Friday, July 25, 2014

Fantastical Dreams

For the second might in a row my dreams were so good, I decided to stay in bed longer because I wanted to know what happened next, I wanted more, and I actually got back into the same dreamscape!  That alone is a rare thing for me!

Today my dreams were a mish-mash of sci-fi and Dr Who fan-fic. Though, it was fan-fic with a twist, cause I was NOT happy when I found out the tall lanky blonde was The Doctor! But who wants to fall in love with The Doctor?!  You don't get to keep him!! You don't get a lifetime with him. No, you have to share him, and if you're lucky you'll get a year or two. Not all of us are as lucky as Rose, to get our very own human copy, made when he still loved us and would grow a set and admit it.

So yeah. But oh my it was crazy fun!

It all started with me being trapped inside the body of a 14 year old girl. I say trapped because I me, or at least an unattached 30-ish yr old version of me, like me just before I met Chris really. Somehow, and the somehow was foggy even for me, I'd gotten myself into some kind of trouble and I'd woken up as the 14 yr old daughter of a 40-ish yr old couple. The mom worked full-time out of the home, but Dad worked from home. He had a hobby ski shack store taking up a room of our house, it might have been an addition because it wasn't actually heated... It was cold in there, but it wasn't the season for skiing. So late spring early summer maybe? Cause it wasn't warm, though I don't know if it ever got warm on that planet.  Dad was a geek though. I think he had a lab at the back of the house, or maybe downstairs, or he worked at a computer.... But I think it involved a lab. He'd get lost in his work. I was alone all day as a result really. I must have been home-schooled cause school was not involved.... Or the two of them were too self-obsorbed to realize I should be schooled.  I got the feeling I was sort of... Magic-ed into their lives. That maybe I hadn't so much stolen some poor 14 yr old girl's body but one was sort of... created for me to hide in. Cause I sure felt like I was hiding in this big house in the middle of no where.

The only other person I ever saw was my Dad's friend. I called him Uncle... something. I can't think of it now. Steve? He so wasn't a Steve. Stev maybe though. He was a tall, lanky blonde man. He had this patch of puffy, half-curly blonde hair in front that made it impossible for me to ever take him totally seriously. He came around a lot. He was around so much I almost wonder if he lived with us, but I think not, there was still some distance... I wasn't that comfortable with him.... But I was crushing. I mean, he was attractive, he had the best smile - mischievous, sexy as hell, but so damn honest. Not that he was honest! I was quite sure he often wasn't honest at all, but when he smiled, he meant it. When he looked at me, I got the distinct impression he saw me, not the awkward 14 yr old body I was borrowing, but me - the fat 30yr old woman who was making the best of an odd situation. Perhaps that's part of why he found me so intriguing, I wasn't freaking out, I was just going with the flow and trying to live this new life as best as I knew how.

So that's all explanation. I was in the foyer/great room talking with Dad - I wanted to know where the hell my cat was. I hadn't seen her in days now and I was getting really worried. I wanted to know if he'd seen her, if he might have let her out and forgot about her, or if she was snugged in some other part of the house. He couldn't even remember the cat! He didn't think we had a cat. Damn forgetful professor type.

That's when Uncle Stev came in holding my poor kitty in his big hands. She was mewing softly and had blood on her face.  She was all wet. I think she'd been out in a snowbank.... Stev wasn't wearing a coat though.... He set her down on the floor and I fell to my knees beside her, not knowing where to touch her, stumbling over my words, asking what'd happened. He said, very serious that he thought she'd been hit by a car. I told Stev to get a towel to wrap her in, she must have been so cold. I stood and glared at my Dad. I told him we were taking her to the vets. Now. He has the nerve to say she's still breathing, and he's sure she'll be fine on her own. If she isn't fine in a few hours then we can go. He needs to get back to his lab. I wanted to stomp my foot, but I wasn't the teen I looked like. I schooled my face to look as stern as I could and said slowly, "No. We are going to the vets NOW." And stared him down. He blinked and nodded. He turned on his heel and ran off down the hall, coming back moments later with a bundle of clothes for me, saying I needed to change and so did he.

