Posts Tagged ‘Dreams’

The past week, I’ve been listening to a rather wonderful audiobook called East, a retelling of the Norwegian folktale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” by Edith Pattou, which is essentially the Nordic version of Beauty and the Beast. Essentially… well, okay. This needs its own separate paragraph.

Essentially, a young girl named Rose lives with her family in ancient Norway. Her sister Sarah becomes extremely sick and her family is going bankrupt when one night a white bear appears at the front door and offers to make the family prosperous again and to heal Sarah if Rose will come away with him. Despite her family’s protests, Rose goes with the white bear to Fransk, or France, to live in a huge castle within a mountain. Of course, she comes to love the white bear, and it’s very Beauty and the Beast, but very original and with lots of new twists. For instance, the man who had been turned into a white bear had been transformed by the Troll Queen who lived in the farthest reaches of the north with all of her troll subjects. The Troll Queen is very beautiful, powerful, and smart, and also very politically intelligent.

Even though I positively loved Rose for her spunk, ingenuity, and sturdiness of both body and mind, apparently the idea of the Troll Queen got pushed deep into my psyche because last night, I dreamed that I was something very much like her. I was beautiful, with long straight hair and always wearing lovely ball gowns. There was a prince who was visiting from another realm who had come with a delegation to my castle, and apparently a marriage between us was a desirable political move for my family.

So what did I do? Did my absolute best to make him fall in love with me, using feminine arts that in real life would have either been totally ridiculous or utterly impossible for my personality. For example: walking straight up to him, entwining my arms around his neck, and forcing him into a rather nice kiss.

(Here’s the funny thing about whenever I kiss someone in a dream… which, of course, is the only way I’m kissing anyone. Every time, I nearly immediately realize at that point that it is a dream—har, har—and then I find myself kissing… nothing. They disappear, whether it’s some nameless prince or Damon Salvatore or Doctor Who or, rather less than pleasantly, Ron Weasley. Last night, when I kissed the prince, I found myself kissing the curtains where I, uh, might have shoved him. Innocently. Very innocently.)

Later, I was talking to my nurse maid/advisor—another throwback to the Troll Queen, who had one of these nurse maid/advisor people—and she accused me of hunting him down like a vixen. Yeah, she used those words. My brain is insane.

“But I actually do like him, too,” I told her. This was true. He was shy and quiet and totally terrified of my advances. It was sort of fun.

Anyways. Ah-hem.

Another Snell post coming tomorrow.


Waking dreams

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Most of you who have known me for the past three years know that I have developed something of an undiagnosed sleeping disorder.

The exact nature of this sleeping disorder goes like this: If it is not time to go to sleep, I go to sleep. If it is time to go to sleep, I become immediately wide awake.

This is not exactly an ideal way to live.

Luckily, half of that problem has been solved by my dear friend Mela Tonin. One pill + thirty minutes = good night. It’s something like reverse coffee.

On the other hand, the first part of the problem is still in full tilt. You can observe this phenomenon just about anywhere—in class, nodding off so obviously that people have begun taking pictures of me. In chapel, falling forward and banging my forehead on the seat in front of me. Most embarrassingly, in church, sometimes right in the middle of singing a song so that “Yonder sacred throng” somehow evolves to “Yonder sacred thong,” so everyone thinks I’m talking about the girl in the thin white skirt two rows ahead of me. My mom calls this “churcholepsy.”

However, occasionally the line between sleep and awake blurs into a strange consciousness that essentially becomes a waking dream. Despite the fact that my eyes are still open, I’ve slipped from what is normally construed to be normal wakefulness.

Once in high school calculus, I watched as my teacher began writing in some bizarre Star Trek language on the board before I blinked and it turned back to English. Another time, I realized that my Bible teacher had turned into a giant talking rabbit—no joke.

Fortunately, none of these episodes have ever been particularly scary, just something to joke about, a fun story to tell my friends—“Hey Lisa, Dr. McKim turned into a huge bunny today in the middle of class”—that sort of thing.

