Early childhood is like being drunk. Everyone remembers what you did, except you.
I swear that there are times my own subconscious is wicked and perverse. It waited until I had written (yesterday) about sharing dreams to share with me a literal dream about a broken dream! Sheesh…. I mean, have a heart!
In the spirit of full disclosure I suppose I ought to share it with you…
In real life 20 years ago I left the ministry when my own theology began to veer off into a direction that my flock weren’t interested in following. And, I was particularly cognizant of an Old Testament verse which cites several things which God hates, among which was this one:
“He who sows discord among brethren.”
In my mind it was pretty clear, if I was the divergent one then I ought to be the one who left instead of hammering away at my congregation and disturbing their faith. The issues were significant, it was never going to be likely that I convince an entire congregation that a fundamental aspect of their faith might be flawed, and so I stood up, made clear the reasons to those who would understand the theology behind the decision and leave.
Around that time I had thought — and it was only a thought — about visiting with folks in the U.K. with whom I had become close in spite of having left the organization. And that germ of an idea lay there for a while, I even thought to myself that I might wait a “couple” years and make the visit then.
Well, a “couple” years stretched into 10 and then nearly into 20. And last night I had this dream that it was “now,” and suddenly that dream was going to become a reality. Someone handed me tickets to make the trip and I sorted out my luggage and started off on the trip — only to wake up in the middle of the night to realize that “Always Ready Peter,” that “Never Say Die Peter” had set off on a trip for which no plans had been made, no one knew I was coming, I didn’t even know if the people I had intended to visit were still alive (more than a couple were older than me — perhaps they had passed already) — it was a right mess.
The dream got even more weird because my phone rang — the one in the dream — and it was my wife and daughter calling to check on me — on an old fashioned flip phone with extendable antenna (if that gives you any idea how dated the dream was).
Suffice it to say, and I’m cutting the narration short because the dream is fading as fast as I keyboard the details, that I was going lickety split in an effort to save the trip. I had moved some business furniture to a friend’s house and they were helping whilst I was overseas attempting to save the routing and still connect with a disparate group of people spread all over the U.K. It was a mess. And in my dream I realized how much of a mess it was and I couldn’t find a way out of it.
One might think that such a dream would raise my real life blood pressure. In fact it did not. I got myself out of bed at 5 a.m., dressed, forgetting to weigh myself, then undressing, weighing myself, and getting dressed again, and then taking my blood pressure. Whew! I’m tuckered out just talking about all that activity so early in the morning.
And to top it all off, it has now been 6 days since we had our new InterWebs installed and our installer had told us that we might be well advised to power off our interface box “once or twice a week” to keep the connection refreshed and I had not done that. My dear wife came to me wondering what was wrong with the InterWebs as she had already been up for a couple hours and “the little thingy was going round in circles” and nothing would connect. So, I unplugged and replugged the box and life returned to normal — another catastrophe avoided! Now I’m even more tired!
There is no end to this story. It’s an anecdote that I shared because I had just written about sharing dreams — and even though the nature of the dreams I was talking about in that post were more about goals and visions of the future, this little dream about something very real and concrete just seemed to real to ignore. Maybe having written it down my brain will think about it and a year from now it will mean something to me. Or maybe one of you, dear readers, will suggest something that will make sense out of it.
All I know is my subconscious can be a sneaky conniving so-and-so. And that’s all for today.
Talk to you tomorrow.
Do you write in the margins of your books? Actually, using the word “write” is presumptuous as “marginalia” includes not only “writing” but also scribbling, critiques, etc.
I find that as I age I do less doodling, and that my marginal note taking has been on the decline. I don’t know whether I think I know it all (far from the case) or if I’m not as interested in the world around me (I don’t think that is the case); perhaps it’s because I no longer have the stick-to-it-ness to truly study things as seriously as I did when I was younger.
When we volunteered for the U.S. Forest Service I was required to take some online courses to qualify in several skillsets. I discovered then — four or five years ago I guess — that my powers of concentration and my memory were not what they had been. At the time I came as a rude and brutal shock. That was before my heart problem diagnoses — in the days when I wasn’t thinking much about my physical self, or my mortality, and I still thought of myself as a pretty young and vibrant guy. The fact that what I recognized as being relatively easy things to remember were not staying “stuck” in my brain long enough to answer the online questions really annoyed me. I mean REALLY ANNOYED me.
Recently I started reading Peter Wohlleben’s book, The Secret Life of Trees and I was inclined to write in the margins for the first time in quite a while. Funny how that act seemed more personal now. It was as if I was taking ownership of the things I was marginalizing. They had special meaning — for some personal reason. Of all that the author had written these things hit home, these things were important enough to remember.
When I was still a bi-vocational pastor I wrote in the margin of my Bible a lot. Those notes are still there, whether or not the ideas encapsulated still agree with my thoughts. In most cases they do, I’m sure. But life has matured my thinking and I wonder whether I’d write all the same comments if I saw that book for the first time today. Which doesn’t do justice to the marginalia written 30 or 40 years ago — as a good deal of thought had been spend thinking about those things back then. The notations weren’t the result of a moment of consideration — they might have resulted from days, or weeks, or years of thought.
When I read a book like The Secret Life of Trees however, I don’t expect to go back and study the book again and again. The marginal scribbling — or nowadays the highlighting — is all about the thought of an instant. Perhaps it’s the subject for a future blog? Or something beautifully written — I do get excited about really great prose!
Marginalia — to me — are about making something my own. It’s a sign of ownership. I like that thought. I want that thought. I am taking that thought with me!
I suppose they are also signs that I have been here. Marginalia are a way of saying to the future: Peter was here. Whatever import that may have is irrelevant. It’s a personal assertion of being-ness.
Well, whatever the reason we doodle in the margins, I’m all in favor of it. We aren’t as patient as the monks of old who carefully crafted those “illuminated manuscripts” that scholars labor over for years — making entire careers out of deciphering someone else’s scribbles. Most of our marginalia are the “work” of a moment. I suppose most of them also deserve about that much consideration.
Still. I don’t think I’ve given up on doodling in the margins!
I’ve never been much of a prankster, and April Fool’s day usually goes right over my head. Which doesn’t mean I don’t like a fun joke.
Our Deputy Ranger got pranked by his own kids so he and his wife got even with them: the kids got Oreo cookies in their lunch — with toothpaste filling. ARGH!
I hope you enjoy these other April Fools fun ideas; I did :
I’ve seen fireplace videos… Why not a video showing a rotisserie chicken?
Have writer’s block, or discontented with your work space? Try this service… work from someone else’s desk, anywhere in the world.
And don’t forget — free shipping.
This might be my favorite among these: If you have a hankering’ to go back to the future, try this plug in Flux Capacitor car charger.
For the health food nuts out there…. try a Kale Cream Pie Milkshake!
Kids annoying you? (Your own kids that is)
Why not Donate them to someone else….
Or how about learning Klingon — for all you nerdy SciFi fans.
And then for those times off the grid, when you need mobile power. Forget about solar… Just buy food…
It seems everyone but me loves Oreos… well for all of you, how about an Oreo Bagel!
Ok — enough of the levity — LIFE’s too serious to have fun…. (Not!)
You like cheese? I do. The more unique the flavor, the better.
I came across this and it’s too cute…