Thursday, September 07, 2017

Dreams. Boy, do I dream!

First dream of the night

Someone asked me to play oboe again. (I had played oboe in the school band from fifth grade through my senior year in high school.) All I could think was I had to learn how to play with vibrato, which I had never learned before. Was having trouble getting a decent sound and realized my reed was very old. I was trying to find a store where I could buy a couple of reeds. Knew I needed to relearn how to make reeds. (Woke up to use the bathroom. Went back to sleep and right back into the same dream.)

I was sitting in my place in the band and knew I didn't play for quite a while. I was the only oboe. Then realized the conductor was looking at me, waiting for me to give the tuning pitch. I used to just give the tuning pitch from my perfect pitch, but knew I could no longer trust my ear, as it has become less perfect through the years. I didn't have a tuner to get my pitch by. Finally I gave an A (all those years of singing with orchestras ...) and the conductor reminded me I needed to give a C for the band.

Thankfully, woke up.

After an hour or so, went back to sleep.

A new dream. Was in a strange apartment complex. All the apartments were connected interiorly. Someone's dog and cat had gotten into my apartment and I had to figure out which door to let them out so they could go back to their owner. And every time I tried to go use my bathroom, there was no privacy. People were walking in and out all the time.

Wherever that apartment is, I never want to live there!

Sun, 24 Sep 2017

I had a stunning contemporary home in Tucson. A resort developer had purchased all the property around my home and their outdoor dining area extended onto our patio. I had been away for a while and was finally going to reside in the home. I had called in an interior designer to figure out what to do with the living and family rooms, which were decorated in Danish Modern. For some of the chairs and couches, I was going to sew the new cushions myself, but some was constructed in a way that I would have to have professionals do the construction.

But the biggest problem was how to regain control of our patio from the resort. I kept telling the diners they would have to go. Then, to encourage them to leave, I opened the sliding glass door behind my Hammond church model organ (from my childhood) and started playing "Fly Me to the Moon." But they didn't leave. In fact the ones who had just vacated their table and were leaving came back and started dancing!

And now that I'm awake, "Fly Me to the Moon" is stuck in my brain, playing over and over.

Fri, 22 Sep 2017

I had moved back to Tucson and was going back to work at IBM. But I had to find a position there that fit me. My office was not in either of the buildings I worked in when I left IBM in Tucson in 2009. It was a very ratty old building. I was trying to find the office I had worked in previously, but was having a very hard time. And I felt I was dressed inappropriately, so was trying to avoid seeing people.

Finally I saw the man who had been my favorite IBM manager in Dallas when I was hired as a secretary in 1981. He was happy to see me back and immediately started showing me around the building, finding my office, and helping me clean it out so I could move in.

The entire dream was like a dark and grainy movie, and my feeling was about making money, having enough money. It's probably significant that—in real life—my house needs significant tuckpointing on the chimney that services the boiler, along with several other locations, and that work is going to be done this coming Friday. The estimate is around $1,000. Yet another thousand that I'll never see again and won't recover when I eventually sell this old house.

Mon, 11 Sep 2017

It was the occasion of my high school reunion. The cast of characters was the same as the 50th reunion I attended in March of 2017. We had decided we would go out to a restaurant in costumes reminiscent of the 1920s or 1930s. Picture a production of "The Music Man." There were to be a set of eight distinct costumed characters, and there would be eight sets of characters. So I had to find all the components of each of the sixty-four costumes and give them to the people who were to wear them.

I had a booklet that showed each costume. For the men there would be a shirt and a cravat. (I don't remember what the women were to wear. I was having the hardest time finding the shirts and the cravats. They had not been packaged together. There was just a bunch of costume components stacked in a couple of closets.) More and more people kept arriving, all very happy to see each other and all chatting. The volume kept getting louder and louder and people weren't paying attention to me as I was trying to get them costumed. (At least in this dream people weren't fighting me, objecting to what I was doing. They were all on board; they were just having too much fun catching up with all their old friends to pay attention to me.)