Well, yesterday I was driving to Tuesday. I was meeting my mom there for a well-needed albeit short break from campus life and to bring a load of things halfway home, since my truck Joey definitely won’t manage to fit all of my junk at the same time for the journey home in TWO AND A HALF WEEKS. (I am very thrilled about this fact.)

As I was driving through the unchanging scenery of Highway 78—picture trees, trees, the occasional cow, and little groupings of gas stations and fast food places that all look mind-numbingly identical—when I started to get sleepy. I know all the warning signs—the desire to close my eyes for just a second, settling further down into my seat, the way I start to fumble with the words of the Across the Universe soundtrack. So I performed all the normal stay-awake-so-that-you-don’t-crash-off-a-bridge-and-die-without-finishing-nursing-school maneuvers, from opening and closing the windows, changing my iPod to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack instead, sitting up straight, hitting myself repeatedly in the face.

Then suddenly, I was talking to a trucker. He was a fairly young guy, probably in his late twenties, with that weather-beaten look that a lot of construction workers get. He wore a baseball cap and we were discussing a nursing research experiment that we would be conducting. It had something to do with… driving. Driving and the roads and the cows and the grass and the green and….

Luckily, I realized that there was no trucker and I was still driving and that if I didn’t stop immediately, the next thing I knew I would probably be sitting in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, waiting for the Sorting Hat to put me in Heaven House or Hell House. So I pulled off at the next gas station, filled up, got a cookie, and continued on my way.

Therefore, on the way back this afternoon, I put on a book on CD instead of music. I had a feeling the next trucker I talked to would probably be my last.

The latitudes and longitudes

Posted: March 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Too much has gone by since my last post to try to detail it all—Winterfest, which was gloriously fun; the two intervening weeks between Winterfest and Spring Break, which were remarkably not; my dog laying his head on the firewood basket next to the hearth, where we had a fire yesterday to drive away the cold and damp and which remained unlit today due to hopeful temperatures in the mid-70s. I have spent the days since getting home catching up with my family and reading until my eyes have threatened to fall out—the last released book of Wheel of Time, Chalice by Robin McKinley, and about two-thirds of Spindle’s End by the same, for the second time.

In this  time, I have had all sorts of thoughts about which I thought, “I think this would make a good blog,” but most of these thoughts—about life, about friends, about God, about the church, about nursing, about sunshine or the lack thereof, about mistakes and unwitting goodnesses—most of these thoughts are either too muzzy now to write about, or I am simply saving them for another day.

So I shall leave you all with five pertinent pieces of information, and bid you a goodnight.

  1. Two days before I left for Spring Break, I dreamed I was kidnapped by Satan and locked in a torture chamber. The room was without windows or doors and the walls were covered in dirty, cracking white tiles with mould growing in the grout, and a shower spigot stuck out the wall dripping brown water that had dampened my clothes by the time I came conscious.
  2. A few weeks ago, I began painting my fingernails for the first time since I was five. For some odd reason, I like the way it makes my fingers look when they move.
  3. Even though the life of Henry David Thoreau has yielded innumerable daunting (not to mention loathed) assignments for scores of high school students, he nonetheless has several very apt quotes that can express what you yourself cannot quite manage to speak.
  4. I am going to be the female intern at Homewood Church of Christ in south Birmingham this summer.
  5. Sometimes I wish I would “catch” a mental illness like schizophrenia or a varying form of psychosis just so that I could know what it was like to see things that other people didn’t see, and so that I could be put into a mental institution and meet interesting characters like in the movie Girl Interrupted.

. . . . . . . .

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. 

—Henry David Thoreau

Happy Valentine’s Day

Posted: February 14, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Hello friends.

I have disappointing news. No Valentine’s Day poem shall be appearing on my blog today. I know this is probably causing a great sadness to fall over your hearts, but in addition to all of the other lovely gifts brought by that blessed winged naked baby, I have also been presented with a beautiful cold.



Although I am not sure why this is, the fact nonetheless remains that histamines and all those other horrid cold-like symptoms tend to drain all creativity from your body like water out of a water balloon hurled by a pro baseball pitcher at an oncoming mag-lev train. I tried for two hours today to make it happen, but then just decided to go to sleep, because it was no use.

