Monday, February 14, 2011

Trailing Roses

I have always wondered what our dreams are saying about what's going on inside us and/or what they mean. I have been dreaming weird, scary, reminiscent, and even repeat dreams for quite a while now. Last night I was completely in the past.

At first I was with someone who I realize after this dream probably contributed more to my self-esteem issues than I ever realized. I lived with a home-away-from home family in Atlanta for one semester, and I can remember before I even met them, the husband saying to me they wanted someone to be a part of their family and not close up in their bedroom all the time. Didn't take me long to figure out WHY their previous students shut themselves in their room! His wife was awful! Doing chores in return for being given a free place to stay is NOT a problem. Being forced to do certain chores like "Cinderella" is another. I said "no thank you" to something at dinner one night and got a lecture in my room about how I should eat whatever she cooks so that her kids will eat it as well. She wasn't that great a cook, and I was a picky eater. I already stashed food in my dresser. One day, they grilled steaks and we're eating outside, a very nice day. I take a steak from the platter, and she says asks me if I'm going to eat the entire steak. I know I turned beet red, cut the steak in half, and put half back on the platter. It was demeaning and hurtful and she was a bitch to even ask. Here I was, away from home for the first time. I was trying to act like an adult and take on my new responsibilities at a new job as well as being a good student, and no matter what I did, this woman had something negative to say to me. Needless to say, I shut myself in my room and ended up getting an apartment for second semester.

As far as the dream with her in it, sorry for digressing, she was letting some auction company take all of my grandmother's things that were stored in an attic. My mother and I had been trying to get rid of everything, but we were also going through it all in order to keep things like photos and other personal items. I spoke to the woman in charge of the auction, explaining everything and she promised I'd be able to go through everything. This didn't happen for whatever reason, and all through the dream I was doing my best to get through every section of this huge building where they were selling my grandmother's belongings. I was finding things that in reality I don't have and I know are not in my grandmother's attic or home, but it was as if I was completely reliving my time with her. I was picking up pictures I'd never seen before (and have never seen in real life). I was finding old toys that belonged to my sister and I. I came across items that hung in her kitchen or living room. The kitchen cabinets and drawers were in a room and I knew I wanted the drawers for some reason and I pulled four of them out and put them in a box with all the other things I'd collected. I had the worst time in the dream keeping up with my boxes, my sister and my son. I'd go from one thing to the other, leave a box somewhere and have to get back to it before someone took it. It was so unnerving and frustrating. It felt like I did this all night long, fighting to keep what was my grandmother's and see what every item was they were bringing out of the attic. I remember being half awake and still fighting to keep up with everything before completely waking up.

It's hard not to wonder what all of this is about. Yes, I miss this grandmother terribly. I miss being able to go to her home and talk to her. I think how I'd like to talk to my mother and her siblings about possibly tackling the HUGE project of fixing up the small house and bringing it all back to life again right down to the barn and the chicken coop so that my son can grow up in fresh air, and play in the barn and pick the blackberries and where we can have a garden and plant the entire front acre in corn. Perhaps this is just a longing for simpler times, but gosh how I do long for that. I'm not sure my mother's brother would be amenable to this since he feels he should "inherit" it all once my grandfather, who lives with him, passes away. Oh, what death and greed does to people. Do I dare ask? Could I take on such a project? Would I want to live so far away from everything? Would I be just as happy if I could create this simpler life somewhere else?

Another part of the past crept into my dreams last night. For a while, way back when, I did some wedding photography. Most was done for people in my family, but there were a few people I photographed their weddings who I didn't know well at all. Last night I was AT a wedding that I had photographed and I actually had the photos from that wedding with me. In other words, I had taken the pictures, the couple had gotten married already, but for some strange reason, it was all happening again. I had to keep the pictures in my hands hidden so that no one would see that I already had all the photos. Strange, I know. I had originally attended this wedding with my other grandmother (in the dream), but this time was with my bestest friend, Lisa. As we were leaving the wedding, I was gathering up boxes and boxes of photos, all photos of weddings of family members and friends. Again, it was a constant struggle to keep all my boxes together and get them all in my car. This dream continued on and on, and all of it seemed to be a repeat of a dream I'd had before. So strange.

Now, I guess you would like to know where the trailing roses comes into play? The grandmother I spoke of whose personal things I was trying to collect in the first dream? In real life, she had these gorgeous pink and white roses in her yard. They were small, cabbage-type roses. When I first started my photography classes, I would come home on weekends and click away at the roses and the barn, the tractor and the chicken coop. Somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, the image came to my mind of her with the roses. She didn't "prune" them, but when the trailing branches become so long, she would simply take a large rock, pull the branch to the ground and place the rock on top. She told me the rose branch would create a new rooting system and simply start new growth. Her rose bush was huge and full of roses, so I guess she knew what she was talking about. This makes me I hold on to the original rose bush or do I create a branch of my own? Do I grow off in another direction and let the past go? Or do I need to take a step back into my past to find what I'm looking for?


Leah Crowe said...

While reading this it feels like you are fighting to hold on to something, or struggling to keep what is yours. I feel this way when I go to my mom's house now. She was 2/3 of the way of kicking her husband out, and in he waltzes the morning she passed away and moves back into her house. Feel like I'm fighting to get anything of hers, because none of it meant anything to him. Eeeks. sorry for venting here... I loved hearing about your dreams, and your grandmother roses.

January 17, 2011 5:10 PM