A Dream I couldn’t shake

I am sharing this because I had a dream last night I couldn’t shake. It wasn’t a particularly weird dream. No flying, no falling, no sense of hurry but my legs are trapped in slo-mo.

Nope. The dream I couldn’t shake was simply pulling into a parking lot, turning left to back into a parking place. There was one other car on the small lot, and I was backing in to park next to it.

I hit that car as my car arced backwards into it’s space. Even as I hit the other car, I kept going.

There was a passenger in the car, front seat. Beside me. I don’t recall who it was, so let’s say it was you. We were shaken up a little, but I distinctly recall saying something flippant about it after completing the parking job.

I don’t know what happened after that in that particular dreamiverse, because I immediately moved into analysis of both why I had hit that one car and why I didn’t seem really to care at all. Honestly, I think I was still dreaming as I moved into the analysis phase. During that phase, though, I went into that calming state of being awake enough to know I’m awake, but asleep enough to kind of stay in the dream.

(I don’t recall ever entering that state until about 10 years ago, but I don’t know if it is a function of age or not.)

Back to the parking collision. Even though my car has a rear-view camera, I didn’t use it. I scanned the space as I drive into the parking lot, and got a mental image of it. A lto of open space, one car parked right there. I pulled forward, put the car in reverse, and “looked” at a mental image birds-eye-view I had of the area. I backed accordingly.

Turns out my mental image wasn’t accurate. My ability to align my actual movement with the video-game-like image of my car on that mental image may also not have been entirely accurate.

And this, I think, was the point of the dream. I don’t believe every dream is dreamed to make a point, but this one was. The point is: while it is tempting to trust mental models and ideas for “how things ought to work” in our heads, the read world never entirely comports what is in our heads.

But I’m glad you were in the car with me. That way the lesson of this dream reminds me that the version of our relationship that I carry (or make up) in my head doesn’t entirely comport with our actual relationship.

Let’s live in the actual world – together – and not be satisfied with the versions of the world that we make up in our heads. Maybe it’s ok in a dream. but in the actual world, no one wants a fender bender when actually using one’s senses could have kept it from happening.

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