Sunday, September 15, 2013


Over the years of my life there have been certain recurring themes or patterns to my dreams. These patterns have to do with places; certain sections of different roads or highways, particular rivers or a lake, a particular small town, a house filled with bookshelves loaded with books, and other such places. Over the years one gets used to seeing these particular places in our dreams, and we develop a comfortable familiarity with them.

In this past year I began to notice a shift which marked the fading away of those old familiar dream patterns. I woke up one day recently and realized it had been months since I had seen any of the old familiar places in my dreams.

I know when it changed, or it may be more accurate to say I think I know when it changed.

Last November we knew Mom was not doing well, and very well may not make it to the end of the year. The story of our last visit to see Mom while she was still living has been told in another place.

This particular dream happened around that time. In that dream, Mom was in what appeared to be a car. The car window was up, and though I did not clearly see him, Dad was in the drivers side. In my dream I yelled out, "Momma!" She turned her head and smiled at me through the window. Then the dream faded away.

A very short time after that dream, Mom died and a few short weeks after that, Dad was gone too. The two people who had been a central and vital part of the pattern of my life were gone. The whole pattern of my life was irrevocably changed. A link in the chain of the collective memory of my family has been cut off, and now it is my brother and sister and I who carry what we can of that collective memory.

My more recent dreams, the ones I can remember anything about, no longer have those familiar patterns of places, or events. It is if in the land of sleep, a certain degree of anarchy prevails in the universe of my dreams. Perhaps new patterns will eventually emerge, I do not know.

I do know that significant life events touch one 's being at many different levels. I am not one to spend a lot of time trying to understand dreams. I believe there is a reality to dreams that resists the prognostications of soothsayers and psychoanalyst alike. If He who is the giver of dreams wants me to understand a particular dream's meaning, He will make it clear in His own good way and time. I make no claim to prophetic dreams, and reserve a certain skepticism for any who claim so.

God has created us as complex beings. We often focus on the parts of our being and tend to lose sight of the interrelatedness of those parts. I am not so sure how well we as humans understand the fullness of the organic being of our humanness. I am coming to realize more and more just how deep and complex the patterns of our being and life really are. As the Psalmist put it, we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.

Soli Deo Gloria!

No comments: