I don’t know why, but I have extremely detailed dreams. I find myself conflicted. Is it better to remember dreams or is it more of a relief to forget them as soon as we awake?
I’m not unique and like most, I’ve experienced many pleasurable and reassuring dreams. Like a chipmunk storing nuts for the winter, I hold onto those in order to draw from when my mind craves good nourishment. However, it is the nightmares and those sequences of events that bring about anxiousness and angst that I find so troubling when arising from a deep sleep. Last night the troubling current events morphed into a different type of scenario in my mind.
According to Medical News Today, 95% of us forget our dreams when we wake up, even though we have 3 to 6 dreams per night with each lasting between 5 to 20 minutes. They claim, in part, “Dreams tend to be full of emotional and vivid experiences that contain themes, concerns, dream figures, objects, etc. that correspond closely to waking life. These elements create a novel “reality” out of seemingly nothing, producing an experience with a lifelike timeframe and lifelike connections.” I suffer from chronic insomnia so it makes sense to me that dreams are a direct reflection of the stress caused by a lack of sleep.
Like so many others, I too, struggle with the ongoing tug-of-war over good versus evil. For me, I equate good with acts of empathy, sympathy, compassion, kindness to all living things, respecting the earth and her resources, and having a conscience, realizing there are consequences resulting from our actions. Evil is the polar opposite of my definition. I think a lot of us fall somewhere in-between and thus, the ongoing rivalries continue in our battles to be better people.
The dream had me facing a dubious task. Two men were convicted of crimes that carried a penalty of death by firing squad. The nature of their offenses was not disclosed to me. A young man and I were appointed executioners, due to our expert marksmanship. The scene where the executions would take place was discombobulated and strewn with a tangle of mixed messages and beliefs. The site would take place in a church, except there was no altar. The back wall was removed, revealing a courtyard where the two prisoners would meet their fate. The rest of the church was stereotypical, highlighting the stained glass windows on the side walls and rows of highly polished wooden pews.
I quietly sat down in the last pew in order to observe the spectators as they entered the building. I was numb watching the different people. Family members of the victims’ crimes wept. Conversely, the family of the condemned sobbed, as well. Finally, the pews filled up with people lusting for the gore of the day.
It was now time to meet my comrade in arms. His house was conveniently attached to the church, which led me to believe he routinely executed people. The man’s attractive wife answered my knock on the front door and let me enter their home. Giggles and laughter emanated from the living room. Much to my surprise, my co-worker for the day was sitting on a rug in the middle of the room playing with his two young children. He exhibited no signs of tension, anxiety or apprehension surrounding the gravity of the duties planned for the day’s event. Then, like turning off a light switch the man stood and said, “Well kids, daddy has to go to work.”
He led me into another room where two bright orange jumpsuits were laid out on the floor. These were to be our uniforms of the day. He quickly exited the room and returned moments later fully dressed and said he would meet me next door. As I turned back around, mysteriously my jumpsuit had disappeared and try as I might, I could not find it. I searched several areas of the house, but to no avail. I missed the deadline for my appointed duties and have no idea what the outcome was.
When I awoke my head was swirling, not quite grasping the turmoil of good versus evil faced during the vivid dream that had just played out in my mind.
Written by Dennis L. Page