Who Needs a Shrink?

just plain nutsIf it weren’t for your subconscious, you wouldn’t have a CLUE about what your real issues are.  I dreamed that I woke one morning to find our house filled with many different families. I began tearing around to make sure we had enough provisions for all these strangers and only noticed after what seemed like days that I hadn’t seen the cats. 

“WHERE ARE THE CATS?” I cried in this dream, dashing about yet more frantically – until I found them at last in our dank unfinished basement, as skinnied-out with neglect a pair of empty gloves. 

Then, two nights later, I had a dream that was no dream at all but an actual memory, of something my hail and vital mother said halfway through a party we threw for her 80th birthday. At the celebration’s start, just before the guests began arriving, she heard some of us squabbling about who was supposed to have laid the fire. 

“That was always the trouble in our family,” she sighed sadly about a time 60 years in the past: “No one was ever in charge.” Then, an hour later, still sitting there by the fire, she closed her eyes and died, her small plate of dessert pastries falling from her lap.

Unearthing that memory sure explains why I’ve held myself responsible for the very wheeling of the stars ever since that fateful day. SOMEONE’S got to be in charge!

…And more messages from my subconscious came just last night, when I dreamed I was trying to run a meeting of volunteers in my community but somehow could not speak commandingly enough to hold their attention.

I started out in the classroom and so I know: this is every teacher’s worst fear.  

In this dream that was more of a nightmare, one of the whisperers actually turned her chair around so that her back was to me.

 In this dream that was more of a nightmare I say again, I went over to her and in a pathetic begging tone said, “Don’t you care about the mission of this organization?” 

“Not since YOU took over as president!” she sneered.  

Then, “When is this going to be over? somebody groaned. “Yeah,” whined someone else. “I want to watch the game!”

I threw out the most intransigent talkers, something that in real life you can’t actually DO in an all-volunteer organization, and finally gave up and gavel things to a close.

On her way out, the sneering one shot me a sidelong look. “Nothing personal,” she smirked. 

“It hurt, what you said before,” I began, again with that pathetic wheedling tone, but “Hey!” she barked back. “It is what it is! Plus, you know you’ve really let yourself go lately.”

So there it is: a trifecta of Bulletins From My Subconscious, which would appear to be suggesting the things I am evidently worried about, which are:

  • A. That I’m a poor caregiver and have done little to keep the home fires burning; 
  • B. That I really am letting myself go. (Didn’t I just the other day wear a pair of pants I’ve had since the 1970s?)
  • C. that I’m less than stellar at running the actual meeting I do actually have to run in my waking life.

I worry about these things, evidently, but maybe I shouldn’t, overmuch. God didn’t make me a manager anyway. He made me a teacher I’m pretty sure, and maybe I’m a teacher still, on the inside, because really I just want to affirm everybody and make it a good class. And clothes from the 70s are cool!  

And as for the cats, well the cats died some time ago. Maybe they’re sitting in Heaven right now, together with my mom, all three this very minute enjoying a nice little plate of pastries.

baby abe & baby charlotte

3 thoughts on “Who Needs a Shrink?

  1. Nothing in dreams mean what they seem…you know that. You’re a role model and teacher for everyone you meet and everyone who reads your stuff…you know that too. So put all the anxiety producing “I’m not good enough” stuff aside. Because, if you’re not “good enough”, what’s that say about the rest of us. The main thing I took away from this, and the key to just about everything was, live a full life, do what you do and do it the way you want to do it…and when you’ve had enough die happy, in a place you belong, in a comfortable chair, sitting by the fire with the taste of sweet pastry still on your lips….

  2. I’ve had to tell my self, “Let the big old world whiz around for a while without my two cents.”

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