Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Living in the Middle Place

Monday, May 29th, 2017

A 6 a.m. bolt of lightning struck me awake yesterday morning. I sat straight up in bed. I got up and looked out into the storm. I climbed back into bed and tucked the covers tightly around, whispering to the shaking, terrified dog by my bed,

“It’s okay, baby. Everything will be alright.”

I fell back to sleep, but in that high-level dreaming state that one has in the mornings, drifting in and out of sleep, where life and dream weave together.

I forgot about my vivid dreaming until I read this article this morning, and the line “Fuck the Patriarchy” echoed in my head. I thought the article was well-written, and it echoes what I hear a lot of women talking about recently. Reading that reminded me instantly of the same words in my dream.

I dreamt I was in a school, maybe a college. I was a student, somehow, and the classrooms looked like the ones in my middle school growing up. Students were assembling in the room for a political debate. I was wearing cut off jeans, and a t-shirt and dark hoodie. In the pocket of my jeans, I stuffed a stack of political postcards. The postcards caused the pocket to poke out below the cutoff hem of the jeans, their sharp corners jutting into my thigh. I sat in a hard school chair, with a backpack at my side, my legs stretched out in front of me, my feet in black chucks.

A man in a suit approached me, his finger pointed at my lap, punctuating the air.

“You can’t have those in here!” I pulled the postcards out of my pocket, slipped them into my backpack. “No!,” he yells. “You have to wear pants!”

Anger welled up in me. I snatched up my backpack, slinging it over my shoulder and went to another classroom to find pants in my closet. (It’s a dream; Yes, my closet was in the other classroom. I don’t know why.) I walked into the room, the whole time muttering, “Fuck the Patriarchy.” I went to the closet, a whole class watching me, as I rolled open the doors, and started rifling through the stacks of pants on a shelf.

I couldn’t find my jeans, the ones with the rip at the knee. There were only men’s jeans and pants. I realized it was my husband’s closet. I couldn’t find any jeans of my own. I angrily put on a too-large pair of hiking-style pants, with zippers that allow you to unzip the legs and make the pants into shorts. Even the sound of the synthetic material rubbing together at the thighs when I walked back to the debate angered me. I guess I woke up, then, to the storms and light getting brighter in my room.

I try very hard to look on the positive side of things, to find joy and exhibit gratitude in my day-to-day dealings. But I also sometimes struggle a bit with a molten anger, just waiting for a crack in the crust to pour up through. Still, I don’t want to be angry. Not being angry is a decision. One I try to make daily. Sometimes I fail. I am not angry at men. I am not angry at my husband. But I am angry at something. Society? As the author, Catherine Newman, wrote:

I don’t always feel just one way. I’m not always sure. And maybe that’s what it is to be a grown-up—living in the middle place, where you can’t decide quickly about everything. A misanthrope, in love with the world.

In my dream, though, I was shaking and angry and sure. In the morning light, I’m just living in the middle place.

A Dream So Vivid

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

I kneel in the dormer window of my childhood bedroom, but I’m an adult wearing a white, flowing nightgown. I am frantic, trying to shove the plastic window shade into the corners of the window panes to block out the streetlight streaming in around the edges of the shade. The edges won’t stick or wedge in, and the light is a shining pool across my face, body, and carpet. I am not sure if I am trying to block out the light from shining on me, or keep people from looking inside.

Suddenly, I’m downstairs in that same childhood house, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and my black hoodie. Except the downstairs is no living area, but a black-walled, red-lit rock venue, with a stage and booths, and high black, industrial ceilings, almost warehouse-like. I am sitting across from an aging musician, black-clad himself. He is handsome but no longer young, a bit worn about the edges like a well-loved, subversive book. Looking more closely at him, the lines and years are more apparent. He works there. We discuss the sound for an event, raising our voices over the song playing out of the speaker above us.

We walk around the room looking up at the ceiling and he shows me the locations of speakers and wire. He stops under a gaping hole with jagged edges in the ceiling above us, points it out to me. “We call it the Dungeon,” he says with a wry smile. It appears as if a large object has ripped through the ceiling above. Through the hole, I can still see my bedroom bathed in the light of the streetlight. I wonder what caused the hole; What could have fallen through and created a hole so wide?

Something changes suddenly, in the way that change sometimes cracks time wide open, and I have to perform onstage. The stage, though, is across the room in the opposite corner, and I realize that whatever came through the ceiling created a massive crater in the concrete floor of the room and the hole is full of bright blue water, aquarium-like and brightly lit. I stand at the edge, and notice dark shapes moving smoothly through the water.

“Sharks,” I think to myself.

There are probably three of them, maybe four. As they cut through the water, one and then another jump out of the water in an arc, then make a smooth dive back under, continuing to circle the pool. I realize I have to make my way past the shark pool, and on to the stage at the other side of the pool. My breathing picks up. I look around for ways to get around the pool. There is no overhang between the walls and the edge of the pool, nothing to tightrope walk across. The man tells me we have to go on. We? I look to my right. Ty Segall is standing next to me. “I know how to get there. You  have to go through the sharks,” he says. He is shorter than I realized.

