Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dream and Variation

Back when we were living in California and our kids were little, I had a recurring dream I called Driving Blind. Each time was slightly different, but the basic experience was the same: I’d be driving along, and then suddenly I couldn’t see where I was going. At all. Sometimes it would be from some obstruction, like a palm frond falling on my windshield; other times my vision would just suddenly go blurry, and then fade away altogether. More than once in these dreams I was able to make my way to my friend Barbara’s house, my safe place, for rest and healing and rescue.

Barbara is a decade or so older than I am, and has an empty nest (read: quiet house) which seemed impossibly peaceful and Edenic compared to our frantic pace. Even the children would remark on the feeling at Barbara’s house, recognizing the spirit there. Barbara listens so intently, loves so purposefully, and nurtures so eloquently. I learned so much from her as a young mother. She saw life through a lens that provided greater distance, precise focus, perfect clarity. It makes sense that Barbara represented a safe haven in my dreams about driving blind.

I recognized these dreams as a spiritual wake-up call, a sign from God that there was something important in my life that I wasn’t seeing. If life is a highway, then driving blind meant impending danger. I needed better perspective, clearer vision. I needed to be more alert to my surroundings. I needed to be less reckless in my approach.

Caution. Slow down. Look where you’re going. Stay the course.

Yesterday, during a much-needed Sunday afternoon nap, I had a variation on the “driving blind” dreams of my past. This time I dreamed that I was on a road trip with The Princess and one of her friends. We were cruising down the highway, and I was getting sleepy. Somewhere around Las Vegas I suddenly woke up (still dreaming) and realized I was in the passenger seat. The two fourteen-year-old girls had pushed me aside and were taking turns at the wheel. Her friend Jackie was driving, flying down the freeway at break-neck speeds, laughing: “Woohoo!” Terrified, I tried to get her to realize that this was dangerous and she had our very lives in her hands. She just kept laughing, and speeding...right through a crowded amusement park! (Thank heaven it was only a dream!)

This time I think it’s reminding me to be alert in a different way—reminding me who’s in charge here, who needs to be in the driver’s seat: Me. I know my daughter and her friends think they’re grown-up. (Frighteningly, they even look grown-up.) They’re good girls and they try hard to make good choices. But The Princess can be manipulative, try to reach over and take the wheel. I need to be here to set and enforce limits and boundaries. Hold onto the keys. Remind them what’s age-appropriate and what’s clearly not. Be alert. Watch for signs. Keep everybody moving forward, on the right track. Repeat endlessly:

Caution. Slow down. Look where you’re going. Stay the course.

Woohoo! Wish me luck!

So, what do you dream about...and what do you think it means?


Sandy M. said...

That sounds like a very helpful dream. Aren't our sub-conscious minds amazing? There's a lot of wisdom inside each of us, if we'd just listen to ourselves..

(I wonder what it meant when I dreamt about giant rampaging insects? - I was only 6 or 7 :)

Melanie J said...

It's good that you're being vigilant. My parents tried when I was that age but were often worn down by my very strong personality. Luckily, I didn't get into much trouble. Still, I did benefit from knowing their expectations were clear and it probably would have helped for them to be more explicit about exactly how much attention they were paying. I think I underestimated that a few times and I might have rethought a few things if that was always in the back of my mind.

Kristina P. said...

Wonderful. You are in charge!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

You have good dreams. I dream about purple transparent witches in my basement.

But I did have several dreams last week where I was asked to speak at really large venues and I was not prepared. It was very awkward.

Luisa Perkins said...

I love interpreting dreams; nicely done.

I often dream about having to protect my children. Sometimes I'll have one in a backpack while I'm wielding a flamethrower, Linda-Hamilton style. Other times I'm more like a matronly Indiana Jones.

Jennifer said...

Even your dreams are amazing. Love ya.

Eowyn said...

Very cool that your dreams speak to you. I've been wondering about mine, but I haven't come up with anything yet except that my life is out of control.

Yeah, I kind of knew that one already.

Ah well. I do wish you luck. And I shall watch closely because I have a girl-child coming up to that age quickly!

Kazzy said...

How about one of those old-school drivers ed cars where there are tow steering wheels for a quick take over in case the young driver is a bit bold?

You are a good mom.

Kimberly said...

I've had blurry vision dreams since teenagehood, but never looked to them for the depth and spiritual guidance you've found in yours. Do you have any idea how inspiring you are? Seriously, hun. I want to be a better person because of knowing you. ~hugs~

Brillig said...

I dream about suffocating. I've had this dream all my life. If I have a nightmare, and I do at least once a week, there's suffocation/drowning involved.

Hmmm, maybe I'll blog about this... You've inspired me.

Good luck with the princess. You know how I ADORE her.

L.T. Elliot said...

You write so well. I don't know how you do it but you explain things in the most profound way. I wish I had your kind of clarity.

As for my dreams, lets just say that they're safer in my head. Too many nightmares to count.

Anonymous said...

I have those driving blind dreams too. It is so frustrating to start out able to see and be driving along and have your eyes close on you and desperately try to pry them open enough to find your way. I liked your wisdom...I think about that more the next time I have one. I had one really bizarre one that way, where I finally was able to see finally but when I could see, I was in the backseat trying to steer with no way to get to the pedals in a blizzard entering the freeway on one of those cloverleaf entry ways. Very scary. I finally spun out and ended up in the center...just happy to be safe.
My favorite dreams are the ones with Mom or grandma W. Those are the ones I don't want to wake up from.

Heidi Ashworth said...

My daughter is also 14. So true about trying to take the wheel. B/c she does look adult and she has such an old soul and for a long time was the most normal person in the household besides myself (natch!), I turned to her a lot as a sounding board. As a result, she thinks she knows what she's doing. yikes!