Since my father died in early February, I have been dreaming about him most nights. I have lots of other dreams, too, but these about him are new.
I thought I might start recording them, particularly what he says or does in these dreams. I have no idea what they ‘mean’ — I just know that in most of the dreams, as in life, I am smiling and feel amused by him. They don’t trouble me; I welcome them and him.
Most of my dreams were about losing my dog in various way — she manages to get through a small opening in a fence just as I almost reach her, she runs into a neighbour’s driveway or house and they give her back to me on her leash but seem unsure that I will keep her and not get rid of her, and so on. These are pretty much par for the dream course — common dreams of mine.
The dream about dad:
I’m in a sort of dorm room in China with two young women, one Chinese and one Japanese. The Japanese woman is new here and is relieved because she thought China would be so much worse than it’s turned out to be — she had been warned that it was a dark and frightening forest, but she finds it’s actually much like the country she left.
Dad enters the room, sick and dying, but walking and wearing an outfit he commonly wore when well and not when sick (a plaid rust-coloured shirt and beige Docker-type pants). I am happy he’s there and I start to introduce him to the women but I can’t remember how to pronounce their names. They introduce themselves to each other.
I ask Dad to interpret what the Japanese woman is saying but soon after she starts talking, Dad says, sadly, that he is afraid he is interfering with what she has to say.
At some point, one of the women lays down on a sofa in the room and Dad tucks her in, and then he leaves, saying that he doesn’t want to be late for dinner, which they are serving in the cafeteria.
The two main elements I notice are communication, or miscommunication — my inability to pronounce names and Dad’s perceived interference with someone else’s verbal articulation, and nourishment or nurturing — Dad’s desire for dinner, his tucking in of the woman, the hospitality of welcoming and introductions among people. Perhaps the dorm room has something to do with education, something to learn?