The panic is rising in me, but he says, “dive” and plunges in, a clean California surfer’s dive, and I feel sick, but dive in after him, my head feeling like it will explode with the pressure. I do not feel like I am cutting through the water like a swift, smooth shark. One of the sharks bumps me as I swim frantically, my arms feeling no propelling traction or friction, my clothes weighing me down. I am tiring and running out of breath. I see a shark coming out of a halo of bright light, straight towards me, as my hand touches the far wall, which is only the black-painted wooden edge of the stage. I haul my torso up over the lip of the edge, and kick my legs like a child learning to swim, trying to push my hips and legs up and over. I get a leg up and then just as I see a shark coming at me, pull the last of my leg and foot out of the way. The shark strikes the wall and I feel nothing, but imagine a thud. I roll over and lay on my back, sucking in air, then hear someone yell, “Watch out.” I see the shark jumping out of the water at my face, it’s teeth all red and white. It’s dead eyes must be fixed on me, but they show no recognition or light.

I wake up terrified, lying in cold sweat, the dream as vivid as a movie, so strange a dream that it awakened me so violently that I thought it must mean something.

It must mean something.

Mossy Rocks: A Dream

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

I just had this weird moment over coffee, where I remembered seeing a flash of mossy green rocks. Something beautiful in the landscape. It felt like I forgot to do something. I paused and thought about what it was I was forgetting, and I realized it was in my dream last night. I rode in a car, face to the window, as we drove by a myriad of beautiful landscapes. The feeling was one of almost a panicked forgetting that I wanted to go back to see something later.

In my dream, we were on a vacation, and driving around on flat roads, with landscapes by the roadside. In my dream, it felt like the beach, but with these cool, emerald green landscapes that were almost vignettes. I’d pass one, and think, “How beautiful. I need to go home with the family, then come back and photograph that when I have time to by myself.”

And that memory of wet green longing is what I remembered this morning.

I think maybe it is partially my mind trying to balance my obligations and the needs of my family with my desire to spend time on my own and explore things. I also think it is my mind telling me I need to reconnect with nature. I don’t get that anymore now that the lake house is gone. I think that is a gaping hole in my heart and my stomach and my soul, and I need to figure out a way to fill it with something else. And I think the photography facet, the fact that I wanted to photograph these landscapes, is my yearning to create.

There’s no story here, no revelation. I’m just writing it down so that I don’t forget the longing, and to remind myself to find and photograph the mossy rocks in 2016.

The Gift of Dreaming

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Do you remember your dreams? Do you think they are a message you are supposed to receive and think on? Or are they just your brain’s way of working things out for you while your body rests?

Mine are very vivid, in color, and the ones closest to waking up are sometimes so real that when I do wake up, i confuse the dream with reality. I often talk as I am waking up, as I did the other morning when I said, “There are no more colors” to Todd and Tiller. I wish I could remember what that means, but that one is lost to the ether.

Todd and I talk about dreams often, because he rarely remembers his. When he does remember them, though, they are doozies. (Perhaps he will comment with the story of his ghost dream. I cannot possibly do it justice, it is so funny. When I match that dream story with the sounds he was making while having the dream, I am overcome with giggles.)

I had a wonderful dream last night. Scary and vivid and special, and tied to things going on in my life. We have been watching The Walking Dead on AMC. (I you aren’t watching it, you are dumb. It is awesome, and also, set in Atlanta, which makes it even more fun!) So, the beginning of my dream involved living with a group of survivors or refugees, somewhere out in the wilderness, not unlike the survivor group on The Walking Dead. (Or like the one that I started writing a short story about after having a similar dream while in NC and having seen a Walking Dead episode the night before, then dreaming about that!) Except that, last night, we were not Zombie Apocalypse survivors.

We were survivors of some sort of alien attack. This was no doubt prompted by the announcement yesterday that NASA will have a 2:00 PM Thursday press conference to discuss an astrobiological finding that impacts the search for extraterrestrial life in our universe. The buzz about this press conference was all over Twitter yesterday, and in true nerd fashion, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. Not surprisingly, it showed up in my dream.

So, in my dream, there is little explanation for how my group ended up with one, but I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FLY ONE OF THESE GUYS:

I flew this in my dream. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

I flew this in my dream. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Have you ever had a flying dream? I don’t have them very often, but they are the absolute best dreams out there. It is the most exhilarating feeling in the world to soar over things in dreams. (Ironic, considering I am phobic about both heights and flying.) Except of course, flying dreams pale in comparison to one other kind of dream: the dreams where you get to hang out with deceased loved ones.

