My work revolves around dreams, so—wouldn’t you know it?—I’ve been having insomnia. Sleep deprivation is not good for dreaming. The sleep I’m getting is fragmented and shallow, tinged with fatigue, and really, really frustrating because just when I’m slipping into a snooze, one of the cats lets out a friendly little noise, or a neighbor’s car door slams, or I sneeze… and I’m wide awake for another couple of hours.
Squirrely bits of dreams keep squabbling for space on the telephones lines of this tenuous sleep pattern. Okay, I’m overdoing it a bit here, but have you seen what happens when two squirrels meet on a tightrope like that? Crazy acrobatics—and somebody usually ends up dangling. Anyway, with this thin, disrupted sleep, the dream stories never get going, and I can’t catch many of the images, even though they leave me with emotional fall-out and a speeding heart.
Actually, this is pretty normal. We all go through phases when sleep is problematic (more and more the older we get) and dreams won’t come into focus. It’s not the end of the world.
A few nights ago, I was able to remember this much:
I’m fiddling with an old radio, trying to find some kind of program. There’s a lot of static, punctuated by shards of music, yips of almost-articulated speech, and garbled overlapping signals. I keep trying to tune in, turning the delicate dial and watching the needle slide up and down the scale, but I can’t catch a single station long enough to be able to listen.
Okay, so I’m dreaming about not being able to dream. (Of course, there must be many more layers of meaning than the obvious, but I’m too tired to go into that now!)
In dealing with this insomnia, I’m trying to take my own advice (visit the webpage on Inviting Dreams). I’m trusting that when I remember a lot of significant dreams, that’s wonderful—but when I don’t, that’s okay, too. Before going to sleep—or trying to sleep—I remind myself to rest in the midst of whatever the night brings, because my dreams (or dream fragments) will be healing and helpful, whether I remember them or not.