When I was six years old my mother passed away from ovarian cancer. It was a prolonged experience that changed my life forever. I would like to say that I knew my mother, but that would most likely be a lie. Most of what I know about her is from stories, photos, or dreams.
From the age of about 8 until I was in my teenage years I would have three or four recurring dreams. These dreams would last about seven to ten seconds and loop. They would loop all night long for days at a time then switch over to another dream that would do the same thing. This happened for years.
The dreams were so vivid I could hear, taste, and smell them. They were of places that I had been, or places that I think I had been. I do not remember any of these places or events, but for some reason my subconscious wanted me to replay them again and again.
The Car Ride
One specific dream included a ride in a car. My perspective in the dream was in the front passenger seat. I would look over to the left at the driver and see nothing. Then in front of the car I saw the garage door of a service station. I turn to look at the driver again and see the back of a woman running out of the car into the entrance to the service station. This scenario would repeat in a loop like all of the other dreams.
Some say that when someone dies you cannot see their face in a dream. I cannot speak for others, but for me this is true. In the dream, and some of the others that I know are of my Mother, I know she is there, but I cannot see her face. I can see her body and hands…I can hear her. I wasn’t sure if it was her in the car ride dream, but I had a feeling.
A couple of years ago I went to visit my grandmother…my mother’s mother. I spent time trying to listen to every possible story about my mother to gather a better understanding of who she was. I honestly still can say that I don’t know her. While talking with my grandmother, I finally stopped and told her that I had this stupid series of dreams that would repeat on a cycle and was wondering if she could make sense of it.
She told me that my mother owned a 1970’s Jaguar XKE with pink pinstriping. My mother and I were out driving and the pinky finger on my left hand got too close to the gear shift. My pinky finger was crunched in the gear shift and blood was all over the place. My mother pulled over to the nearest service station to get help. Apparently I was three at the time.
Recreating the Dream
In thinking through an opportunity to recreate this dream, Vine struck me as a perfect tool to create the video. Vine allows for video segments that are just under seven seconds and loop.
I searched online for videos that I could use to create the scenes I needed in the video. I found this one and this one and used Screencast-o-matic to record the YouTube clips. I then used WeVideo to edit the clips together and add sound. I used QuickTime to trim the WeVideo watermark off the end of the final clip. Finally, I cheated and used VineClient to upload my video to Vine. For something that looks so simple…it took a lot of work.
The end result is an adequate representation of the dream that I had growing up. Make sure you play it with the audio. 🙂
What Does This All Mean?
I’m not really sure. Some of the other dreams I had are more telling, or at least that is what I tell myself. In some of these dreams that include my mother in some sort of a feedback loop it is hard to understand what they mean. I’m sure people would suggest that it’s my psyche trying to come to terms with loss. Others have suggested that it’s my mother trying to reach out and hold on.
I do think that the lessons learned as I tried to learn more about the dream(s) are telling. My family and friends are very important to me. Connections and relationships are important. I want to be friends with everyone and don’t understand people that aren’t the same way. I also try to find meaning in everything. Finally, I’ve trained my brain to operate in these feedback loops, and playback elements of my life I’m trying to make sense of. Either while awake…or again as I sleep.
Cover image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Masha
Top image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Masha
Middle image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Masha
Bottom image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Masha
What a powerful story and mentor text, Ian.