In my dream last night I remember being given a beautiful old mechanical box.
I was told it was a recording box, and that I was being invited, or requested, to document a religious holiday. The festivities were going to be elaborate and complex and beautiful. But I knew by looking at the box that in essence these holidays were the same as the holidays I improvised for myself. When I realized this I was relieved.
Apparently talking in my sleep last night I said: “Oh good, leg room!”
And then something about sheets.
It makes sense that legroom and sheets would come up in dreams, of course.
The age-old battle for the covers continues every night, in every shared bed, everywhere.
But I feel like my brain has been giving the tangle of sheets more than the usual significance lately.
A couple weeks ago I dreamt I was driving a beautiful black convertible car.
I don’t care about cars in real life but in my dream I knew this baby was gorgeous. And I was driving it pretty well, which is nice because I don’t have a license, and my dreams don’t all go this way.
I was doing good, but I couldn’t get it to go very fast, and this became a real problem on a steep hill. So I pulled over to where the owner was standing by the side of the road. She was beautiful in a way that matched the car, and she slid into the passenger seat, and I felt inadequate and told her I was struggling. She said it happened to her too, all the time, and it was just because of the sheets wrapped around my feet.
I looked down and saw the sheets all wrapped around my feet between me and the gas pedal.
I was profoundly reassured.
Putting the two dreams together, I wonder if the comforting things that I have chosen to wrap around me – but which slow me down – are other people’s beliefs.
I certainly do take increasing delight in improvising my own traditions and holidays. And I think doing so gives us power in a culture that has been choked and sold by capitalist patriarchy. You cannot drown me in the debt or environmental disasters of mass consumerism if I don’t believe in you and, as best I can each day, do not participate.
Christmas and Solstice are coming, so my wish for all of us is to find our own ways to be joyfully sustaining to each other.
And to promise each other the return of the light.
Maybe also though, it’s my own beliefs that are tangled around my feet.
Beliefs about my own inadequacy to face a fast and dangerous world. Or to claim and use consumption’s power tools like cars and recording boxes in ways that are meaningful to me.
Either way, I’m glad to hear that my sleeping-self has good things to say these days about the leg room.
Let’s kick the sheets off.