Dreams - part 1

Dreams. The dreams you have at night, and the dreams you have about your future. "I wouldn't dream of..." and "as if in a dream...". Nightmares, recurrent dreams, vivid dreams. The topic did happen to be the latest lesson available on BBC English. But, I didn't tell my class why I really chose that topic.

It was because I had a vivid dream which was lingering as I thought about what to teach that week. A vivid, also recurring, and not nightmarish, but certainly disturbing, dream. That's okay. They have reduced significantly both in intensity and frequency. Medical descriptions are pretty handy, for all sorts of things.

When I wake up, I always wonder what to "do" with the dream. Does it mean something, is it trying to tell me something, is it reflecting my inner psyche? Do I try to not think about it so that it will fade into oblivion? Take it as a prompt and act on it? I do a bit of both. Dreams are just dreams. But, they can and do have tangible effects, depending on what you do with them.

In this case, my dream and our brief exchange of words that followed, has led me to be disappointed, and colder.

Out of my collection of whacko friendships, or non friendships, you are the one who I never got angry at. I never portrayed you unfairly, or even written negatively about you at all, really. I never failed to correct nasty or uncalled for snide remarks against you. I never echoed your coldness, cynicism or sarcasm. To you, I've only communicated genuine, warm, offers of friendship, in various ways, over years and years and years. I didn't give up on you because long ago, we expressed a common sentiment that it's sad if we can't even be friends.

You've always been surprising. Surprising in how long you can stubbornly clutch onto a cup of poison. Surprising in your maturity and generosity at the least expected times. I had always hoped that time would heal sufficiently, to allow us to start over anew as friends. "Maybe we're a bit better now," you remarked not too long ago. Then you seem to change your mind depending on the season.

Thinking back, we can sum up our interactions by the same questions we've been asking  each other all these years. Why. Why shouldn't I hate you, ignore you. Why do I need to let go of anything, why shouldn't things remain the way it has been, why should I have anything to do with you. And my answer all along has been, because. You don't have to, but you could, and why not? You could never give an answer to that either.

Sometimes I think you're ungrateful. I come across your photos, and see that you're happy to be normal and happy with our mutual friends. Why should I be any different. When I see your confident smile I want to ask you, do you remember how you used to be awkwardly hiding your face or giving a blank look in photos, until I sweetly suggested to you to just smile? Look at your earlier photos if you don't believe me. I think about you graduating and wonder if you remember how I helped you with that year, how I encouraged and believed in you when you said you felt like a failure. Or how I cooked and washed up so that you could study. And did you forget how many assignments and essays I patiently edited for you? It's no wonder that I know the course material so well, though I've never done it myself. Of course it's your own work and achievement in the end, that you scored well and entered into a course which you've always wanted to do.

In the time that followed, what more could I have done to demonstrate my constant friendship, or how else could I have done better in giving you the space you required? Yes there are other areas in which I could have done much much better. And although I can't change what's passed and am unwilling to change where I am now, I don't see how I could apologise more sincerely, and try to understand your point of view any more than I have been trying to do for the past years. I tried to keep out of your way when I knew it would be unsettling for you to see me wandering down your corridor. When you don't appreciate my light hearted comments, I give you a serious answer. When you wish to speak in cryptic codes, I play along with you. When you are drawn back into reflecting, thinking, I haven't ignored you. Hey, why should you pick out the worst aspect of me, and remember me based on that particular season, never looking back, never looking ahead? Unfair, I say. I have always remembered the good in you. Although I am still learning to deal with the consequences of the scars you have left in my life, I have never held it against you, or hated you for what you did. You probably don't have enough insight to realise what they are, or what their effects are.

Which is to be expected. You were always selfish. This time you respond like this, because it is an inconvenient, busy time for you. To even give a civil answer. I hate to compare but am almost certain that I have better reason to be too busy to be friendly to you. Back then, every time exams came around, it was inconvenient for you to discuss or face anything. Often, you were so engrossed in your constant physical and emotional ailments, that you could not bring yourself to recognise, much less help me deal with mine. Always saying that your love was one sided, I think the truth is that you're too self pitying and ungrateful to even recognise love when it was in front of you.

Look, it doesn't what you were like before and hopefully you've matured since then. After all, I was taken aback when I calculated your age this year, ha. This dream, your response, my reflections, might just be what I need to wholeheartedly acknowledge God's wisdom, thank him for his grace in a time where I ignored him, thank him for where I am today, and move onto a new stage in this healing process.



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