Soul Dreams

Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. –Marsha Norman

I dream in color. Bright, vivid, deep color. Actions are fluid, ideas quickly shift from one point to another that seem to have no connection whatsoever. A necklace is given, taken away, and shouldn’t go to the next place. A tornado knocks on my door looking for me. A friend comes and her hair is the best I’ve ever seen, and then she disappears out behind the chancel area of the church.

I’ve always had dreams that took my by surprise. You’d think, they are part of me, that they wouldn’t be so surprising. But it seems that the older I get, the more creative my dreams can be when I rest the rest of me.

And then what about the other dreams, the ones that may not happen when I am unconscious, but the dreams I have for the future? Those dreams are vibrant as well. They are not quite as specific, sometimes. But they are dreams, hopes, goals even.

My soul rests. My soul waits. My soul writes a vision and a dream for the future. Things happen in my dreams that sometimes I don’t wish had happened. Sadness and sorrow fill me sometimes when I awake. But still, there is a point in the dream that lets me know the story is not over. The story may have come to the end of the chapter, but the book continues.

Hope continues.

And my soul continues to have faith in that hope. My soul journeys on, and the road continues to open to new possibilities. And now the dream goes on.

Monsters in the Night

This past week, I dreamt. I had a cold and so I had difficulty sleeping. Thanks to the invention of modern medicine, I was able to force my body to sleep, when it so desperately needed rest. But my brain had a hard time with this idea of rest. So, instead of peacefully slipping into oblivion or happy places, I spent three nights awash in disturbing images.

A monster rises out of the sands.

As I slip between the coarse grains,

sinking lower, losing my footing,

It towers over me; passing its hungry eyes across me.

Resting on the eyes of my dead friend beside me.

It eats her instead.

Many of my parishioners are going out to hike in Woodbine.

They set out, one by one, leaving past the laundry building to go explore the swamp.

My sister leaves, and I wait by the door to watch her go.

As I turn back into the house, from the other direction I see the sky has grown angry.

Clouds are rushing in and forming deep dark caverns.

As I check my window, to see what is coming, I glimpse a tornado rushing for me.

I run to the back of the house, but there is nowhere to hide.

The tornado finds me and…

I wake up. Frozen in terror. I literally cannot move. I am so stuck in my solid corpse pose that I must fully awaken to pry my hands apart. What did I do to deserve these images? Clearly affected by my drugs.

A later night, I am alone in my house. I cannot fall asleep because I am thinking of the things that are coming to steal me away. Clearly, paranoia is overtaking me, even though I know nothing will happen. Will nothing happen? What is that? Why can I not hear anything? If I scream who will hear me? If they hear me, will they come?

Eventually, I rest. I become better. I am able to slip peacefully into sleep, until the next night when I cannot sleep because I have foolishly been drinking green tea too close to bedtime. Tossing and turning in the midst of a caffeine stimulated alertness. More annoyed at myself for not preparing for bed than actually being tired. Knowing that I have a full day and week ahead of me, and that sleep would have been a good idea about right now.

When will I get rest? Real rest? Rest that fill me with energy and lets me come to meet you with grace. Until that time, let me meet you with grace anyway. So that when we come together in the end we are ready for anything. Even if there are monsters.

Now That’s An Idea

Why don’t you sleep 5 hours, then drive 8. Have a smoothie for  breakfast, skip lunch and have vegan supper in the car. Work on unloading and unpacking, and running errands, and then go to a strenuous dance for 3 hours. Stay awake for 20 hours while you are at it. Have Fun!

I mean, why not?

Your ETA Is Off.

In my family there is a long history of leaving obsessively early for any distance of travel. I remember when I was a small child while we still lived in Greensboro, when my mother would get us up early (at four or five am) to drive down to Grandmomma’s house. Or when as a teenager, we asked dad when we were planning to leave the house to go on vacation, and we knew to set the time fifteen minutes earlier than what he had stated (making it 5:45 instead of six o’clock). I came to the regular practice while in Kenya of waking up so that I was on the side of the road waiting for a Matatu at first light (sometimes a bit before) so that I could hope to arrive in Nairobi before a major jam.

This morning, as I was setting my alarm for when I would wake up, though it was already 1a, I set it for 6:30a, because I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was in time to get the key to my new apartment. As it turned out, I was a full hour earlier than I needed to be, so I stopped by my old house, to pick up some things from my old roommates. It also allowed me to have a leisurely breakfast sitting outside on my new picnic table, reading a mystery novel as I waited.

Fear not, after I had moved some things in, taken a shower because I was too sweaty, done a little of the work that I needed to do on my video project, had lunch, and stopped by the Duke library to get a book (finally! They had World Without End), a food coma set in, and I took a nice long nap. But I was here on time!

Extreme Napping

I managed to catch up on my sleep this weekend… Ahh, the joys of 4 hour naps. Now I can go back to sleeping six hours a night again. All it takes is a monthly crash, and it didn’t help that I was spending a few of the days quite alone, all that about getting energized by people really must be true.

Unfortunately I also woke up with a couple more scratches, heretofore unexplainable… How in the world I got a inch long welt on my thigh while I was asleep I’ll never know.