Posts Tagged With: dreaming

Back Flash, Not Quite the Same as a Hot Flash, But Close

This thing is a Thing.

This thing is a Thing.

Saw this car the other day parked across the street that belonged to some parent watching his/her kid practicing soccer. My favorite two-year old couldn’t ignore the thing. In fact she insisted on touching it, tried opening the door, peeked inside, very nearly climbed over the side and into the cute yellow and black plaid seats. Then I suggested a photo-op and she copped a few poses for me. Then she seemed satisfied.

Little did she know I’d just done a back to the future moment during all of that.

I so much wanted to own a VW Thing back in the day. So versatile, I thought. So cool, with it’s convertible roof. I could just picture myself at the beach, my surf board tossed casually in the back after a day of sun and waves. Or just as easily I could envision my backpack and tent piled in the back as I drove to the mountains for a weekend trip. Or even better, imagine me, the famous writer zipping about town in my flashy Thing, to this book signing and that book signing. I’d pop a cassette tape of David Cassidy in the ultra-modern radio console, crank my windows down, put the top back and be the envy of all who saw me.

Not sure how I was going to afford that on my McDonald’s “how may I serve you” salary, but I could surely dream big back then.

I wouldn’t have picked yellow though. Red, fire engine, fingernail, Maverick RED.

And after the dance, the Stomp is what we really called the casual dances, I’d pile my friends inside and we’d head over to the local drive-in and catch a double feature. Wouldn’t that be fun in a Thing? I thought so. Still do.

I liked how different it looked. Not like every other vehicle on the road. Fitting in was for cheerleaders and football players, not smart people.

Flash Back to the here and now. Reality check.

I’m just glad to drive something reliable, even if it’s a bit dated. And, quite frankly, I’ve had my fill of cars that stand out for weird reasons. Fading paint job, a never repaired gash, a window that won’t close, shocks that desperately need replacing on a nearly zeroed out budget.

I’ve been to the beach exactly four times. Closest I came to surfing was a sad imitation of someone boogie boarding. Gave a bunch of people a few good laughs, though.

Camping, I’ve done a ton of that. With MSH and the whole family. There’s some solid good times there. Sometimes all our gear sat atop the tiny Datsun in a totally uncool car top carrier. Sometimes it all fit in the back of the custom van or SUV. Sometimes it took a combination of both.

I met MSH dancing. That turned out okay. We even have a drive-in movie story that’s pretty funny.

We still have a cassette player in the truck we occasionally drive if we have to. There’s some pretty sweet tunes in our cassette collection. Chicago, Vivaldi, Three Dog Night, MoTab, Safety Kids, Brian Adams, Windham Hill, Whitney Houston, Yo Yo Ma, Hercules the Sound Track, Mason Williams, Sharon, Lois and Bram, Bread, Kenny Loggins. I could go on for paragraphs.

No book signings yet, I’m afraid. That would require an actual finished book. Working on that one. So maybe someday…

For the record, nowadays my dream car happens to look like this:

1975 Maverick Grabber

1975 Maverick Grabber

Oh yeah, baby!

Some of us just can’t let go of the past, at least, tiny bits of it. Ah, those were the days!

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Categories: Fun, Memory Lane, self-image, Transportation | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Hazards of Sleep

Ever grateful when sleep actually envelops me, I really shouldn’t complain.

And yet, this morning I find myself in a fog of sleep’s detritus, muddled, mired, heavy with the night’s work. For some reason the dream machine knobs all ratcheted up to extra high last night. Someone bumped the control panel maybe?

Only in dreams can a skateboard be a perfectly logical means of transportation on a freeway, as well as on a mountain trail.

Only in dreams does a wasteland of sandy desert intersect in clean lines with a dark thick forest of tangled growth and dangers.

Only in dreams can people leap from outlandish heights and end up landing gently in a moving vehicle.

Last night’s ultra vivid movie starred people from my past I haven’t seen in decades, as well as people I just spoke with yesterday. Complete strangers, of course, show up most often. As far as I can tell, no one had anything monumental or prophetic to say. Thank goodness.

Dreams fade fast, like sunsets.

Dreams fade fast, like sunsets.

Even now, as I write, most of what went on fades into the distance as quickly as a stunning sunset. Small glimmers of light wink on briefly but with no hand holds to grab for analyzing.

A couple of nightmares played into the mix as well. Being chased by something dark and evil, a maniacal laugh behind me as I attempted escape. MSH shaking me awake from my frightened cries. I shudder a bit even now as I think about the fogged over memory of it.

Years ago, when MSH traveled frequently for work,  I had a nightmare so real that when I awoke I held the nightstand over my head and was screaming at a non-existent intruder to get out. My children had run into the room and turned on the light and were yelling to wake me. Poor dears were more frightened than I by the whole thing.

Luckily, that’s the only time I’ve been up and about in a dream.

At two and three years of age my son experienced night terrors. What a helpless feeling to see your own child, eyes wide open, screaming, terrified, moving about, but unable to wake up. It took two of us to wake and calm him, one to hold him firmly, the other to get a cool washcloth for his face. Then both of us to talk him into wakefulness.

These remind me of a dream's ethereal and fragile nature.

These remind me of a dream’s ethereal and fragile nature.