I got several people costumed, but just couldn't find enough of the components. Finally I decided I had had enough of this and was going to costume two more people and then we were going to dinner. I couldn't get people's attention. I caught the eye of Donnie L., who was standing about ten feet away in this very noisy crowd, and made a signal to him as if I were looping my thumb and forefinger between my lips to whistle—trying to indicate that if he could whistle, he should. He couldn't grasp what I was saying and finally walked the ten feet or so over to me so I could ask him to whistle for everyone's attention. He said he couldn't whistle.

And I woke up, exhausted from trying to herd this bunch of cats.

There had been an earlier scene where I was taking apart a bunch of hinges and screws. This was on an old passenger train and each hinge had a different type of screw. Some flat, some domed, some with ridges around the edge. And for some reason I couldn't keep them straight. When it came time to put a hinge back on the door, I had to search everywhere to find the correct screw.

From that scene, I moved into the costume scene. Note to self: Despite how you love to sew, you should never become a costume mistress!

Sat, 9 Sep 2017

Spent half an hour before going back to sleep moving students' music for today's rehearsal from my inbox into my ForScore app. Also checked the YSU calendar to see when the last day of classes for the semester was so I would know how long to repeat the calendar entry for Opera Workshop. While looking at the calendar, I noticed the entry for "last day to drop for withdrawal". When I went back to sleep, of course I dreamed about school.

I was back in school, living in the dorm. My dorm room was very large, bigger than my bedroom in my 1927 home, and housed one, and sometimes two, other women. I lived not too far away and had not brought all my clothes. I had all sorts of stuff stored in the bureaus—genealogy papers and jewelry-making supplies. When I would get ready to go to class I couldn't find the right clothes to wear, but when my roommate's drawer broke, I knew I had some E6000 glue to fix it. When there was a third roommate, that woman was talking about adoption and genealogy. She was complaining about a family who wouldn't take a child she had to place for adoption.

I would forget to go to class and was afraid I was going to fail. Was aware of the withdrawal date and knew I had to drop before then, but was afraid I wouldn't be able to still live in this dorm room if I dropped.

I couldn't remember which closet and which bureaus were mine. I kept opening the other roommates' closets and bureaus trying to find my stuff.

Note to self: Finish cleaning and setting to order your sewing room. That clutter is absolutely what's causing these crazy thoughts.

I heard the marching band heading for the football field and knew I needed to go over there to watch/hear them, as several of my opera students play instruments in the band. But I couldn't see where the field was. All I could see was a lake.

I was worried that I didn't know anyone and wasn't easily making friends. I knew I was in Tallahassee (scene switches from YSU to FSU) and wanted to call my sorority sister and friend, Mary Lou, who lives in Tallahassee to tell her I was there and ask if we could get together. I never did call her, but realized all I needed to do was affiliate with the FSU chapter of Pi Beta Phi, of which I'm a member, so I could make some friends.

And then, thankfully, I woke up. After three days of these exhausting dreams, I don't ever want to go back to sleep when the Jazzman leaves in the morning.

Thu, 7 Sep 2017

Writing this the day after. All I remember is what I posted on Facebook.:

Once the Jazzman retires, I expect I won't be having these ridiculous go-back-to-sleep dreams anymore as his alarm won't be set to 5:00 a.m. At least in this morning's installment, I wasn't screaming and yelling. I was only getting a tattoo! Brenda Youngs Parker (my college roommate), your mom gave me a few green vines and pink flowers on my right forearm!! (BTW, tattoos are NOT happening in my real life!)

Wed, 6 Sep 2017

Fell back to sleep. Dreamed first that someone had come to give me a [unmentionable lady part] piercing while I was sleeping. When I woke up, there were separate charms hanging from me. One was a beautiful stone/bead. Then there was a second charm thing but now I don't remember what. But it was as anathema to me as was the third charm, which was a cross.

Then I went to Mother's new condo. The family had agreed that I would live with her. And she had hooked up with some terrible management firm that knew she had money. They had overdecorated this place with ticky-tacky awful cheap crap everywhere. Porcelain statue after porcelain statue. I screamed. I cried. There was no place for my piano. I told them I was a professional pianist. They said, oh, here, we've gotten you this woman to manage your next album. What?! And Mother wouldn't listen to any of my logic. I've never been so happy to wake up and realize she was dead.