I don't know why my Dad was dressing me. It's a dream! But I did realise then that I was wearing pj pants and a t-shirt. lol.  I took the clothes and went off into an alcove to change. Again, I don't know why I didn't go to my room. To be honest, in my dream at that moment I didn't have a clue where my room was -- sometimes when I dream I don't... have enough info to be truly assimilated in the story. But this also worked for the plot - I wasn't far from my kitty but I was just out of sight of Uncle Stev. Or I would have been if he hadn't followed me. So he caught me, literally, with my pants down. I was pulling the new jeans up, and having a time of it cause they were tight. My brain was firing off cause I was too fat for my pants and how did I even explain that to my Dad, and how did I do it without Unlce Stev hearing, and now here he is, his eyes on fire, with that grin of his, sitting on the bench watching me pull my skin-tight jeans up. My face was lobster red.

Uncle Stev said as he'd rounded the corner "I can't wait till you grow up", with laughter in his voice. But as soon as he'd seen me, the light in his eyes had turned to a smoldering fire. But I got the impression he was seeing what I saw, not what was really there. Cause I saw my old body, my grown-up body tugging on the jeans, with my boobs jiggling. This new body didn't have those yet, not like my old body did anyway. I don't have big boobs, but he 14 yr old was... just starting, ya know?  Anyway! 

He threw me off, I asked why--why couldn't he wait till I was grown up. He said, the way I handled my Dad.... But then he changed the subject. I think there was teasing about the tight jeans. The way he looked at me.... So much fire in his eyes. I finally got the pants on and sat down beside him. He turned to me then, his eyes aglow again, and asked if I was going to take my shirt off now, as he looked to the new t-shirt. If I coulda gotten redder, then I did. I was going to just turn and take it off, cause I'm not a child... But that was too much, even for me. So I put the new shirt on over top and took the old one off underneath. He remarked he'd seen his kid sister do it that way too, but he didn't come off creepy. I'm not sure how he managed that, but he did!  And it didn't sting, being compared to a kid. Not when he still looked at me like that. I stood in front of where he was still sitting, all male smugness. I told him he was a bad, evil man, and he needed to stop looking at me like that. He asked why, so softly. I replied, because he made me want to do things I shouldn't do. Then I stopped thinking and acted. I took his face in my small hands and kissed him for all I was worth. He opened for me, and I leaned in, plastering my body to his warmth, his big hands on my back puling me in. It was a hot rush, and I never wanted it to end.

That's when I heard my Dad yelling at us. Boy was he pissed at the pair of us.  I'm not sure who he was yelling at more, me or Stev. I don't know what happened next.. I have a vague memory of his big hand wrapped around mine and running, but I think this might have been when I woke up.

When I next dropped into my dream Stev and I, with  a group of friends were off to visit some ancient temples on a distant planet. He'd been dreaming/planning/researching the place forever and we'd finally got everything set up and were going with like four others. Of course I have terrible luck and I got injured at the beginning of our journey. I have no idea how. I had the vague impression that someone had actually been chasing us/out to get us, and I'd gotten hurt as a result. The first time I woke up I think I was in a hospital. Or I thought I was, but maybe I was just in our ship's medical area. The next like three times I woke up I was on a stretcher, bundled in blankets, with tubes coming in and out, and wrapped in bubble wrap!!  No really, my outer layer was big blue bubble wrap. It's a dream.  And every time I woke up, we'd be outside on some mountain top, or some lush green hill, and they'd tell me how much closer we'd gotten, or where we were. I remember saying they were making good time. And then I'd black out again.... Hell, maybe Stev was fast-forwarding my body, cause I was a grown-up by the time we got to our destination.  So either I got a new body, or the one I had aged. But I remember being really annoyed that I'd missed everything stuck in the bubble wrap and wrestled my way out, whether I was ready or not. 

