I tend not to pay attention to my dreams – mostly its just my mind “playing” while I am asleep. As much as I like the idea of being fed breakfast in bed by Simone Simons – I know that’s just my brain playing with the concept that I am hungry, and combine that with my vid-fest of Epica before I went to bed. But then there are other dreams…
These are the dreams that I wake from, swearing they were completely real. The dreams where I am followed while walking down the street – people shouting at me that I am a devil-worshipper – chasing me into alleyways, where I wind up having to physically defend myself. Dreams, where I wake up covered in sweat, covered in sweat, and immediately checking the corners of the room to be sure an attacker is not lurking there. Those dreams frighten me beyond belief. I am not a fighter of any sort. I know how to defend myself, but will only do so as a very last resort. Its not the way I was taught growing up. My father taught me to be aggressive in fights, so that the attacker would think twice before doing so again. I tried that methodology, but it does not work quite well, when you are only ninety pounds against their one-hundred and seventy-five. The military showed me how to handle hand-to-hand combat situations, and even provided the knowledge on how to maim and kill, if necessary. Restraint was never a keyword in those discussions. I was never comfortable with that perspective. I am not a pacifist, when pushed to my own defined limit of safety, my first choice will be to extricate myself. I will only fight if there is no other manner of recourse. It is my biggest fear.
I have made the point before that I care little for politics. Some people have taken that to mean that I do not read the news. That is completely untrue, I do read the news. I read the business news, the sports pages, the community pages…Nine Hells, I even read the Wild Hunt from time to time. And yes, I do read the political news as well. I have my own understanding of what I read – and many people have taken the point that my lack of desire to talk about the subjects means that I do not read the material. That is a bad assumption to have. I am an Information Sciences Professional, information is something I work with on a daily basis…and so does everyone else. They just do not think of it in those terms. But I am digressing here.
My biggest fear is that I will be pushed into a spot where I will not be able to walk away from a fight. I am not scared of being injured. I am scared of injuring someone else. Thus, to avoid doing so, I like to keep my option to walk away or flee from the scene as open as I can. My first mode of dealing with things is to try and talk things through. My experience has been that most fights start from a position of misunderstanding between the individuals involved. Simply talking things through, finding common definitions to terminology, and common phraseology typically smooths things over. For individuals who desire to argue over any simple point – its easier to walk away than to try and get these people to see reason. This is why I do not participate in a lot of the online “debates” that crop up on various social platforms. Most of the participants are merely there to show how far they can piss from a standing position, rather than discuss the entire matter and find those points of common ground. Instead of a discussion where the participants can learn new perspectives, or find better strengths for their own – these “debates” tend to be the aforementioned pissing contests. I will listen to the initial arguments that are made, but when it becomes obvious that there is no desire to discuss and more of a need to piss….then its time for me to walk away and find something more productive to do with my time.
This is why these particular “chase-and-fight” dreams frighten me so much. The people that are chasing after me know that I am Pagan. I do not hide the fact that I am. I also have no need to wear a three-foot wide Awen around my chest to declare that I follow a Druidic Path. My small Awen pendant does just fine – typically underneath my shirt. But in the dreams, these people do not want to even try and convert me to their beliefs. Their minds are already made up. They want to visit physical harm upon me for what I believe.
I have only experienced this once in my life. Back in 1990, when I was stationed in Germany at Sembach Air Base. I had come out openly as a Pagan during Samhain -and my picture was part of a story in the Stars and Stripes Halloween edition. The story was the center spread of the paper. It caused quite a stir at my duty station – but everyone there was willing to listen to what I had to say. Outside of the duty station, it was a different matter. When I went to the Post Office to pickup mail (we lived down in the valley in Vogelweh Housing, so trips to the Post Office were done after my work day), I was cornered by three individuals who asked if I was willing to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I smiled, shook my head, and removed my mail from its location. When I turned around, two of them pinned me against the mailboxes, while the third looked directly into my eyes. “You need to think it over. Next time, you can die for sins.” He put his hand against my face and shoved my head back against the mailboxes located there. The three of them turned and walked out of the Post Office and back across the street to the NCO Club. I never said a single word during the encounter. For me, this was not a time or moment to fight. During the next two years, I never went into the Post Office alone. My desire was to insure that a violent meeting never took place again.
I know there are some folks who are reading this and noting that they would have clocked at least one of these guys. I get that. Not everyone will respond to a situation in the same manner that I do. After all, we are all individuals. We all perceive the same events and moments in different ways. We interpret written, spoke and non-verbal gestures differently. There are some people who would have done the same thing that I did – and many others who wouldn’t. That’s the beauty of being individuals – we all perceive, act, and react differently.
Like I said, I do not put much stock into the playground of my mind – the dreams that I wind up with. However, some feel more real than others. And some present scenarios that I would prefer to stay in the dream world rather than here in the physical world with me. Some dreams are informative for me, such as those where the Gods come to visit. Those dreams I still remember vividly. But the dreams of my mind playing in the sandbox of my emotions, and the images of the day – those tend to disappear fairly quickly. And to be honest, I don’t even remember what I was being fed for breakfast…..