However, when I did go to sleep, I dreamed that I and all my friends were part of the last coalition of the race of men on Middle Earth as millions of orcs were sweeping across the world. Our last stand was at the capital of Rohan, and I was the commanding general and I was kind of awesome. I even had this incredible battle plan, but I won’t bore you with explaining it except for to say that it still made sense when I woke up, which is significant, I think. Of course, my awesomeness still failed to keep us from all getting slaughtered, quite literally. So that was pretty terrible, too.

So—I am going to sleep, because hopefully that will do something towards getting rid of this awful sickness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Those that go searching for love, only manifest their own lovelessness. And the loveless never find love, only the loving find love. And they never have to seek for it.”

—D. H. Lawrence

The point is not the moon

Posted: February 6, 2010 in Uncategorized
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This afternoon during the traditional Friday after-class nap, I had a dream that two of my friends were talking. One was upset about something, and the other looked at him and said, “Listen—the point is not the moon. The point is the beer.” And the first looked at him and said, “You know, you are so right.”

Sometimes I do not understand my subconscious, or the messages it is trying to send to me. Although, in truth, most of those messages probably involve recommendations for various brands and dosages of medicinal treatments for schizophrenia.

This week has contained more utter insanity than any week ought ever to contain. Aside from the fact that I had four tests and a validation and thousands of other things to do in the meantime, well… I am learning a lot of things about life and the world and God and people, and many a time, learning is difficult. And I should definitely know, after four tests and trying to cram violently for all four of them and still maintain a little sanity—the bets are still out as to whether the latter succeeded or not.

Despite the more… unpleasant parts of learning, however, I am learning to really enjoy going to nursing homes. There is a side of life—yes, life—that resides in those old, worn-out bodies that as the youth of the world, we often forget and do not like to think about for fear of the days when we become like them, in denial that anything like sagging skin and arthritic bones and rheumy eyes will ever be qualities attributed to ourselves. But life is there, too, and a real part of it, a part of which I no longer want to remain ignorant or afraid.

Also, I have been conducting my annual assessment of the upcoming holiday next Sunday which is commonly known as Valentine’s Day and which, to some, is known as Singles Awareness Day, and to others is simply a reason to stay indoors and watch Disney movies and ignore the world for twenty-four hours until the various levels and sources of hysteria have dissipated. Each year I have to decide on my attitude about it, and in case you were wondering, here are some of the ones that I have held in the past:

  1. Excitement to get candy and little metallic valentines in a brown paper bag… à la elementary school.
  2. Getting excited to see what my coupled friends would get from their significant other because it would undoubtedly be sweet and fun and always a good idea to put in the data banks for when, next year for sure, I would have a date, too.
  3. Wanting my coupled friends to spontaneously combust and spew intestines all over the cafeteria whenever the harried lady from the office brought them a big bouquet of flowers, balloons, and a glow-in-the-dark-singing-smiling-talking-farting teddy bear… à la middle school and some parts of high school.
  4. Deciding to say, “Screw you, world, with your materialist, capital-driven holidays,” and walk through the halls of whatever institution I happened to enter that day, head held high, back straight, eyes looking straight down my nose at everyone else around me because I did not need anyone else, thank you very much, and I was perfectly happy to be single, thank you very much, and I actually don’t even want a relationships because it’s nothing but complications, thank you very, very much.
  5. Commemorating February 14 as a day to give love to all my friends, despite the platonic nature of all of those friendships, and let them know just how much I appreciated them and loved them—this being last year.

So now I am trying to decide how I shall face it this year. I think I have grown up enough that I no longer want happily-in-love persons to explode, and I no longer look down my nose at those blessed with someone special in their lives—although I do not think I have grown up enough to just not care or think about the holiday at all. And yes, I am still going to let my friends know that I love them—I’ve already made five cards just tonight—but….

Hopefully my family will come and provide enough of a distraction Saturday and Sunday that I don’t have to worry about this year’s Valentine’s Day Resolution, but just in case—I think I’m going to make a wish. It’s a small wish and a small hope, but I am still going to wish it, kind of like I wish that I could go to nursing school and have a 4.0 GPA without a lick of studying, or that I might wake up one day with tiny wings sprouting from just inside my shoulder blades that, in just a few short days, would blossom like flowers and then I could fly, fly all the way to Italy and land on top of the Duomo—that is what this wish is like.

