Recurring dreams

Posted on 3 December 2009 at 10:21 pm in Personal Stories, Writing.

Think about what dreams you have that are recurring. We all must have some. Those are probably the ones that are more likely to be remembered over time. When I was young (between 9-12 years old). I always had this recurring dream of being in a city excavation site. There were big steam shovels that were digging up things and burying them. Somehow I was always part of the burying part, as in the object being buried. Sometimes my parents were there, sometimes it was just me. I’m sure all you Freudian psych majors out there have already figured out some devious meaning behind all of those dreams.

As I got older I still had recurring dreams, but they usually were based on other themes. In my later teen years it was more about space travel. I was the lone occupant of a space capsule that was usually sent deceptively off into space beyond enemy lines to gather information for someone.

I don’t remember any recurring dreams in college, but once I became a teacher I began to have them again. This time I was trying to teach a lesson to a totally out of control class. The students in the class were sometimes, my own class, but most of the time I was a teacher in an unknown class. No matter what I tried to do I could not maintain or achieve any amount of control over my class. This recurring dream occurred multiple times over the 33 years that I was a teacher. The interesting part of these dreams was not that they made it difficult for me to sleep or that they had any connection to what was really going on in my classroom, but what the methods were that I tried in my dream to try and get that control. In the dream world, my self-esteem took a hit. In the real world, the dreams I had helped me come up with a lot of new innovative strategies on how to be a more effective teacher, which in turn helped me maintain control.

Now I’m retired and I get to teach adults and do storytelling and singing in front of large groups of children and families. My school dreams have faded, though I occasionally get my dreams of uncontrollable adults in the courses I teach. Now I have the dreams of dealing with large groups of kids and parents in a performance. I haven’t had the dream of a totally uncontrollable group yet, but I have had to deal with one or two hecklers in my dreams. I assume that this just continues to seed my head in preparation for all the different things that happen as I continue as a storyteller.

All this is not to say that I don’t have recurring dreams that focus on doing great things with well controlled groups that don’t want to bury me. I just don’t remember them. I guess that’s how dreams are supposed to work. My son is amazed that I can even remember one dream I’ve had. Maybe that’s what makes me do so well as a storyteller. At least that is what I read into my dreams.

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