I seldom remember my dreams or my nightmares. The few I remember still sit on a memory shelf at the forefront of my mind waiting for me to take them down and replay at will. Those, of course, pack a wallop of meaning and symbolism. Often, when I review the details of those dreams the meaning changes slightly based on changes in my life. I wrote one down once and emailed it to MSH because he played a prominent role in the dream. His interpretation, of course, fell in different lines than my interpretation did. Still does. Otherwise, my dreams stay in my head. No writing about them.

Writing a dream down gives it a different shape and texture. Assigning words to a thing as ethereal as a dream takes away some essential element and replaces it with a less refined, more sluggish substance. Even speaking about them out loud takes away part of the dreamlike quality, like attempting to capture fog in a glass jar.

If I could place an order for a dream or two I’d ask for a dreamy garden stroll with my maternal grandmother. I’d also like a dream of a day fishing with either or both of my grandfathers. And my  paternal grandmother and I at an NBA basketball game would be a dream of epic proportions. And of course, I really want a dream where Kathy and I could chat endlessly. And because it’s a dream and everything could be ideal she’d be the one driving the car and running with abandon and jumping on the trampoline and working on some hair-brained but brilliant project in the garage. Oh, and a dream of being on a cruise for a week would also be nice and relaxing. Of course, the real version of that would be better.

Yeah, I’d like to place my order for those dreams. So if anyone who knows the Sandman and can put in a good word for me, I’d appreciate it.

Awake feels good for now.

Let’s get on with the day, shall we?

Categories: Mental Health, physical health, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ignore It and It Will Show Up at your Bedside?

Oh, to sleep like a two-year old, almost twelve hours straight uninterrupted.

Oh, to sleep like a two-year old, almost twelve hours straight uninterrupted.

For the past five or six weeks I’ve run across a major roadblock to sanity.

Sleep runs the other direction when I put my head on the pillow. Dreams hide as the covers wrap me in warmth. Rest disappears and restlessness settles in like an unwelcome guest.

Legs twitch, itchy spots scream for attention, the mind performs acrobatics. Even my eyes get in on the action, closed or not, parades of colors dance and swim in loud splashes and vibrant displays.

The sheets warm past bearing, the air chills. The pillow alternates between rock and hard place.

And if by some freak of nature my body begins to relax into that mysterious land called sleep a siren screams through on a distant street, volume turned up extra loud. Or a dog barks. Or some sound or another disrupts that blessed descent to almost unconsciousness.

And if all is silent, then surely a thought intrudes bumbling and jostling its way down the crowded seating in my brain, stepping on every toe.

Every thing that normally invites sleep no longer has any power to invite, elicit, encourage or entice somnolence. A droning audio book, lullabies on Pandora, white noise, humidifier, deep breathing, relaxation techniques, limiting caffeine, eliminating caffeine, reading, lights on, lights off, a light in the hall, no light in the hall, a warm bath, warm milk, a heating pad, a cool pack, lavender, chamomile, a massage, a different bed, a different pillow, a different room, the couch, a chair, the floor, prescription sleep meds, Benadryl, nighttime cold meds, multiple pillows, no pillows, singing, humming, counting, imagining a peaceful scene, conjuring floating on a cloud, no screen time an hour before, rituals, prayer, snuggling, no snuggling, sitting up, a protein snack, no snack, a drink of water, aroma therapy.

NOTHING. WORKS.

I can watch a movie and drop off into an irresistible snooze, then sleepwalk into the bedroom and voilà, I am awake unable to sleep again. I can read a book, barely able to keep my eyes focused on the words, nodding off into incoherence, then closing the book acts like an on switch for wakefulness.

What am I thinking about? What am I worried about? What’s on my mind? What am I anxious about? Why am I wacko?

Everything. Nothing. Anything.

It hardly matters.

Sometimes, around six or seven in the morning, some trigger clicks and I’m out. However long I sleep it’s never long enough and when I do wake from that kind of daytime sleep I drag my head and body through the rest of what’s left of a day like a soaking wet blanket, useless and heavy.

The only thing that matters is the need for sleep and how impossible it is to achieve.

It’s not like this every night. Only sometimes. Every other night, every third night, sometimes. I wonder if I might simply spend the rest of my life exhausted, worn out, sleep deprived.

I can’t think that way, though. I have to believe that the word temporary applies here. Temporary sleep deprivation. Temporary exhaustion. Temporary insomnia. Temporary rest disabled. Temporary partial insanity.

What did Shakespeare say? Oh yeah, “to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream.” Unfortunately that lovely line resides among a soliloquy debating the merits of dying. It’s part of that whole “to be or not to be” speech. Yeah, that one. (Most of Shakespeare’s ramblings about sleep are really about dying, so maybe I’ll look elsewhere for a better quote or two about sleep.

How about this one?

“I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.” ~ David Benioff, City of Thieves

Or, this one is brilliant in an obvious and obnoxious way.

“The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” ~ W.C. Fields

I like how this author turns things in a positive light.

“You are not an insomniac! (you’re just a nighttime philosopher)” ~ Leslie Dean Brown

Probably, I should incorporate this one in my nightly prayers.

“Lord, grant us rest tonight, and if we must be wakeful, cheerful.” ~ Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons

Some day, or rather, some night, this insomnia will go away. I’m counting on it. In fact, I’m thinking tonight I’ll actually sleep. I’m overdue for some.

It could happen!

Categories: Mental Health, physical health | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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