twas the night before last - ahem... so I had a funky-odd dream. I know, I have them often. But this one? Was a real weird, but thought provoking one. And, although I know a lot of my "odd" dreams are stress induced... usually stress induced ones tend to send me off in a panic mid-dream - like a couple more nights ago, I dreamed that my 5 yr old & I had gotten separated. You wake up, know the dream was just stress speaking out... and although you probably woke up in a cold sweat, it's easy enough to put it aside as NOT REAL and get on with your life.
This one? Not so easy to put aside.
So, lets start off with a question? How do you imagine the "afterlife" or "heaven" or "limbo" or whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I don't know that I have a name for it myself... "heaven" implies I believe in God, which I no longer do... but closest comes to the image in my mind for what happens to souls after death. Having been through a couple of haunting experiences, I firmly do believe that something does happen to those souls. But "heaven" also brings with it an image of cloudy, fluffy goodness, wings, halos and what-nots... which really isn't what I imagine. Instead I imagine a very 'real' type of locations - based on things that are familiar to the souls experiencing it and are their feel-good experiences. So, for example, I don't believe it's similar to a battle-ground. Instead it might be similar to recreational types of experiences. And I believe its very much individualized... so if you were very into bars, drinking, playing pool - those kinds of things would be familiar to you and could be part of your reality. If you were very into the kitchen, cooking, etc - well then that is the kind of reality you would experience. If you preferred to be alone, then alone you get to be. If you were social - then your experience would be shared with others of similar "preferred" experiences who have also passed on.
The reason I bring this up - is that my dream was in an environment that would pretty much match what I believe my mother's "heaven" would be like. Full of people, similar to a VA hall, with lots of tables, lots of people, lots of chatter. Some alcohol - but not falling-down-drunk drinking, playing cards, tons of activities. She was there and while she & I never spoke directly to each other... we did sit together and "share the experience" - she looked young & beautiful. That's another part of my belief system - I believe that our 'mental' image of ourselves doesn't always age adjust. I know mine hasn't yet. When I think about how I look, I'm always younger, thinner, and blonder... if I'm not careful, I buy clothes two sizes too small, etc. I believe that in "heaven" our image is that of our mental image. So, mom looked about 30-40-ish instead of 73 (the age she was when she passed a year ago).
Anyway, back to the dream. She wanted to play cards. I wanted to play cards. We sat down together and "whoosh" in swooped 2 other people - both to play; and about 25 onlookers, from seemingly nowhere - another part of my belief system, that people can be "where" they want to just by wanting to - heaven sounds cool in my mind, anyway - no need for "teleportation" technology - just THINK yourself there. We were going to play "Banff" -- another funny aside, a blog I read recently visited Banff (an area of the Rockies in Canada) - no idea why the name stuck & became a type of card game... The young women who wanted to play dealt the "cards"
only they weren't cards. They were sheets of notepaper with stories written on them.
The guy next to me - young, good-looking, ok, hot.... said that he knew it was my turn first, but that he wanted "three". Me, having no clue how to play, nor what was going on - said "give me two, then". Mom was silent and in fact, didn't actually "play". As the woman started to deal, she took a moment to try to sell us something? and showed me a flyer with some used items for sale - printed up like a pdf brochure, but garage-sale-type things - filled with the kind of stuff you can buy for a college kid for their dorm over at Target. Kind-of 70's inspired design, but definitely current. I nodded & said "nice" - but didn't know what to do with it. Then she dealt herself "four" stories - handed me two, and the gentleman three. While we were receiving our "stories" my mom turned to a group sitting at the table behind the dealer and got the attention of an American Indian - dressed in flannel/jeans - sitting with some of his friends - dressed similarly. She said, your story came up. And he told the story about how he died searching for "his" Susanne, the love of his life. And that his friends were with him, not to search for "Susanne", but to search for HIS Susanne... as his love for her was so great, she was always going to live in his heart. (so sad, and yet, powerful to use "his" as if it was part of her name).
Anyway, the game was over - that was it, deal out the stories (?! whatever ?!) - and I understood that neither the guy next to me nor myself won. Mom turned to the gentleman, handed him a notebook and a pen and said, it's your turn now that you've lost - we need YOUR story. I went with him as he wandered away to start to write his story. I wanted a piece of paper so I could write mine (after all I had lost as well)... he didn't want to give me any paper. And then, told me that I would need a pen as well. Well, I can find a pen anywhere - and then I woke up.
The whole dream was in a foggy, surreal kind of experience that felt very "important" somehow. As if there should be time spent reflecting on it and trying to decipher it. Mom playing cards & being sociable, that's mom. Mom enjoying hearing others stories, that's mom. Collecting them? Not too sure about that - but then again, mom could surprise anyone. But, could this be my mom in her version of "heaven" - yes, possibly. She didn't speak to me, it wasn't like she was being cold or distant (been there, know what thats like... as much as I just wasn't her focus, this other guy was). Telling his story - is that something that happens when you die? Or is it that I truly do have to tell my story? Or do I need to be able to help someone else tell their story? I'm sure it really doesn't mean anything. But 24 hours later, I'm still pondering it a bit.
I have stories, I have millions of stories, short-little-blurby-stories. Some sad, some funny, some scary - mostly true. Things just "happen" to me. Good & bad. Scary & freaky. Joyous & cute. Things happen... even when I think my life is boring, things still happen. Or maybe I just don't know when to shut up? Lord knows I can take a 10 minute dream and turn it into a novel. I've thought about sharing more of my "older" stories, things that happened years/decades ago... but what would the point be? Are there any "lessons" to learn? Certainly no great "love" like that of the man who loved HIS Susanne... except perhaps for my sons.
I imagine, when my time is up, I'll learn that this dream was nothing more than reading too many blogs and watching too many movies like Ghost Hunters & White Noise (which I watched on Saturday). But, it really has been very thought-provoking. It FEELS like it has meaning - but I'm not sure what to take away from it.