It’s quiet now. Everything that has defined this day with its bumping and laughing and chattering and squeaking seems to have settled for the night. This is the time – just before sleep takes over – when I think about the day and how I’m either disappointed with its outcome or satisfied all the way into my bones, depending on how well things in general turned out for me. I’m very myopic that way.
It’s the moment when thoughts quiet to nothing and all I’m aware of is my own breath sliding in and out of my ears. Sometimes I notice the sigh of a dog or a car rolling by outside. There’s not much that happens right then except for the breathing and sighing and rolling that carries me into sleep. I enjoy that moment very much.
Because, recently, the rest of the night hasn’t been so great and that’s the truth of it.
Lately, I’ve been jolted awake in the middle of the night by dreams. Vivid, Technicolor, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Dreams. I don’t normally recall my nighttime dream-thoughts. Usually, I wake in the morning only vaguely aware that some kind of REMish activity may have occurred, but now …
Boy Howdy have I been dreaming!
Furthermore, my dreams have been thematic, each whirling and twirling around a single topic – Home. My home, to be precise. Every night, I seem to have at least one dream about my home and its integrity, or lack thereof. One night it was one of those lost-in-my-own-house dreams where I wandered down long hallways (make that, looonnng echoy hallways) searching for a way out. Another night, some interloper had interloped, stolen all my furniture and belongings, gouged great holes in the walls and beat up my poor doggies in the process. I won’t bore you with more, but just know that the dreams go on in that vein. Every night.
If I were a psychologist (I’m not) I’d certainly have a logical explanation for all this nighttime weirdness (I don’t). The closest I can come to understanding these home-related dreams is that the lovely woman who is renting our little house is in crisis and, beyond crafting a killer resume and offering job-hunting tips, I don’t know how to help her.
Help her? Of course. Even though I have no familial obligation, because I can see she is working like crazy to get a job in this horrid jobless economy, I reserve my right to treat her in the same way I would hope someone would treat me were the circumstances reversed.
I’m reminded by helpful people that this is business and our little Bloggybirdery doesn’t have the chicken scratch to dole out kindness forever. Of course these good folks are right. But how will my nighttime dreams improve if I evict a family to wherever families go when they’ve lost their source of income and are sent to scatter like little birds in a storm? How does it help if I’m the one responsible for their cold and dreamless nights in a car or a shelter … or the streets? How will that help my dreams to once again turn sweet and filled with singing bluebirds and rainbows and kitties?
One thing I know from my years volunteering and working with homeless individuals, is that once one has fallen into the dark hole of homelessness, it’s more-than difficult to climb out. There are few helpful ladders for the homeless. There is only one very huge and dark place from which it’s nearly impossible to escape.
Imagine trying to look for a job when everything you own is either in storage or left behind and gone – your good clothes, those nice shoes suitable for interviewing, your hair dryer and shaving things, your makeup. Your comb. A fresh stack of resumes. How do you focus when you know your children are in the thick of strangers and you don’t know where you’ll sleep that night? Or your blood sugar is wacko because you’re lucky to get one meal a day?
Homelessness is a place where everything you do and everywhere you go is on display. Showers are communal. Meals are whatever … or nonexistent. There is no place to go where you can be restored or refreshed. Or private. Your new colleagues are suspect at best and criminal at worst. Your small belongings are often stolen … or confiscated.
And don’t think that you’d never climb into a dumpster to search for survival.
So, of course I’ll help my renter. I learned early on from Romper Room’s Miss Molly that this is what a day is for – to always be a good Do-Bee. My dreams won’t improve if I’m a direct contributor to more harm coming to this little family. If we discover that she must find less expensive housing, I’ll do what I can to see that she is safely moved to a new home – a place where she can begin laying out her good dreams once again.
For if we’re talking about dreams, helping someone else realize her dreams will most likely restore me to my own happy bunny place, rainbow, puppy, kitty dreams. I’m just selfish that way!