I woke up to the sound of activity in the hallway and reached for the journal on the nightstand to write down this dream before it evaded me.
Annette had on a pair of glittery shoes, and she tapped the heels together like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz movie, saying “There’s no place like home.” Jessica stood nearby eyeing the shoes and reached down to touch them. They burst into flame, Jessica screamed, and Annette said, “Are you sure you want to go home?”
It didn’t surprise me that Annette would show up in a dream all about shoes. The part about Jess seemed a bit unsettling, though. I shook it off and quickly pulled on leggings and a t-shirt.
From the cabin, I boarded the elevator to take part in the yoga session held on the Lido Deck. When I got there, Veronica had already staked out a space. I grabbed a mat and laid it down next to hers. “Mornin,' sunshine,” she quipped.
“Morning, Veronica. Or are you going by VeeBee now?” I teased. She chuckled.
We followed the instructor’s moves in silence. While resting in the savasana pose, my mind turned to Jessica. I couldn’t quite figure her out. She boasted a long list of culinary accomplishments and had worked in the most prestigious places in the world. But there was an air about her that held a bit of a mystery. I felt like she might be hiding something.
I wouldn’t describe her as a loner because she has an extensive network of friends and clients. Strange, though, how she would disappear without any explanation. In Athens she arrived late for dinner and offered no explanation. Then, in Mykonos, she nearly missed the boat and ran in late as we dined with the captain. Again, she offered no reason or excuse. Did she have anything to do with the burglary in Mykonos? Had she been detained by authorities?
I was cleaning and picking up the last few belongings I left in a house I had lived in. Picking up rugs and vacuuming the crud underneath. I bent down and saw a creepy creature about a foot tall that looked like a festering boil — pulsing pink and purple ooze. Two beady eyes and a couple knobs on top of his head. Daddy-long-legs type legs. I grabbed my phone to take a picture of it and show my friend, Candy. When I showed her the pictures, the creature had disappeared. Everything else surrounding it appeared in the photo, but not the boil. I showed people in a restaurant the picture of the creature. A waitress came up to me and said somebody didn’t pay for the last two beers - I owed for a couple La Penas.
Not unusually, my dreams could ramble from one scene to another, not making a lot of sense at the outset. Occasionally dreams appear that are so creepy I ruminate on them for days. I could tell this would be one. In the haze of waking up I had drawn a picture of this festering boil. He looked like a sinister Humpty Dumpty.
I analyzed the rest of the images. Confidently, I noted the image of the rugs and vacuum. It could symbolize something being swept under the carpet.
Whenever I dream names of people, places, or things, it pays to search them on the Internet to see if there’s any connection, even remote, to what’s going on in my life at the time. I don’t speak Spanish, so I grabbed my smart phone and searched La Pena. I read the definitions—problems, troubles, sad, shame— and found the meaning to fit within the framework of recent events.
We picked up Bonnie, ready and eager for the trip to the security office. Arriving a few minutes early, we chatted in the lobby.
“Are you prepared to see something you might not like?” I asked gently.
Bonnie took in a breath and let it out slowly. “I really need to know, for peace of mind, if Miriam is a true friend. I’m ready to find out.”
A casually dressed employee emerged from the offices to greet us. Extending his hand, he introduced herself. “Good afternoon. I’m Roger Quest. Pardon my attire, after all, it’s a holiday week for most, but since we’re close to the two-week archive limit, it’s best we view it today. Let’s go to the screening room.” We followed him to a small room equipped with a large screen, a conference table and chairs. We chose our spots, leaving the chair front and center for Bonnie.
“We’ve pulled the tapes for seventy-two hours surrounding the time you believe your items went missing. There are two people, besides you, Mrs. Wilson, visible in the shots, so please look carefully so you can identify them.”
Two people? Robb shot Bonnie a glance, she looked at me, and my eyes ping-ponged between the two of them.
The video started with Bonnie answering the door to let Miriam in. They visited for a while, eventually moving toward the dining room table, picking up the onyx box and turning it over to examine it. Bonnie leaves the picture for a few moments. Miriam continues to admire the box, looking at its inlaid design. She puts it down when Bonnie reappears with the porcelain house.
With no audio provided, I tried to read their lips as they conducted the same scrutiny on the porcelain house. Looking specifically for any body language that showed ill intentions on Miriam’s part, I saw none. She and Bonnie disappeared into the kitchen, away from the front foyer. Moments later Miriam appeared and walked out the front door. Both collectibles remained on the table.
“I guess that eliminates our suspect,” Robb concluded.
“Remember, though, that I mentioned a second person,” Roger reminded us. “I’ll fast forward a few hours to show you what we found.” Robb, Bonnie, and I held our collective breath. Roger jumped ahead on the tape.
“The next time slot I’m going to show you starts at 8:13 pm. You’re going to see the outside camera first.” Roger clicked, and the video rolled. A car pulled up, initially pulled into the driveway,
then backed up and turned in the other direction, apparently parking somewhere down the street, out of camera range. Within a few minutes, a figure wearing a baseball cap, sweatpants and a t- shirt appeared and walked right up to the security gate, inserted a key and went in. You could hear Rex start to bark, but he went silent within seconds.
