defend those you love
fearlessly for life is full
of imagined monsters
Standing on a cliff, I was shoved from behind and I yelled.
Woke up in bed and once again my dear wife had shaken my shoulder as it seemed from all my murmuring I was having another bad dream.
Where do bad dreams come from?
Charles Dickens writes in The Christmas Carol that Ebenezer Scrooge doubts his senses that the ghost of Jacob Marley is real.
Marley’s ghost asks Scrooge, “Why do you doubt your senses?”
Scrooge replies, “Because a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
Mr. Dicken’s adds that, “The truth is, that he tried to be smart, as a means of distracting his own attention, and keeping down his terror; for the spectre’s voice disturbed the very marrow in his bones.”
My dream didn’t happen but did that make my feelings didn’t happen?
Bad dreams are the stuff dream are made of.
As Big Bill wrote in Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 1);
“To sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come.“
Dreams don’t happen or the stuff in dreams anyway but does that make feelings any less real?
Life is full of monsters both real and imaginary.
Mr. Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
I worry for myself and my monsters.
I worry for my wife and her monsters.
I worry for my children and their monsters.
Do we all feel this way?
If we all feel this way, how do we help each other?
It occurs to me that if these monsters are imaginary monsters and these dreams are just dreams we can wade into battle against them fearlessly.
Often maybe just knowing I am not in the battle alone would be enough.
Often maybe just some words of encouragement or words in my defense would be enough.
Often maybe all I want is expressed in the play Harvey.
In the play the eminent psychiatrist Dr. Chumley describes what he would do if only he could.
Dr. Chumley relates that he would go to a trailer park in Akron and sit with a beautiful woman who would hold his hand.
“Then I would tell her things.
Things that I’ve never told to anyone.
Things that are locked – deep in here.
And as I talked to her, I would want her to hold out a soft white hand and say ‘Poor thing. You poor, poor thing.'”
Somehow, the older I get, the better that sounds.