Monday, September 23, 2013

Disavowing Dreams?

A metallic feeling of rejection woke me. It was a leaden-tin taste, a physically pervasive poison, molecular and osmotic. Conscious, I shuddered. I knew precisely why I'd had that dream, and what my ongoing thoughts and actions were now to be. It was a sure sign that my attachment to a past goal was not to be wrought, not to be made manifest. The goal itself would reject me.

Dreams do that to us. They mean things. Or not. Many of my dreams find origins in the immediacy of a given day; images linked to specifics, to the late night movie, to the arresting arrangement in a store window. Like the toy train-engines sought after in the journeys of my dreams. Colourfully, I've been in hobby departments, seen the gleaming engines. Tried to memorize the stores' locations, lucid-like within my dream, in cities as diverse as Ndola, Pretoria, Edinburgh, London, and... Well, I often lose myself on the way back to a specific store, to a glassed-in display, but the silver-wheeled locomotives keep being sought. (Having actually worked as a stoker, I know trains.) Nor can I quite afford the glistening electric thing when I find it. Often there are several kinds of engines from which to choose (not all in Hornby's HO gauge) and I get the feeling in my dream of wishing, wanting, waiting, and willing myself to find my way back to the object of my desire. But I never can quite carry the treasure away with me. Then again, since I found a CD with an indelible image of a derailment, that dream has not surfaced as frequently.

Narcissism would have one relate the significance of dreams easily. At five years old my recurring dream was that of tight-rope walking. I can still feel the sheer reality of the tension between choices as I stepped myself awake, even then. And given that I often had that dream as a child, high-wire images still stay with me and provoke my ongoing interest in matters of balance. (Like that ubiquitous picture of men casually at lunch on a high girder.) Lately, over the past three decades, I've been gliding, soaring, lifted free from the clutch of earth by my will, and without a flip-flap or a sense of fear, have wondrously drifted pain free over landscapes and cities and parks, skirting trees and skyscrapers, feeling aloft. A delightful dream; it is my favourite. And nowadays such flights of fancy occur once or even twice a week; a release from my persevering stream of physical consciousness that I've a continuously gnawing pain?

Pain and stress and circumstance create dreams; so does joy and love and situations. We often send hopes that 'your dreams' will be fulfilled; better perhaps to specify 'which' dreams, ha! Yes, symbolism, semiotics, atavisms and derivations abound. There are books on lucid dreaming, on the significance of this or that in dreams, and ultimately our dreams are about, well, me, myself, and I. We are the stuff that dreams are made of, the poet said. And we are the sleepers too. Ugh? Who else may dream our dreams for us?

Rejection is a taste. It is a feeling. It is a nightmare. Or it is an indicator. In the balance between this or that, best not to be derailed as we seek new vistas. Then again, how else to soar above it all but to be fancifully free from that which clutches one back to earth, like the very suck of gravitas itself? After all, are we such stuff as dreams are made of, perchance; or then again, perhaps not?

Ha! As some people say: dream on! 

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