At some point during my dream, it was announced that good aliens were coming to earth, or maybe we had befriended the original attacking forces. I don’t know which, in that weird way that dreams are logical at the time, but never make sense when you try to describe them to others. But i was in downtown Atlanta and there were tons of people there, hanging out in the shadow of the Equitable building, waiting for the Alien Welcome Parade to begin. (Shadows of DragonCon, i suppose?) There were people I went to high school with, parents of people I went to high school with, some of Todd’s friends from Auburn, and pretty much any other random person that I can think of ever having met in my life. That guy that served me and Todd poolside rum drinks in Belize and told us about the Temptation Island folks? I think he was in my dream, too.

So, in my dream, i am rushing to find a good spot, and someone links arms with me as I am walking, and I look down and immediately recognize the green and white outfit my Grandma Smith wore. Apple green polyester background, with white polka dots. It was one piece, I think. Head-to-toe green and white polka dots. And grandma was beside me, walking damn well (she was a little wobbly there in the last few years, but not in my dream) and she was just SO EXCITED TO BE MEETING ALIENS! My grandmother was thin, wobbly, gray, and psoriatic. But her smile? Grandma had a million dollar smile, and one of the funniest, most contagious laughs I have ever heard.


And me? I went to bed last night worrying about all of the things I had to do today. And I woke up this morning having received a precious gift. I got to link arms with my grandma, celebrate something happy, see her smile, and hear her laughter. And today, I feel as if I have been visited by someone special, and I know there are things in this universe that we will never explain, or understand, but for which we must have respect.

While Watching the Muppet Movie

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

[Kermit singing “The Rainbow Connection” in the background.]

Rollie: “I’m a dreamer.”
Todd nods.
Me: “That’s a good thing, baby.”
Rollie: “Sometimes I’m a nightmare.”
Todd and I nod some more.

Roiling the Waters

Friday, July 31st, 2009

I find it scary, the way that my brain works. I woke up this morning, after having some really wild dreams. Dreams with people I haven’t seen in years, mixed in with my friends and family of today. How can my subconscious dig up things that I had dealt with and forgotten years ago, and switch them all around into some crazy movie slash horror film in my head? Brain, you don’t even get all of the details right. And yet, here I sit today, feeling a little shell-shocked, and a lot sad, and really melancholy. It rains outside, and thunders, and I listen to music that wasn’t even part of the soundtrack of that past landscape. I try to figure out why I am feeling down, and I realize it is because I made myself feel this way, by dreaming things that never happened.

What is it that I am trying to work out? Because I wasn’t even aware there was anything to work out.

Dream Annie, go to hell for roiling the waters and making me sad. I am fine. Why can’t you leave it be?

A Place To Call One’s Own

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I love, love, love this website. What a cool idea! It also makes me jealous of all of these folks with designated work spaces.

I want the coffee table book. Fascinating.

I need me a Lady’s sitting room. A parlour. A library. An office. Whatever you call it. A place of my own, to shut the door and lock out the world.


New Year’s Recap

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Night started off slow, with me laying a base of soup and salad at the nicest Olive Garden ever. Todd’s Mom says so, and she should know, because she lives in that mecca of fine dining that is Dadeville, Alabama. I also had a latte at Starbucks in an attempt to jumpstart my very hung over body while Todd chatted with the Turks. No doin’ on lighting a fire under me; It wasn’t until I arrived at Iain’s and choked down that first beer that I started feeling a little better. I had grandiose plans of dressing up, even maybe wearing a skirt, but I was lucky to get there in one piece, much less to change out of jeans and t-shirt. I threw on my fluffy-fringey sweater in an attempt to give myself some style and just ended up looking like a Smashing Pumpkins’ D’arcy wanna-be from 1991. You will notice only one picture of me in the whole New Year’s set on Flickr. This is not coincidence.


  • Black-eyed peas and greens and Iain and Annie’s Crappy Cornbread Quiche.
  • Todd drinking brown liquor is always a highlight. He starts gesturing with his hands more, and he likes to stir the ice in his glass with a cute little tinkle. He gets a bounce in his step that he only ever gets when he is drinking liquor. (Bounce has been known to morph into him falling backwards on his ass in the basement at Gravity Pub, but he was drinking vodka tonics that night, so we cannot blame that on the revered bourbon whiskey.)
  • Watching people strip down and display body art and mutilation in the largest fucking bathroom in Alabama was pretty entertaining.
  • No evening is ever complete until you have cleared the whole living room of furniture so as to perform a few numbers from Grease, replete with male and female parts, and dancing on remaining furniture.
  • Finally, and this one is so obvious, but I will say it anyway: I am so cute when I am drinking. Everyone says so.

The only thing missing was the people that I couldn’t be with this year, but they are always in my thoughts, and just as soon as I make that first million off Dogwood Girl, I am going to buy a farm and start a commune where we can all live together. Right after Lisa and I buy the Sea-Doo. It’s gonna happen – 2007: The Year of Big Dreams. Who’s with me?