Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Strange dream

I am an insomniac, but when I do sleep, I have strange dreams. Last night's dream was among the most strange I've had recently.

I dreamed that I was a ghost, and that only two men could hear me. They could not see me. I didn't realize that I was dead for quite some time in my dream. I kept going through odd experiences that would lead to my death, including my worst nightmares: being in an enclosed space with crocodiles, for example. Or in a fiery car crash. At one point, I was wearing a red jacket that I haven't had in my possession for more than 20 years. I wondered how I came to be wearing it; nothing made sense. I had been at a party, then ended up in a room with glass windows all around, and a barricade at the door. I had no key. It turned out that the barricade was to keep me (a ghost/monster) at bay. At one point, I did have a "magic" object (strangely, a coffee cup) that was to help me allay my fear. I put it on the ground and said, "Show me what I am to be afraid of," and it came right back to me. At that point, I realized that I was a ghost.

I saw two men then, outside the window, and a small, very slender blond woman on a couch. It turned out that she was a ghost, too. We bonded over not being able to be seen by anyone. She asked if I could see her, and I described her, exactly. We then knew we inhabiting the same space, whatever that meant.

I saw a plane crash then, into a building, and all the phrases and discussion in the dream then made "sense" as part of people's lives flashing before them, rather like the film Jacob's Ladder, which I haven't seen in many years.

 All of a sudden, I saw a light and heard my father's voice (I have heard it before on a video) tell me, "Your name is Hannah. I would have named you Hannah." After that, I woke up.

It was very disconcerting.

I tried in the aftermath of my dream to find meaning in family, and spent my morning going through my father's great-grandfather's side: Ashkenazi immigrants from Russia and England, as opposed to the proper German Baroness in her castle. No wonder they fled Hitler's Germany.

I feel strange claiming the Ashkenazi past. It's strange enough being adopted, but being Jew-ish but not really Jewish? I found that my great-great-grandparents are buried in the Waldheim Cemetery in Chicago, and which synagogue they attended. Those invitations to Hillel make sense and don't make sense. How could my classmates know? How could my friend Rachel's Israeli father know? What did they see in me?

I love that my great-great-grandmother Julia was born in England (at least she told the census-taker) in 1863, during the reign of Queen Victoria. But she was an immigrant herself, an outsider. Does that make us alike? What would she have made of me?

Why did I feel that pull to learn Russian?

Why did my mind fix on "Hannah"? Have I been watching too many episodes of Girls?

More threads, more loose ends, more not knowing who/what I am.

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