Friday, March 22, 2013
I woke up this morning, baffled and disoriented in the quiet serenity of my bedroom. Nobody was calling my name. Nobody was expecting me to do anything. As far as I could tell, everybody was exactly where they ought to be at 6:00 AM. How does a person drift so unintentionally across the line that separates us all from the chaotic world of the unconscious?
Other people have dreams that are difficult to interpret. That accounts for the high volume sales of dream interpretation books. I, on the other hand, tend to have dreams as transparent as freshly washed windows.
Take last night for instance. I dreamed I was back in the house on the farm—the house of my childhood, a house that was destroyed by a violent summer storm in 1988. The house was alive with people, people coming and going, wandering in from outside, strolling from room to room, opening doors without knocking. I can’t say I knew them, but they seemed to be people I was glad to see.
Some of the people were visitors. Others were clients waiting for counselling. That was strange. I didn’t have a space for counselling in that house. Still, it seemed important to counsel them. So I took the clients upstairs to my sister’s bedroom—the bedroom she had when we were kids. The bedroom was a mess—unmade bed, unwashed under-garments adorning the floor. Still, I invited the clients to sit. I sat on the unmade bed and began the counselling.
While I counselled from the bed’s messy edge, people came in and out. Some of them were guests coming to retrieve clothes from the floor of the bedroom. Some were clients waiting for later appointments (probably there was nowhere for them to sit downstairs, given the crowds in the house). One guest refused to leave the bedroom, but that didn’t phase me. I simply ushered the clients to my brother’s bedroom—a much smaller and messier room where we stood instead of sitting, standing being the most convenient alternative.
In general, I didn’t seem to have much going for me. I couldn’t give people privacy in their bedrooms. I couldn’t give privacy to the clients. I couldn’t find receipts when they tried to pay. Lacking solutions to any present problems, I promised everyone a better experience next time.
And this is the point where I knew for certain that I was dreaming. The guests graciously thanked me for making space for them. The clients assured me that they would be back for more counselling from me. Perhaps it was the surprise I felt that finally forced me into wakefulness.
It is one thing to wake in a quiet bedroom, and quite another to live an uncluttered life. My days at present are as messy as the bedrooms in the house of my dreams. The iPhone calendar is strewn with appointments at a variety of locations. One day I’m officially THEHOPELADY, another day a counselling instructor, a vision rehab consultant on a third. I have been present for a birth and a death in the time since Christmas. People I love are approaching me for shelter from flooded apartments, support to fight bedbugs, advice about buying a home. In one office I have a laptop, in another a desktop. Some days I have no computer at all, but every day confronts me with the din of demands to correctly remember entry codes, passwords, PIN numbers.
Given all that has changed and is changing still, it is perhaps not surprising that my dreams are less than tranquil. “Could it be,” I asked myself, shaking loose the cobwebs of dreaming in my quiet bedroom, “could it be that amid the chaos of my current life, I am okay, only I don’t yet know it?”