Dreaming the Life
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
I am learning about life and the way things could be through dreams. I am experiencing more of life in the Dream- time than I knew Â could be possible and amazed to find how comfortable I am with the possibilities I see there. Yes, Iâ€™m learning about reality from dreams and dreaming the life I could have.
These might seem to be bizarre dreams to me, this relationship Â I Â find Â in Â the Â Dreamtime, Â but Â when Â I Â confess Â my dreams to friends about typical â€œcouple stuff,â€ they tell me itâ€™s normal. Onlyâ€¦itâ€™s very Â different from what Iâ€™ve had. And…I like it.
These dreams have a lot of movement and energy. Usually, weâ€™re on a journey or speeding along in his car or walking fast. Always going somewhere, on the move, ever forward. But theyâ€™ve Â changed. Â The Â focus Â has Â shifted Â over Â the Â past Â four months. Iâ€™m no longer just along for the ride, with someone else driving. Iâ€™m driving now and very independent, though I enjoy the company of the man who joins me in these dreams. Or at least, when heâ€™s present, I enjoy him. And when heâ€™s not, I have plenty else to do. I like this.
Heâ€™sÂ changed, Â too. Â The Â man Â who Â appears Â in Â my dreamsâ€”really more a sense of a man than a definitive physical appearanceâ€”is no longer, as in previous dreams of late summer, forgetting his tickets to the game or misplacing his mail or getting Â sidetracked by patrolmen with radar guns. Heâ€™s getting his act together, too.
In this latest dream, he is along for the ride with me. I invited him. We are going on a trip. A business trip, I think. Not a vacation, unless Â it Â is a learning vacation. We are heading to some kind of conference. Maybe thatâ€™s because I have conferences coming up in St. Augustine, Â Daytona, and Atlanta, and Iâ€™ve decided to skip New Orleans and havenâ€™t Â decided about Phoenix. So maybe itâ€™s one of those trips that Iâ€™ve invited him along on. In any case, itâ€™s a blend of travel and enlightenment and the pleasure of each otherâ€™s company.
When we discuss the invitation, I get a vision of the two of us on Â an airplane, sitting close, wrapped up in each other emotionally Â and Â intellectually, Â but Â physically, Â thereâ€™s Â nothing overtly sexual. In the vision Â within the vision of what I think will be, weâ€™re seated close together and thereâ€™s an undercurrent of the sexual in our subtle movements but even then, I doubt heâ€™ll accept my invitation.
He surprises me by showing up at the airport. Just in time. His bags are packed and ready. Heâ€™s bought his own ticket. Given that the invitation was mine, I would have bought it for him, but heâ€™s responsible Â and generous and takes care of his own wallet and his own baggage. He Â doesnâ€™t need my money and he doesnâ€™t need me to carry his baggage for him.
We sit together on the plane in a different set of seats than Iâ€™d Â imagined and there are more people around than Iâ€™d thought there would be. So many people that I know weâ€™ll have no great show of physical affection and no time alone here. But we are together and enjoying each otherâ€™s company and sitting together and obviously together as a couple. Â Even though we arenâ€™t holding hands or overt, we are together. Whether anyone else notices or not, we both feel it.
He is like a shining light next to me, and other passengers see our energy together and change seats just to sit closer and talk with us. Heâ€™s doing this big social thing, interacting on a somewhat superficial and Â very friendly but not disingenuous level with all these people around us, Â chatting matter-of-factly about the nine invitations heâ€™d received to New Yearâ€™s Eve par- ties and which one was the third invitationâ€”a mutual acquaintance of one of the other passengers. He never says if he at- tended any parties or reveals where he was, and I am simply listening and watching the people react to him and enjoying it.
Am I expected to speak up? I am briefly tempted to wade in and force myself into the conversation with my opinions, but they arenâ€™t necessary so I just watch and itâ€™s okay that I donâ€™t compete with the five or six other people talking to him all at once. And I donâ€™t compete with him Â for their attention either. I simply enjoy him, enjoy the moment, and let Â him be, and he lets me be. Weâ€™re still very much a couple, but I let him do the aggressive socializing and small talk that I donâ€™t care for and that take so much energyâ€”something he seems to have an abundance of.
