Dreaming

I need a Joseph or Daniel-type dream interpreter. I’ve got this recurring dream sequence. It’s not so much a dream, per se, as it is a really annoyingly rude way to wake up. For four or five years now, it’s been an almost nightly thing.

I’m in that drift-off-to-sleep comfy phase, where everyday things are still floating through my mind but all is slowly fading to black. At some point in sleepy land, no matter what I may actually be dreaming, I eventually start thinking that I haven’t taken my medicine. For weeks. The stuff that keeps me alive. I’m going to die. I need to take my medicine. I need to take it now or I’m going to die. Soon there will be no turning back. This is my last chance to turn things around.

All the while, I feel like I’m being shot out of a cannon, flying through a tunnel, and then in real life I wake up gasping for air, often sitting straight up in bed, sometimes with my feet already on the floor ready to run for my life. One night I even ran halfway down our hallway to the kitchen before I woke up.

It is so extremely urgent.

It is so extremely confusing.

As I’m gasping for air in the dark, I wake up enough to think — I did take my meds. I’m ok. Calm down. Why so alarmed? Besides, I don’t even take whatever medicine it is that is so completely about to ruin my life if I don’t take it now, at this instant.

Dang y’all, it is a rough wake up.

It reminds me of that scene in the movie “In Time” where (spoiler alert) Justin Timberlake and the mom character are running super fast to each other so he can give her another dose of time so she can live and they almost make it to each other but she drops dead right in front of him and falls into his arms because she ran out of her time currency just as she reached him.

If you read that sentence quickly without taking a breath and added a little dramatic flair, that’s a tiny sample how my dream thing feels.

The good thing is I never dream it more than once in the same night. I never dream it when I nap. The bad thing is that it still happens. Often. Multiple nights a week often with ebbs and flows in intensity. It had settled down for a while, but lately the fervency of it has ratcheted up with no discernible way to make it stop. It’s exhausting.

The irony is, the one night I actually did forget to take my meds, I slept like a content little happy baby. No lie.

I haven’t tried hard, but because of the intensity as of late, I have started to attempt to figure out what’s going on. Is it an anxiety dream or am I simply anxious about having the dream? Is it a reflection of what my mind sees happening in this crazy little world of ours? Is it a warning of some kind? Am I working out past stupid decisions? Or is it my body’s way to wake me to go to the bathroom? If that’s the case, that’s just uncalled for — geez body, just wake up without all the drama. You know? Sheesh.

I believe God can and does talk to us in our dreams, but I don’t fall into the camp that believes every dream has significant meaning. However, this ceaseless nightly repetition, no matter what I do to try to stop it, feels like there just has to be something there to learn or to ponder, whether spiritual or emotional. I just haven’t quite deciphered it yet. You may see it right away, but it is clear as mud to me.

I wish I could stay asleep a little longer to see what direction the dream would go. Would I then understand? Would it resolve happily? Would it frighten me more? Would it go away? Unfortunately the whole catapulting cannon thing has, thus far, made it impossible to keep slumbering.

I read that a tunnel in a dream can signify change. Using that symbolism, my best guess at this point is my mind has been watching a major transition — in the world? in my life? both? — in progress and is trying to process the enormity of all that is going on. With all the wars and rumors of war, pandemic, natural disasters, and pigheaded politicians in all parties and countries, there is a pervasive point-of-no-return feeling. If so, I pray for a reprieve; one more outpouring of the Spirit.

On a personal level, one kid started college last September, our other kid will start her senior year in high school this year and then go off to college. Big, big changes are happening. We are quickly moving as a family to our kids moving on and out forever. It’s a good thing, don’t get me wrong. It just feels so… sudden. How does life go by so incredibly fast?

Sigh.

At any rate, very much like “giving a song away” to get it out of your head, I hope this dream business will stop now that I’ve written it out loud and shared with you. If not, I will continue to pray and trust that one day I will have many a good night’s sleep in a row without this interruption.

Sweet dreams everyone.