“I am not really here. I am an apparition, the ghostly remains of the man who died on Independence Day.”
–Something I said to someone I know.
I dreamed a little dream of me.
I dreamed I died on Independence Day, July 4th, 2022, the day the heart surgeon found my Lower Anterior Descending artery, the Widow-Maker, 99.5% clogged with the gunky buildup of a sixty-year down-home Texas diet and bad genes.
Actually, I did not dream of the actual death. I am not sure you can do that and wake up the next morning. I dreamed that I was surreal; that I was an observer of all that I did and what was done around me, an eavesdropper on the conversations, and that I felt the emotions of it all, the same way one does when watching a movie or reading a book.
In my dream, I was free to analyze and respond to the deeds and the words without really owning them. I was an ethereal judge, rating myself and those with whom I engaged. I could even drop in on the conversations about me that took place “behind my back.” I could read the texts people fired off about something I said or did. I knew if they were telling the truth and representing my actions, words, and intentions accurately, and I knew when they either misinterpreted them or colored them to secure a desired reaction from the other party.
I was drunk with the superpower this supernatural state gave me – the power to know for certain the things I only suspected or believed before. I was also frustrated because I could not really take advantage of this power. I could try but I was not there. I was not myself. I was already dead, and this was happening among the living.
They thought I was still one of them, still running my prescribed path on the earthbound treadmill. They thought I was “alive,” just like them.
I knew better.
I woke to see what I would see.
I woke from my dream. At least, I think I did. I don’t think this is part of the dream, and I don’t think my dream is just part of a dream some other being too great for me to know is dreaming. I think I am really still here. I think you are, too, if you are reading this. I am awake now, as far as I know.
I did learn something from my dream; namely this, we don’t know everything we think we do about anything. There is so much about everything that we just don’t know. Whether you are highly or poorly educated, Christian, atheist, agnostic, or some other religious persuasion, there is someplace in almost every situation where you become a believer. You believe you are right. You think you know. Deep down, you know you don’t really know.
Objectivity is elusive and sometimes I wonder if it exists at all. We put every piece of information we receive and everything we experience through our unique, personalized filter. That filter is comprised of our nature and the way we were nurtured, our beliefs, our prejudices, our hopes, and, maybe most of all, our fears.
The best thing we can do is take what we do know, learn as much about what we don’t know as possible, and make an informed decision. Find a place to make a stand and make it. Be malleable but deep-rooted, practice humility, stay alert, learn what we can, and apply what we know.
I woke from my dream not wondering what people think of me but if they think of me at all. Mostly, we humans think about ourselves, and when we do think of others, it is in relation to how or what we think about ourselves.
I dreamed I died. I pray I live….for something real, something good, something lasting, something bigger than me, better than me.
And on that note, I will be quiet…and listen.
My name is Gene Strother, or L.A. Holly, or whatever you wish to call me come dinner time…and this is Wednesday, Noon.
Top ‘o’ Hump Day to you!