Ted’s essays

fixing bad dreams

river island bridgeI understand the dream state of sleep, also known as REM or rapid-eye-movement sleep, to come when we have had enough deep sleep. It is no less important, but we can get by without it if necessary.

I have outgrown giving great meaning to my dreams… it’s just your mind doing random exercises like running down trails in the woods.

This one occasionally shows up where I have to drive an incredibly steep bridge that gets steeper as I go up until it is almost impossibly straight up. I was quite surprised recently to find that something like it actually exists: the River Island Bridge in Japan.

I think I won’t go there. I mean, it would be tempting fate to challenge your bad dreams, wouldn’t it? While I don’t always attribute great, deep or even shallow meanings to my dreams, the little voices in my head do sometimes come up with good ideas.

I suspect most of us have dreams where bad guys are attacking us. Sometimes we win, but far too often wake up in a state of agitation having no other way out in the dream’s looming disaster. Many years ago those began taking the form where I had the wrong gun, the wrong ammo, couldn’t find my gun and various forms of being unable to shoot when shooting was quite obviously necessary.

These bad dreams would begin waking me up almost regularly in a streak of similar situations. I discovered that going shooting made this theme disappear. It didn’t matter what kind of shooting I did, just handling rifle, shotgun or handgun, mating ammo to gun then addressing various targets vaporized that particular dream theme for a long time.
shoot like a girl 2
Yesterday morning’s REM wakeup had my life in unquestionable danger, I had the right magazines, loaded up with the right ammo, but did not have the gun. Uh-oh. Time to go shooting.

And it was indeed.

We had a nice afternoon shooting silhouettes from 40-70 feet away. Dirtied up 5 guns between the three of us. It was good, clean fun. We were definitely competent and adequate. I am confident I eliminated the failure-to-fire dreams from my near future.

However, Missy and I hadn’t practiced with our handguns in well over two years as far as we can recall. We definitely needed to refresh our skills. R-U-S-T–Y.

It was a stark reminder that these capabilities do not stay with us effortlessly. We were better at prior times in our lives. I want to get some of that level of competence back, and fully intend to do exactly that.

I did not shoot this target,
but I sure ought to be able to.