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latest dream.

June 19, 2011

The word “dream” can be confusing. It means our dreams and aspirations. What Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes wrote about in the poem “A Dream Deferred.” I’m not going to quote that poem, you can look it up.

These are the dreams we have when we are awake (although sometimes our unconscious minds will let us know about these aspirations while we are asleep). For example, I have a few dreams.. being a successful writer (not only writing brilliant novels, columns, articles, but making a LOT of money and gaining a lot of prestige doing so.. I dream about being interviewed by Charlie Rose on TV), becoming an excellent musician (not a famous one, not a rock star, just a very very good, inspired and inspiring musician, who plays alone at coffee shops, and at larger venues within a day’s driving distance, not touring all over), and getting a far better camera with more megapixels and a strong zoom lens so my photographs will be far superior to the ones I’ve been taking. I already take some excellent photographs. This comes natural to me, but I would do SO much better with a better camera.

There is another use for the word “dream,” and these are the dreams we have while asleep.For most of us, the time we are asleep is at night, or in the morning, right before waking.

Many people like to try and analyze their dreams. If I remember right, both Freud and Jung were into this.. Sigmund Freud (pronounced “froyd”) of course had some warped sexual perspective on this. Carl Jung (pronounced “young”) .. I’m not sure what Jung’s perspective was, but it had something to due with the collective unconscious.. a theory (or perhaps far more than that) about an unconscious state which we all share, in waking hours and when we are asleep.. a consciousness that every human shares.

I don’t think explaining this idea (or truth?) using words does it justice. It’s like the ancient Chinese concept of The Tao. Too vast and all encompassing for words. So I won’t try to describe the collecting unconscious any further.

Jung also wrote about archetypes. I know even less about these, but do plan on studying about them soon. The only archetype I can think of is the hero who overcomes adversity.. to become a hero.

If this sounds like Joseph Campbell territory, you are correct. Campbell, the 20th century’s foremost expert on mythology, wrote a lot about heroes various forms of religious philosophy, and myths. One of Campbell’s books is called “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”

In case you are wondering, Freud died in 1939, Jung passed away in 1961. and Campbell died in 1987.

In my opinion, the writings of Jung and Campbell are both well worth reading.. Freud, not so much. Freud had this idea that studying severely mentally ill people would help him figure out how “normal” peoples’ minds worked. Not very logical. The minds of severely mentally ill people are not the same as those without severe mental impairment.

I am no expert on any of these men, nor do I claim to be. But since I am on the topic of dreams, archetypes, and so on, and I thought I would mention these men. Two of them, Freud and Jung, are considered the fathers of modern psychology.

Getting back to dreams, in particular, the dreams I had this morning and early afternoon. I tend to get to sleep around 3 am. The dreams I have that I remember tend to occur sometime in the morning. I wake up to use the bathroom between 7 and 8 am, usually, and when I do wake up, I sometimes remember what I was dreaming about. On rare occasions, I can get back into a dream where I had left off. This morning, it was like that.

Earlier in the morning..Hmmm, pardon me for the interjection.. First, I should mention that the people I interact with in my dreams are almost always people I have never met. This makes me think of Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious. Are these other people, real people, I am dreaming about, and am I in their dreams too? Sort of like an online video game? An online video game maybe virtual, but the people playing take part in the “reality” of the game.

Do we take part in each others’ dreams? I don’t know.

The second thing I point out is that although these people are around me, and we occasionally talk to each other.. the conversation is minimal.. almost no interacting at all. They are not friends, mainly strangers, but there is no animosity between us.. we don’t know each other, but we feel decent about being around each other..

The dreams (or rather the dream that I was able to continue after I woke up, and went back to sleep).. were like this.. the parts I remember, anyway.

I had gotten together with an odd but amusing theater troupe. We were rehearsing some comedy variety show and having a very good time doing it.

We were in some park. I and one other guy were on a very wide sidewalk, practicing our act. There were a few others around, but they were working on other acts, rehearsing or planning or just enjoying the day.. nice late spring weather, or early summer that is unseasonably cool. Sunny, a gorgeous day. Very pleasant and comfortable.

The guy I was working with and I were doing a cheesy reenactment of a lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.(Did you know the word “vader” is Dutch for “father?” Appropriate, since Darth is Luke’s daddy).

Why these two Star Wars characters? That, I have figured out. I recently bought a t-shirt with a design by one of the more extreme and most gifted artists in the city where I live. In the t-shirt design, which can also be found on his prints, postcards and buttons people can stick on their clothes, is a well done painting of three men in a dark room, sitting at a table.

Bob Marley, Dick Cheney, and Darth Vader. Bob has a big smile, and is holding a small packet of zigzags, or some other brand of rolling paper. Cheney is looking over at Mareley and smiling. Cheney is holding a ziplock bag with some marijuana in it.

