Button Sunday…in your dreams

I’ve talked about dreams before on my LiveJournal. Each person has a fantastic psychological and psychic dream landscape, rich with symbols, memories, fears, hopes, people–imagined and real–and messages from their brains. But I believe this landscape is one no one else can ever really share with quite as much enthusiasm or wonder as the dreamer.

One of the more miserable experiences of my work life was knowing someone who came to me every day to tell me her dreams and ask me what they meant. Although she was a nice person, I dreaded seeing her. I did anything to avoid being alone with her. She ruined what had been a pleasant acquaintance and pretty much ended any interest I had in talking to people about dream symbolism and meaning. Because of the way she turned every conversation into a discussion of her dreams, although I occasionally share a few details of my dreams with people (and sometimes silly details of a dream on LiveJournal), I never do it without the inner knowledge that listeners or readers are most likely thinking, Why should I care? or What does this have to do with me? or Will she EVER shut up? or the farmer in the dell…the farmer in the dell…

I’m willing to occasionally hear about someone else’s dream, as long as I’m not expected to analyze it. In fact, I’ve often found that when I try to filter someone else’s dreams through my perceptions, I’m met with resentment and hostility. Because no one can really understand another person’s dreams. Your dreams are genuinely all about you, and other people don’t need to go trampling over them in heavy shoes of logic and explication.

Some people say they don’t dream. They do, but they haven’t trained their minds to remember their dreams. Maybe they have other ways of understanding their interior selves. I need my dreams. They often give me answers to questions that trouble my soul, or give me hope, and even sometimes write in my mind words and scenes that become part of my novels. I believe many creative people draw on their dreamscapes for their work.

I started thinking about all this because of an article I read about dreams and grief. I’m including the full text behind a cut in case you’re interested, along with a beautiful painting I found by artist Nancy Tuttle May of North Carolina. And finally, just to show you that I don’t take it all too seriously, here’s a bonus button.

Continue reading “Button Sunday…in your dreams”

Random Musings

–I think the reason the Oscars seem like they’re longer every year is because there’s a little voice in my head saying, “HELLO, I’m hovering ever closer to the abyss–the one with the Grim Reaper standing at the edge–so could we GET ON WITH IT?”

–Anyone who talks smack about Meryl Streep? Show me your fourteen freaking Oscar nominations, ‘kay? Do ANY two people ever look like they’re having more fun at the Oscars than Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson? Proof that a) they have SO made it, and b) they understand that the right work is joy and life is fun, and oh, okay, possibly for one of them, c) substances can be our friend.

–I don’t think it’s likely that many straight women and most gay men can hear the song “It’s Raining Men” while driving in the car without shouting out at least one smiling, “Hallelujah!”

–Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies? Little circles of paradise.

–I still love Al Gore. I understand him. He’s an Aries. I once had a dream about Al Gore, and–but wait. I mostly don’t talk about my dreams on LiveJournal.

Another October

John in 1993

Today while taking a nap, I dreamed about my friend John. It was a silly dream, not worth repeating (as if anyone is ever interested in someone else’s dreams anyway), but it did remind me that John would have turned 41 on October 5.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in October of 1996, Tom, our friend Amy (Rex’s first mom!), and I were in Washington, D.C., volunteering for what would be the last display in its entirety of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. I could write a book about those cold, amazing days in our capital, but I won’t do it here.

A brief history.

On October 11, 1987, the Quilt included 1,920 panels and was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The Quilt returned to Washington, D.C. in October of 1988, when 8,288 panels were displayed on the Ellipse in front of the White House. The entire Quilt was again displayed on the National Mall in 1992 and 1996, when it contained approximately 37,440 individual panels.

Five panels that I’d made with the help of my mother and Tom, as well as my friends Amy, Lynne, Lisa, Vicki, Nora, Shawn, and Shelley, were among those 37,440.

After we returned from Washington, John and James were over for a visit. We looked at photos, but John didn’t really want to talk that much about the Quilt. One of my panels was for John’s former boyfriend, Jeff. However John may have grieved the loss of Jeff, he was looking forward to his future with James in that October when he turned 31.

None of us had the slightest inkling that two months later, John would be dead. What had seemed an early diagnosis of Kaposi’s Sarcoma, and the promise of the new protease inhibitors, all happened just a little too late to save him.

I know a lot of people don’t like autumn. The days get shorter. The weather turns cold. The falling leaves remind us of loss and decay. I don’t know why I love this season so much. But overall, I’d rather think of all the friends’ and family’s birthdays I celebrate during autumn, all the good people who’ve been part of my life, and all the ways that dark times are always, always followed by rebirth in the spring, new friendships, renewed hope, and a planet that has so much to teach us if we only pay attention to its cycles.

