Palaver from Persimmon Crossingwith Warren Faulk
EXTREME DREAM ... Soccer Mom...I dream. Every night. Have for several years. Until recently the dreams have sometimes resulted in me doing minor physical damage to myself ... cuts, bruises, broken bones. I have, on several occasions, injured my wife when thrashing out in my sleep. Some little ingredient of real life, something that I have experienced or observed is usually woven into the dream.
A year or so ago I took to sleeping on the floor, on a pallet, as a damage control measure. Earlier I had been tended to by a succession of Doctors with mixed results. Finally settled on one drug, the pallet, a loving wife on watch right above me ... yes every night ... and a fairly stress free lifestyle during the day.
Five AM this morning we may have embarked on a new twist in the adventure. One that is limited by my imagination and our donkey's itinerary. She was braying when I came fully awake and sat up. Wife inquiring whether I was awake or on the verge of another of my crashes. The dream ...
There is this soccer match in Brazil. Tremendous international interest. An estimated 65 million fans flock to the vicinity and the throng becomes more and more dense as you approach the sports field ... ground zero. The game begins. The fans become unruly. People outside the stadium listening by radio and watching on television begin to close in on the field. At first the pressure is all inward. Then from the center an undulation begins, triggered by fans coursing up and down the field. There is no game. Only a mass of humanity, unable to control itself or be controlled ... or helped. The movement from the center is suddenly all outward, but "outward" is no longer a place, it is other people, millions of people. I become aware that I am driving the dream. Taking it wherever I can imagine. Some people try to escape by entering multi-storied buildings. The buildings fill up from within. Masses of bodies pack around the outsides and people climb up until the buildings are destroyed.The last several thousand times I have gone to sleep I have dreamed. Most all the dreams have elements of sadness and/or violence. I am neither sad nor violent. Most of the dreams are forgotten upon my becomming fully awake, unless I write something down or discuss them with my wife.
From the outside people begin to flee. Athletes are seen beginning planned efforts to run from the scene in a controlled manner, conserving their energy to insure that they will be able to reach safety. Helicopter crews trying to effect rescues realize that there is nowhere to land and if they do their machines will be swallowed up. The only option is to let things play out on their own and they do. The motion slows the middle of the second day. A priest is seen holding the body of a child up to the surviving crowd. He is trying in vain to find a relative of the child. No explanation how he and his church survived. Bodies everywhere. No food, water or medical help. Dream ends with me on a wide approach to a tall building from which 50 pound bags of lime are being thrown, dodging the bags, trying not to be killed in this beginning rescue effort. Thirty million dead. How much lime ...
I am not sure the dreams are messages. If they are, I must be the world's worst interpreter. One dream is recurring. A dream of being in a military school where I could not keep up with the competition. This dream has its basis in reality, as does the runamuck sporting event and some of the dreams that entail violence and even the lime which is used in lieu of burial of human and animal bodies when burial is not feasible.
I keep trying to see myself in a Walter Mitty like role in some of the dreams, but that shoe doesn't fit. There are no heros. My character does not often come out on top.
Four doctors have had a cut at this problem. None has ventured much in the way of an explanation. Each has nodded when the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was mentioned. Two have said that symptoms like mine are common among men aged 50 to 60. Some recover, some don't. So what do I need from you? Not sympathy. I'm surrounded by loving, caring people. But I am more than curious about this new factor. I don't think I've ever experienced a dream where I was in control of the next scene. Maybe that was part of the illusion too. I don't know. If I could only dream about fishing instead of fighting ...
Some of you may now begin worrying about my health. Thanks, but not necessary. The adjustments I have made in my lifestyle and the care I am receiving, medical and otherwise, have helped quite a bit. I have a good life. Some may call to mind a friend who has had bad experiences and has had no ill effects. Great. I know lots of people who have seen and done far more that I and are seemingly unaffected. Some people are just naturally tough, mentally tough, from the gitgo. But who knows something about this business of piloting your own dream?
-- Warren Faulk
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