had a couple of dreams last night that i felt were worth recording. such dreams rarely happen anymore, which is okay, because i have grown weary of trying to interpret dreams or rely on them for meaning which never presents itself clearly.
the first dream consisted of a lady at my work, michelle, who is pregnant. she is one of the first ladies i had a crush on, being a chick and in it and having gorgeous blue eyes all made her very appealing. she never wears a wedding ring, so it took me awhile to learn that she was married. in the dream michelle was seeking my assistance with something, and sitting very close to me on a bed or sofa. she seemed ready to cross some line of mere office eye-to-eye flirtation, and do something more, but was unwilling or unable to. when i awoke, it took me several minutes to purge myself of a fantasy welling up in me where her husband deserts her and i help her raise her babies.
this dream was no doubt brought on by a book a bought at book people last saturday. i’d seen this book the last time i went there while at ahmis, reliving old memories of going to book people during my ahmis lunch hour to get away from the place, or stopping there while olivia finished her work. anyway, this book was one of those new agey books that book people used to have tons of falling off the shelves up in a section with incense whose smell permeated the store. on saturday, it took me awhile to find this book i’d almost bought the time before, because they’ve culled their shelves even more, as if that were possible. this book is full of stories of preconception appearances from yet unborn children who are wanting to be born. i thought it would provide me with an interesting perspective on a part of the life-death experience that i almost truly believe in. the book is not really filling my gaps in the understanding of world culture’s beliefs about life and death so much as it’s filling me with a desire to have a kid of my own. if i were a woman, i would probably go get myself knocked up after reading this book.
the second dream included my mom, my little brother roy, and me. we were suddenly playing a makeshift game of baseball inside a building like a church or maybe a carport, where the foundation posts (were made of the same wood you might see in a church) were going to be used as the bases, and we’d each be our own pitcher and hitter, tossing the ball up in the air and getting three chances to hit while the other two fielded the ball. i was kind of making up the rules as i went along, but my mom and roy were being good sports about it. for instance, roy grabbed my bunt and threw it at me, even though i decided that it was going to be illegal to do that. it became apparent to me as i was waking up from the dream that it would be in everyone’s interests not to field the ball and try to tag the other person out, so that he or she could get a chance to hit the ball quicker. then, completely awake, i realized this wouldn’t make much sense either, as all three of us could conceivably end up on bases with nobody to knock us home.
seeing as how i was playing the game with two of the people i miss the most, who have gone on to heaven, i realize there must be some type of metaphor at play here about driving someone home, and home being heaven, but i haven’t quite grasped what the dream was really trying to say, other than on some obvious level the lesson that i probably shouldn’t be the one trying to make up the rules in any given situation as i am generally incapable of conceiving every possible scenario that could come up in a game. i also think there was meant to be some type of insinuation that cooperation is still taking place between us, and that if i would stop trying to make the rules up as i go along, and just play the game, they would drive me home, ie, heaven.
which begs the question: how then, am i trying to make up the rules of the game? perhaps in my zeal to be fulfilling God’s purpose in my life, i keep getting in the way of God’s working in my life. maybe when i am going out of my way to dictate how a future spouse should think and act, i am scaring away the ones that God might know are best for me, even possibly including Lucy. of course, it is arguable that anything i am doing presently is still not quite in line with what God wants, or perhaps some of it is–when i least think it to be.
the other book i got at book people is about a radical Christian who is about my age and living among the poor in philadelphia. i have mixed thoughts about the book, namely, where i expected much of the first third to lead to in terms of the type of ministry he was going to talk about, as well as the general nature of his tone, which at first was appealing, but now is starting to sound rather pompous over a third of the way into the book. he spends a lot of time talking about how missions and other Christian outreach efforts were not fulfilling to him, which makes you think he is leading up to a ministry where they’ve stripped bare any meaningless activity–but then it suddenly sounds like they are living like a bunch of bohemians, or burners in the inner city, having a grand old time being poor among the poor, helping when they can, but mostly just being eclectic, kind of arty, kind of like zendik farms, maybe. i don’t know, i haven’t finished the book, but it is heading from it’s starting place of being inspiring to becoming almost pretentious or even like some kind of cult manifesto.
one thing i don’t get about all these guys–i’ve read a few of their blogs online, too, is how they are raised in the bible belt in some methodist or baptist setting, then they discover the holy rollers, the spirit-filled, pentacostals, with the rock band and the overhead instead hymnal, and hands up in the air and shouting and praising–and they are all so very turned on by it, thinking it must be so much closer to the real thing. having grown up in a church like that, i just don’t get why someone necessarily can feel that way about it–frankly, i saw just as much (or little) true devotion to Jesus at that kind of church as i did at the catholic, baptist and methodist churches. people were either going there to get more Jesus, or going there to get some kind of high they couldn’t get from drugs or booze or sex anymore, but nonetheless going for the high itself, and hardly for the Lord.
anyway, the last thing i want to do is go join a cult, or be part of a movement whose author seems to think is The Only Way. it permeates his writing–every time someone he encounters in the media or a church setting says something to him, he has a clever, silver-tongued response, that might seem funny to read about in a biographical account of someone else’s life, but to have the autobiographer filling his pages with how clever he is (or she is, if the case may be), starts to make one a little suspicious as to just how pure his intentions are, just how great is he really, and why isn’t he spending more time confessing his mistakes and screwups and awkward moments where he didn’t have the wittiest or most clever response, but walked away shamefaced or inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings?
i mean, i think his intentions are pure, i don’t think he’s really trying to be a cult leader or anything like that, but it does start to wear on you when you’re reading a book written by someone your own age who, by his account, hasn’t really made any mistakes in judgement since he was a teenager.
for some people, i guess that’s a necessary thing, to get them to come over to your side. but, it’s never been appealing to me. way back when i was eleven, and i went to that baptist camp with my neighbor–the first camp i spent several nights in a row away from home–the one preacher/counselor there who really made a difference on me was the guy who was admittedly still struggling with booze. for a lot of folks (my own mother included), it probably wouldn’t have even been acceptable to send their kids to be preached to by men who were still struggling with such huge personal problems. but for me, because the guy was open about it, and earnest about his efforts to give up the booze, i had a lot more respect for him, because i could relate more to someone who was wildly imperfect, than some little holier-than-thou prick running around whose worst sin was probably merely pride.
there have been many time periods where even Jesus doesn’t really impress me all that much for this reason. he never sinned. being God’s son, he knew he couldn’t fail, he knew that he would get pulled back up into the clouds at the end of it all. how dirty did Jesus really get? how human was he really, or how much was he just some kind of automaton, programmed and spat into a womb, then crucified, then revived? i can understand why he needed to be perfect, being one and the same as God and all, and being our bridge to pure Love, which can’t get tainted, or it becomes something else. it just hasn’t always left me respecting and admiring Jesus the most. people like St. Augustine, who had a live-in lover for years, are easier to relate to. after all, i’m trying to get to heaven, and i know very good and well that if heaven is only accepting guys who have silver tongues and never appear to sin at all, i’m in deep shit.