From the NAMES Project Foundation web site:

Funds Raised by the Quilt for Direct Services for People with AIDS: over $3,250,000 (U.S.)
Number of Visitors to the Quilt: 15,200,000
Number of 12’x12′ Sections of The Quilt: 5,748
Number of Panels in the Quilt: approximately 46,000
Number of Names on the Quilt: More than 83,900 (The names on the Quilt represent approximately 17.5% of all U.S. AIDS deaths.)
Size : 1,293,300 square feet (the equivalent of 275 NCAA basketball courts with walkway, 185 courts without walkway)
Miles of Fabric: 52.25 miles long (if all 3’x6′ panels were laid end to end)
Total Weight: More than 54 tons
NAMES Project Chapters: 20
International Affiliates: 43

Amy, Becky, Tom in 1996

Around The Compound

I don’t know what time I went to bed last night. I was really tired. I know Rex was all WTF?!? when I put him in his crate, as it was definitely many hours before Tim’s usual bedtime.

I then got my pillow and a quilt from downstairs and stretched out on Tim’s bed. (Not under your covers, not using your pillows, so it’ll be like I was never there. You know I hate making Tom do more laundry. Heh.)

I fell asleep quickly, but I woke up about every two hours and tortured myself trying to figure out what time it was. Finally, just before six, I got up and released Rex, who once again had that WTF?!? expression on his face. It was mirrored on Margot’s face when Rex and I took a walk around the yard. I spotted her staring out the Home Office window at me. In her case, the WTF?!? look was her sense of betrayal that I’d spent the night out with another dog. Somewhere inside, I’m sure Guinness was just thinking, “Is it time for breakfast yet?”

During the course of the night, my dreams let me know everything I’m stressed about. For example, I dreamed that I was filling my car with gas. Even though the gas was $1.67 a gallon (cue Rex’s WTF?!?! face here), it cost the guy in front of me over $300 to fill his truck.

I also dreamed that I needed to turn off the air conditioner. I don’t know why, because I damn sure wasn’t cold at Tim’s. Here at The Compound, we’re keeping the thermostats between 85 and 90, and I’m still thinking we’ll need to pimp out Tim to pay the utility bills in July, August, September, and October. Any takers? (Right now, in the suburbs, Tim’s face just got the WTF?!? look.)

I also dreamed about the TJB5 manuscript in progress. Which was kind of good, because I’ll probably get a chapter out of what I dreamed. Although I’m sort of 0 for 4 on pleasing my writing partners with what I’ve written so far.


The True Value of a Writing Partner

I took a three-hour nap earlier since I didn’t get much sleep last night. I was having this really long and elaborate dream, and Tim was in it, as were several (other) celebrities. But when Bill Cosby showed up on a motorcycle, I turned to Tim and said, “This is when it jumped the shark, isn’t it?” And Tim gave me a grave nod. I can always count on him for an honest editing job.

Lost Days

Friday night when I was cooking dinner, I got these stabbing headache pains. There was a time that I got a four-to-six-day headache every month connected to my cycle…and I don’t mean my bicycle. That was my friend L who fell off her bicycle and nearly gave herself a concussion.

I no longer have those headaches with regularity, but I do sometimes still have them. Friday night was a warning. I was pretty much okay Saturday, but Sunday and Monday, I have been immobile, able to do little more than take massive quantities of drugs to help me sleep my way through it.

One of the side effects of all this drug use/sleep is bizarre dreams. I won’t bore you with them, except that yesterday, I dreamed this woman was Tim’s mother.

I see that he just posted that he’s not related to them. Now I need a disclaimer about her. ‘Cause if he needs a mother other than the one he got biologically, he’s better off with my Neely “Give me my dolls!” O’Hara butt than her.

Holy Nightmare, Sandman!

I just sat up in bed to get out of a nightmare in which four people from my past came to torment me. No wonder I never sleep.

It doesn’t matter how many years pass, how much you hope you’ve accomplished, or how happy you are with your life. Someone can show up in a dream and you can feel EXACTLY as lousy as they ever made you feel a lifetime ago.

Asphalt Dreams

They are repaving the road in front of my house. The dogs are not happy with the noise. But oddly, I got six hours of solid sleep in spite of the noise. Maybe because of the noise. Other than that annoying beeping when trucks back up, it’s all been a steady hum and/or roar, and I like noise when I’m sleeping.

Except music. If music–or even the TV–is playing while I’m sleeping, it makes my dreams too freaky.