Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dreams and Sleeping

My whole life I've had vivid dreams while I sleep. At least 6 nights a week the craziest dreams rip through my mind at a pace I can barely keep up with, and when I wake up I guess I'm rested. I get so little sleep anyway I'm not sure my body would even know real rest. I haven't slept well at all since our children arrived over six years ago. I might get 5-6 hours a night, and if I sleep longer I wake up feeling ucky.

The vivid dreams started early. When I was young I had a recurring dream that I had two moms: my evil mom and my real mom. The evil mom had a warped, demonic face and a cold, whispery voice. It was my mom, but a dark, twisted version of her. My real mom always seemed to be in the next room when the evil mom appeared, so they never actually met. I couldn't convince my real mom that there was a horrible woman lurking around the house terrorizing her son. I had that dream many times.

When I was in high school I started doing a lot of music and theater. The classic performer's nightmare became a regular in the queue. It's the typical dream where you're on stage and you're the lead, but you have no idea what show you're in or what you're lines are. The urgency and acute nature of the stress is breathtaking. Very recently though, I actually recognized while I was sleeping that I was having one of these dreams and I somehow woke myself up. What a feeling of empowerment that gave me.

Rarely are my dreams the kind that bring peace or a sense of fun. I've never had a dream that I was Superman and that I could fly. The closest I've gotten is The Greatest American Hero; I've got the suit and should be able to fly but I can't. That's frustrating. Or maybe in my dream I've got a Harley between my legs, but I just can't seem to get her going, or she's just really slow.

I also dream about losing one or more family members. This looks different every time. Sometimes I dream that I'm having an affair with some anonymous woman and my wife discovers us. She takes everything and leaves. Another time she takes our three kids up in a hot air balloon and it disappears without a trace. Another dream has my 4-yr.-old Nathan walking across the rafter beam in a huge barn. And of course I'm yelling at the top of my lungs and of course . . . he falls. These dreams are the worst.

My dreams of late have been of the CIA/NSA flavor, with a bit of the Bourne Identity thrown in. I'm being pursued by a large group of agents who are very sinister and powerful. I wake up running.

Another very weird aspect of my dreams is that anyone can show up as a major character. I might think of the most random person during the day, or see someone's image in a magazine or paper, and they will guest star in that night's dream. It might be someone from high school who I just reconnected with on Facebook, and they'll appear in my dream like we were never apart. Weird.

In the Bible God frequently uses dreams to communicate with people. I can't help but wonder what, if anything, He might be trying to show me. I won't speculate, but whatever it is, it's certainly coming to me in HD.

More later . . .

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