Vision

“Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It’s like the tide going out, revealing whatever’s been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future. The ruin you’ve made.” ~ Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye

I’ve been dreaming about sight lately.  I know that most of you do not believe that dreams mean anything, but there still must be some reason as to why there is a central theme to my dreams as of late.

The other night, I dreamt that I borrowed GP’s car.  I was driving his car at night, and the roads were only dimly lit by the street lights.  I was driving on a curvy and winding road.  I had driven all night, and somehow made it my to destination by the morning.  As I pulled his car into the driveway, an unknown man yells from his car, “Hey, your lights are off.  You’ve been driving all night with no lights on.”

GP was there to greet my arrival.  He promptly reprimanded me for driving his car with limited visibility.

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The following night I dreamt that I had taken out my contacts to clean them. When I put them back in, my left eye started to hurt, so I took it back out.  I look at my left contact, and it is clearly ripped.  I debate whether I should put it back in because I am nearly blind without contacts or if I should instead just take out both contacts and walk around blindly.  Wearing eyeglasses were not an option in my dream.  I finally opted to take out both contacts and walk around blindly.

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In both dreams, the theme is that I have limited visibility.  Although I am not a firm believer that dreams foretell the future or give us any real insight to our subconscious mind, I do believe that dreams may mirror some of the fears and worries that we carry in our minds during our waking moments. Apparently, I seem to fear that I am going through life blindly but am willing to endure pain just so I can get to my final destination, wherever that may be.

Empty Handed

“It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty.” ~ Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

I dreamt I was taking a trip to the Philippines.  I had left work with my friend, L, and we got on the train to head to the airport.  There was a pit-stop to eat at my work cafeteria.  We had to exit the train and leave our bags on the patches of grass outside of the building.  I remembered that I had two bags when I first boarded the train, but when I got off, I only had one.  I was upset I had lost one bag, so I told L to go ahead to the cafeteria and that I would catch up with her once I found my missing bag.  I backtracked on foot, while still carrying the one bag that I had left, and looked down on the patches of grass for my missing bag.  I could not find it, so I decided to head back to where the train originally dropped us off.  I was agitated that I lost my other bag, but was grateful anyway that at least I had the one bag.  My shoulders felt heavy though, and so I decided to put down the bag that I was carrying.  I was horrified to find out that the bag that I was carrying was not even my bag, but was instead a sort of backpack child seat.  I collapsed on the ground, crying for my two missing bags, and for the empty child seat.

Excretion

“We all have secret lives. The life of excretion; the world of inappropriate sexual fantasies; our real hopes, our terror of death; our experience of shame; the world of pain; and our dreams. No one else knows these lives. Consciousness is solitary. Each person lives in that bubble universe that rests under the skull, alone.” ~ Kim Stanley Robinson, Galileo’s Dream

Yesterday, G woke up in a pool of blood that had oozed from her nose.  After a few minutes, we were able to stop her nosebleed, but I let her stay home from school as she felt a little warm when I touched her forehead and she also said she had a headache.
She napped for part of the day, and after doing some light housework, I also felt like taking a nap.  I laid on the couch and fell asleep in front of the television.  I had a fitful nap and dreamt of having horrible stomach pains and of going to the bathroom to try to relieve myself.  For some reason, I was not able to excrete and I was feeling very uncomfortable.  When I woke up from my nap, my stomach was still aching.
Dream interpreters say, “…dreams that include constipation often have to do with openness and communication or else the lack of openness and communication currently in your life. If you experience constipation within your dream then this indicates that you have shown some distance with others. It is important to understand when you should be more open with others. The most significant factor of this dream is that you need to be more comfortable with other people, in order to better communicate with others.”  Some also say that it “suggests that you are unwilling to let go of your old behavior, and forgive and forget with others. You need to stop dwelling in the past,” while others say it is an inability “to get emotional relief from the problems one has mentally digested.”    
I am aware of my areas of weakness.  I know that I hold onto things from the past, and I know that I have problems communicating with people.  I suppose that for me, the act of letting go has been a lifelong struggle, and my issues surrounding that have culminated in my inability to effectively communicate with other people to a point where all my relationships are strained and the lines of communication are blocked and uncomfortable.

Beside Me

“Time that withers you will wither me. We will fall like ripe fruit and roll down the grass together. Dear friend, let me lie beside you watching the clouds until the earth covers us and we are gone.” ~ Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body

I dreamt that I was walking on the street with my friend, H. It was a stifling, hot day. The heat was making me very dizzy. I felt myself straining to take the next steps. Sure enough, as I took the next step, I fell down, face first into the pavement. I could not move. My legs and arms were like lead, and I could not even move my face. Fortunately, I had fallen onto the side of my face. H saw me fall, and she immediately got onto the ground and planted herself onto the pavement next to me. She positioned yourself so that she was facing me, and she was smiling, saying that it was a good idea to take a little break from walking in the heat. She did that, so that I would not be embarrassed because people were just standing there staring at me on the ground, and after a little while, I was finally able to get up, stand, walk away, and she and I went along on our merry way.

