I woke from a nightmare this morning, one that doesn’t actually belong to me. I put the material in my brain myself. I knew going into it that there was some risk, too. I still chose to binge watch a terrifically (in the literal sense) dramatic and emotionally provocative television show,  hanging out with my traveling partner. I had a great time, it was a fun weekend experience to share. I still woke from a nightmare this morning. I’ll get past the insidious thing in due course, but it has me wondering…if this sort of thing affects me profoundly, how many people just wandering around are similarly powerfully affected by things that ‘don’t actually belong to them’, and suffering greatly over it?

Well, sure, you say that, but...

Well, sure, you say that, but…

In this instance, the nightmare was simply that in all the world each and every single person in all languages spoken could be counted upon to be utterly duplicitous, deceitful, not only looking out for their own interests exclusively – but not necessary with good awareness of what served them best, nor what the circumstances truly are. Liars. Cutthroats. Thieves. Worse. And me – living as authentically as the world will allow, without reservation, without hesitation… without defense. Oh. Shit. That didn’t feel safe or likely to have a good outcome at all. I woke trembling and nauseous, and fearful of my safety. It was weird to feel it so intensely, and to be also clearly aware it wasn’t really anything to do with me ‘in real life’.

I got up for the morning, and allowed the nightmare content to linger in my thoughts… sometimes that ‘compare/contrast’ inner dialogue makes a nightmare seem more ludicrous, surreal, less ‘real’ – undermining the seemingly ‘valid points’. In this case, this morning, that wasn’t the experience at all. It was a huge mistake, and the aftermath of the nightmare was far worse than the dream was itself. I’m easily able to recall being lied to, or misled, even by people very dear to me. (No doubt some of them have had similar moments with me.) Sometimes with good intentions – like ‘white lies’ sometimes used with the intent of kindness, for example – still lies. Other times for less innocent purposes – like omitting details to convey a different impression, still easily definable as willful deceptions. There are, too, grander machinations – real gaslighting – even in the context of loving or familial relationships; I’ve endured some myself, watched others from the sideline. For a moment, humanity seems pretty fantastically vile, as my awareness of the hurts, and the lies, and the manipulation starts piling up…the television images of violence conflate with my own experiences, and I feel… something complicated…something primitive… something more like fear as it builds, and anger as it diminishes. I’m okay right now. The big take away? Be more careful with binge watching television; no content is worth a visit to the nightmare city. 🙂

"The Nightmare City" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas w/glow

“The Nightmare City” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow

The morning started early. My partner and I are both up with the dawn. He asks me how I slept. I tell him. He chides me for the quantity of words so early in the morning. I still had my nightmare in my thoughts. We’ve both just awakened. I take my coffee and my bleak outlook in the studio, and give us both a shot at a pleasant morning, once we’re actually awake.

It was a lovely weekend to share. The time together well-spent relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. No stress. No drama. Just people who love each other hanging out together, and sharing life’s journey without having to take up arms. Quite a contrast from television. 🙂

So…now it’s a whole new week. A new adventure. Where will it take me? Will I meet an exciting stranger? Will I learn discover the truth? Will I find my fortune? Will adventure catch me unawares? Life isn’t usually so dramatic, frankly – unless I invest imagination, assumptions, expectations, and a hearty helping of attachment in it, and then pursue chaos with ferocity, and reactivity. I think I’ll pass. Television shows are not usually written about contentment and living beautifully – low ratings – but this says nothing about whether these are worthy qualities in life, they are perhaps the most worthy characteristics on which to build my life. I’m only saying that because I find it pleasant to be content, and to live beautifully…and I’d find it less pleasant by far to be constantly worried about betrayal, violence, and lies. 🙂

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Today is a good day to enjoy life’s most mundane pleasures: a good coffee, a lovely sunrise, a smile from a friend, a hug, a kiss, laughter, loving with all my heart regardless whether it is reciprocated – because love feels good. Today is good day to live – well, and deliberately, and eyes open. Some people may indeed be playing a diminished ‘Game of Thrones’ in their every day lives…but it doesn’t have to be me. 🙂