Sunday, August 11, 2013
I recently decided to buy this book, because one of my life goals is to be smart. And you're supposed to know about Shakespeare in order to be smart. And I want my kids to be smart too, so, voila. Here I am, trying to learn Shakespeare by learning how to teach kids Shakespeare. So we can all walk around being smart.
I'm not too sure about this book. I'm not too sure I want to learn Shakespeare, and I'm not too sure about memorizing it... and what use is it for kids to be able to regurgitate words that are no longer in the English vernacular, like "aught" (all) or "collied" (coal-black)?
Bad mood and cynicism aside, though, I'm giving it a fair shot for now.
Anyway, that's not what I what I wanted to blog about. That was just an intro. I want to blog about how what I read (red) before going to bed affected my dreams.
I was reading the chapter where the author talked about A Midsummer Night's Dream. In part of his analysis, he said that Shakespeare was trying to point out how changeable and out of our control Love really is. Love can strike out of nowhere. It can affect us in strange ways. It can make us desire one person, when (from a logical standpoint) a better-qualified person is standing right next to him. And it can change in an instant. Love can be stolen from us, as if there were fairies that visited us in the night and applied a potion from a magical flower to our eyes, just to score points in games of spite they are playing with each other.
This was supposed to be genius, and it probably is, but I find it depressing. Determinism may be the likeliest explanation for what's going on in the world... but I don't like it. I want to feel like I have some control. Or that things make sense. Or that there could be a love which is impossible to steal or fade away. That someday I'll find "the one," and we'll both know it, and everything will be happy forever, guaranteed, no questions. But wanting to believe something doesn't make it true. In reality, most relationships require boatloads of effort, the love waxes and wanes, and sometimes it's just pure raw commitment that keeps people together. And there are no guarantees. Sometimes someone wakes up and realizes that they don't love their partner anymore, and there's no way to make the relationship work ever again. There are no guarantees in life. As a friend of mine said once, "life is a mystery wrapped in an enigma."
(In fact, the friend who said this is someone I was having a serious conversation with the day before the dream, by the way. It had to be by texting, because he's far away. And the conversation was about love. And this friend of mine is a huge fan of Shakespeare, by the way... so this all somehow magically ties together!)
So it was in this frame of mind that I fell asleep and had a midsummer night's dream of my own.
I dreamed I was going to a huge hotel with my mom and my kids. Maybe it was the Crown Center in Kansas City. I don't remember why we were there, some kind of conference I think, but at some point we decided to go shopping. There was a mall attached (that's why I think it might have been the Crown Center). We were looking at a bunch of different stuff in the mall, and I remembered that I needed some teacups. So we found this store that was one of those "refurbished junk" stores that have become popular lately. (The kind where the owners find all kinds of junk at garage sales and thrift stores, and they make artsy stuff with it and resell it). I was admiring a lot of the stuff. I remember there was a picture frame that had a big gouge out of it. It was made of porcelain or something like that, and the gouge was like a triangular chip. I thought, "that gouge doesn't really look very good, but I guess it's OK. It gives the frame character." I saw some teacups, but I didn't really like them. They were really thick. There was a big set of tea accessories on the table--teapots and cups and such-- and they all looked like they were hand made out of clay. One of them had "$4.00" etched on the side. In the dream I didn't notice this, but as I think about it now, it was a pretty useless cup, because the etching went all the way through the clay, so any liquid inside would have spilled out of the holes. But in the dream, it seemed normal, because all the tea accessories had their prices displayed like that! What I actually thought in the dream, though, was, "even though I can afford $4, I don't like the color or the thick style."
It was a small store named by an abbreviation, something like OIE. I remember seeing the logo as I walked out, it was the letters inside a circle.
We walked back to the lobby of the hotel, for some sort of gathering there, and I think it was lunchtime. We got some coffee and snacks at a table there. There were a bunch of people milling around.
There were two workers sitting at a table in the lobby, a woman with strawberry blonde hair and a black man in a dressy shirt. It seemed like they were professional radio hosts or something. They were broadcasting; they would also take questions from the audience and try to answer them. Somebody was telling them her dream, and they were supposed to interpret it. The woman telling them her dream said it was that she died, and her husband found himself unable to control himself. He had to go sleep with another woman. In the dream, even though she was dead, she still saw this happen and felt betrayed. She also saw that he was out of control; he didn't want to do it, but he was compelled. These radio hosts started talking about the dream, but I lost interest and started wandering away.
Mom held up one of the cups on the coffee/snack table and told me, "You should buy some of these teacups from the hotel." It was just a blasé porcelain mug. It was really thin... (I don't know what that style of dishes is called, it's that thin dishware, sometimes they have images painted on them, but the hotel ones were plain white. I thought the mugs were ugly, mostly the shape didn't appeal to me. I said, "I don't like them. Anyway, they're not for sale, because the hotel uses them."
Mom insisted, "you have to get these." I protested and said I didn't want them. But she decided to go buy them for me. I needed 4 cups, so she grabbed 4 used (!) cups and saucers and said, "Come on, we're going to go pay." I said, "I am so embarrassed to go ask someone at the hotel if I can pay for their stuff that isn't for sale. I'm not going to go with you!" She went off with the kids. I told her I was going to go find the car so we could leave.
I found her car far away in the parking garage. I noticed her car and my car were both there. We needed both of them, but there was only one of me. So I decided to get Mom's car, pick her and the kids up by the lobby, then drive back to the parking garage and split people into the two cars.
I backed Mom's car out, and hit the brake, but the brake wasn't responsive enough. It was barely effective at all, so the car started sliding down the slope in the parking garage. I hit the brake harder and harder until I was practically standing on it, but it wasn't braking. I freaked out because I could bump into somebody while I was rolling backward. I tried hitting the gas pedal instead, hoping I could at least go forward instead of rolling down the hill backward. But that didn't work either. The gas pedal just made the wheels kind of spin on the pavement, but the car kept going backward. I tried hitting both pedals at the same time and that just didn't work.
I don't know what happened, but the dream kind of skipped to the next scene. I had somehow managed to get the car to the lobby, and I was telling Mom, "your car is messed up! It's scary!"
But she was surrounded by a bunch of teenagers, maybe some of her piano students. I knew that we had to take them with us in the cars to go back home.
The radio announcers were there again, and the man was saying, "Oh, did you hear on the radio? My microphone cut out when I was interpreting that woman's dream, so nobody heard what I said. But you know, life is good, we're going to keep going on. Look at these young teenagers, so excited for Jesus. They're doing a great job. One of these young men decided to turn his life around, and he's living for the Lord now!" In the dream, as I would in waking life, I was annoyed by his phony, pep-talk-y attitude, and I thought to myself, quite cynically, "well, the young man might be saying he changed his life around NOW, but what about years later, will he still be a good person?" I could feel that the mood was up, and that something really had changed in this young man, I just didn't know how long it would last.
All this time, I'm trying to get everyone to leave, because it was time to leave. At the same time, I was trying to get Mom's attention and try to get her to understand that I was worried about her car, that it might not be safe to drive. The End.
Some themes in this dream:
The number 4
Thick vs. thin
Things being out of control
Things being used and re-used.
Brake=break? There was a lot of broken stuff in the dream.
I'll do a full interpretation in the next post!