Word to the wise: don’t read on if you’re squeamish, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Last night I had a dream. Most of the time my dreams range from a replay of everyday life to other ordinary dream stuff: driving, flying, being places that are and yet are not real. And of course these dreams have some sorts of meaning to them. They all do.
But sometimes, my dreams are more than vivid. Sometimes, my dreams come at me with red flags waving and sirens blaring: PAY ATTENTION TO ME. THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT.
I was in my house (of course, it wasn’t my house, but it was – that’s how dreams go, right?). And I walked across the living room floor and it was infested with maggots. Everywhere. In my dream, I instantly began trying to think of my strategy for getting rid of the buggers. I went to another room and they were there, too. Again, everywhere. I brought the vacuum cleaner out to the first room. When I started it up, the maggots just dove down under the carpet so I couldn’t get them. My last thought before waking was wondering how deep I’d have to go before I got them all.
Now, you have to understand, I have a thing about maggots. Just even the word itself is enough to make my skin crawl. It probably has to do with the night I stepped barefoot into the garage only to find myself crunching down on those nasty creatures. Yes. Barefoot. For the next three hours, it was me, my old hiking boots, a flashlight, Clorox, Formula 409, a hose, and anything else I could get my hands on to try and eradicate every last one of them.
My initial, horrific revulsion of that first footstep was met with matching feelings of satisfaction as I sprayed, wiped and crunched. I was going to get every last one of them. At the same time, I couldn’t help but think that the whole process was a metaphor for finding what is disgusting and abhorrent, for rooting it out and seeking its end. I even considered possible poems on the theme. I knew it was a figurative struggle, even then.
And THAT’S why I knew I couldn’t ignore this dream. I already KNEW what it stood for, even before I woke up. And isn’t that the way it happens with our very most powerful dreams?
The hellishness was not just in some trash can somewhere. It wasn’t off in the garage. It was in my HOUSE. Literally. Figuratively. It had violated my borders and taken over. And I went to clear it away, only to discover the affliction had struck deep, deeper than I had imagined.
So in the way of dreams, I know, yet I don’t know. Is it a presence in my life that I need to examine? A problem I thought I’ve solved or moved past – but not really? An obstacle to my individual happiness?
Hopefully, some more time, thought and reflection will help shine the light. Maybe even another dream. Only maybe one not so gross this time.
How about you? What’s the last dream that you had where you woke up knowing it was brought to you with a message you needed to hear?