their consequences (of which I know all too well). On the other hand, I wanted to be the predator and relish in my evolutionary ability to kill and devour what is provided. Surrounding this conflagration, I wished to prove I was strong enough not to repeat the mistakes of my past. Indecision was eating me alive. To fuck or not to fuck, that is the question. Did I need to make a choice one way or the other? No, I did not. What I needed to do was close the damn door.
There’s other tidbits worth mentioning. I was sitting on his lap because I didn’t want to have control. I wanted to be vulnerable and at a strong, capable man’s erotic mercy. The chair we were in? It’s from a story I wrote my ex-boyfriend years ago, and he and the new guy have an amazing amount of personality traits in common. The two hawks? That’s me and my lover when we put our heads together on a project.
Layers upon layers of juicy info a 1,000 Illustrated Dream Guide couldn’t decipher with a road map and a bag of peyote.
This dream didn’t solve anything, but I did wake up with astounding clarity. Beneath that clarity was peace that I would continue to choose the right path for me AND those involved, simply because I know where I’m coming from, what I need, and whom I need it from.
That great ocean of calm, and dropping into its warmth where I know that all is exactly as it should be, it’s always available. That’s what the dream meant. All I have to do is close the door.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it’s not in comparison to arguments, breakups, fake ups, the games of deception and miscommunication, divorce, resentment, and more mental scarring than a burn victim. Drama that can be avoided with a late afternoon snooze.
Don’t have the patience for a dream journal or maybe your quagmire is so deep and congested a jackhammer couldn’t crack a dent? No problem. A little guided meditation can go a long way. Just because I have novelettes of symbolism doesn’t mean you can’t get a precise and quick picture/feeling/understanding of exactly what it is that’s causing an imbalance. I once had a session with a meditation practitioner that lasted less than ten minutes. She helped me relax, breathe deep, and asked me what I felt I needed. An image of a lemon came up and I was to rub the oil on the back of my neck when I felt stressed. Crazy thing is, it worked and still works.
That subconscious of yours? Maybe it knows exactly what you need when you need it. And you’re missing out on that ready-made doctoring.
All of this is pigswill down the drains if you’re not getting enough sleep. The recommended dosing is 7-8 hours. Can’t stay asleep that long? Get an eye mask, a vial of melatonin, a pair of Depends, and blackout curtains. Kids up at the crack o’ dawn? Hubby poking you in the back? Lock that shit down and let it be known whose running the show and when they’re allowed to disturb you. If mama ain’t happy, no one’s going to be. If you’re the primary care giver and not female, this applies. Energetic dads at the playground, big chick magnet. Grumpy dads yanking Joey’s arm out of his socket because he couldn’t hit the softball, I will fetch the battery cables.
One other thing. With some frequency, I wake up with a song in my head. (Lookey there, another layer. I take this as a welcome sign that Mama and Baby Bird are still kicking.) Today, I heard Pearl Jam’s “Immorality” crooning to me from the dark side and it prompted this article. I don’t know all the lyrics but my mind was emphatic I pay attention to the line, There’s a trapdoor in the sun….
The wonder of that. The jolt of happiness it gives to contemplate outside the tangible. It IS a trapdoor in the sun.
If nothing else, our dreamtime exists for the impermanence of all things. A way to cope and make sense of the senseless. What we glimpse on the other side of the veil, be it monsters or angels, alternate universes or past lives, we at least get the chance to taste dimensions pulsating through time and space and in that, dream the possibility of immortality.
Message sent. Message received.