Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The source of dreams

Recently, I had a long, emotionally-fraught phone conversation with one of my sisters.

As is so often the case, as family issues were dredged up, dormant (mostly negative) memories twitched and stirred. Old feelings made their way to the forefront of my consciousness: anger, sorrow, resentment. Family dynamics and history, as we all know, are treacherous grounds upon which to tread. And I've yet to hear of a family that did not satisfy any particular of the definition of "dysfunctional." Suffice it to say, at the end of the evening, as I settled in to bed, my mind was occupied with thoughts from my past, thoughts of the living, thoughts of the dead.

Grandma and Grandpa Metzger
At some point in my nocturnal repose, I received a visit. I dreamed I was in the shower in my house on Hawthorne street when my maternal grandmother, Gertrude Metzger, who passed some 20 years ago, entered the bathroom and said "Hi, Dade." She was smiling, just as I remember her smiling when I was a boy: her face hopeful and sunny, her demeanor completely open. I felt no embarrassment at my nakedness, nothing untoward...it was completely comfortable. I was very happy to see her, and it occurred to me that I had missed her very much over these past 2 decades. The scene then shifted, in that way that dream scenes do. I was standing on a stage in a small auditorium. All four of my deceased grandparents were in the otherwise empty balcony, occupying the seats before me. From left to right, I could see Grandma Metzger, looking attentive and interested, then Grandpa Metzger, then Grandpa Cariaga, and lastly, Grandma Cariaga. Grandma Cariaga was looking away from me, hiding her face behind her hand. She seemed to be angry with me... fade to black...

Grandpa Cariaga
When I awoke in the morning, I had the distinct feeling that my four grandparents had come to visit me, to offer me some advice, to impart some wisdom.

I'm still mulling that over, puzzling about it. I wonder: what was the message I was intended to receive? And, were the sources of that message actually the watchful spirits of my grandparents, or was it my own subconscious conjuring images from my past?

In my life (and I have to imagine that it is true for you, too, dear reader), there are some dreams that have stayed with me for years. Some were disturbing and frightful; others were warm and comforting. Some of them made me regret having awoken. Some left residual emotions floating around me, sometimes for days afterwards.

Grandma Cariaga with my sister, Paige
There are many web sites that you can find that will help you interpret your dreams. A partial list:
These websites offer some interesting tidbits. But, really, I've yet to find a website or anything else that can really explain a dream to my satisfaction.

When I related my dream to my friend Sarah, she told me that she had heard that dreams are usually expressions of either fear or hope. That is, a dream is the psyche's way of conveying something that is weighing heavily on it, something it dreads (fear) or for which it longs (hope). This seems rational.

But the romantic in me is reluctant to abandon the notion that my grandparents are still out there, watching out for me, and still willing to come back and impart their wisdom.

What do you think?


Elise said...

Completely agreed. I ponder this often myself, and have yet to come up with a rational answer. As if I will..I mean, I'm only a kid. Your writing is relatable, thanks for your insight!

Shus li said...

That's awesome! All FOUR grandparents came a-visiting in one night.

They may have come to offer support, or some of their spirit for new growth. :)

In my way of being, that is a very powerful thing. My perception is that They are living in another dimension, not too far from ours, and will check in on us from time to time.

Dredging up the (buried) family memories...your grandparents offering help and perspective; seems you're well-supported from the Spirit realm.

You can set out offerings of thanks to them...grapefruit, candles, tobacco.

The big one, Dade; get the big one!

cousinmea said...

Hey Dade
This is your Mom's first (and your second) cousin Mea. We got reacquainted briefly at the family reunion last weekend. I decided to google some family names and came across your blog. Just wanted to say I love it! You really have a way with words. I sat here for about 2 hours reading. I'm in Astoria so if you and Maty everget up to this area I'd love to get together!