Good dream

The other day I wrote about a bad dream riddled with anxiety and fear. A few days later I had a very different kind of dream, that I keep thinking about now and then.

In the way of dreams, it didn’t make a ton of sense, and in the way of my dreams, I don’t remember how it started, mostly just how it ended. For some reason, I was interacting with characters from the Transformers movies, except not actually as they’re pictured in the movies, and I’m sure there were “good guys” and “bad guys” working together, though I only specifically remember the head good guy, Optimus Prime. There was something about a different threat, to the Transformers and humankind alike. I seem to remember zillions of human-sized plastic Transformer-type robots, threatening to over-run everything. (What can I say, it was a dream. When the brain gets to play, it doesn’t have to make rational sense.)

I remember being part of a typical rag-tag group of human “heroes” from action-type movies. I remember being locked in by the nebulous enemy, and then that we found our own way out. I remember flying across an ocean, seeking haven on an island in the North Sea. I remember reaching some kind of base, where planning and preparation could happen. And, most rare thing of all, I remember seeing myself.

There was a wall-length mirror or a mirror-reflection on a window, and it showed the lot of us, including me. A me who was lightly disheveled, tired, but calm. Ready. Looking for the next thing we had to do. Shortly after that, I woke up. I don’t know what happened next in that dream-story. But I’m left with that image of dream-me, and what she means.

In the week after my old job ended, I remember having several such dreams, action-movie sorts of dreams, with me involved in some action-hero-y kind of capacity. I think then it was the giddiness of finally being freed from a situation that I had been trapped in for a long time, and those dreams didn’t last. I haven’t had one in a long time — not until this week.

The thing that really catches my attention is that I’ve never gotten to be the action-hero in my dreams. Usually I’m some version of me who is uncertain, responding cautiously, wondering what is going to happen, afraid or appalled by something that does happen. Even in good dreams (which happen far too rarely), it’s not really about me being a hero, being competent and brave and active. I don’t think my sleeping mind ever knew how to make me into that, because that’s not how I’ve ever seen myself. But this week … I got to be the hero. Just for one dream so far, but my sleeping, playing brain drew me in as someone active and capable. That’s the part I keep thinking about. My unconscious, sleeping self seems to have changed its opinion of me. My waking self doesn’t always feel active and competent, but maybe waking-me thinks too much. Maybe she remembers too much of what’s old and finished. Maybe I’ll learn how to play the hero — or if not a proper hero, at least someone who acts for good in the world. That’s close enough to suit me.

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