Tue, 5 Sep 2017


A little over a year ago, I learned that the restricted range of motion in my neck was caused by arthritis. This arthritis was also causing great pain in my neck and awful headaches. I already had enough headaches before this particular symptom began, so I got off my butt and scheduled an appointment with the headache clinic at the Cleveland Clinic. The wonderful young neurologist there prescribed Tizanidine, a muscle relaxant, to help with the headaches, neck pain, and range of motion problems. Tizanidine is a small tablet with a dose of 2 mg. The optimum dose varies from patient to patient, but is between 1 mg. and 8 mg. I was to start with 1 mg. each night for a week, then 2 mgs., and so on up to the point where I felt relief, not to exceed 8 mg. My "sweet spot" was between 6-7 mgs.. so some nights I take 6 and some 7.

Another fact of my life besides headaches is that my Spousal Equivalent, known throughout my blogs as "The Jazzman," gets up at 5:00 a.m. every weekday for his job on the railroad. That means I wake up at 5:00, if not before. Sometimes an hour or two before. Even though I slip into bed beside [the sleeping] him at 10:00, I stay awake for a while reading, and when I wake at 3:00 or 4:00 or 5:00, I'm still tired. So I frequently attempt to go back to sleep after he goes downstairs. When I'm successful at going back to sleep, I'm also successful at dreaming. Crazy dreams. Crazy active dreams. Insane, please-god-let-this-not-happen-in-my-life crazy dreams.

After three super-crazy dreams in a row, I decided I'll start documenting them here. This might be good for book ideas in the future.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It All Comes Around

I had the most incredible full-circle dream last night and woke feeling all was right with the world.

I've written many times about how wonderful my adoptive father was, how valued he made me feel. I've written a little less often about my adoptive mother. She was a wonderful person, she was just very frequently and very regularly not wonderful to me. My brothers don't see or understand that. No one who knew her as a friend or acquaintance saw that about her. One of Mother's sisters understood what was happening to me at home, how my little adopted self was be turned outside-in, converted into a lost child, but she felt powerless to stop the conversion. And Daddy, as wonderful as he was, worked so many hours establishing and then maintaining his thriving medical practice that he wasn't home enough to realize what was happening to me and to possibly put a stop to it.

I loved and identified with my father. And the cousin I liked the most was one of Daddy's younger brothers' sons, who was closest in age to me. We didn't see each other often, but I felt we "clicked" whenever we were together. I identified with him as I did with Daddy.

In last night's dream, I got a new job. I didn't really understand what my function, my role, was in this company. I worked in an office, a large open space with about fifteen desks and workers placed erratically in a willy-nilly maze within this large space. Our tasks were involved with computers and editing, the two fields in which I was immersed for most of my career. But I felt out of place, as I just couldn't understand what I was supposed to be doing or why I had been hired—out of the blue with no interview. (For many years, I would be contacted by people who had heard of me to come work with them. I was frequently "in the right place at the right time" when it came to jobs. And yet I never was able to escape the feeling of not fitting in.)

So at this new job, I continued to feel I didn't fit in. And then one day, when I was closest to feeling I needed to quit this job because of not fitting in, I realized who the head of the company was. It was my cousin Ronnie. Ron. Suddenly I realized that Ron had somehow heard what my most recent boss had said—that I was the best editor he had worked with in his long academic career. I recognized that this company was not quite thriving and Ron had been looking for someone to help him pull the company back from its doldrums to reach its former glory and potential greatness.

I was wanted. I mattered. I fit in.

Rather than feeling defeated and wanting to quit, I felt valued and motivated. I picked up the company's catalog of publications and started to read about all the books at its core. And my eyes latched onto one book with a nautical title. When I picked it up, I realized it was a history of Gloucester, Massachusetts. My soul's home. The town where all my DNA had come into being. I had the most stunning "aha" moment.

And woke up.

And felt centered. A sense of belonging. A sense that I mattered. That ever-elusive sense of fitting in.

Whatever it is that is not quite working out in my life is going to work out.

Ah, inner peace.

Photo of two Common Terns on the beach in Gloucester, MA. © Kim Smith.

Photo credit: Kim Smith, Gloucester, MA. See more of Kim's stunning work at Kim Smith Designs and on the Good Morning Gloucester website.