Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A dream within a dream

John Flora, shortly after moving to 917 E. Columbia St. in the spring of 1954.
I usually don’t remember my dreams. They vanish like smoke when I open my eyes. And, unlike a lot of people, I don’t assign any particular meaning to them. I was on a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in Arcata, Calif. in August, 1971, when I heard Maharishi Mahesh Yogi posit that dreams arise from the nervous system releasing stress and are of no consequence. It made sense to me then and it makes sense now.
That said, I had a dream this morning that hung on with uncharacteristic tenacity. I dreamed I woke up in my upstairs bedroom in the house I grew up in at 917 E. Columbia Street, Delphi, Ind. It was sometime in the mid-1950s, probably around the time my mother took this photo in the summer of 1954.
And as a boy I was waking from yet another dream. I realized that the experiences of that past 50 years – high school, college, marriage, two sons, a career in newspapers, divorce, 300,000+motorcycle miles, a second marriage, the past five years in Arkansas – had all been the dream of an 8-year-old me. None of it had happened yet and I was still a kid about to go into the fourth grade at Monroe Street Elementary School. It was the first term of the Eisenhower presidency, space flight was just science fiction, there was no Internet or cable TV and I hadn’t even been fitted for my first pair of glasses yet.
I was just starting to marvel at the opportunities all of this knowledge of the future represented when I realized I was actually waking up in my bed in northeast Arkansas, listening to my two Australian shepherds stirring. And I was three days short of my 67th birthday.
It was interesting while it lasted…

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