Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dreams and Nightmares

For a dream to be classified as a nightmare, it must have one specific trait: upon waking having the fear of falling asleep and returning to that dream.  Accompanying that fear is being infused with the horrible feeling I had during the nightmare as if it had crossed from the dream dimension into the waking dimension.  In order to protect myself from returning to the nightmare I must turn on the light, get out of bed and fully awaken.  I must patiently await the dissipation of the aftershock of the nightmare.  I don't return to bed until the horrible feeling has passed, usually a half hour.  

I've had very few nightmares in my life that I can almost count them on one hand.  My most memorable nightmare was the one I had when I was 5-years-old called The Mudmen.  It's not a traditional dream because I believe that my eyes are open and the dream formulates infront of my eyes.  But it's not a film-like dream because there isn't movement, kind of like a slide photograph filling itself with pixels and then approaching me.  Because of all the writing I've done on this blog I was able to realize that The Mudmen was the conflict between my desire to be with my father and the fear of what that truly meant. In the dream there is a man a dog and a little boy.  The man has died, the dog was killed by that man before he died and the child was being taken away by that man, meaning that the child had died.  What if I had been able to address that dream existentially as that 5-year-old?  Would I have better accepted my father's death? Or would I have been better able to understand that I wished for my own death, although I was afraid of dying?  I was 5-years-old, too young to think so complexly.  But maybe not being able to think so complexly, not being able to convert thoughts into words doesn't mean that those thoughts don't exist.  

July 6th, 2011

Last night I had a dream that I was going to be put in the electric chair.  I don't believe it was important the reason why.  It was a sunny day when some men grabbed me in a town square.  Truthfully, I don't know what I was doing at the time of being grabbed.  The people electricuting me informed me that after the electricution I would be reincarnated into the same life at the same exact time and age and place I had died and that no one would know what happened to me...  I was told that upon being reborn I would be cleansed of all the difficulty of my former life.  However, I must pass through the electricution.  I remember that my tongue was horribly swollen, that I could hardly swallow let alone talk.  I have absolutely no idea why.  I also remember someone saying that the tongue swells up or maybe that it burns upon being electricuted.  That scared me some.  Maybe more than one moment in time was passing at once within the dream.  I don't remember reaching the chair.  I just remember being horribly afraid of the experience, of the electricution, of the pain.  My fears of the pain focussed upon the area of the chest where my heart is.  I imagined feeling the explosion of my heart and that scared me most.  It seemed that there was the option somehow of not going through with the electricution.  For some reason I didn't arrive at the part where I pleaded against being electricuted or where I acceded to the chair and went through with it...  Since dreams are metaphorical and symbolic, occasionally carrying very strong messages, I'm not really concerned with what was "omitted".  All I can tell you is that I woke up yesterday morning and turned on the computer still half asleep because I felt that this dream had been a very important message.  And, no, it was not a nightmare...  

If you are given the option of a new life exactly where you are at the moment, with the same places, people and objects you normally would leave behind upon dying with the unique stipulation that you must go through the experience of dying, what would you say?  The perk is that you return to the point you left off, but without all the difficult baggage of the past, would you go through with it?  

This dream played through my mind all day yesterday, popping up in conversations, popping up as I wrote the various blog entries.  I understand the popping up as periodic reminders connecting me with what it was I was doing at the time and the significance of the dream.  

I believe that there are many forms of pain and suffering in life.  However, I don't believe that everyone suffers.  I also believe that there are an infinit amount of levels of pain and suffering and an infinit amount levels of endurance and forms of responding towards the pain and suffering.  When I write this blog I am firmly aware that there is a world of people so much less fortunate than I am and mountains of people so much more fortunate. However, I am also aware that each and every one of us is born into our personal challenge specific lives placed alongside the tools necessary for our achieving the goal of that specific placement and challenge.  That said, I can't compare myself to a person who will never know what is a computer, nor the internet.  Their needs and their tools are so much different than mine.  I can't tell them that they are less fortunate, because first I must explain to them the significance of the computer and the internet.  You don't miss what you never knew existed. 

Margarita lived 8 years of her life without knowing electricity.  I should expect much different things of her based upon her distinctly different experience.  I've noticed a distinct difference between the first 3 children of my mother-in-law Paz and the following 9.  Within the other nine children, the first 3 are so much different from the last 6 who are so much more plugged into the television.  Those final 6 are also much less concerned about their lives.  They are lighter in ways...  The first 3 Alejandro, José Francisco and Margarita are no-nonsense, much more serious workers. But they are also less dynamic in ways.  Granted, Margarita has evolved so much during her 8.5 years with me.  If I don't remind her to take a break, she will work herself to death and forget the other things she wishes for herself.  During the first 6 years of our marriage she responded to my suggestion of visiting with various woman whom asked about her in the Lakes or in the fairs with statement, "what do I need with friends?"  In fact, she had difficulty understanding why she wasn't enough for me socially.  Now she feels a distinct deficit with the lack of female aquaintances while travelling with her 3 brothers and I.  She needs those conversations, those energies.    

