Mixed Messages


How can dreams be so different from one night to the next?

Monday morning, I may wake from a dream in which I’ve won the fight.

Then Tuesday night, I find myself still struggling in the midst of battle.

What’s going on here?

Well, maybe these dreams refer to different wars.

Or maybe it’s the same war, but different battles.  Is any victory ever complete?  Aren’t the same problems, the same dragons, always lurking?

I’m thinking of two dreams that came to me around the same time…

In one dream…

I’m crawling on the floor of my apartment, searching for something I’ve lost.

As my frustration grows, a sock on the floor gets smaller and smaller.

In the other dream…

…I’m carrying a box of children’s clothes to the back closet of a cathedral.  This massive structure also serves as an orphanage.

As soon as I step into the closet, the box lifts from my hands and shoots straight up through a chute in the ceiling.

Waking from that dream, I immediately thought of the famous quote from Corinthians:

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child.  But when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

According to this dream, I was offering up those garments I’d used as a child to protect me.

But the other dream seemed to contradict this message.

That dream showed how I was reducing myself to child-size by allowing my frustration to build into anger.

How could both these dreams be right?

Maybe the “frustration” dream revealed my present state…

…whereas, the “sacrifice” dream represented a potential future.

After some consideration, I’ve come to see both dreams as being about potentials.  Both dreams tell me, “It’s your choice.”

Sometimes I get it right.  Sometimes I get wrong.

Sometimes I offer up the kid stuff.  Sometimes I’m crawling on the floor.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology


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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