The world we went to was so colourful. The grass wasn't green, it was pink and blue and purple in spots. We'd come to their religious mecca. All their religions had temples there. Huge and so very distinctive. Stev wanted to buy an obelisk I think. Stev was rich I'd found out. Silly rich. So he meant it. A full on Obelisk in honor of whatever was his choice, that's how they worked, if you donated enough, and he fully intended to so he could get one to whatever it was he wanted... He wouldn't tell me.... It was a surprise. But he was like a kid in a candy store, so excited for all the history, and I wasn't going to be trapped, I wanted to share it with him. So he headed off to this gothic looking temple talking of obelisks, and one of our travel mate's said they didn't really sell them, I said hush, don't spoil his fun. I think I must have followed him cause I knew just what happend next, saw it, when our friends didn't.

He went into the temple and picked up a staff, I think I got in as he picked it up. But oh, such bad timing. One of the nuns had just awoken from her like 100 yr slumber and she sees him in this temple of all places with THAT staff and she thinks he's the second coming of some evil god. The shriek she let out was painful!  When Stev tried to go to her to see what was wrong, she started shaking, screamed again, turned, ran, and kept screaming. She  must have followed me into the building, but she didn't see me, just Stev.... And she ran all the way to her monastery screaming of their evil god the whole way. The entire religious sector was up in arms, and coming for us. They weren't interested in talking either, they had pitchforks....well weapons of some kind and they wanted us dead.

Again, I found myself with Stev's big hand wrapped around mine and we were running for our lives. I guess I should have seen it coming. I mean, who else does so much running?!?  But I mean... I just... He was Stev!

I think the dream might have broke here too. And the running ended with us being in this large odd room full of..... ghosts... Not exactly. It looked almost like a lecture hall or a gathering, with tables that sat two facing the narrow end of the room. At every table was... dead decaying.... creatures. None of them looked human. And they weren't fully dead either. They all talked. They could move their heads, but non of them could get up it seemed.  The room was white - white tables, chairs, walls, ceiling, even the dead things were wearing white. It was creepy as fuck, let me tell you.  And I don't know how we got there. One minute we were running on the planet with all the temples the next we were in this room far far away. And the dead things, they called Stev The Doctor.  They said The Doctor is back! He's finally come to face us! I dropped his hand and looked at him like he'd betrayed me.  Though, he had! damnit.

I was heart-broken. I'd fallen in love with him. I don't know if I'd known it until then.  But learning who he was, made me realize the depth of what I'd just lost. I don't know why I didn't doubt it. I guess my brain suddenly saw all the pieces I wanted to ignore. And I lamented that I wanted a lifetime to love him in and now I'd never get that. I'd never get to keep him. I'd never get to love him.He looked sad when I said that. He must have seen my heartbreak. He started babbling about how Id be safe there. That he had to go, but he'd be back. When he could, he'd come back. I knew what that meant. I knew who, what the doctor was. It meant I was on my own, that I'd never see him again, and I told him so. I told him not to lie to me anymore. That I deserved the truth damnit. That he should have never led me to believe I could love him, that he would be mine. I asked him if he even loved me. He said "Of course, yes" before he fadded out and was gone. The evil creatures in the room tired to tell me he didn't say yes, that he was trying to say something else. They tired to get into my head, literally, some of them were telepathic. It was really scary. I ran to the back of the room. There were no doors, no way out. I tried to be brave, told them to shut it, to leave me alone, when one of them got up and started coming for me. And I screamed. I called for The Doctor. I'm no Riversong. I had no clue how to get him to come to me. As I ran from the half-dead thing he appeared beside me, only, he wasn't MY Doctor anymore. My Doctor... Because Stev was never real. This man was tall too, older, greying curly hair, and I knew he was The Doctor, the way we that love him can just tell. Cause damnit he was still in there. And he took my hand, apologized for keeping me waiting, and said he was getting me out of there. I could only wonder at how much life he'd lived in the last five minutes of my life. It made my heart ache, but there wasn't time for that.

