The bed is still with me today. In fact, I sleep on it every night. Might be part of why I don't sleep for very long, or very often. I do dream though! All the time. Similar to Shakespeare's play-within-a-play, I sometimes dream I'm dreaming while still asleep...at least there are no more apocalyptic futures unfolding like a bad sci fi plot line from a B-movie. Except, no male hero--I'm always the one saving children and beloved pets from explosive nuclear fires that never seem to cease. Clearly, I've watched one-too-many Michael Bay films....
When my nephews were younger--the three I helped care for after their father passed--I'd take them every other weekend for sleep overs and movies and bowling and baking and runs to the comic book store that would always cost as much as a week's worth of groceries. But it was fun and I loved being with the boys. Their dad was my friend of 20 years and I still miss him each and every day.
Three years before his loss, I dreamt three of my nephews were going to lose a parent to drowning. We would all be in the same boat when it would happen, and even though we were taking on water, no one would leave. At some point, in the dream, I realized I was a ghost, somehow invisible. People didn't see me, except for my nephews. I still remember the morning I awoke from that dream. Very subtly, I disseminated the message that anyone with three children should avoid boats. But things are always slightly off from reality in dreams. Sadly, that was the case here, too.
Being literal has its downfalls. Always felt that part of me would have translated well to the preaching profession. My students might agree. I never sit down, and when I lecture, my hands are always waving high up in the air, as the beloved Zeminar Dublin audience learned in October. Inevitably, I'd end every class up with, "Remember, you are unlimited!!! Never forget it. If you do, you know where to find me," pointing out my email and office hours before dismissing everyone. Today, it's a bit of a family joke amongst my 26 nieces and nephews that I 'preach" the "gospel" of being limitless.
And yet, I still sleep in the same bed, don't I?
Yesterday I awoke from two dreams--one was set in Ireland. Jonathan was there, kind of observing from a chair, as I worked with several former students on a movie script. I was going back and forth. Mr. "Sullifan," who has actually helped direct a number of blockbusters in real life, was off in an adjoining room and I would take our ideas over to him for his approval before heading back to sit with the others and hash out more plot devices.
Whenever Jonathan is present in a dream, a variation of it seems to happen in real life. Not long ago, he appeared in a dream where I was on a ship sailing for Cape Canaveral. Five days later, I heard from NASA about an application I'd started over a year ago. Don't get too excited, folks--I'm not going to space. It's about research. My goal of publishing one meaningful paper in the field of astrophysics may yet come true one day!
The week before Thanksgiving, Jonathan was in another dream. In real life, I travel alone most of the time and, when I do, often meet friendly people to talk to, eat with, and maybe include in a day trip or two. In the dream, I'd met a couple in their late 50's at a museum. We were wandering the displays together after which, I joined them for dinner. A variation on this theme actually happened in October while overseas. Lovely people, too--their last name was Murray. Two days after we supped together--the Murrays and I--I'd meet a large group of folks from England all sitting in a common area near the elevators at the hotel. We had the most pleasant of conversations and at the end of it, I introduced myself, as did they. Their last name? Murray.
Can't make this stuff up!
The couple I'd dined with earlier in the week with the same last name? A nephew and his wife. A flock of Murrays had flown over from UK for a funeral. I was sad to hear of the loss and offered my condolences. One of the ladies in the party was very sweet and looked just like my late grandmother. I loved her right away as a result and we kept running into each other all weekend. Beautiful lady, too--inside and out.
I found that same lovely lady wandering the halls of our hotel late one evening. Ms. Murray was looking for her room, trying to unlock the one across the hall from mine. It wasn't her room, but it was an interesting coincidence nonetheless. Someone staying at the end of the hall was playing loud music and I could tell that it had thrown Ms. Murray off her game. I'd had a long, tiring week at that point and frankly, lost my temper, knocking on the door as I issued the rather strong suggestion, "Turn the f***ing music down or I'll do it for you."
I meant every word, too. But as the sudden-silence hit Ms. Murray's ear, she smiled up at me and asked, "Are you sure you're not a Murray?"
"No, ma'am," I chuckled. "But thank you kindly for the compliment. I'd be honored if it meant being related to you."
Before saying goodnight, Ms. Murray jokingly wagged her finger about the bad language, which made me laugh all over again. Then, she safely made her way to her room. The next morning, I greeted the entire Murray clan at breakfast. They were all flying out later that day and I was very sad to see them go. Kindred spirits, each and every one.
My dream before Thanksgiving had that same sense to it--being with lovely folks I'd somehow met along the way. In the dream. the couple in their 50's and I were eating in a museum restaurant--a museum with dinosaur bones. The woman in my dream suddenly walked away abruptly and a moment later came back saying, "Look who I found!"
It was Jonathan, dressed a bit like Sam Neill from Jurassic Park...but with a man-bun. Why a man-bun, I can't say. Not a look I'm particularly fond of on anyone, but dreams are like that--close to real life, yet not quite there.
When Jonathan showed up in the museum-dream, the couple politely left. Jonathan had barely sat down at the table when he started to excuse himself, but not before saying with a smile, "You're genetically gifted, Rebecca Housel."
By the way, I was doing research on genetics for a Psychology Today piece I published on Thanksgiving day--that's where the "genetically gifted" came from...I think.
As Jonathan started walking away, I tried asking him to please wait. My blood pressure began rising in the dream--it felt as if I were on fire, which is what ultimately woke me. One day later, an email arrived in my inbox about a job hosting a very special star-show of the night sky at the Museum of Science Planetarium in Boston, where there happens to be TONS of dinosaur bones.
Again, just can't make this stuff up. If I dream of any lottery numbers, I'll make sure to let y'all know....
Tonight, as I get ready to go back to the bed that's traveled 1,000 miles with me, I find myself wondering what dreams may yet come...and, which ones will take shape in reality.
By the way, I stabbed myself with a knife today, Yup. I carry a Swiss Army knife and use it more often than you'd think, especially at this time of year. Because I don't really notice pain, I didn't even know it happened until it started bleeding. Same thing occurred a long time ago while cooking--nearly took off the tip of my finger and only realised it when blood was suddenly everywhere.
Where's a vampire when you need one???
Resiliency like mine can't be taught--it's just in you. I can also stay up for 36 hours or more and be fully functional. I need to rest for a day or so after, but it's a very handy talent to have when an emergency happens, or, if you're a writer who needs to meet deadlines...and, I am!
One of my friends is convinced I'm what the Irish call, "Tuatha de Danann," an ancient supernatural race who survived things others couldn't. Pop culture fans might recognise that particular Gaeilge phrase from the 1988 film, Willow.
If I weren't human, my heart wouldn't break. And, it does. No matter what I do to try to protect myself, it can still happen. At any and every age.
Before I go to bed, I usually meditate (or pray, if you will) on the future--the one dream that's remained my whole life is that of real love. The kind that defends your honor because you're cherished, not seen as a piece of furniture,or part of the overall scenery.
Every day I survive is another day I give myself a chance to thrive. It's the same for each of you, too. Because my dreams (and Jonathan) exist, hope springs eternal, even amidst the most blinding of snow squalls.
In the words of the great Bard, 'sleep perchance to dream,' dearest readers...until next time!