Now I lay me down to dream

Sherri Gardner HowellFarragut, Kitchen Table Talk

My nighttime dreams have always been vivid and very real. When I was a 20-something, I did a little research into the meaning of dreams, which gave me just enough information to be annoying.

One of the reasons for my interest was a recurring dream I started having when I was about 15 years old that continued until the birth of my first child, Trey. The dream changed slightly as my life situations changed, but the premise always stayed the same: My father, who was killed in an airplane crash in Suriname, South America, when I was 6, is found alive and is headed home to his family. Before he can reach our home, he is killed in a car accident.

Well, you can see why I would want to do a little research into hidden meanings! The best I ever got wasn’t from a book, but a psychologist friend, who said that the dream was a mix of my wish for my father to come home and be part of my life and my rational mind that couldn’t let that happen.

I developed a technique to stop dreams that upset me from coming back when I wake and then go back to sleep. I do what I call my “Dream Resolution,” where I sit up in bed, imagine a solution to my dream crisis, then go back to sleep and dream – or not – but a new dream.

Last night, I spent a fitful night of dreaming and waking to the same dream over and over. It was upsetting me in dreamland and frustrating me when I was awake because my Dream Resolution wouldn’t work.

In a nutshell, the dream was this: My grandson, Cohen (who is 13 but was 8 in my dream), and I were trying to get to my office at the News Sentinel. I was carrying a bunch of files, my laptop and a suitcase full of medicine, cheese and crackers and my passport. No matter what we did, we could not get to my office.

The building kept transforming like the Hogwarts moving staircases in Harry Potter movies. The worst was when Cohen was trying to help me traverse what my friend Chuck Campbell (who was at the top of the stairs yelling instructions to help me) called the Cardio Escalator. The escalator to my second-floor office had steps that kept getting steeper and steeper as we moved up, and we had to climb up on each step before it would move again!

I can rationalize some subconscious reasons for the dream parts, so I am not bothered about it in the cold morning light. News Sentinel friends have been on my mind because some of my friends got laid off or “retired” in the last round. And I worry about the friends who are still holding down the fort. The medicine and mobility nightmare was because, well, that is part of what I cope with daily. Cheese and crackers are the mainstay of my favorite foods.

For a passport explanation, click here for a past column:

It was a strange night, and I’m hoping I am back to more pleasant nighttime company tonight. I rarely sleep during the day, and, when I do, I seldom dream. Still, I hope this frustrating dream doesn’t return.

For right now, however, I think it may be nap time.

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