Then we were on a space station. One that he had helped get built, and that my brother, my brother?? Now ran. Yes my brother. The couple Id left, that 14 yr old girl I'd been, they'd had a son, and he ran this place. So he was family, as much as anyone else in this time and place could be. I think he was trying to help me feel less alone. Of course nothing ever goes smoothly around The Doctor. he was giving me a tour, I walked away from him to ask one of the non-human staff, see if anything he said was true, but he agreed. The Doctor just smiled at me. I think he liked that I wanted to talk to the natives.... 

I saw someone outside an airlock, then suddenly there was an explosion, and people were being thrown out into space. He said it wasn't safe here for me, and he'd get me home. He didn't give me a choice. He stuffed me in a pod and had the station send me back to earth while he went down to the planet below. Dreams. I got to see him land. Hell, I was there, I touched the snow encasing the soldiers in their auto-suits. A whole civilization who seemed to have forgotten how to use their bodies! They sat in their suits all night, all day, until they were needed then flew in straight perfect lines, not moving a muscle, high in the clouds, letting it all form snow around them.  Maybe he was going to take me, but I'm afraid of heights, I didn't do well hiding in the clouds... The dips made me so nauseous and scared! But the soldiers were... only soldiers by name.... it was so strange! And then we were in the city and he was tapping into their phone lines and using a code he'd obviously set up long ago, but it wasn't there anymore. It was the same code he'd showed me up in the station, but down here, their systems just didn't recognize it. He was adamant that it was there, we were just interfacing with too new a system, the old system would know him. There had to be people that knew him. He found two older men, and asked them if they'd like to be the first men to have children in 100 yrs. So he hadn't come back, but he'd been watching, and he knew how to fix this problem, or at least I hope he did. They were white-haired, and frankly didn't look young enough to be dealing with kids, I didn't think they'd care......

And the dream breaks, and I could no longer see what he was doing. I think maybe I just got to watch cause he was alone then. I felt for him alone down there. I knew he'd be fine, but I didn't like him alone, He wasn't careful enough when he was alone and I knew it.

The next time I enter the dream I'm back home. I'm on earth, I'm with my childhood friends, so he must have fixed it so I could wear my own skin somehow in there. I realise The Doctor isn't capable of that, but whatever, it's a dream!  And I'm sitting with the girls and a commercial comes on the TV, or maybe it's a billboard or even just something one of them is looking at. It - was ad for a ship company looking for crews of five woman, any five, just come to them as groups and they would match you with a ship. High adventures on exotic seas, they promised. No experienced required. And they were all, we should do this! You're in right? And I was like, I'd love to, but I'm too broken, I could never do that. So I was really me by then. Broken and beaten down by FMS, I couldn't do what they could, couldn't be what they were. Wanting doesn't make it so.

And yet the next moment I'm on a ship on a blue sea, with a GIANT octopus following, teasing out ship. I mean giant. This fucker was nearly as big as our ship, actually, I think he might have been bigger, and we weren't in a dinky boat! One of us was in the water with him.  she was swimming when he came up beside her and started..... playing with her. We didn't know what to do. She said she was okay, HE suggested she stay in the water with him, that he could help pull their boat cause they didn't appear to be going anywhere. 

So he could talk.... But he wasn't that bright because we all ended up taking turns in the water with him, but he thought we were the same girl. Or maybe us wee humans were all the same to him, I dunno.

When it was my shift he asked me why I was so nervous and why I wasn't blowing bubbles anymore and I realized the last girl, probably Neda, had been scuba diving with him and I cursed her. Cause if he expected me to hold my breath that long I'd just end up dead.  I told him not to get any bright ideas with all his tentacles, it wasn't okay to molest me, and he said he's already felt up my round butt and legs. He said my skin was awful thick, and that I didn't use nearly enough of my still-devoloping brain. That's how he put it! My skin was thick because the ocean was freezing cold there and I was in a scuba suit so I wouldn't freeze to death during my water shift.  I asked him where he was from, cause we didn't have talking octupuses on earth, and he told me we weren't ON earth anymore! I was shocked to say the least.

