Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Recurring dreams are a phenomenon that many of us have experienced at one time or another.

Sometimes the details are different, but the general framework of the recurring dream is always the same. Whether it is a good dream or a bad dream depends on many things: one’s state of mind, what one had for supper that evening, some deep-down psychic hole that is unfilled.

I have dreams from time to time that involve recurring elements. There are the Tornado Dreams and Tsunami Dreams, both of which have been mentioned in posts here. And there’s the Slow-Motion Jet Airliner Dream, in which I find myself flying in an airplane that moves slowly, at low altitude – or, alternatively, zooms along an ethereal Aerial Roller-Coaster Track. Always, always, the fear of an impending crash. Horrible.

But any discussion of Recurring Dreams must include some mention of the infamous School Dream.

The School Dream is one that many of us have experienced at one time or another. You find yourself back in school – college, high school, it matters not. But you are back in school, and it’s obvious that you are Not Prepared, whether it be for an exam, a paper, or some other task that is critical to your success. Scary, not least because the Unpreparedness Factor in these dreams is primarily a distorted mirror-reflection of stress and uncertainty in your Real Life.

I’ve had those School Dreams, too, but there’s a variation that makes mine especially unsettling.

In my typical School Dream, I’ll be back at college. Why I’m there, faced with another four years of degenerate partying grueling coursework, never is completely clear to me. But, regardless, I am there, moving my stuff into a dormitory room, getting ready for a semester’s worth of Ridiculously Continued Education.

As I move my stuff in and wander the campus, I’m disoriented, ill at ease. Something’s not right; the world is out of joint. There’s a terrible feeling of loss, of utter desolation, gnawing at the back of my brain. And it dawns on me:

Where’s my wife? What became of my children?

Why am I here, so terribly alone? Did I even have a family? Or was it some distant, hopeful dream?

And that is usually when I wake up, heart racing. I reach out across the bedclothes, and She Who Must Be Obeyed is there, to my deep and total relief. The School Dream - my School Dream – was just a dream, thank Gawd…until I have it again.

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