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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Listening to Dreams


In Selene's dream, all the action is slo-mo
She jumps and she's flying out of reach
In Selene's dream

The dreams of other people are usually not that interesting to listen to. Yet people want to share their dreams -- the dream experience sometimes being so real, so profound, so moving that telling the dream can dispel or cement that experience.

When recounting dreams, people tend to tell them in a monotonous, droning voice that makes my mind wander. Not only do my children share their dreams with me, but my friends do so, or at least they used to when we were in school together, in those days when our contact was regular, daily. Now my primary contact with my friends is on the telephone. All of us with our jobs and our families, we're no less committed to each other than I was with my daily school friends, it's just that we are all grown up now with evolving needs for connection. Much of that is satisfied by our families, who naturally, are the relationship priority. Not all my friends are married with families. But even my single friends, at this point in our lives, have jobs and routines that do not facilitate the immediacy of those daily friendship where one conversation is merely picked up the next time you see each other instead of these "catch-up" conversations that start with "So what's been going on?" In the "catch-up" conversations I learn momentous events have effected my dear friends tremendously -- cancer scares, job promotions, a shift in perspective. In my youth, it hurt me to learn of such momentous events anytime other than concurrent with the occurrence itself. I felt betrayed, left out, less loved. Now, the timing of the telling is not significant -- just the telling, and perhaps more importantly, the listening.