My wish? To feel special on Valentine’s Day. That is all.

Also, if you are a reader of my blog, you are expressly forbidden to do anything to make this wish come true, because that would be cheating on my part. But if you are now thinking, “Aw, man!” then I still appreciate your kindness, of course.

With all that said, Charlene and I watched online episode 13 of Vampire Diaries. I love that show. The end.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.”

—Zelda Fitzgerald

Doing nothing

Posted: January 27, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Tonight after Bible study, Amber and Kathleen and I ended up all lying together up on Kathleen’s bed, talking and not talking, playing with each other’s hair and dozing off and waking back up again, being female and not minding, and just generally “doing nothing” in the Christopher Robin sense of the word.

“… but what I like doing best is Nothing.”

“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say, ‘Oh, nothing,’ and then you go and do it.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.

“This is a nothing sort of thing we’re doing now.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.

“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“Oh!” said Pooh.

Sometimes, Nothing is a very nice thing to do, even when there is a lot of Thing that you should be doing. Sometimes, it is nice just to curl up with friends, warm and comfortable and all togethery, and just talk about the things you dream that are big, and the things you dream that are little, and the things you dream that are common, and the things you dream that are common but still dear to your heart and your longing.

Somehow, doing that sort of Nothing gently washes you back into the stream of humanity instead of being hung up or snagged on the boulders and branches along the edges, with all that washed up debris of homework papers and bills and to-do lists and school payments, and for the time that you’re doing Nothing, you can feel the roots in the tree of yourself reaching back down to all those women washing their laundry at the banks of the stream and cooking around the communal fire or chatting in the marketplace or watching handsome men training horses or tending to the littlest children while the older ones are out working. Somewhere in all of that, you feel the struggle go out of your limbs and for a little while, you can float on your back, watching the alternating patches of blue sky and green trees as the current slowly tugs you onwards.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

—John Lennon

Warning: All haters please exit the blog before continuing to read. Thank you.

So… I LOVED Avatar. Yes, that’s right, in bold letters, italics, and all caps. I have not fallen that head-over-heels for a movie since I saw Lord of the Rings, and just in case you didn’t know me then—which probably means 99.9% of you—I actually tried to learn Elvish. (And failed, without a whole lot of effort, but I did know every actor’s name, dream about Middle Earth every night, and quote the movie constantly at inappropriate moments.)

And I know, I know—I’ve read the reviews, which say basically what I think we all expected for the film—absolutely stunning special effects, stunning visual vistas, computer graphics that eat your brain cells with their amazingness, and then… a so-so plot line and overall poor acting.

But… I did not really feel that way. I mean, in truth, there are only so many storylines out there for epic tales. It’s called an archetype, folks, feel free to look it up if you can’t remember it from high school English. I know I’m not a film critic—heaven knows I’ve hated enough masterpieces and loved enough flops to fail any qualifications for that—but I really do not feel something has to be original to still be compelling. I mean, practically every culture in the world has at its center some form of the death and rebirth motif, and does repetition make it any less beautiful and resounding?

Alright, alright, I’m taking a deep breath. Ha. I just wanted to have my own personal response to the evil narrow-minded academically constipated reviewers of the world. I suppose it does help the movie from my standpoint that I am a self-declared lover of all things science-fiction, but I think anyone but the most consummate hater of the imaginary world would find this movie pretty darn good so long as they don’t have a degree in film analysis.

Also… floating mountains. Floating mountains. That is just awesome. Especially when they look realistic. It’ll make your head spin. It’ll make you want to invent an illegal hallucinogenic so you can go there yourself.

Since I have officially bored you all to tears now, I figure I will go to bed. Goodnight and happy dreams to you all. (Though I can imagine I will now be having dreams of blue mostly-naked vampires riding blood-sucking dragons through floating high schools. Thanks be to goodness that I’ve been off Wheel of Time for two weeks now, otherwise I think my brain might hemorrhage the moment my head hit the pillow.)