Umbrella Dreams

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“There’s gon’ be some stuff you gon’ see
that’s gon’ make it hard to smile in the future.
But through whatever you see,
through all the rain and the pain,
you gotta keep your sense of humor.
You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit.
Remember that.” ~
Tupac Shakur

I carry inside my purse a little red umbrella. I carry it nearly every day, even on days when the weather predictions do not call for rain. It is just the type of person I am. I try to be prepared for everything.

I save money, even if it is just a small amount. I save for “rainy days” because you just never know when life will throw a big storm in your life and an umbrella or a little extra cash will come in handy.

I dreamt last night that I took in the little red umbrella for a tune-up, so to speak. The repairman had tightened all the rods and made sure that there were no holes in the fabric.

“This is all good,” he reassured me. “The umbrella is good to go.”

A while later, there was a torrential downpour. The umbrella failed me. It flipped up against the wind and heavy rains, and I ended up getting drenched.

It was just a dream, but to me it represented my fear that no matter what I do or how I try to prevent myself from getting hurt, heartache and pain is still going to happen.

Maybe it is something that I have to learn about life – that inevitably it is going to rain and no umbrella in the world is going to guarantee that I will not get wet.

There is a hollowness in my stomach. I ache inside. I want so badly for all the things in my life to come together, in a way that has not yet happened for me. But I am afraid, so afraid, that no matter what I do to try and make things happen the way that I want, that it will not, and I will end up being severely disappointed.

(source)

I want to go back to the days when I did not care or even think to carry an umbrella. I want to be able to do what I want to do and not care if I am going to get hurt or not.

When did I forget how to dance in the rain?

Low

“Except I think it feels more like an empty stomach than a broken heart. An aching hollowness that food can’t cure. You know. You’ve felt it yourself, I bet. You hurt all the time, you’re restless, you can’t think straight, you sort of wish you were dead but what you really want is for everything to be the same as it was when you were still with him.” ~ Richard Laymon, Night in the Lonesome October

I had one of those dreams the other night, those dreams of feeling inadequate. I was at my martial arts school. The students there all knew of my past achievements. My trophies still were displayed proudly in the cases in front of the school. I had promised them all a demonstration. But when I stepped out in the middle of the school to perform, I suddenly could not remember anything, not even the most simple maneuver. I left the school in shame, and I could hear the whispers of the students, “She is nothing but a has-been.”

I was in the train yesterday on the way to work. It was the second day that the train had stopped in the tunnels underneath. The day before we were held in the train for over forty-five minutes in the underground tunnels. The train had gone into a state of emergency when it felt as though it had run over something, perhaps a body. They stopped our train to investigate and to make sure there were no “obstructions” in the rails. Yesterday, we were held again, but not nearly as long. Still, it was nerve-wracking. There was an older Latino couple standing near me. The woman was obviously in a state of panic. She held on tightly to the pole. The man stood next to her, comforting her, and he put his hand over her hand on the pole, caressing and protecting her at the same time. He whispered to her, “Esta bien, mi amor. Todo va a estar bien.” She leaned herself into him and I could see her tension subside. The sweet and genuine exchange of love and care between this beautiful couple made me want to cry. I felt the sting of hot tears in my eyes as I realized that I want that in my life. To grow old with someone. To love and to be loved. To know that everything in the world will be alright as long as we are together.

It has been a dark week for me, with the feeling of the loss of my sister hitting me in thunderous waves. As if I could not go any lower, I reached an even deeper low when I allowed someone to make me feel as if I am the most selfish, most untrustworthy and most undeserving person in this world.

I am not perfect, but I always do try to do the right thing.

Miss Me

I was at my parent’s house during my birthday. My mom planned a party for me, with lots of guests and an elaborate spread. I dressed up especially nicely that day and wanted to make my grand appearance in style. So, when the guests started to arrive, I did not want to be seen until I was completely satisfied with my hair, makeup and dress. I decided to hide in the backyard until after all the guests arrived before I made my entrance. I climbed up the tree house and waited for the right moment. After some time, all the guests had arrived, and my mom started to wonder what had happened to me. They all started to call out my name. I did not answer. Instead, I stayed in the tree house to see what they would do. After a few more minutes, they started to become frantic. My mom even picked up the phone to call the police. Before she could complete the call, I finally came down from the tree house and greeted everyone with a smile.

“Where were you?!?!” my mom cried.

I pointed to the treehouse in the backyard. “There,” I answered.

“Well, didn’t you hear us calling for you? We all started to worry!”

“Yes, I heard you,” I smiled.

“So why didn’t you answer then?” she asked.

“I just wanted to make sure all of you really did miss me,” I answered.

(photo courtesy Google Images)

I woke up from this dream the other morning, and I felt eerily disturbed by it. I had deliberately caused an upsetting scene in my dream just to reassure myself that I was loved by my family and friends, and that I would be missed if I were to fall off from the face of the earth.

