Dream Diary - Teeth, Fire and Snakes

by - 6:35 PM

Okay, hi. Most days, I try to write an intro, but today is not that kind of day. Today, I need to get down to business.

I've been dreaming pretty friggin' vividly lately. Like, really vividly. The kind of dreams that I remember when I wake up, and continue to think about all day long. They're the kind of dreams that when my eyes pop open and I inhale deeply, rattled by the mere action of waking up, I stare into the darkness and wonder, where am I?  They're the kind of dreams that feel so real, I can't immediately discern whether or not they actually happened.

So, like three (or maybe four) nights ago, I dreamed that all my teeth fell out. All of 'em -- every single one. And I don't know if this is an important detail, but they weren't biffed out of my face with a fist. They just sort of, fell out. When I woke up in a mild panic (and this is a creative use of the word "mild" although perhaps it should be considered an ironic use,) I quickly ran my tongue over the rows of my teeth, counting aloud. "Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen ----- sigh of relief." They were all still there.

On Friday night, I dreamed I was in a hotel looking for my husband. I don't know why he was in the hotel, but I remember that I wasn't supposed to be there. If it's meaningful, I don't think he was there with his other girlfriend. I'd remember a detail like that. Anyway, on to the important part. First, a man held a gun to my head, which I escaped, and then, the building started on fire. Again, I escaped, but when I woke up, I was covered in sweat and I was breathing heavily, as though I really had just run from a burning building.

Last night, I dreamed of a giant snake. The snake was in my car, it was in my house, it was in my husband's arms. I don't remember more specifics than that, but I do remember feeling afraid.

And when I woke up, I was afraid I'd find a snake in my toilet (Anyone ever see that episode of Stairway to Heaven?).  Consequently, if Wal-Mart hosted a music festival for their patrons, in their parking lot. I swear to you, it would be more attractive to use those port-a-johns than the bathroom in my own house, which I became convinced held a snake in its bowels.

Now, when I was in high school, I once had this dream about Jesus floating merrily in the sky, gathering up his children and together, they floated away into heaven. Those are the kind of dreams you have when you go to a Christian school. Forget your teeth falling out or a gun to your head while a hotel burns around you -- nothing is scarier to an indoctrined kid then Jesus showing up on a sunny Sunday morning and -- wait for it -- not taking you with him. In my dream, I stayed firmly planted to the ground, as if were wearing socks made of concrete. Other people floated weightlessly towards the heavens, while I repeatedly jumped, hoping to take flight along with them, though to no avail. It was terrifying. Anyway, I told the dream to my Oma and she suggested that it was a message from God that I wasn't living the way I ought to.

To be honest, I'm not necessarily convinced that Jesus routinely leaves me personalized voice mails in the form of scary-as-hell (literally) dreams, but then again, I woke up a few days ago, not necessarily convinced that I still had ownership of all of my teeth. So, pronto, I figured I had nothing to lose if I did some quick Googling. And I knowwww, Google and God are not anywhere near the same, but both promise to have all the answers, so I consulted with that which was available to me, um, immediately.

Here's what I got. Teeth. Fire. Snakes.
Or. Scary. Scary. Scariest. And you know what they all have in common? Transformation. 

Well, whether it's a message from God or my overactive imagination, I guess I'm not surprised. I know that I am struggling. I know that I want to quit. And I know that I am seeking change so hard, but that at the end of the day, even desired change is frightening to face head on.

"Better the devil you know than the devil you don't."

I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could figure out how to take control in my dreams. They're not real, right, so the confines of logic and reality don't exist. Could I pick up the teeth that had fallen out, pull out some glitter glue and simply put them back in their place, expecting them to just...stick? Could I pull a fire extinguisher from my purse, a la Mary Poppins, and put out an enormous fire in seconds? Could I pick up the snake, cuddle it a little before setting in some tall grass and watching it slither gracefully away?

Sure I could, because dreams aren't real. You can do anything you want. If you can figure out how.

If you can figure out how. Isn't that the way with real life too, though? You can do anything if you just learn how. Like, for instance, I can learn how to break out the glue and keep it all together, even when I am afraid. I can learn how to extinguish fear and move forward with new ideas. I can learn to snuggle transformation.

I can figure out how.

Just gotta get the trick to gaining control...but who knows? Maybe that's all the trick really is.


As a quick side note, this year, my goal is to read the entire Bible in 365 days. I just crushed Genesis and so the story of Jacob and Joseph and all the other first-book-of-the-Bible dreamers to whom God left very specific voice mails are all very fresh in my head. God does leave messages.

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  1. I remember learning in a psychology class once that the teeth-falling-out dream is incredibly common and has something to do with insecurity. I don't know if that always holds up, but I do know that I dream about breaking/losing my teeth at least once a week. Who knows?

    Also, good luck with the Bible reading. About six months ago I finally finished my read-through. I started in college, so it took about three or four years. It sounds like you're doing much better than I did. I hope you find what you're searching for.

  2. I have super vivid dreams a lot, too. Like to the point where I can talk to my dreaming self. It's freakin' WEIRD. I've had the teeth one, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. isn't the subconscious mind sooo crazy?! i am fascinated by dreams!! and the teeth dream, they say that's like concern about your physicial appearance or something, but i don't know about that. i have had teeth fall out in so many dreams! and i think it's so bizarre that losing teeth is such a go-to stress dream concept for so many people!!