Somewhere in the small-print of the ship-mate contract I was sure it said something about going *anywhere* they needed us and I was cursing the girls for not warning me, cause I knew they knew. I just knew. And they knew I didn't want to leave earth again...Not after the last time.  Not after HIM. And then the Octupus said the strangest thing, He said, 'I don't understand what he sees in you'.  And I knew who he meant. I mean, it's not like I get around. Stev was the only man I remembered loving, really loving, in that kind of, I want to keep you forever and grow old with you, kind of way. And my heart still hurt thinking about him.

I don't now what hurt more, that I didn't get to keep the man I loved, or that.. that maybe he never really existed. Sure Stev and who I knew The Doctor to be had similarities, but The Doctor never really loved, not the way I needed to be loved. He never stayed. He never gave all of himself to anyone. He never grew old, he never lived a normal life, there was no day to day with him, no falling asleep in his arms, no waking up pressed to him, no kissing him goodbye and knowing, knowing he was coming home again, no home, never any home with him.  But Stev and I had a home. We were home to each other. We were never apart. He was my comfort, my blanket, my heat every night. We were fire and it was a glorious slow burn I thought could go on forever. But if he wasn't Stev, not just Stev, he was The Doctor, and you don't get to keep him. Not ever.

But I've got this problem.... I'm a hopeful romantic. I can't help but hope. Try as I might, I still hoped. Hoped I'd get to see him again. That somehow the universe would make things right and I'd get my Stev back, I'd get to keep the man I loved. I didn't care if he came to me with a different face, not as long as he was the same man. He loved me in that body that.. that wasn't really me, he saw me under it all, how could I not do the same for him? But you don't get to keep The Doctor.  And still when this strange giant Octopus made his oblique comment my heart beat faster and hope stopped my voice for a moment.  I wanted to know. I needed to know. But how did an octopus know The Doctor.. Okay, that's a silly question really. But, what did I ask?

Again, I didn't impress the octopus. I think I paused too long for his liking. He ended up.... swallowing me....  And I was inside him, only it wasn't just gooey, there was glass and metal workings, and a marble floor, and I was stuck in a low glass walled circular room, with a smaller room at the centre. I ended up in it's centre, which was stupid, and I couldn't get my body to listen and try to crawl back out. I just panicked and screamed until I woke up. 

But I went back under into dreamland..... And I was back inside him, only I was moving, water pushing against me and then I was flying and there was blue sky and a yellow sun setting and he was tapping me with a tentacle trying to get me to wake up. No, he wasn't impressed with me at all.

I think that's the end of it....

Judged not good enough by a giant octopus.... But even though I claimed I wanted a quiet life, I still ended up on a clearly alien ship on some very foreign sea, talking to a giant octopus..... So very strange. The whole lot of it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Religion is Love

It's been coming on slowly, but I finally figured it out. Oddly enough it took a wondering mind and a scene from an Anita Blake novel for it to really hit home for me: My Religion is Love.

Let's start with a definition, to make things easier:
noun: religion
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
"ideas about the relationship between science and religion"
synonyms:faith, belief, worship, creed; More
"the freedom to practice their own religion"
  • a particular system of faith and worship.
    plural noun: religions
    "the world's great religions"
  • a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.

I'm not talking about the first definition. As if. I've been an atheist for 21 years now, and that's never going to change.  There's been a time or two where I wished I could believe in a god(s) or goddess(es), it certainly would make things easier, but I just can't allow myself that safety blanket. Hell, to be perfectly honestly, I'm not capable - I have no faith in things I can't see or feel.

There's only ever been one instance where I felt a higher being might have helped me, and she owns part of soul, should she ever want it. But even so, I'm too much the logical engineer: I just can't really believe in her existence, or any other god's.

No, what I'm talking about is the other two definitions: Faith. And.... "An interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance" fits, but it's a damn ungainly way of saying it.  I'm not sure how else to say it though. But it's not an "interest"... It's.... the thing that makes everything else make sense to me, it's the core of my emotional logic, it's the meaty bit, the driving force, the thing that makes life bearable, makes life worth living. It's...... 42.