You could hear a pin drop in the interview room. “What kind of car is that?”
Robb, the car aficionado responded, “That’s a Lexus, either an NX or RX. It backed out too quickly for me to be sure. Can you back that up?” Roger reversed the tape and paused it as the car appeared. “RX,” Robb decided, “but I can’t make out the plate number. The camera angle is off.”
“So what happened inside?” Bonnie’s face looked ashen.
Roger clicked a few times and brought up another clip. “Here’s what we see from the camera inside, pointed to the front foyer.” The group watched, horrified, as the person entered the house, grabbed the barking dog and muffled him with a rag. Rex immediately fell silent and dropped to his side, out cold.
RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE
Ron Moore is a firm believer that God puts you on His chosen path, and should you think about veering from it, He intercedes. Ron provides evidence of this by sharing his story of how he got to where he is today.
“I’m an electrician. I worked at a printing company, Webcraft, in Pennsylvania. One winter morning I was on my way to pick up a friend to ride to work together. It was snowing and ice covered the roads. I took the back roads, and there were ravines all around. All of a sudden I hit sheer ice and totally lost control.” For anyone who has lived in a wintery climate, you can feel the terror as Ron paints the picture of his car shimmying down the road. There’s no more helpless feeling than sitting in a three-thousand-pound toboggan with not so much as a rope to steer.
He goes on with the rest of the story. “I see these trees ahead of me, two of them straight up, like field goalposts, and I can’t even hold the wheel,” he continued. “But guess what. My car slides right between them and wedges itself in. Right over my hood was the ravine.”
With unbelievable precision, the trees held him in. A perfect field goal. Ron said, “I definitely wasn’t driving that day. I had to roll down the windows so I could crawl out. The doors wouldn’t open because I was squeezed in there. A farmer with a tractor pulled me out.”
It’s clear Ron’s path had been set for him, and a dive into a ravine was not part of God’s plan.
The next morning, as Ben ate his breakfast, his mom came into the kitchen carrying the plastic food container.
"Why was this empty box sitting on the bookshelf?" she asked.
"Did you say 'empty'?" asked Ben's dad. His wife nodded.
"Oh, no," cried Ben. "Frosty ran away!"
The inability to cope with change will provide subject matter for writers, business leaders, psychologists, intuitive counselors, and life coaches for decades to come. Some people pretend to like change and then fight it every step of the way. Politicians promote their promises of change in every election. Yet many people just do not deal well with it emotionally.
My dreams are full of imagery depicting significant changes in my life, and I put them to good use in managing transition. Dreams alert me to emotional blockades I inadvertently create in resistance to change, and they prepare me when transition is inevitable.
A scene comes into my dreams repeatedly in which I am packing, unpacking, and moving offices. My real life world provided enough action to create a metaphor warehouse. Four company mergers in a five- year period, personnel rotations within my work group, and my own job changes and promotions created rich material to keep me dreaming indefinitely. In fact, I could have added Office Relocation to Chapter 6, Dream Themes. It happened so often, the pages in one of my favorite books, Who Moved My Cheese?, are dog-eared.
My wish for you is to utilize the examples from my dream journals to devise a method of your own to manage life's transitions. Here's a classic example of mine:
I went into my office and found a guy sitting there with his stuff out on the desk. There was also a large file cabinet, so it was very crowded. As we talked, it became apparent that he was the new director who was just hired. And he had taken over the place. I kind of let him do it, and I moved to a different cube and started opening drawers to move in. It was filthy! Old glasses in the drawers and many of the drawers did not work. I started cleaning it when I said to myself how unfair this was. He had even taken down the pictures on my walls. I went to find the woman in charge and told her what happened. She said he was supposed to have an office already set aside, that he did not need mine. I also told her it was unfair that they had given me a cube rather than an office, and it was in the middle of a department I did not know. She went to find out what was happening. I was anxious and couldn't wait so I followed her there. She was in his office and they had 19 people squeezed in like they were having a party. I stood outside and counted them, hoping she was going to come out and tell me to move back into my office.
The same night I continued dreaming—a double header with a similar transition theme.
I went from the office to an airport where we were having a meeting. The rooms were large dorm-like rooms. Some had several beds in them and others just had one. I found the first one and grabbed a double bed. Many others were twins. I put my stuff in the drawers of the dresser. I must have gone off to something else, and when I came back somebody else had moved in. I was trying to find the original room I was in, and somebody was in each room where I looked. In one room there were two twin beds. There was a guy unpacking, so I knew that wasn't mine. Several times I looked into a dresser drawer to see if it was my stuff; the drawer was full of jewelry and personal items. Finally I went back to what I thought was the first room. I walked past an area where everybody was eating. It was a country-western barbecue and they were frying up huge steaks. I saw a lot of people from work, and so I kept walking. I never did find the right room.
If this were one of my first attempts at interpreting a dream, I would say the story is obvious. Intimidation from a new person coming aboard may create fear of him replacing me. The second dream might have been a metaphor for trying to find where I belonged. The barbecue image depicted everyone having fun, oblivious to the transition looming before me.