On the table are an ashtray, a clear water bong, and a bottle of Jack Daniels’s. Darth Vader has one leg up on the table, is leaning back in his chair, spewing smoke through his mask. The smoke is blending with the cloud already hovering in the top of the room. In one Vader is holding a VERY large joint.

The room is dark.. I suppose because the three men are doing illicit things.. sort of how many bars are dark, or basement poker rooms are dark, except for the tobacco or ganja smoke.

A most interesting and original painting, wouldn’t you agree?

I don’t suggest trying to steal this guy’s ideas. All his stuff is copyrighted, and he’d be more than happy to sue you and make some extra cash.

Ok, so I got the Darth Vader part of my dream figured out. Oh yeah.. I still have a Darth Vader action figure from my childhood. I was going through some drawers and I found the figure.

How about Luke? Sitting next to the TV in the family room is a Luke Skywalker figure. It is the first of the Star Wars toys I bought when I was a kid. The figure is clearly visible next to the TV. I usually watch TV in my room, but my nephew was visiting, and wanted to see “The Two Towers.” I don’t let him in my room because I have lots of electronic equipment and instruments in here and I don’t want him to mess with my stuff.

We watched the Tolkien film on the bigger TV in the family room. I have the extended edition of the movie, and it took us two sittings on two different nights to watch it. Since I have Luke sitting next to the TV I occasionally glanced at the figure while watching the movie, and I saw Skywalker with my peripheral vision as well.

Ok.. so I know why those guys were in my dream.. Sometimes we dream about things we have seen or read or experienced that day or in the night time before bed.

But this is all I have figured out.

This guy I was rehearsing with was dressed as Vader, a cheap looking Vader outfit with a good solid Vader helmet, and black padding, similar to what baseball catchers wear, was strapped to his chest.

I was dressed as Mr. Skywalker, except my trousers were as white as my shirt. Tight pants and baggy shirt, like Luke’s.

I also was wearing a crazy dark brown wig, all messed up looking, very unkempt. Luke’s hair was dark blonde, not dark brown.

I knew I and the Vader guy both looked silly, even absurd, and that was a large part of the fun.

We were fighting. I was extremely joyful. I didn’t wear any padding, but I didn’t need to.

Vader guy was holding a hard plastic red lightsaber, like kids can buy in toy stores. Vader always used a red lightsaber in the movies. Luke’s were either blue or green.

I was holding a white ninja weapon, a chain of sorts with a little metal handle at each end.

I know where this part of the dream came from. As I mentioned, my nephew had been visiting. He is a Lego fanatic, and my mom had bought him a Lego kid, which he put together in only a half hour. Impressive!

His kit was part of the Ninjago series. I looked through the booklet that came with the kit, and one of the ninjas had a chain weapon very similar to what I used in my dream. Only the Lego weapon was gold, and mine was white to match my clothes.

That is the explanation for me having a chain weapon.

In the dream, I was winning.

Vader guy kept sneaking behind me so as to try and hit me on the head, but I could somehow see him in my peripheral vision, over my left shoulder. I kept swinging my chain weapon in back of me, and smacking him in the chest, maybe even got him once in the head.

I was having an incredibly joyful time.

Vader guy was not happy. He wasn’t physically hurt at all, but was a bit down, and rather annoyed with both himself and me that his tactic wasn’t working, and that he hadn’t hit me, and I’d hit him three times. He didn’t say anything, but I can tell he was quite bothered.

We were done fairly soon, and I had to go into some kind of fairly small room set up as a dressing room, to change clothes for the next skit, or act, or whatever.

There was one other guy at the dressing room table in the area where I was supposed to be. He had just finished getting into his costume, and was applying theater makeup or whatever.

I didn’t notice what he was wearing, because it turned out that the room we were using as a dressing room was coed.

To my left, facing the other direction from the guys’ table and mirror, was a woman kneeling up on her chair. She was wearing only some very small dark panties.. or perhaps the bottom of a bikini, and was tan and topless.

I just saw her profile. Wonderful figure and breasts, not large breasts, but proportional. She was in fantastic, dare I say practically perfect shape. Very sexy!!

I could somehow tell she had a lovely face too, and was the kind of woman who’s very very confident and comfortable with herself being mostly unclothed. I don’t think she would have cared at all if I stood and watched. She would have found this amusing. I was not the type of guy that would ask her out, hit on her, try to get with her. She knew I wouldn’t trouble her at all. Something to do with my innocence, old fashioned manners, etc.

I looked at her, looked away.. looked back at her again a few more seconds, (this is called doing a “double-take” – seeing something or someone rather unusual or out of place, looking away, then turning back again, this time looking more closely, to confirm what was seen at first glance is actually there and real) then turned my head and went about my business. This was out of respect, good manners, and professionalism.

