Friday, September 16, 2011

Recurring Dreams and Alternate Universes

I think most people have recurring dreams. If most people don't, then maybe I am just weird because I have had the same five recurring dreams over and over for these last 27 years. Do you have recurring dreams? 

Since moving to Japan, I have had basically five recurring dreams. But, now that I think about it, one of these dreams, the dreams of me flying like a bird or a jet plane, stopped a few years ago.

I wonder why my dreams of flight have disappeared? Maybe because I turned 50 and stopped dreaming like a 17-year-old? No, I don't think it is that because I still feel like a 17-year-old many times (just won't be doing the crazy things I used to do).

The first of the five recurring dreams I've had was flying in the skies. They started when I was a small boy. In my dreams could fly like Icarus. Can you fly in your dreams? Those are fun dreams... Sometimes, I guess when my condition wasn't so great, I'd have a hard time achieving lift-off in my dream. I'd have to run and flap my arms as hard as I could until I took off. Sometimes it was a great effort and I had to try over and over. Other times, I was just like a graceful bird; a tiny step and jump and I was off soaring like an eagle in the clouds.

Then, when I got to about 30 or so, I could fly like a jet plane. In fact, many times I knew I was dreaming and that I was flying. I figured it was some sort of alternate universe and so I rode it like a snow-boarder rides the snow or a surfer rides the waves. I knew I was dreaming but didn't care. When  could really fly and fly like a rocket, doing a thousand miles and hour, I would consider flying over the Pacific Ocean and going to the United States to fly over my parents house.

Weird thing is that I would fly out a few hundred miles from the coast of Japan, look over the water, and turn around because I'd start getting scared. Scared that I would wake up and be flying over the cold ocean, fall into it, and have to swim back. I used to be a good swimmer, but not that good. Being so high over such deep water freaked me out so I'd turn back. Even though I knew it was just a dream.

The other problem with flying to the USA like a 747 in my dreams was that, at such high speeds, I had a difficult time turning and would often continue on a straight line when I wanted to make a hard left turn.

Sounds ridiculous because it was all a dream and I knew it, but I also felt that, somewhere in my heart, dreams were and alternate universe and a reflection on reality. I guess I still do.

Another dream that often occurred was fishing. I love fishing. Before I moved to japan, I went fishing every week. Sometimes two or three times a week. Fishing is heaven. Fishing is spiritual and fishing is close to God.

There is a saying about fishing. It goes like this: "Do you know what the difference is between a religious man and a spiritual man? A religious man goes to church and thinks about fishing. A spiritual man goes fishing and thinks about god."

I am a spiritual man. I'd go fishing everyday of the week if I could.

I used to dream about fishing at least once a week when I first came to Japan. Sometimes I dreamt about it every night for days in a row. That's because it is difficult to go fishing in Japan and I had been an avid fisherman since I was a small boy living in Minnesota. Minnesota is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" so fishing is a lifestyle there.

Fishing in Japan, Tokyo especially, though, is a chore. Japan is a crowded place and the good areas for fishing on the coastline are usually taken by the local fishing collective so they don't take too kindly to your fishing in their good spots... In fact, they might give you the boot up the ass if they catch you fishing in their prime areas. Going fishing in Japan is not like the USA where you can just grab a rod and reel and head off to the lake or shoreline. In Japan, fishing is an all-day expedition like 18 holes of golf: You need a plan and it costs lots of money.

My other two recurring dreams, or maybe I should say nightmares, are related to work. Whenever work is going poorly or I worry about bankruptcy or the economy going down the tubes (an understandable and common recent worry since 2008) I have bad dreams of returning to the USA and going back to my old jobs. 

The worse job is returning to Prudential to the same old office and working with those dishonest people that I wrote about yesterday in Working With Thieves, Liars and Crooks. The weird part of the dream is that I am always scheming about returning to Japan and, even after one year, haven't sold one single contract yet they do not fire me in my dream.

Talk about being able to live off one's laurels!

The other work-related dream is that I go back to working at a Sears, Roebuck and Company in Ventura, California (it was in Oxnard when I worked there, but has since moved causing the city of Oxnard to sue the city of Ventura, but that's another story about the insanity of the USA).