I have always had this deep-rooted fear of being left behind by those I love or of not being loved in return. Today was an especially terrible day as I wallowed in self-pity for most of the day, and I laid around the house feeling sorry for myself.

After wasting a whole day on my stupid insecurities, I finally forced myself to focus on the positive things in my life: my good health, my stable job, friends, family, and most importantly, love.

Loving others and the feeling of being loved are the most powerful cures of all. The Beatles knew what they were talking about when they said that all we need is love.

“Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.” ~ Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish Statesman

Corruption…. Faceless

I am here in the Philippines on vacation. I have been here since the middle of November. I couldn’t wait to come here. I had been counting down the days, but since I’ve been here, I’ve been angry and depressed.

I hate that I had to come all the way here to see my family. My experience and outlook this time towards the Philippines is much different than in my previous visits. I actually hate it here.

The corruption is rampant and the poverty is stifling. I have seen no improvement in the country and the thought of it is sickening. How is it that other countries, such as Vietnam and Japan, countries that were once war-ravaged, are now prosperous, and the Philippines is still an under-developed country?

It is because the politicians here are corrupt and they only care about what goes in their wallets. Never mind that the mass population barely have enough food to eat and live in shacks.

Maybe the people of the Philippines should take lessons from the people of Romania. Remember what they did to Nicolae Ceauşescu?

That same revolution and bloodshed needs to happen in the Philippines. Otherwise, I fear that the so-called leaders of this God-forsaken country will continue to hold down this country. It is in their benefit to keep the people in oppression.

~~

These past few weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve been having vivid dreams of the past – the times when all of my family were together in the U.S. The dreams feel so real that I wake up disappointed to find myself to simply be a guest in my parent’s home in the Philippines. I wish I could turn back time to happier days and happier situations.

These past few nights, I’ve been having dreams of an unknown person whose face I cannot see and do not recognize. It is the unrecognizable face of a man who makes me feel safe : a man who doesn’t get drunk and then becomes intolerable, a man who has dreams and ambitions of living a simple and normal life, a man who does not let his vices and whims control his life or destroy the lives of others, and a man who stays true and loyal to me as I am to him.

I have never seen his face yet, but when I do, I will know, for it is the face that both haunts and graces me in my dreams.

I look forward to seeing him again in my dreams. Although only a dream, the faceless man has made me feel safe in a way that I have not felt in a long time.

I will take it any way that I can – even if I have to simply dream about it.

Memories

I had a strange dream a few nights ago about losing my memory. I could see myself in my dream stumbling over my thoughts and my words as I tried to tell a story to someone. I was screaming at myself to remember, and I felt the anger and frustration even after I had woken.

A number of years ago I had met a friend’s grandmother who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She appeared “normal” enough when she first welcomed us into her house. After she had offered me something to eat a few times even as I had refused every time, I had thought that maybe she was just extremely hospitable, and the type of grandmother who just insisted that a person must eat if they are in her home.

My friend had left me and his grandmother in the living room alone while he went to the basement to talk to his grandmother. As we sat in the living room, his grandmother had started to tell me a story about something and she went into a large living room chest and produced a photo album. She pointed out several photos and then put the album back in the chest. She sat back down and then she started to tell the same story over again. She again went to the chest, retrieved the same photo album, pointed out several photos and again put the album back into the chest. She sat back down, and repeated the same cycle over and over again, and in between asked me several times if I had wanted something to eat. I started to feel sadness and fear in my heart, of what I was not sure, but mercifully, my friend came back upstairs from the basement with his grandfather, and the cycle with his grandmother finally came to an end.

She eventually had to be moved into a home for the elderly as the grandfather was not able to care for her any longer. One time, I accompanied my friend to visit her. Sadly, she no longer remembered her grandson anymore, but kept referring to him as her son (my friend’s father).

That was my first experience with Alzheimer’s and one that still affects me to this day. I was reminded of it again that night I dreamt of losing my own memory.

I talked to an old friend yesterday on the phone who told me about a coffee pot that I had given him a few years ago. I had forgotten all about it, and although the memory of a coffee pot is quite insignificant, I still felt the fear of losing my memory of even the little pieces in my life. I want to remember it all so that when I am older, I will know how I got to that point and destination in my life, wherever that may be.

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” ~ Don Williams, Jr.

Scrub Away

Things went wrong for me this past week. Very, very wrong.

It all came in a dramatic flourish. Remember my nightmares about the overflowing toilets? Well, it did come true. It didn’t quite happen as dramatically as I had envisioned, but nonetheless, it did come true. The nightmare was a portend of what my life had come to signify: too much of nothing good.

So, I’ve since flushed away the proverbial crap, and I now have a fresh, clean bowl in which to dump all the negative forces that continue to assail me.

It’s going to take quite a bit of work to clean up all the residue left behind, but I’m armed with some good cleanser and good, determined scrubbing abilities.

Life Lesson #3107: Always have a spare toilet.