dreaming our life

A recent news photo of an upside-down flag at a demonstration reminded me of a dream from years ago…

In the dream…

I’m walking down a road when I see, to my right, a small house with a white garage.  A typical working-class domicile.

A big U.S. flag hangs upside down on the side wall of the garage.

The dream puzzled me, but didn’t trouble me.  So I merely wrote it down and filed it away.

But then, a few years later, while watching the movie In the Valley of Elah, I learned that an upside-down flag is used as a distress signal.  Now the dream troubled me!  That garage flag symbolized the distress of the working-class.  A working-class that had been thrown for a loop.  And was still being thrown.  Upside-down.

As typically happens, a dream was trying to get me to see the obvious.  But this wasn’t a typical dream…

Dreams are personal creations which reveal the dreamer’s waking life.  But this dream isn’t just talking about my life.  This dream is talking about our life.

That idea sounds grandiose, I know.  But why shouldn’t I dream about our life occasionally?  After all, my concerns go far beyond my own personal needs and wishes.

Nevertheless, it’s fair to ask: why did I need that dream, that message?  I can do little to change the fate of the working class in my country.

However, the fate of the working class—or any class—does affect my life.  So I do need to see what’s happening.  The dream says, “Here’s the situation on the road you’re traveling.  How will you respond?”

My personal dreams also say: “here’s the problem”; also ask “how will you respond?”

Though I may answer that question differently, according to the dream, the basic answer remains pretty much the same: I must find my strength.

How will I respond to the upheaval in my country?  To our “upside-downess”?  Though my specific answer may vary, according to the season, the basic answer will remain the same: I must find my strength.

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
I’m Responsible: ebook

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dreaming Bigfoot

Maybe they’re dreaming with eyes open…

I’m talking about those who say they’ve seen Bigfoot*.

Yes, some are surely pulling our leg (a nice way to say “lying”).

However, I believe others actually saw something real.  No, not a physical creature that lives deep in the woods.  But a vision created by the unconscious.  A waking dream.

Our sleeping dreams reveal unknown and/or neglected aspects of ourselves.  I think the same is true of our waking dreams.  The waking dreamer, like the sleeping dreamer, is seeing his own shadow.

But Bigfoot is not just the personal waking dream of a few eyewitnesses.  He’s also one of the waking dreams of our culture.  Consider the fascination with Bigfoot stories—all the articles, books, TV shows, and movies.  I say: we’re stalking on our own inner Bigfoot.

But you don’t hunt for something if you feel it’s already in your possession.   What have we lost; what do we seek?

To me, Bigfoot is a positive expression of “the beast”.  We’re used to thinking of the beast in negative terms.  Something to be subdued—caged, if not killed.  No wonder Bigfoot is afraid.  No wonder he hides from us.

This positive beast is strong, but gentle.  A part of nature, yet close to being human.  He’s a bridge, I think.  A bridge between our civilized world and the world from which we emerged.  A world lost to us.  Ironically, we need to reconnect with that world in order to be fully human.  In order to be whole.

That’s the Bigfoot I seek.  But perhaps Bigfoot means something different to you…

In any case, after hunting haphazardly, blindly, I’ve developed this plan for myself…

If I go into the woods of my own dark deep nature…

…and wait patiently for my awareness to open…

…maybe what I have lost will return to me.  My own inner Bigfoot.

(* This concept would apply to most, or maybe all, creatures of legend—including lake monsters and elusive entities such as the Chupacabra of Puerto Rico.  And of course, Bigfoot’s cousins: Sasquatch, Yeti, and the Abominable Snowman.)

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
the truth of the dream: poetry ebook

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a good place to find a poem

If you’re a poet searching for your next poem, a dream can be a good place to look…

A good place, because dreams don’t lie.  And neither should poems.

A good place, because dreams open our minds and hearts with their surprises.  As should poems, in my opinion.


When the eagle plummeted from the sky

straight down into the lake

I felt so confused:
how could anything so powerful
how could something so grand
simply vanish—?

I awoke in such an astonished state—
I could not think

and so, began to feel
the desperation of the message
in my depths—

a message maybe a few
(or maybe many)
could also use
so I will translate
what the eagle silently told me:

now you’ve seen the wound—

so maybe now
you will go against
lower instinct
and push yourself down
and down
and down
into this shocking cold water—

will you finally save me?

Since that dream message
I’ve gone on countless dives
and though I can’t yet claim
to have resurrected the eagle…

considering what I have raised
I can say:

I’m glad I disobeyed
the fear that warned me
to stay on dry land.

© 2019, Michael R. Patton
the truth of the dream: poetry ebook

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