I’ve had some weird dreams lately.
I dreamt that Lin-Manuel Miranda and I had coffee and we danced in the street and he brought me into a ticket booth and got me on-stage seating for Les Miserables that night.
I dreamt that Jose Andres and Tina Fey almost came to fisticuffs in the street, but I broke it up just in time in front of a bright yellow cab.
I dreamt that I had a surprise baby and drove him home alone, nursing him right there in the driver’s seat. I was pretty laid back about the whole thing, and that may have been the weirdest part of all. I brought the baby to a house where my sister, brother-in-law, and niece were waiting, and they all wanted to welcome him home and hold the baby. My niece desperately wanted to ask him how to bite a candy cane in half. He couldn’t answer because well, he was only a newborn baby, but also my nursing him had resulted in his face being covered over with wet newspaper. When I cleared it away, he could finally breathe.
I dreamt that I was part of a conspiracy to burn my friend’s house down. She was devastated and I pretended I had nothing to do with it. I was a criminal, and destructive, and a fraud. No one would have guessed the fault was mine.
I dreamt I took the longest walk ever with a friend of mine, and we talked about everything under the sun, all the things we leave unsaid.
The nature of dreams is something that’s been pondered and elevated and studied for as long as there have been people who dream. Some say our dreams are the work of our subconscious, some say they are drenched in symbolism, some say they predict the future. I read this morning on twitter that “Dreams are just your brain putting on movies for you so you don’t get bored when you sleep.” (@TheWeirdWorld) Whatever their true nature, my dreams seem to be a reflection of an active mind and a soul that doesn’t quite feel at home. My dreams contain equal measures of wishes and hopes and judgment and pain, just like me.
If I was the kind of person who tries to find meaning in things like dreams, (and I am that kind of person), I’d try to dissect it all into bits. My best guess is that the first dream reflects my hope for artistic elevation, collaboration and communion. (Plus, come on, it’s Lin-Manuel Miranda for goodness sake. Coffee and dancing with him is a dream everyone should have at some point in their lives.) The second is about my deep sense of helpfulness, superiority, and possibly a latent desire to live in a city. The third is something me and my kids could and probably should talk about in therapy for years to come. (I’m still stuck on the candy cane part. Your ideas are welcome!) The fourth reflects my nagging belief that I’m not who I say I am, that the layers of depravity go unnoticed and I get away with a lot. The fifth dream was a gift, a full expression of real connection, joy, and peace as I walk this road of life, and that, as they say, is the dream.
It would be wonderful if we could find clarity in real life as easily as it’s found in dreams. Under my covers, in the recesses of my unconscious mind, I can shed so much of what weighs me down: anxiety, consequence, limitation, worry. And whether they bring pain or beauty, there’s a freedom that can be found in dreams that I can’t seem to find anywhere else. On a day like today, it makes me want to hunker down and go back to sleep.