Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A little dream

Ever wake up from a dream so real you had trouble coming back to reality? I have.

According to Walt Disney's Cinderella, a dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep. I'm not sure about my heart, but I don't really want to be kissed and held by a vampire. However, the actor is definitely high on my list of men I would not slap if he kissed me. That kiss was amazing, and not just because the kiss was good. That kiss came with the full package of senses. I felt the press of his lips long after I woke up--for days after I woke up. I kept touching my lips because I could still feel the kiss. And that wasn't all either. His scent lingered on my skin. I felt the strength and weight of his arms around me. I could hear his voice. I tasted that kiss for days. It was one dream I couldn't shake off for a long time. Even now, years after the experience I still remember how it felt. It was a very powerful dream. Was it a wish? It wasn't a conscious wish, but a heart felt wish . . .? I don't know.

The other night (or rather early in the morning) it wasn't a kiss that woke me. There was someone in my bed. He leaned over me, naked and aroused, and kissed me. I touched his side, my hand near a mole or a freckle, as he bent down to kiss me. He pulled me closer and I smelled the clean warm scent of his skin. My fingers traced a path through the crisp dark hair on his chest, some of which was gray, and his voice sent chills through me. "I missed you" whispered in my ears and I shivered as he moved closer.

Then I woke up.

I was in shock, a psychic whiplash of shock. The bed was warm where he lay. My skin tingled where he touched me and I could still feel his weight pressing down, the smooth silky feel of his skin, the hair on his chest, his lips against my neck, the sound of his voice, his scent. I knew where I was but he was all around me. I kept smiling the whole day as the memory drifted back into my mind. He was no actor and certainly no vampire. He was real and the sense of loss is just as real.

A long time ago I learned how to get back into a dream when I've wakened suddenly. It's called directed dreaming. I can plan and choreograph and even schedule dreams. I don't think what happened the other morning was a dream. I couldn't get back into it. I couldn't even get close. The palpable sense of reality was gone and all that was left was dreams of what felt so real and so immediate. It's not the same thing.

I dream of flying (and not in a plane). I dream of going to a university of sorts where I learn about esoterica. I travel the world and the universe in dreams. I connect with those close to me in dreams and communicate with them. What happened was no dream and it is a wish my heart definitely made. My soul, my mind and my body also made that wish.

It's no wonder fantasists who create worlds where dreamers can take someone anywhere they want to go warn about getting trapped inside the dream. There are some dreams so real they are worth being trapped inside. But therein lies the danger.

Dreams are addictive and seductive. A dream can be like a siren's call that lures us onto the rocks. Such dreams are an escape from an unhappy reality that leaves us depressed, miserable, unfulfilled and resentful of the choices we make that keep us bound and gagged. Dreams are like a vacation, an escape into a happier reality, but they are a limited escape. For a few days or a week or even a month, vacations offer a break from day-to-day realities, a chance to rest, relax and recharge before going back to responsibilities and duty and work. Vacations don't last.

Dreams shouldn't last in the abstract. If a dream is a wish the heart makes, then it's time to pay attention and make the dream a reality instead of making reality a dream. Nothing is impossible . . . only difficult sometimes to achieve. Dreams have their place, like vacations, but living inside a dream far from the reach of reality is no vacation. It's not even a picnic. It's the road to a padded cell.

I can still feel and hear and smell and taste him. He's real . . . and he's not real. He was here; I'm certain of that. He isn't here now and now I need to get to work. That is my reality. My heart wishes for a different reality but I won't find it in a dream. The dream is a trap, seductive and highly addictive because it insulates and isolates me. The dream is an escape that puts life and reality on hold. The dream makes it easier to bear the depression and the misery and the longing, but happiness is close enough to touch. All I need to do is reach out and take hold of it in the here and now.

Dreams fool us into believing they are real, lingering in the mind and in the senses to be called up any time. It's still nothing more than a dream. Dreams are wisps of fog that disappear under a warm sun. Dreams should disappear so they don't trap us and anesthetize us to pain and doubt and fear. Dreams are a road map, a candle on the path to take us to reality but only if we are willing to leave unhappiness and missed opportunities behind.

I remember the dream. I feel everything I felt the other morning when I let down my guard and listen to my heart. But I still have to work and earn a living. I have other dreams, like writing and selling and publishing my stories. That dream is a reality. I have other dreams to fulfill, but not in the darkness in the middle of the night or as the sun warms the horizon and rises up to warm the air and clear the fog. Those dreams will have to wait. I'm busy with reality.

Even Cinderella climbed out of the cinders to go to the ball. Without the pumpkin, mice and rats, Cinderella would still be sitting in the ashes dreaming and waiting on her evil stepmother and stepsisters.

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