The Power of Dreams

Carol A. Hand

Recently, I have been contemplating two recurring childhood dreams. They seemed to presage the bookends of my life choices. The first was always the dark one. The second was always light. I remember waking with deep foreboding from the first, and with a strange sense of joy and aloofness from the second.

In the first dream, I would awaken within a nightmare to find myself on a screened porch. It was the dead of night. Despite the darkness, I could see darker shadows pacing and sense the fearsome monsters growling and salivating just outside the screen. I couldn’t escape into the house, and I dare not open the screen door. I knew that the monsters could easily rip through the screen, but oddly, that never happened. Still, I was filled with immobilizing terror.

Then, I would suddenly awaken in the “real word” nestled in my bed. I pretended to be asleep as I lay there terrified with my heart racing, listening to the wooden steps and floorboards creak as if someone were coming ever nearer. Sometimes I would muster the courage to peek through a single squinted myopic eye only to see shadowy amorphous shapes surrounding me. Those hazy apparitions did nothing to calm my fears.

Thankfully, I would soon fall asleep again and another dream would follow. In the light of the dawn, I found myself standing on the top step of the stairway that led to my second-story bedroom in my childhood home. It would take courage to believe, but I suspected that if I really concentrated, I would be able to take flight. I raised my arms and lifted gently into the air, glided down the stairwell, through the open front door and into the world around me.

Once airborne, I realized I could control my flight with thoughts, one moment close enough to people on the ground to touch them (although I never did) or higher than eagles in the sky, able to gaze from afar at the world below. It was both exhilarating and lonely. I knew I could never land and be part of the scene below, whether near or far, unless I was willing to lose the magic of being able to fly.

***

Christmas past - 1949

Christmas past – 1949

***

But it seemed odd. Even when I was close, no one seemed to be aware of my presence.

The second dream never fails to remind me of Tao wisdom.

“The Tao person, detached and wise embraces all as Tao.” (Dreher, 1990, the Tao of Inner Peace)

Deep sorrow continues to touch my life when I look at the world today, both up close and from afar, but so does great joy. I’m really not sure why I’m sharing this here, but I suspect many people do see me as somewhat aloof. Perhaps I am, but I do care deeply about others. I just don’t want to lose the magic of being able to rise above confining darkness and fear. I have only ever wanted to be able to share what I see with others and learn what they see in return.

***

Celebrating Life - 1957

Celebrating Life – 1957

***

I want to thank all of my blogging friends for the chance to continue learning –
to see the world through many other eyes.
to sample great wisdom and beauty that brings sadness, joy, and hopeful yearning
as we soar together in ethereal skies.

Chi miigwetch (Ojibwe “thank you very much”) and blessings to all.

***

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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30 Responses to The Power of Dreams

  1. I love your stories, your perspectives, and your wisdom dear Carol and consider it both an honor and a privilege to have been blessed enough to find you here in the blogosphere! People often think me to be aloof at first too! But I’m really not and neither are you. We may both be reserved somewhat but that’s a good thing I think. Love and hugs, Natalie ❌⭕️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. smilecalm says:

    when i sleep peacefully
    i don’t know about dreams, Carol!
    your retrospective inquiries
    & stories help myself & others look
    more critically at themselves.
    when there’s enough of us
    with those insights of our interconnection,
    letting go of attachment to separate selves,
    there’s a greater possibility of coming together
    in time for a future to be possible 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautiful, wise, and poetic words as always, David. I’m deeply grateful for your kindness and for your crucial insights about our need to rise above the illusion of separateness in order to embrace our interconnectedness to all.

      Like

  3. bethanyk says:

    Your last paragraph is profound. You are a very wise, evolved person that I would expect many admire as I do.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rivenrod says:

    I’m interested by your use of the word, aloof.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rivenrod says:

    Well now, something went sadly awry with WordPress and only published the first line of my comment. The rest is as follows: I am interested in your use of the word, aloof. A dream-reader used the same word with me a few years ago and went on to explain that it often refers to issues around self-esteem. Not necessarily bad, just that we’re also careful of the feelings of others given that our own views are more often than not passionately held.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m grateful for your perseverance with WordPress, Rivenrod, so I could learn more about your important experiences and interpretations of the meaning of aloof. Your comment inspired me to check the meaning more carefully – both “detached” and “haughty” are listed as synonyms. Based on my experiences, it seemed as though appearing to be detached was often interpreted as arrogance by people who suffered from lower self-esteem. It always surprised me when they responded that way – I was merely listening carefully and observing.

      I also discovered a fascinating description of the origin of the word:

      “In Middle English, aloof was originally a nautical term; the loof (now spelled luff) is the windward side of a ship. Smart sailors wanting to avoid a hazard on the leeward side would give the order, “A loof!” From this command we get the idea of steering clear of something (or someone). In modern usage the word has taken on a negative connotation: an aloof person is often considered cold or snobby.” (Source: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/aloof)

      Thank you for your thought-provoking comment! 🙂

      Like

  6. Annika Perry says:

    Carol, your dreams capture the diactomy of our existence in the world…one filled with fear, the unknown lurking dangerously close, haunting even, then the joyful free feeling of flight, tinged with something, regret?, sadness?, at not quite being part of the experience of others. Wow, a powerful post, thought-provoking. I can empathise with so much of your eloquent writing here…there isn’t an easy answer. Your Tao quote brings a certain calm to the whole…I’ll carry that with me. Also I love learning new languages (even if only a word or two) and have never seen any Ojibwe before. Just wish I could hear it prounounced! So, tack and Chi miigwetch. Warmest wishes to you, Carol. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your deep and thoughtful comments, Annika. The second dream often reminds me of what I feel when I read The Prophet by Gibran – someone who is always observing and able to see the hidden meanings and rhythms of life, but who’s always standing alone on the margins even when surrounded by many others. I was curious about “tack”, and tack to google for providing the answer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bernadette says:

    Carol, it has been my pleasure to read your work and to see the world through your eyes. Wishing you and yours a Christmas filled with peace and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. omtatjuan3 says:

    I loved these words!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Carol, I am so pleased to be a part of that large group who look forward to your next post. It is so good to have you as a companion on the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sojourner says:

    “…I do care deeply about others. I just don’t want to lose the magic of being able to rise above confining darkness and fear. I have only ever wanted to be able to share what I see with others and learn what they see in return.”

    Don’t ever lose “the magic”, this gift, “of being able to rise above confining darkness and fear”. I wish I had this kind of magic!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Blessings to you, too, Carol, and thanks for bringing new light to my world ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Silvia TIC says:

    I enjoyed reading about your dreams and how they represent both the “vision from above”, somewhat detached but magical,and the perception of the darkness/shadows so close and scary yet kept away by a thin screen…they represent life and how you see it. The monsters we are surrounded by (so close, yet contained by the “houses” and “screens” we build to protect what’s important) and the ability to fly and see the wonders of the world…never lose the magic my friend. Dreams are messages from the unconscious and that we all share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments and insights, Silvia. I agree that dreams are messages. Sometimes they they leave us with mysteries to ponder and little gifts of magic in their wake. Finding friends like you is a bit of magic for which I’m deeply grateful. ❤

      Like

  13. Kev says:

    Fab photos Carol! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jacque' says:

    The wife and I noticed your blog and appreciate the stories you have here. Please allow me to encourage you to keep writing and never abandon this site. I am a mobile developer, and if you are ever curious about having a mobile app version of this blog, I would love to help. We appreciate the hard work you have put into this blog and wish you all future success in business and in life.
    Thank you for your time, it is the most precious thing we all possess.
    -Jacque’

    Like

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