Very early this morning I had a nightmare.
In this bizarre dream I was working on resolving a physical wiring mess that involved getting to a wiring closet in another building. To get to the other building we had to run down a deserted road and cross over a blind intersection. As we crossed the intersection a police car raced into view with its lights flashing. This invoked a fear we’d be ticketed for jay-walking. The police car stopped and two officers got out, inexplicably one officer was laboring to push the other in what looked like a four-wheeled cart. They ignored us, however as they went past I noticed that the officer in the cart had a badge that proclaimed him to be the Chief. As soon as they passed us, they vanished. Our next obstacle was to get into the wiring room, which was on the second floor of the building, a long flight of metal stairs lead up to the doorway, unfortunately the doorway had been concreted over.
At this, the person who was accompanying me, and who I didn’t know said he knew a way through the inside. Suddenly we were inside, however it was filled with booby-traps. To further complicate matters the floor was sprinkled with Nitrogen tri-iodide, a substance we used to manufacture as teenage children and deploy in our ongoing war with our neighbors, the Meshas. Sight of the Nitrogen tri-iodide sparked a memory of my brother Chris, who lost the top knuckle of his middle finger as a result of a mishap with a carefully made packet of the volatile substance, which we had encased in a worn out stocking to let dry.
In the way of dreams, Chris was suddenly and unquestioningly part of the team as the three of us negotiated our way through the traps.
In turn, seeing Chris appear in the dream sparked a memory of his death in real life. In the dream this manifested as him being entwined into a scene I recently saw from a snippet of a Breaking Bad episode in which the brother of some bad guy is executed. In the nightmare Chris was killed by one of the booby-traps shooting him through the head. I pressed on alone. Somehow the wiring problem seemed more important than Chris’s death, and the unknown person who had been accompanying me had vanished. He just wasn’t there anymore.
When I reached the actual problem it manifested as an intricate tangle of tiny electrical wires. I looked into the clump and immediately saw the problem, which was that the white-green and green wire pair had mysteriously come loose. I reached into the tangle, touched the wires and the entire tangle unraveled. This broke hundreds of connections between wires that should never have been connected, and for which I had no map to reconnect.
Seeing all those connections broken induced panic, which awoke me. I immediately reached over, pressed the button on my cell phone, and noted the time. It was 11 minutes past midnight.
Looking back on this horribly unpleasant dream I wonder if my subconscious is talking to me…
Is my running down a deserted road a reflection of the travel I too often must undertake for my job? Are the booby-traps and seemingly harmless, yet dangerously explosive Nitrogen tri-iodide patches blocking my path indications I am being set up to fail, or am setting myself up to fail? Am I being distracted into thinking that work, symbolized by the tangle of wires, is more important than those I love, symbolized by my brother Chris’ death within the dream? Am I the bad guy for surviving the accident in which my brother died, symbolized by my realizing, while still experiencing the dream, that the bad guy’s brother was executed?
Is my subconscious warning me that what I achieve in my work-life is utterly pointless, as symbolized by the myriad connections at the end of an arduous path unraveling and all my efforts amounting to naught? Is it letting me know nothing I accomplish work-wise will ever make things better and will actually make things a lot worse for my family, symbolized by my brother’s death in the dream?
Is my nightmare reinforcing my unshakable understanding that time taken from the ones we love in order to work can never be replaced, and might indeed directly result in the death of our most valuable relationships? Is this unshakable belief based on partly recollected dreams? Are dreams worth basing our beliefs on?
Are dreams merely dreams?
Sometimes dreams hold pleasure, and sometimes they hold pain. Regardless of what emotions dreams unveil, they always bring insights into who we might one day be.
Dreams are very important to me. I believe we seldom pay them the close attention they deserve. What are dreams or their frightening siblings, nightmares? To me, they are the manifest language of my soul talking to my physical body. With that thought in mind, I’d like to share a related snippet of my work, Beltamar’s War with you. It appears below and encompasses a conversation between Zunesan and two of her daughters, Liaju, and Ryntam. In Malmaxa, a “cincture” is an all-encompassing investigation, which Liaju is in the process of completing as this conversation takes place.
The following text is from Chapter 13, Section V, it is titled “Reunions, and Cinctures”.
Daring to breathe again, Liaju slowly relaxed, only then realizing how rigid her body had been.
Pride evident in her voice, Zunesan said, “You treat the cincture with the care it warrants. Considering the nature of your dreams, this is especially pleasing.”
Ryntam sat straighter when she overheard her mother’s words. Overcome by curiosity, and unable to stay her tongue, she repeated them, “The nature of your dreams?”
Realizing Ryntam had no knowledge of Liaju’s dreams, which had begun in the early spring after Ryntam had left from the winter stay, Zunesan turned to face her oldest daughter, “Liaju is plagued by riddles and portends hidden within dreams. But this is not the time, we will speak of them later.”
With a quick nod, Ryntam looked back to her sister, eyes bright and intent as she considered this new knowledge.
Self-doubt had completely replaced Liaju’s earlier confidence. Voice unsure, she muttered, “I placed greater value on those dreams than they deserved. Sometimes dreams are merely dreams.”
Zunesan snorted dismissively, “Dreams are always dreams, child. Yet portends are seldom granted, and still more rarely are they clear or intelligible. Back to work. I don’t want to be here all night.”