Dreams are unusual things. Not the dreams that you are awake for, the goals you set; I mean the dreams that are part of your nightly sleep. At least I think we are supposed to dream every night; I just don’t remember too many of mine.
I have a few different friends who enjoy the study of dreams, who like to analyze and critique and break down and figure out what the hidden meaning in each dream is.
For me, if I remember a dream it is usually right after I wake up and it doesn’t stay with me very long. If you were to ask me what I dreamed about last night, I probably couldn’t tell you.
So it’s unusual to remember one, let alone for any length of time.
One early childhood dream is one I have never forgotten. It had to do with a wild animal, prowling an area behind the community swimming pool in my hometown. The pool was adjacent to the playground area of the school and the grounds behind the pool sloped downward and into a wooded area, where a small creek ran through the property behind the school.
In this dream, the wild animal seemed to be on the lookout for any human form, teeth bared, ready to pounce. Several people, including me, were hiding from it in the woods.
My thought process there is that the dream came out of some lingering trauma I must have had from when I was bitten by a neighborhood dog. The dog lived just down the road from us and had followed its owners to the pool one hot August day. When I was leaving the pool to walk home, I saw the dog and since I was familiar with it, moved to pet it. Outside the pool gates and possibly having had one too many human interactions already, the dog leaped up as I bent down to pet its head, and basically ripped my top lip apart. Bite marks on both sides of my upper lip, a half dozen stitches to close the wounds, and no more swimming for me that summer.
My most recent dream had nothing to do with dog bites but it did have to do with the last place I lived in New York before heading west.
It was a small upstairs studio in a converted carriage house. As far as I remember, there were five total apartments in the large building that used to house the horses and carriages for the main house back in the 1800s.
In the dream, I was back there visiting and the carriage house had gotten a complete makeover, with the apartments all updated. I was touring one that was upstairs across the hall from mine and though it was fresh and new, it also reminded me of a huge aquarium, as one wall was all glassed in and you could just see inside the apartment as you walked down the stairs.
I don’t know if I am supposed to see some symbolism there; no clue as to what it might mean. Perhaps one of my dream friends can fill me in.
But even more unsettling was that I got just the smallest glimpse into my old apartment. In real life, back when I lived there, you went in the door at the top of the stairs and into a short hallway, wood on both sides, with a couple of coat hooks on the wall. Then you turned right at the end of the hallway and into a small area that had a tiny kitchen/dining room area with a small living room and bathroom with a half-wall dividing that from the bedroom area.
In my dream, all I got to see was the hallway, which somehow had been made wider, brighter and had brand new tile replacing the wood and a large screen TV at the end of the hallway. I was anxious to see what had been done with the rest of the apartment but before I could turn the corner, my alarm went off. Frustrated, I tried to fall back asleep but it was no use, I couldn’t get back to the dream.
I have been thinking about maybe doing a painting project at home, a little rearranging … maybe that dream was just a subconscious nudge that my awake self should get to work.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.