Reflections on a dream by Richard Bleil
This will be my 285th consecutive post on my blog, a project I began as many days ago, and one that, apparently, I have inner turmoil regarding. I woke up this morning from a rather disturbing dream, not my usual nightmare, but one that makes me want to reflect upon as it deals with the very personal topic of my blog. I do hope my readers will forgive me the opulence.
The setting of the dream was a small Maine like coastal town. One of the town residence is a very famous famous female poet, with her husband and daughter who was, in the dream, my age. I knew who she was. She was quite sweet and lovely in a down to earth kind of way, but had a quiet reserve and seemed to harbor a deep sadness within her. I met her one night at a bar event where we struck up a conversation. I avoided asking her about her mother as I assumed she was rather tired of the topic, and instead focused on her. Towards the end of the night, she invited me to join her and her friends at her house the next day just to visit. At this point, knowing that her mother would likely be there, I had to ask about her. Her daughter kind of looked down, and said nothing in particular, but neither did she withdraw her invitation.
At the house, in the dream, we were having quite a delightful and lighthearted visit. At one point I had found a piece of gray, oil-stained paper that I didn’t think they would miss and a pencil. I began writing my blog, thinking I would transfer it to the computer later. The focus of the blog was on the young daughter. As is my usual custom in my real-world blog, I left her identity vague, writing instead of the inner sadness of this young woman growing up in the shadow of such a famous mother. As I was writing the blog, her father appeared in the kitchen looking for something to drink. He introduced me to her father, and he and I struck up a conversation. In my dream, I’m sure he was based on a real-world good friend of mine who is actually quite well-known himself among certain circles, very self-confident, very charming himself. Carrying the piece of paper with me, he and I began chatting, and had a great natural rapport.
When the poet came in, she was quite aloof to my presence, talking abruptly on the phone about something that had angered her. She wasn’t exactly being rude or mean, but made it clear that something was wrong, and reminded the person on the other end of who she was and suggested that the situation had to be corrected. Ended the call, she turned to me and introduced herself in a matter-of-fact style to me. She must have seen what I was holding, but I thought that, although I am an amateur (to be sure), perhaps it would impress her that I wrote a blog. I mentioned that what I was working on was a draft of today’s entry and how to focus was her daughter. Without saying a word, she took the document from me, but rather than even look at it, casually dropped it in a nearby garbage can and continued the conversation.
I thought it odd, but with her experience and stature, I thought it best to leave it there as we spoke. Before long, the conversation that now involved the mother, the father and myself turned to one where the two of them were critical of me, in no uncertain terms. “What makes you,” the father asked, “so arrogant as to believe that you have anything to say that would be of interest to anybody else?”
And like that the argument began. I explained that I was not sure for whom I wrote the blog, the readers, or myself as I have learned much (as I actually have in the real world) by writing them about myself. I wanted to explain my philosophy of making my opinions clear while trying to respect those who might disagree with me (as I do), and that I don’t try to change people’s opinion so much as to give them things to consider, but I was cut off as they continued their criticism of the blog.
Eventually, it was clear I should just go. The daughter disappeared completely to be with her friends as the parents showed up, the poet mother had left the room, and her father was continuing the lambasting. As I was saying goodbye, he said, “I’ll see you around.” My last words, before waking up, were “No, you won’t.”
Apparently, I have internal struggles with this blog. I guess I don’t know why I’ve been writing them. Is it just an outlet for my thoughts and concerns? Am I trying to make a difference? I don’t have a lot of readers (with some fluctuation, maybe a couple of hundred posts a week are read), but I know many of my friends try to read at least most of my posts (a blog a day, typically one and a half to two pages each is a LOT of reading) and respond, and I know that I have readers that I have never met mostly from the US, but a few from around the globe. I hope that I offer some things for them to at least think about, some knowledge, and even a little bit of entertainment.
I can tell you this. Whether I am writing these for myself, my friends, or those who follow or just stumble across my blog and decide to give it a chance, I do try very hard to be publicly open and very honest about my thoughts, my opinions, my hopes and my fears. There are days that my own writing will bring me to tears as raw nerves are exposed. I’ll continue writing, and will continue to do so with as much humility as I can muster. I don’t have the fame or the reputation to really justify this blog, but I hope I give the readers something of significance. If, like me, you are putting yourself out there, congratulations. My dream tells me that I myself am fighting criticism for this project even within myself. Any time we, any of us, put ourselves out there, whether it be in a blog, a product, an opinion, we’re opening ourselves to criticism, and there are those who take advantage of that openness to try to hurt us. But I’m here with you, being vulnerable to those same hateful people, and fighting that same battle to the core of my very own soul.