A couple of vivid dreams last night–more vivid than usual, anyway. The first one found me at my first day of med school, where I was apparently part of a very hands-on med school that gave its entering students opportunities to work with cadavers and real human body parts from day one. Even something as mechanical and groundskeeping-related as learning to use the lab equipment involved the usage of body parts and cadavers. At the start of the dream, I was walking into the room past a conveyer belt of cadavers of the recently deceased and donated who were being processed for various classroom activities.
One of the cadavers sat up and started shrieking about something. He was a man in his late 30s, and the body he was animating was clearly still dead. He was livelier and more verbal than a zombie, but clearly not quite alive. He started shouting that he’d made a deal with the devil to be able to come back and be immortal, and insisted on us letting him go. As “evidence” for his assertion that the devil had allowed him to come back, he started writing furiously in a backwards script and trying to hold it up to a mirror. In the dream, “Satan” written backwards in the man’s script looked like “Nathan.”
I asked one of the instructors if this happened very often with the cadavers, and they said yes, but they basically refused to report the phenonenon for fear of losing their scientific credentials. So, they would just have a couple of strong fellows tie down the cadaver and decapitate it, and the shrieking would stop.
Moving on, I saw that my first project was to learn how to use the fancy scales and measuring devices by practicing on a real human breast. All of the breasts were taken, and so I had to hunt down an instructor who could get me set up at a work station with a fresh breast and a caliper and scale. The caliper and scale were connected via bluetooth or some other means to a monitor that was providing me with all kinds of readings.
The next dream, which came a little later on in the night, consisted of a type of church/missionary retreat in a South American country like Colombia or Brazil. Apparently, as long as we stayed within this particular area, we were safe, but if we wandered off, we might be killed. There were two sides to the retreat divided by a gorge of some kind, and the leaders of the retreat decided to have a retreat within a retreat inside some more rustic cabins that were on the other side of the gorge. However, most of the group wasn’t eagerly participating in singing hymns and worship music enough, and so they almost immediately decided to cancel the retreat within the retreat and return to the side of the gorge that had quarters with more creature comforts. Apparently, I’d already made quite a mess of unpacking my stuff, and had to spend a fair amount of time gathering up random things like wall tacks and toothpaste bottles from the floor. My old husky dog was in the dream, and she kept getting out and running around, and I had to keep chasing her down. At one point, I got to feeling adventurous, and apparently I could fly, and so I took off to fly past the perimeters of the retreat on the opposite side that the gorge was on. I flew into this forrest where the roads were all awash in floods, and some men were driving their pickup trucks through the roads. I soon got scared, because I felt like I was actually in another country for the first time, and flew back to the retreat camp to finish packing my stuff.
As I’ve been writing this, I also recalled another recent dream where I’d been enrolled in a bunch of random undergrad classes, like English and Psych 101, and Sociology, but I’d forgotten all about one of them, and it was now the end of the semester. I think I was also trying to impress someone with my knowledge of Hebrew, but I couldn’t remember what a Daleth looked like. So, I was trying to impress them with knowing Aleph, Bet, Vet, Gimmel–and that’s it. Later in this dream, I also had to move out of one of two places I was living in, because I apparently still rented an apartment in addition to living in a dorm. In the apartment, my situation was similar to the one in the above dream about the church retreat. I had so many random little things that I’d allowed to disburse about the place, and was having a difficult time gathering them up and sorting which ones I needed to keep and which ones I should toss before I moved out of the apartment. Maybe this is a metaphor for the work I am doing write now with trying to get through all of my past writing and organize it by date. There is surely a lot of crap there, but I am reluctant to part with any of it, and so I am caught in a place where I am just sifting through a mess with good intentions about making it neater while at the same time feeling inclined to simply gather it all up and throw it in one spot and allow someone else to sort it out after I depart from the earth.