Ghosts of Christmas past

I switched the light off last night and went to sleep listening to mournful, hopeful, slowly swelling music of Henryk Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony.

I slept well, better than usual lately, but like most nights recently my sleep was full of dreams. That seems a feature of the last few months. Sometimes I feel as if I have dreamt all night long. The dreams are of the usual variety, some strange and surreal, some happy, some sad, some just quirky. The dream I remember from last night was sad.

The only reason I make mention of this now is that it seems a telling dream.

It’s Christmas time, I’m an adult, but younger than I am now. As in most dreams, the scene and perspective switches rapidly and there appears little in the form of a linear narrative. The moments I remember, however, are revealing.

There’s a sombre mood throughout. It’s Christmas day, but I’m heading off somewhere. At one stage someone says Merry Christmas to me, but there’s no-one there – I’m all alone. In the next scene, I look out the window and my step-father is there, smiling at me. He’s been dead for a dozen years, but he pops up here and there in the dream, like a Christmas ghost.

A moment later I’m speaking aloud as if there was someone there to hear me, as if it has dawned on me: “I need help.”

I’m meant to be travelling, but before I do I drop by my mother’s house – she’s still alive in my dream. And my stepfather is there again, alive and sitting in a lounge chair. I go to speak to my mum, who seems surprised, and perhaps a tad irritated, to see me. Her hair has a purple tint to it. She stops to check why I haven’t left yet, busy otherwise with Christmas day festivities.

Her Christmas guests I know well enough in the dream to nod at (I don’t recognise them from my conscious life). They’re not family and I have no connection with them, but my mother is hosting on Christmas day, rather than me, her son. In the dream, I’m saddened by it. Eventually, I leave.

That’s the dream.

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