I got to the table and mirror, took off my wig, and put my glasses back on. In real life, I am balding, and shave my hair – what’s left of it – very short. And I wear glasses. I’ve been told by a couple people I look vaguely like a Buddhist monk.

Because of this, I was selected (selected by who, I don’t know) to portray a monk. I put on monk’s robes.. the usual dark orange over the shoulder robes, and went back out.

I sat with some other people, dressed like normal.I sat in the Japanese sitting position with legs tucked underneath, and sitting on them. VERY uncomfortable for westerners, but I seemed to manage just fine.

We were sitting in a circle, and all eyes were on me. I was giving some kind of teaching. This was a real teaching, and also part of the act.

I don’t remember what other acts there were.

In my dreams, scenes and situations change instantaneously, and this feels totally normal.Here we were, in a room, with some people in folding chairs.. 40 or 50 people? The room was sort of like a basement social hall in a church, except with no vibes of Christianity going about. No sentimental, pious pictures of Jesus, nor any crosses.

The audience sin the room seemed stern, unsmiling. But not terribly displeased either.

We did our show. No stage, just performed in the main aisle and in the front of the room. I remember almost no details. I do remember that I did my Buddhist thing, but don’t remember if me and Vader guy had our mock fight. I have no recollection of that.

By the end, the people didn’t display much of a reaction, but we were quite pleased with ourselves Wasn’t it awesome? Weren’t we awesome??

This was the time I woke up, and went to use the bathroom. I then got back into bed, and hoped and planned on getting back to sleep, as usual.

It was sort of an act of will to get back into the dream, a continuation of it.

Evidently, even though our first small audience didn’t seem to react at all, the show somehow became a hit. We found ourselves in a medium-sized (but looking very big to us) genuine theater, a nice one.. stage, cushioned seats, etc.

We were not feeling good about this. Uneasy. Very uneasy. Unlike our rehearsals and previous performance (or performances? I only remember doing one) we were not doing this for fun. We felt like we should do our show, because we had been given the chance to reach a wider audience, a more affluent crowd, in a real theater. Hundreds or maybe a thousand or more people would be watching us. They will have paid money for tickets, and would really be expecting a show.

The audience we first performed for weren’t paying.. they were just people off the street who were bored and so why not wander down to a basement room and watch a free goofy show put on by people who were obviously having an exuberant time. Joy and laughter are contagious, aren’t they? Even though our first audience was not smiling, they were probably somehow getting a contact high from us.. not a drug-induced contact high.. but one that comes from real, joyful, honest living!

In the somber and intimidating empty theater, we were getting ready, and we were all depressed and tense. There was a feeling of dread, of doom, of hopelessness. I don’t know if we were being paid or not. I don’t think we were. This was our chance to get lots more exposure. Somehow our show had become a hit, after one small performance, and this was our first time in a theater. We’d thought we’d just continue to do small gigs in small halls, and perform outdoors for whoever was passing by. We didn’t expect exposure or acclaim or interest like this!

We went through our acts, sort of. I remember everything fell flat. No joy at all.

I remember getting up to the podium.Why there was a podium even there, I don’t know. I am guessing nothing else was working, so I had to get up and give a talk. To kill time. Everybody else had finished, except for those who would not go onstage, and our presentation was supposed to go on for a little longer. I had been urged in a disgruntled, mumbled way to do this. And I was game, so there I was, at a podium, talking

I might have been in the robes for a second or two, then, in an instant, without changing clothes, I was in a suit. I was in a dark blue suit, still wearing glasses very similar to the ones I usually wear, with gold-colored frames. But, I had a full head of hair.

My high school senior picture is on a shelf in the living room. That picture is 20 years old. I was looking at it last night, and surprised I used to look like that. The hair I had in the dream looked like this, but in the picture, I was not wearing glasses. I looked very business-like, confident.

This might have been the first dream in which I saw myself, like people see themselves on TV or in movies. Up until this point, this dream, I’d always seen things in first person, just as I do when I awake. Strange. In this dream, I saw myself in profile, as I was waiting in the wings, or standing to the far left of where I was.

I was delivering some sort of message to the crowd. NI don’t know what I was saying. It was somewhere between a lecture and a secular sermon. I was not talking with a lot of enthusiasm, not at all like those supposedly filled with the holy spirit howling TV preachers on TV. Just talking in a normal, professional-sounding voice, addressing the crowd.

That was pretty much the end of the dream, except..

I had a very brief image of the theater being empty again, but this time it was after our pitiful show.

The dream quickly faded out. That was it.

Unlike Freud or Jung or Campbell, I have not tried to analyze my dream. I’ve just reported it, as I have done when writing about other dreams.

When I remember dreams, I like to write them in this blog. Sometimes a meaning comes to me later, sometimes not.

I wanted to write about this dream, and dreams and general, so I have.

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