Through the Glass, Darkly

Dear Bespectacled and Not-Bespectacled Readers,

I had a terrible nightmare last night. One that I can’t shake, and has left me weepy today.

In the dream, I was some place–I know not where–and I stumbled across a jumble of my dad’s glasses. All of them were there. Glasses from when he was a young man, and an old man, along with a vast array of his sunglasses too.  Glasses hiding in plain sight without their wearer.

Upon finding them, in the dream, I was hit hard by father’s absence. I cried my eyes out. And then I said out loud, “Oh,wait, Beau is still alive. He must have just left these behind when he went to the hospital. He’ll need them, and I’ll take them to him. Everything is okay.”

But just as I come to this conclusion, I also  realize he is not alive and I cannot take the glasses to him after all. And I go back to crying my eyes out again. And then it happens again. So for the duration of the dream, I’m stuck in a “he’s alive, he’s not alive” time loop. Relieved in one instant, then re-living my sorrow as if it’s the first time in the next instant. It’s like a house of mirrors–seeing things differently every which way you look. And the thing triggering the whole roller-coaster ride is Beau’s looking glasses.

I spent a few minutes this morning looking for quotes from Alice in Wonderland that might help me understand my trip down the rabbit hole last night. Nothing came up. Then a phrase popped into my head, “Through the Glass, Darkly.” I couldn’t remember where I’d heard it or what it’s origin was.

Turns out, that it’s a line from the Bible that has been used as a title for a number of books.

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

–1 Corinthians, v. 12-13, King James Version

It was one of my father’s favorite bible passages. One that he referred to frequently. And one that we read at his memorial service.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Allan says:

    I have searching for ways to have my departed lost love ones be alive for years in dreams, daydreams, and thoughts while meditating some days and even though they never show up just the process of having them so real and present in my thoughts becomes another reality altogether.. sometime sad, some times happy but every time real!
    Welcome to the world of loss without losing!

  2. M.A. Swearingen says:

    Stearns, you are certainly not alone in your nightmare occurrences. I’ve had my own versions of them. I can share with you what I do, just in case it might help.
    The single most effective technique I’ve used is this:
    I once heard that you can enter your dreams and become interactive with them. You can become a participant not just an observer. I was very skeptical, but I started trying it. And I actually have done this; it works. If the dream is scary or dreadfully sad or just unsettling, I make it change. I create either an alternative action or add a scene that will make the dream better for me. I know this might sound a little “woo woo,” but it has really worked for me for those dreams that are nightmares. It is almost like you become the director of the dream, and when the action is unacceptable, you re-do it.
    My more recent dreams have been about Ed, and I won’t share them here in this format, but I can give you an example of one of the reoccurring dreams I’ve had in the past. By the way, once I began re-making them, the reoccurring dreams stop reoccurring!
    I had been dreaming of someone breaking in my house and trying to hurt me. Sometimes it is a person who pretends to be nice, but to me is clearly evil. I run from them, but find myself in a dead end situation. When I enter the dream I can either use some kind of magic, like becoming invisible or impervious to harm, or I make a door appear that I make my escape. I then can hide, flee, or summon strength–whatever it takes to overpower the bad guy. Once I turned my fear into anger and beat the bad guy up and the police had to restrain me! I know it sounds funny, but it works. It does not keep me from trying to figure out why I’ve dreamed that particular dream or what it means exactly, but it makes it a lot more bearable. There are lots of resources out there to try to interpret dreams, but for me, for now, I have to survive them.
    Good luck.

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