Religion is about faith. And for most of my life I have had precious little faith, in anything or anyone. But slowly, oh so slowly, I've found my faith. I have faith in one thing: Love.

I've always been a hopeless romantic. I've always seen every story from the heart first - by that I mean, whatever the story, in my head, it revolves around the relationships, around the love and hurt, and whatever else is always secondary for me.  I've always wanted to believe in love, but I've never..... had reason to. I'm logical, even when it hurts, and love just wasn't for me. But I also couldn't see, couldn't believe the kind of love you read about in books, the kind you'd die to protect, die fighting for, or suffer any hell to keep safe, actually existed in the real world, not really.

Until I found the right man who taught me what it meant to really be loved. Until someone I loved walked through hell for me.

I'm not a hopeless romantic anymore. I'm a hopeful romantic.  I believe. I have faith. In Love.

I've been a hopeful romantic for years. But the faith thing, that's new. And it was only recently that I realized just how deep it went for me.

It's stupid, a horror novel lighting the way, but it did. There's a scene, I think in Blue Moon where there's a demon, an actual demon, just outside Anita's circle of power trying to get in. She's not alone. Her assistant, her ex's injured mother, and some others. For a time they are protected by Anita's magic, but at one point the circle breaks. Sort of by accident they find their only weapon: their faith. Anita tried shooting it, but the bullets went through the demon, he was only solid when he wanted to be. Her ex's mother was understandably terrified, and Catholic I think. So like any good Christian she started reciting the Lord's Prayer. When the demon tried to get close to her, it was as if her words literally stung him. He couldn't get close to her, couldn't touch her. Anita, Episcopalian, added her voice and the demon cringed. She urged the others, if they had faith, now was the time to use it. I may be remembering it wrong, but I think there was another man, not a Christian, a Hindu, who started reciting the Bhagavad Gita and the demon couldn't touch him either. Or maybe it was just Larry her assistant who is Jewish, I think, that started praying. For whatever reason, I walked away with idea that faith was faith, and evil just can't touch it. But this scene haunted me. Because I have no faith. I have no armour against that kind of evil. Or I didn't.

No, I don't think I'm going to find myself face to face with a demon, not in real life, but I'm plagued by nightmares, vivid, terrifying nightmares that I wake up screaming from. So for me, having armour the next time I'm attacked isn't just an intellectual exercise. But it has to be armour I believe in 100% 'cause I'm fighting myself and if I don't believe it, then the gun won't fire, the door won't shut, my legs won't work, and I won't win. And when I don't win it hurts, it burns, I feel everything in my dreams, and I wake up screaming my terror.

The other day, in the shower, this scene popped into my head again, as it does every once in awhile. Sometimes I recite the Lord's Prayer with Anitia, thinking, if I lived in her world, if my cross lit up and made vampires shrink back from me, I could believe in god too. I can't even think of the words now, but I've known large bits of it, memorized it when I was a teen, hoping to find comfort. But that morning as my mind's eye saw Anita crouch beside her ex's mom, holding the woman's hand and reciting the prayer, I stood tall on that red hill and sang my heart out: "Ain't no mountain high enough,  Ain't no valley low enough, Ain't no river wide enough, To keep me from getting to you babe, ..."

Love poured from every every word, bright and powerful. I nearly glowed with it. The demon flinched, but not because I couldn't hold a tune, Love took care of that I think. No, he flinched because I was full of faith, and he couldn't touch me. 

And that pulled me out of my daydream. I had faith. True, unwavering, no-doubt-in-my-mind faith. The kind of faith most people save for a god, that's the kind of all encompassing faith I have in love. My faith has been building slowly over the years, so it's not like it came as a surprise exactly.  But I'd never really called it faith, and I'd never really thought of it in terms of religion. Faith had always been the sticking point for me with religion - I just never had faith.  But I have it now. In Spades.

So it occurred to me: my religion is love. And as time goes on, I'm more and more convinced it's true. And that it's what's right for me.

It's not a traditional religion, but since when am I ever traditional?