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.
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.
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?