Not Ducking My Responsibility

 
  
 
Some dreams make me feel like a bit of a fool.  This is one of those dreams:
 
I’m back in New Orleans, standing in the dirt yard of an old gray farmhouse.
 
I don’t know what to do.  I consider some possibilities—such as going to a coffee house—but none of my ideas really grab me.  Should I even stay here? 
 
Then, while I’m still standing there, confused, a wooden crate filled with ducks appears at my feet.  I have to find a place where I can release these ducks.  That’s my job.  I realize I may have to transport them a long distance.  But where?  I don’t know.  In any case, I’d better start looking now.
 
So I lift the crate.  But it’s old and rotten and comes apart.  The ducks just stand on the base for a moment.  Then, before I can think to act, they all waddle off.
 
This dream tells me that, confused though I may be, lost though I may feel…
 
…if I just wait, an answer will come to me. 
 
What I needed in the dream was a purpose.  If wasn’t enough to just hang out.  I wanted more.  I couldn’t just “be”.  I had to have a better reason for staying there.  I hate to use this worn-out and often abused word, but you could say the dream was “existential”.
 
But though I felt foolish in the dream, when presented with a solution to my dilemma, I acted.  And though I didn’t know where I was going, I trusted that I’d get there eventually.
 
So, overall, I’m encouraged by my performance in this dream, this mirror of my waking life. 
 
However… 
 
…the dream also shows me that I may miss the simple solution.  Perhaps the simple solution is just too simple for me.  Perhaps I feel there is no accomplishment without hardship. 
 
On the other hand, I’m still able to accept the solution—I don’t go running after those ducks.
 
Yes, the scenario was resolved, but perhaps no dream is really ever complete.  If the dream had continued, I would again have had to face the problem: “Now what do I do?” 
 
Maybe just “be”.  Maybe.

© 2009, Michael R. Patton
sky rope (subterranean rappel): http://skyrope.blogspot.com
taking new steps: http://mythsteps.wordpress.com

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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