Posts Tagged With: dreams


Packing It In

When dreams repeat themselves over several nights, it makes me pay attention a little better than normal to those fleeting subconscious wanderings.

The past week I’ve dreamt multiple times about packing. I’m talking about stuffing things frantically into a duffle bag, or throwing things together haphazardly into a suitcase. One dream had me zipping shut all sorts of temporary containers to take with me somewhere and I needed to hurry it up, too. I never knew where I might be going, or what I should bring with me. The only commonality in all the dreams was a sort of desperation or panic to get it done quickly and don’t forget anything important.

I let these dreams haunt my daytimes a bit and didn’t like where my personal interpretations took me, so I thought I’d consult some dream imagery sources. Seems logical to gather some information, right?

The common thread in the different places that I researched said this about dreaming of repeatedly packing represents:

  • Uncertainty or chaotic changes in your life.
  • Your feelings about being weighed down by endless responsibilities or expectations.
  • The need to establish some kind of order in our lives
  • A need for greater organization in your waking life.
  • Feeling unprepared for the challenges that you are facing.
  • An unsuccessful attempt to deal with far too much in your waking life.
  • Something definitely overwhelms you at the moment.
  • You are juggling too many things and situations.
  • You are carrying too many burdens.
  • A warning to relax and let go.
  • Somebody is pushing you to take more responsibility;

That all sounded fairly accurate in describing how I’ve been feeling lately. I find that fascinating. How do my dreams know to go there?

Would you like a cup of irony to go with my dream interpretation?

At the beginning of the year I made a short note to myself that reads as follows:

  • Simplify.

If ever I wondered what I wanted out of the year 2016 it could be found on this tiny list. The key word here, in case you missed it: simplify.

IMG_5728One reason I stopped making resolutions years ago lies in the FACT that as soon as I set myself a goal the oppositional forces in the universe unite to make certain I do not achieve what I set out for myself.

What is that all about? And do I sound a little paranoid? Well, so be it. I probably am.

I’ve had some great inspirational moments of clarity in how I could simplify my life so it feels more focused, less scattered and crazy. And yet, those few moments have been overwhelmingly done in by a giant tsunami of requests, additional to-do list items, a change in responsibilities, an inability on my part to say no, and personal lack of organizational skills and lack of self-discipline.

Chaos. Responsibility. Expectations.

How do I pack all that into neat little containers? How do I corral the wild horses, tame the unruly strands of unfinished things to do?

I own and have read dozens of books of bringing order into chaos. I know the three bin method. I’ve spent days and weeks packing and unpacking an entire household countless, (okay, seventeen) times. You’d think by this time in my life I’d have my act together, I’d have reached some point of calm. Balance should have settled into my life.


Apparently that isn’t how it works. At least it hasn’t for me, so far.

I’ve been reading a book that a friend recommended on organizing. I don’t think it’ll save my life or change it completely, but perhaps it’ll throw me a life-preserver.

Here’s part of what I think my dreams mean, according to the book of Kami.

What I really want to do is pack one small suitcase and disappear from all my responsibilities and to-do lists. I want to say, “NO!” to every request. Could I deliver myself to some unknown place where no one recognizes or notices me and just, I don’t know, sit and read, walk in the woods, sleep, ride my bike, bask in the sun? Could I find out what a life with no expectations from others feels like?

That’s about as likely as me winning a lottery, which I don’t play.

I’d probably get bored really quickly, no doubt.  I know running away isn’t a solution, but something extreme seems necessary to achieve some balance to the shoal of chaos that my life has shipwrecked on.

I think I need a nap now.


“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~ Confucius


Categories: dreams, Mental Health, Priorities, Sanity, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dream, Dream, Dream

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.

Trying to go two directions as once. Like trying to be in two places at the same time?

Trying to go two directions at once. Like trying to be in two places at the same time?

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.

The hands of this "timepiece" move both directions, forward and backward. Hmmm, could be handy.

The hands of this “timepiece” move both directions, forward and backward. Hmmm, could be handy.



Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Bird in the Hand and a Few on the Line

English: Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis hyema...

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

Way back in the time of the dinosaurs, I learned this poem. Once in a while it pops back into my head, unbidden, but clear as a bird song in the early morning air. It’s something I’ve held on to lately, hope, not the poem. Hope for what? I’m not sure. Hoping for good things to really happen. Hoping for the impossible? Hoping I don’t fall short.

Maybe I shouldn’t over-analyze it. Maybe I should simply enjoy the way the words trip over my tongue and roll out. Maybe I should just let it work its magic on my subconscious.

Speaking of birds…

Isn’t this a fun picture?

Birds in a row

Birds in a row (Photo credit: The Wren Design)

The Most and the Least

 “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.” – Barbara Kingsolver, from Animal Dream

I like the thought of living under hope’s roof. I can visualize myself not simply being hopeful but living a life under and protected by hope. Something has to counteract all the negatives, right? 

Killdeer Broken Wing Display

One more word image of a bird

“Hold fast to dreams,

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird,

That cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes

Some days, for some of us, hope is elusive. But there are always dreams, aren’t there? That’s something.

Looking for a good day ahead where I can. It’s out there, just gotta keep my eyes open.

Happy Monday!

Categories: Hope | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

“When You are Old” An Unexpected Perspective of Love

When You are Old by William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

One of Yeats’ lesser known poems. I especially like the perspective from a life well lived.

I find that poetry is best enjoyed when read aloud. The cadence and the roll of the words across your tongue add a dimension of beauty and depth. Try it.  Then read it out loud a second time a bit slower and you’ll find it warming you from within.

If you’re really brave, read it out loud to someone you love, a son, a daughter, a spouse, a parent, yourself.

I think everyone should have a poem or two about love tucked away in their memory. Silly,  poignant, freeing, flowing, sad, gleeful, tender. Even a limerick will do if it’s one that can bring a laugh to your day or a smile to your lips.

If  you have a favorite poem about love I’d be delighted if you’d share it with me.

Categories: Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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