I have a Nightmare

Last night, I had a nightmare.
I’ve had “bad dreams” that when I wake up in the morning I muse that it was creepy/scary, but in my adult life I cannot remember a dream that woke me up scared and kept me from going back to sleep. This one was the latter: a nightmare.
 
The dream:
There was a massive humanoid deep blue monster, with bulging muscles and veins, that was roaming through our house/space ship (classic dream scenario) terrorizing everyone, but also there seemed to be nothing we could do to stop it so most people ignored it–it had become normal.
 
Some of us tried killing it–someone broke its neck–but it came back to life. So we killed it a second time and this time chopped off its head, but I knew it wouldn’t stay dead. Some of the group took the head far away to keep it from coming back, but, again, I knew it wouldn’t work even as I watched the head disappear.
 
A young girl went into the room with the body of the beast and tried to use it to play the piano. I hid behind a column in the other room but could hear the classical music she was playing. I knew the beast was going to come back but stayed hidden. The piano music shifted from lilting classical to discordant saloon style playing and I knew the beast was back. I screamed at the other people in the room something like “We have to do something!” while staying in the corner.
 
The beast called from the other room for a family (I don’t remember their name) and I saw them walk into the room. From a distance, I furiously shook my head and mouthed “no” but they smiled and walked in anyways, thinking they could quell it somehow? Or maybe it would be different this time?
 
A moment later the room erupted into horrible screams. The youngest boy (three years old?) ran out of the room, screaming and crying. I grabbed him, put my hand over his mouth, telling him “Shut up! Shut up! He will kill you!” as I ran towards escape. 
 
Then I awoke.
 
The worst part of the whole dream was the fact that I knew the monster was coming back and that it would hurt that family and that it wasn’t safe to play the piano, but I was paralyzed by my fear. I felt minuscule. The most I ever did was make weak suggestions. I was a (horrified) bystander.
 
Naturally, after such a vivid and disturbing dream, I did some research on dream meaning. (In the past, I have actually solved problems through dreams, mostly small stuff such as a particularly difficult video game level.) What does an unkillable monster mean? Most said it was some aspect of myself I feared or more generally something that made me feel “out of control.” Helpful.
 
My day started and I forgot about my nightmare.
 
After rehearsal, I was scrolling my news feed, my stomach roiling reading the headlines about the families being separated and the children taken away from their parents, and suddenly my nightmare was in my head again; that sense of horror and terror mixed with powerlessness in the dream was the same I felt reading headlines.
 
I still don’t know what to do, but I thought sharing this somewhere might be a place to start, a way to begin figuring out this terror that has seeped into my subconsciousness and find meaningful action. 
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I Love Valentine’s Day

I do. I really do. So, WARNING: this is going to get sappy.

And while it has been nice to have a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day, my appreciation for this day of Love does not come from that connection. I love Love. I love Loving people and being Loved by people.

Feeling valued, seen, appreciated is the best feeling in the world, and all those things are wrapped up in Love. I have been fortunate enough to be Loved by many people throughout my life, in different ways and varying degrees, and they have been Loving enough to share that with me on Valentine’s day along with other days through out the year.

I spent most of my life very single–or without a romantic partner of any kind to be more precise. I didn’t learn Love from romance.

When my curious friends and relatives would ask if “there was anyone special” in my life some of my favorite responses were:

  • Oh yes, I have my best friend Alison!
  • Yes, I’ve actually fallen for this guy named Will… Will Shakespeare.
  • Well, I have you guys, so of course there is!

And while I delivered these quips with a hefty amount of wit, there wasn’t sarcasm–I meant what I said. My family, my friends, my studies–they are special because I Love them all.

Because I did not have anyone romantic to celebrate for 22 out of 23 of my past Valentines, I learned to celebrate the Loves I did have: my friends, my family, my passion, my faith, my self.

Of course, now that I get to add Kendra I enjoy celebrating her, but I don’t want to lose celebrating all the other parts of my life that I Love.

So, happy Valentine’s to you!

Celebrate the Love in your life, no matter how big or how small. Spend today giving out Love! Tell your friends and family “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Buy yourself chocolate and a card, not because you are celebrating “Single’s Awareness Day” but because you can Love yourself without any shame (and do that even if you do have a romantic partner)! Give your pet a special card and treat! Drink that wine you have been saving for a special occasion!

Find the tiny joys you Love–your favorite novel, bubble baths, a clean house, a messy house, your sexiest clothes, your comfiest clothes, the first buds of spring, cloudy-not-too-cold days, even just making it half way through this week.

I know not everything is sunshine and roses. I know there are times when I feel unloved or that there is nothing I can Love in my life. But today I am choosing to celebrate Love.

And if you are reading this, I can’t say I Love you (though I very well may), but I can say I hope you are Loved and I hope you Love. I hope you find joy in the small things and in the big things. I hope you can celebrate Love in your life today, as well as beyond.

Detoxing the Bard

The Wall Street Journal published an article about an upcoming project by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The project involves updating or translating Shakespeare’s plays, but I am not too concerned with the project itself.

Adaptation and translation are important for interpreting Shakespeare. Perfectly valid endeavors; some turn out better than others; they are nothing to get too excited or upset about. I hope this venture of the OSF goes well, and am interested to hear more about it. That’s all for that.

What does have me fuming is this article spouting illogical at best, and deceitful at worst, information about Shakespeare’s contemporary relevance. Continue reading Detoxing the Bard