At some point later, we arrive at our hotel suite or wherever is our destination. It must have taken us a long time to get here because Iâ€™m tired and take a nap. The suite is huge. Thereâ€™s a line of windows looking Â out Â over water but I donâ€™t stop to look outâ€¦more looking around inside Â the place and looking
atâ€¦him. And smiling. I like being with this man. But still, liking him doesnâ€™t dictate my schedule. If I want to retreat into sleep alone, I am allowed and accepted for it. The acceptance of my independence is pleasantly surprising. Independence is not synonymous with â€œyouâ€™re allowed to earn an income, too.â€
When I wake in the bed in this realm of the Dreamtime, I donâ€™t see him anywhere in the suite. I assume heâ€™s left. Why is that? Returned home. Running errands. Working. Visiting. Do- ing his own thing. Gone. And thatâ€™s okay, I realize. I have my own thing to do. Iâ€™m not even sad, which I find a little strange, given how much I like being with him. But why did I automatically assume he was gone? Do I automatically assume I Â donâ€™t deserve a guy whoâ€™ll stay or that maybe one doesnâ€™t exist?
What happens next in the dream alarms me. I donâ€™t dream this sort of thing. Iâ€™d be mortified.
I assume Iâ€™m alone, and I feel the need after my nap to take Â care Â of Â my, Â um, Â personal business. Yes, Â this Â is Â what Â my motherâ€™s kinder, gentler Southern generation might call defecation. Though there is much going on many different levels in this dream, the euphemism is Â important. Fully awake, I stroll through the suite and through the many Â rooms of this huge suite and to the bathroom. There I do something highly unusual for me, even when alone: I go into the toilet and leave the door wide open.
While I amâ€”pardon the euphemism but itâ€™s pertinent to the Â symbolism hereâ€”tending to my personal business in the toiletâ€¦or maybe Â more appropriately, Iâ€™m taking care of my shitâ€¦a movement catches my eye. Â He didnâ€™t go anywhere. He didnâ€™t really leave. Iâ€™d thought he was gone and Iâ€™d continued to do my own thing. I continue to take care of my own Â needs Â while he begins to pace happily around the space we share, talking about something heâ€™s seen on the History Channel and a science documentary and quantum theory and a new band we both like.
I see a flurry of energy out of the corner of my eye and realize that he has been working on his own stuff, napping, and working some Â more Â while Iâ€™ve been resting. He didnâ€™t require me by his side and had enough to stay busy without infringing on my own goals. But he didnâ€™t Â want to interrupt either, so when he needed to rest, he rested in a nearby roomâ€¦not by my side but very present in my life. And always close by if I needed him.
And at that moment while Iâ€™m on the toilet, he comes walking in, chattering away about all kinds of interesting stuff. I have a brief moment of panic because I havenâ€™t closed the door and then I realizeâ€¦itâ€™s okay. With him, itâ€™s all okay. Thereâ€™s intimacyÂ andÂ closenessÂ and Â comfortÂ atÂ aÂ root levelÂ betweenÂ us. There are no secrets, no closing off, just openness and acceptance.
People come to the suite while I am still taking care of my own Â needs, and I close the door and slip away from their prying eyes. He redirects them, entertains them, and handles the situation for me until I can rejoin him. He is supportive and loving without informing me that he is.
Thereâ€™s a Â sense Â of Â ease Â and Â deep Â acceptance Â in Â this dream. Thereâ€™s independence and taking care of our own goals and needs and Â supporting each other. Thereâ€™s allowing each other to be who and what we are.
And while I never thought dreaming about being interrupted in the bathroom would be romantic or quite lovely, the dream conjures up a life of acceptance and love. The most surprising thing is my own reaction to the good and the trivial and where they intersect. Iâ€™m being shown how good life could be so that maybe Iâ€™ll be able to believe such love and acceptance and support really do exist.