When I was 17 I started working at Sears in the catalogue ordering department and then transferred to commission sales in the Photo & Office Equipment department. As a commission salesman, I made a heck of a lot of money in the late 1970's.

In my dreams, for some bizarre reason, I go back there and have to work in the sewing machine and vacuum cleaner department selling poorly made and badly designed Sears equipment. The nightmarish part of the entire thing, besides selling this poorly designed and quite unstylish junk, the same management is there at the company running around doing their weird hijinks.

There is the store manager, whose name escapes me, but he was a very short, yet handsome man. He dumped his beautiful wife and four beautiful daughters (whom he often brought to the store) to marry another woman (who he soon also brought to the store). I always noticed the daughter because they were very beautiful girls. He got his lightening strike from god when, soon after the divorce and marriage, he was diagnosed with some sort of brain cancer. No kidding. I think he soon died after that. 

Then there was a guy named Walter who was a section chief who was married but he ran around unable to control his libido and was trying to take every woman working at the store to bed. I guess his wife got fed up with it one day and dumped him and got another boyfriend.

Walt, being like the immature little boy he was, then decided that he wanted his "toy" back (the wife he disrespected and treated like sh*t) and, from what I understand, went screaming drunk to the boyfriend's house while she was there and started banging on the door and breaking it down.

The boyfriend shot him and killed him.

Later, after the funeral that I didn't attend, many Sears employees were complaining that the wife was wearing black but didn't seem sad. I heard them complaining about that and said nothing. It did nothing for me but confuse me as to what was really important to these people and what they were thinking about. 

There were lots of really weird things going on at Sears at that time. I found the same types of problems when I got myself transferred to the Sears in San Fernando Valley and found that store, too, was full of some very twisted people whose priorities were not success of the business and success of their personnel and staff but protection of their position and attempting to continue their lives acting like high school students with their idiotic politics and clicks.

But, I digress....

These are the recurring dreams I often have. Even in the case of Sears or my old jobs, it is nice to be able to see my old friends and to remember them in their beautiful youth. Even when I have nightmares, I am able to realize that they are nightmares and am able to view them like a movie so they rarely scare me. 

I went to see my sick old dad a few weeks ago. He wasn't the same person that I will always remember. In my dreams, he is a young and handsome 30+ some year old Marine wrestling with us kids in the yard. For the sick, aged and ill, dreams are an escape. Back to better times and the treasures of youth. 

Surely, dreams are one of the best things about living that there could possibly be. I look forward to sleeping every night and I look forward to the dreams of my youth.

How about your dreams? I think if you wake up and think, "Today is going to be great" and you keep track and write down your goals, you can control your dreams and make sure they are positive. Try it. For more on that, read, One Easy Step to Becoming a Better Parent and More Successful at Life.


Marc Sheffner said...

Virtual fishing
Swimming in the space, like a dream

Calligraphy in the landscape must be a telepathist. Or maybe she reads your blog before you write them?

Roger Marshall Executive Search said...

Loved this piece.
There are some recurring dreams I had when I was about 6 or 7 years old that I can still recall as if it were last night. Also one dream I had only once (I think) when I was 20 or 21 that still scares me today because for three days after I wasn't completely sure if I was really awake or still living in the dream. this was almost 40 years ago but with some strange parallels to the movie "Inception".

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes, I guess when my condition wasn't so great, I'd have a hard time achieving lift-off in my dream. I'd have to run and flap my arms as hard as I could until I took off."

That was so funny, thanks for the laugh.

Also, hmmm, I guess I'm a spiritual man,... but I haven't gone fishing in a long time. Something about being harassed on the Fourth of July, "Papers, please" and again several times after that as if fishing is a criminal activity. Being from MN, I imagine you know the drill. Still, I miss it.

I never got over how fishing seemed to be,... looked down upon(?) in Japan, and so hard to do. From what I saw of their rivers I kind of understand, but still...

I think, this will be rattling around my brain for awhile:

"I think if you wake up and think, "Today is going to be great" and you keep track and write down your goals, you can control your dreams and make sure they are positive."

I read part of the Wiki entry about the film, Inception. That is wild stuff. I intend to watch it some day.

- clark

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