When I have a dream that I’m sleeping and dreaming, then I invariably wake up disoriented and discombobulated.
I visit a recurring place in some of my dreams; a distinct and definite building and architecture that molds itself to what the dream wants to show me. I recognize hallways, passages, doors, exterior landscapes. Although new rooms and wings appear frequently, it’s all the same place. Whatever goes on there I find myself thinking through it for the entire day, sometimes two days. It’s a shadow of a real place I once belonged in, a place of unfinished business and unresolved issues. I wake knowing my brain wants desperately to make sense of something. What that something is, often remains a mystery, no matter how much pondering I engage in.
Waking from those particular dreams takes more time than usual. The gauzy strings of a cobweb have draped themselves around me. I pull and peel layers away for an hour or two until I’m fully conscious, fully me again.
Traveling feels a bit like that. I’ve lived in and inhabited a place, a world, a new daily paradigm. I’ve settled in, somehow brought and left the old me and routines behind. A few days, a week, or longer, being somewhere else changes things, changes the chemistry of me. Then a long drive or the processing from one airport to another, like a dream, lands me waking and dazed in my same old world.
I’m hesitant to take up normal. Reluctant to engage in the daily usual. I no longer fit in neatly because something interior and exterior has changed and no longer quite belongs.
I spend a day in limbo. Between where I’ve been and where I am lies reality. Neither There nor Here feels right.
I need a way station. A temporary place to process the changes, the newness, the experiences of the past week.
Perhaps that’s what my dreams are.
A debriefing, is that the term they use? Yes, that sounds right.
Maybe a whole day of debriefing, of writing and thinking, then more writing, will help me process, file, assimilate, settle in. Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll continue to hover between two worlds, with a third world calling to me.
For now, I think I’ll just go back to sleep. After all, a little nap couldn’t hurt anything.