The wonderful thing about the modern rational 1st World Mind is the belief that you can assess and fix the mental structures and behaviors of other people; modern psychology/psycho therapy.  However, it's still very difficult for the modern intellectual to understand that one's distinct difference in experience makes it very difficult to truly understand the lives of other people and that one person must learn all the different levels of listening before they can qualify the other person's issues...  How do you know that you are truly reacting to the other person's actions and not reacting to your own deep-seeded fears projected upon the other person who has just triggered off your fears and concerns by their actions?  Understanding that possibility, maybe the other person hasn't truly committed an offense; you just don't understand yourself as well as you would wish and maybe you haven't addressed certain key personal issues...

I love my dream in as difficult as it is.  It's a suggestion.  It's a statement.  It's a warning.  All the same, I must understand that in order for me to achieve my goals, I must put myself through an extreme pain I may not be willing to enter if given the choice...  The question is, do I truly want to remove the difficulties I experienced between my father's death and my leaving for Mexico?  Is it worth the risk of experiencing a much more acute pain?

As you can see within my writings, it wasn't enough my leaving for Mexico, that in as much as I see this journey here as a rebirth, it is incomplete.  Does that mean I must fully disconnect with my past life?  Should I scrap this blog and scrap my illusion of you as my friends?  I think I have met some really beautiful people I never truly knew in my past although I knew them, and whom I haven't yet met in person, since they are there and I am here...  Must we compartmentalize our lives so much?  Must things be so concrete, so black and white?  Maybe the rebirth is something so much more abstract.  What do you think Kim?  Within a few minutes James wrote me two contradicting emails.  The first one said that he loved my writings, that they are cathartic.  The second one said that I must stop writing and that he couldn't continue viewing my life story and how it is playing itself out.  He even removed me from his facebook friends list.  It was a knee-jerk reaction.  He became afraid and ran...  His last words were "I love you Ross..." How can he love me if he hasn't seen me since 1993? and since we didn't spend much time together since I was resentful towards his privileged lifestyle...  At the same time I received some incredibly beautiful messages from 3 women who grew up with me in Branchburg.  James' message put me in a funk for a while.  And I wondered how I could continue with the writings.  However, I remembered all the people who were telling me that they were enjoying my blog, telling me that I must continue writing or that they hoped I wouldn't stop writing or that they were enjoying how the story was unfolding...  I thought that I must directly address James' concern.  But, halfway through the piece I floundered and lost the point.  So, I realized that I still hadn't written about my dreams, that I had two monumental dreams between 1997 and yesterday that show me that maybe there is something else going on here way beyond modern 1st World Mental Capacities for understanding...

Focussing on these dreams I realize that the positive support of those friends is a message that maybe I should continue on within this risk.  

The dream I had in Astoria Queens in early Spring 1997 was not a visual dream.  And it WAS a nightmare.  It was phrase while I was asleep that awakened me with a jolt, shaking and sweating, filled with a horrible ominous buzzing.  I went to the bathroom, turned on the light and sat on the toilet for a half hour before returning to bed when the feeling had passed, confident or wishfully hoping that I wouldn't return to that nightmare.  It was a message:

If you don't do it, you will die!

It's not the words so much as is the profound meaning that is important .  Remember, you don't truly think in words, only when you are consciously thinking and focussing on the words.  That's why we often sense things profoundly important, but the moment of expressing the feeling or the idea in words, what we thought was so important disappears like a morning fog burned away by the sun, gradually leaving our mental grasp...

I was living with Randi at the time. I would break up with her a few months later.  What is signified by the doing and what is the dying?  Why didn't I marry Randi?  The future showed us raising children and participating in family gatherings, everyone content with the exception of Ross .  I knew I would be stuck in a trap I knew as my horribly restricted me...  I wouldn't literally die.  But I would reach a point of no return where I didn't make anyone happy, since I would be so unhappy with myself, since I would never have explored who I truly am.  Did I laugh at that joke because I truly thought it was funny or because everyone else was laughing?  Can you sense the difference?  Is it sufficient that you respect me?  What if I don't respect myself?  Do I truly enjoy that cuisine or is it the idea of that cuisine that is so enjoyable?  Do I truly enjoy all the Indian food I cooked and ate between 1990 and 2002?  Is it true that I'm not in the least bit materialist or am I afraid of seeming the slightist bit self centered, egoistic and hedonistic? 

Was there something I must do in order to truly live?  Is there something else I should be doing at this time?  James, you were the instigation, the movement awakening me to the idea of finally writing what I knew I must write and of taking all the risks...  How can I be angry with you if you were the recent inspiration for the blog? You are a very important part of my destiny.  You were only playing your role, your part in our interconnected destinies.  Now it's my responsibility to follow through, responding to you and to me and to my mother and to silences and to fears and to insecurities and to beautiful messages and to frightful dreams and to horrible risks and to repeated loss...  You put the ball in motion.  Now I must play that ball.  You do what you do.  But I am here participating directly within my life. I'm not running away at this moment.  

The dream in Astoria 1997 was the beginning of the process of my awakening.  Yesterday's dream was a challenge and a question about what is it that I'm willing to do in order to truly achieve my life's goals...  I must follow through with this and see where it takes me...


1 comment:

Marsha said...

I sense a feeling of introspection and peacefullness in this blog. Not sure how it pertains to me but it always saddens me when you feel such anger towards me. Regardless of the anger you express I will always love you and I will always feel sad that you suffer so at times.