Dreams of Sleeping, or why You Shouldn’t Eat Gravy Before Bed

This is the week for iffy sleep patterns and strange dreams. As far as I know, absolutely everyone in town has had trouble sleeping–heat, humidity, thunder that would wake the dead–and the general feeling has been described as “hung-over, but you haven’t been drinking.” So, attack of the poorly modified Kreb’s Cycle.

Time for tea, in other words.

I woke up just after a really bizarre dream, in which a Bestselling Author was giving a lecture that would have been more suited to a college professor, and wound up getting ripped for calling Tiberians Tiberians. Now, never mind the fact that Tiberius went around naming just about everything after himself, so exactly which Tiberians, and where was up in the air…  (There’s a snazzy tourist resort in Israel, and that’s probably what a modern human being would mean. I’m not sure I count as a modern human being.) Well, we just don’t call them Tiberians, anymore.

Oh, good. I have Second-Temple political correctness going on. In my head.

You would think dreams about a time period in which people believed that female orgasm was necessary to conception might possibly be more interesting… but uhm… no.  The appropriate Second Temple dream would be debating what to call Tiberians.

So, then, Author moved on to showing off wardrobe pieces for The Handmaid’s Tale. (Which he did not write.)

That means a chartreuse dress (roughly in his size) with truly enormous white ruffles that somehow, miraculously, folded up into little book-shaped ornaments that dangled off the dress at random intervals. I think there was a button. Ruffles. Books. Ruffles. Books.

Well, that’s definitely a “different” take on the Handmaid’s Tale.

 

Not Quite Screaming, but Still…

I had one of those dreams last night. The kind that have you waking up in a cold sweat, grateful to be under your own blanket in your own bed. I would call it a nightmare, but the truth is, it wasn’t all that scary, when I was dreaming it.

I was zipping down the road at a nice–but perfectly lawful–clip, and trying to buckle my seat belt.

A blue hybrid–one of those old, boxy things, with the enormous battery in the back–hit me head-on. The car was really, really blue. He was out of his lane, and I was distracted And for a second, I was flying through the air, or at least, knocked firmly around.

Everything went black–probably due to far too much TV–and then, I woke up.

That makes the second bad-enough-to-wake-you-up dream in the last couple of weeks.

No, I really don’t know why you have to know about this.

And yeah, maybe this is just a sign that I need more fish in my diet, or an extra vitamin pill before bed.

But at the moment…

Buckle your seat belts before you get on the freeway, and don’t drive distracted.

This has been a public service announcement from Karen’s subconscious.

You Are Supposed to Be a Cup of Coffee.

I’m not the only person in my peer group who had dreams, once, but I’m slowly creeping toward being the only one still actively working on achieving those dreams. Some dreams go fast. If you’re twenty-five, and just starting to dance, you’re never going to be a prima ballerina. Not every kid gets to be an astronaut, and most kids are too smart to want to be the President of the United States.

Maybe I’m lucky my dreams have a longer shelf life than most. If you had to be a writer by a certain age, or you’re done, I’d be in trouble. I made up most of my own deadlines, and then, I pole-vaulted over them. Not everybody can do that. Football (too late.) Gymnast (too late.) Mutant Superhero? (Still waiting on that reactor melt down.)

I still have a real chance. And, if you’re like me–if you’re one of the artists, the creators, the intellectuals, dragging people back into your own head–you still have a chance to grab your dreams, too. It doesn’t matter if you’re eight, or eighty.

Even so, I knew other kids who wanted to be writers, poets, artists… and they’re not.

They moved on to more practical things. More linear career paths.

At some point, they got out of high school, ran out of electives in college, and decided their dreams weren’t worth fighting for. Maybe they were pressured.

Parents like stability. So do romantic partners and future children. And society. We’ve all heard the jokes about “I’m a writer” being a euphemism for unemployed. And out here, in the real world, you’re going to be surrounded by people who gave up, or whose dreams timed out, or who never really knew what their dreams were in the first place.

And creatives are smart people. They’re absolutely capable of the doctor/lawyer/accountant path. So…. a lot of them turn.

Keep trying. Keep working. Keep your dreams close. I know it’s hard. I’m right there with you, thinking about selling life insurance to hamsters. I know the temptation to walk away, and do something that looks good on a resume and impresses people at the high school reunion.

I think you should keep chasing your own dreams.

But if you don’t…

Don’t be a doctor or a lawyer to make your mother or father happy. It won’t make you happy.

Be a cup of coffee to make me happy.

Fan-Girls, Groupies, and Choosing the Right Dreams

Last night, I dreamed I was helping one of my favorite authors rearrange his collection of movie posters.

I’m not sure whether this is a good dream or a bad dream, because on the one hand, I am kind of a fan girl, so I could have a pretty good time playing grateful slave labor. On the other hand, I do have some  qualms about encouraging this new movie/television hobby in someone who is supposed to be writing my new favorite book.

And, honestly, I have some qualms about the groupie-ing mindset that produces a dream like that.

Really? Dream Self offered to help you clean out your attic?

And furthermore, Dream Self didn’t even question it, when she was there in jeans and a t-shirt, ready to work… and you showed up looking like you were about to go on national television?

You’d think black would show at least a little dust, after a long day of attic diving. But…

Oh, yeah. That’s right. Dream Self Groupie.

And in this dream, I was just way too impressed with Favorite Author* to notice that I was basically following him around taking orders and hauling movie posters.

Suddenly, that starts to sound like one of those insecurities dreams. Not the rose, but near the rose type things.

Too bad. It was pretty fun, until I woke up and started thinking.

*No, I won’t name names. He probably isn’t that much of an asshat in real life.