Coping with bad dreams

Fuseli’s The Nightmare

The last bad ringing dream that I had was in March 2019, the night before hosting our first branch practice and ringers’ tea (see  Having been a largely silent tower for many years, this was our chance to put Reedham back on the ringing map.  We expected a lot of curious visitors, because many NDA members would not have rung our bells since the last century, and I suspected that they would want to come along and try them again. We were responsible for the tea but I was not sure how many would turn up.  In the event, we had a very successful afternoon with nearly 50 branch members attending, both the very experienced and the less experienced.  Some ropes were lost, but we are used to that and keep a step ladder handy for unforeseen events.  But the night before the meeting I had a ringing nightmare.  I dreamt that 100s of inebriated people turned up and that someone brought a poorly behaved llama to the event.  Ridiculous, but clearly I was worried about things not going smoothly, and the llama represented my fears. There is no logic filter on dreams.

I have not had a ringing nightmare since, until last night.  Last night I dreamt that I was being allowed to ring again, but that there was a password that I needed to work out before taking the rope, and the password was a cryptic crossword clue.  Nothing to do with ringing (not Queens on 8 or something that I had a chance of getting correct), just some random and meaningless words.  There was no way that I could work out the password to allow me to participate, and it was a one-time only offer that I would not be offered again. Other ringers that I know and respect sat around smugly and stared at me as I struggled to come up with the vital key to unlock my ringing excommunication, and no one offered any help. It was horrible and I woke up in a state of profound sadness. That was it – I was locked out and deliberately so.

Of course, this is not real – it is a dream and dreams allow one to work through worries and disappointments in order to be better prepared to deal with life’s “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.  Presently, many of us have anxieties and complicated feelings to process. Obviously, I don’t have the power to “take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them….” as Hamlet suggests, but I can put one foot in front of the other and keep plugging along.

 For now that will have to be enough.

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