Night time couldn’t have come any sooner. The day had literally sucked the life out of me, and all I needed was my clean crisp bed. It looked more inviting on that particular day, maybe because I had clean bed linen on and looked forward to jumping into a clean fresh bed and curl up with no care in the world. Actually, I lie, I have so many cares, but tonight, it’s my night of spending bliss!!!
Doors locked, lights switched off, windows half open, in spite of the cold spell outside, my room needs to be cool. Today of all nights, the last thing I need is to have to deal with those night sweats. Get a grip girl, you are a woman of a certain age, so night sweats are part of your game. ‘’Whatever’’, I rudely respond to that untimely, space-invading thought, remind me I am going through the changes.
I am sharing this night with you
Right in the middle of planning the following day, sleep takes over and I’m out for the count. This is blissful.’
“Don’t get too comfy and content in that bed for I am sharing this night with you’’
And, hmmmnn, who are you, and what makes you think you have earned the right to be part of my beauty sleep?
‘Just shut up and stop with all the questions and snide remarks’, the individual shouts at me. Well, that’s me told off. Whoever this person or thing was or is, they have one big nerve to come and intrude my personal space. They have another thing coming, I am not the kind to give up easily.
I am the dream keeper
‘I am the dream keeper and tonight you and I are embarking on a journey. I will endeavour to be as truthful and open with you. I have been watching you during the day, listening to your interactions and your words, and studying your reactions to events both personal and societal. I heard you, almost looking at 2018 in retrospect. By the way, when you came to bed earlier you had this, ‘I couldn’t care less attitude’, well you and I know that deep down, you do care about what surrounds you. So, my dear, hold my hand, and let’s commence our journey, and please do not interrupt me unnecessarily, I do not take kindly to that. What a bossy so and so I thought as I turned on my right side.
‘Let me assure you, you are still in your comfy bed and comfortably sleeping. I have not disturbed you at all. This is the only time I can have with you without distractions and resistances from you.
Why do you allow yourself to continue dreaming at the risk of not seeing some of them not coming into fruition
With the rest of the world, you celebrated the dawning of 2018. You set up goals, you asked for good health, success, good relationships and you created new dreams. You were not alone in this. You have had fulfilled dreams, and unfulfilled ones, and yet you continue to dream. Why do you allow yourself to continue dreaming at the risk of not seeing some of them not coming into fruition? I hesitated as I wasn’t sure if the dream keeper expected me to answer or just being sarcastic. The dream keeper paused long enough to make me realise an answer was expected from me.
‘I guess I keep dreaming because enough of my dreams have been fulfilled.’
The dream keeper squeezed my hand as we continued with our journey throughout 2018.
You, see, I think you are starting to get it. If one out of five of your dreams has been fulfilled in 2018, that is more than enough reason to keep dreaming. Maybe the other 4 are just not meant to be for now.’
‘It still doesn’t make me happy though, those four dreams are still important to me’, I protested. Why was the dream keeper playing down my unfulfilled dreams? At this point, all my dreams for 2018 were put in front of me, and the dream keeper asked me to put them in order of importance. That was an impossible task, they were all important. I refused to be drawn into that debate, the dream keeper threatened we would stop in that part of 2018 until I gave in. I started to think long and hard, and true to myself, I prioritised them. Before I could say anything, the dream keeper spoke.
‘You see, young lady, yes, its good to dream and I encourage you to continue doing so, but I don’t want you to be a self-centred, selfish dreamer. Be content with your realised dreams. I uttered not a word.
The dream keeper took me through my painful moments of 2018.
‘Why do I have to relive these moments dream keeper?’
‘I thought I told you we are looking at 2018 in retrospect. In case you haven’t noticed, in a couple of weeks, 2018 will be committed to eternity and 2019 is just but at the door. It will be unnatural to allow amnesia to take hold over you’.
The painful moments were rolled on the red carpet as though they were to be celebrated. I started crying, complaining and cursing. Why did 2018 have such painful moments? I pointed my wagging fingers at the dream keeper. When I had finished my rant, the dream keeper waded in.
‘Have you finished?’ Not a word from me. What kind of silly question was that from the dream keeper!
Other red carpets were rolled out, and I saw some of my nearest and dearest parading their lows of 2018. I was confused. I thought the dream keeper was taking me on my journey of 2018. My nearest and dearest also wailed and writhed in pain as their pain was laid bare. Theirs was the unspoken pain, the magnitude I have never known. I turned my eyes away as I could not take their pain. It killed me, it reaped my heart into shreds. As I attempted to run towards them to offer cuddles, the dream keeper stopped me. What a cold heart, I thought.
‘So, young lady, whose 2018 would you have wished for, yours or theirs?’
‘No! No! No! you are definitely not doing this to me, No’. This is cruel and unkind.
My pain was my pain
‘This is reality’, the dream keeper responded. Another impasse between the two of us. Another rant from me to the dream keeper. My pain was my pain and not to be compared to another person. I felt the pain, and not them. Why should I take into perspective what other people feel, who is taking my pain into perspective? By this time, I have become a different individual. Expletives are flowing from my mouth, I will definitely need to have my mouth cleansed afterwards. By this time tears were flowing out uncontrollably. The dream keeper has overstepped the mark. 2018 has been hard, he just doesn’t have a clue. I pulled away from his hand and sat under a shadowless tree wallowing in my sorry.
The dream keeper came over to me, sat down next to me, arms wrapping me.
‘I do not understand, you are right, very right, I do not understand, and I will never understand. I did this to make you aware you also will never understand someone’s pain or journey. You might identify with it, but what they feel, how they react is incomparable. Never tell someone you understand their pain, for that, is a lie’ Pain is so personal.’ ‘You can only empathise. Take this lesson into 2019’. The dream keeper stood up first, stretched his hand out and helped me up.
He took me into different families in London. These were the families who had lost their young black boys in the streets of London through knife crime. Dream keeper unveiled the raw bleeding of their hearts, the void left in their lives. I shouted and urged the dream keeper to stop. I couldn’t deal with this, in fact I didn’t want their pain, it was unbearable.
‘Dream keeper’, I called out. ‘Am I allowed to hold on to my painful experiences of 2018, as well as my joyous ones please?’ My eyes were pleading with this individual. I had seen enough and learnt enough to accept, I, only I was the rightful recipient of my painful experiences of 2018.
‘Do you think you have learnt enough?’ dream keeper asked me.
‘Enough to agree with Sigmund Freud when he says,
‘One day in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful’.
‘At least we got somewhere tonight’, dream keeper responded. A long pause, then dreams keeper challenges me one last time.
‘Do you agree with Sigmund Freud then?’
‘Honestly, only just to a certain degree’, came my response.
‘Well, that is good enough for me’. Dream keeper said goodbye and vanished into his luxurious dreamland, leaving me to ponder on our liaisons. I woke the following morning and realised I had been dreaming all this. It had been a good dream. A dream that put all into perspective.
I take on board the lessons from my mysterious dream keeper. I give you hope. Hope is all that will keep you going regardless of the challenges. 2019 will bring its own challenges. Take stock of your 2018 and learn your own lessons from your own encounter with the dream keeper.
The ‘dream keeper’ is that mechanism in all of us. A mechanism that enables us to rationalise and put all into perspective. Embrace the new year with optimism and a renewed hope. Continue to dream. If you fall, rise up again. It can be a slow process, it’s OK, just do not stay down. Let 2019 be an endurance race and not one for the swift. Be of good cheer. Be kind, allow silence to speak most times. Do not feel the need to fill the air with words always. Accept challenges with grace and dignity. A blessed 2019 everyone.