My friend Shy wrote about her dream:

last night i dreamt that i was in a pool w/ my mom and grandma and a wasp kept coming at us so i started splashing it, trying to kill it. i was under the water at one point splashing up at it. then the wasp turned into a cat and my mom started drowning it. a guy walked into the pool area and stared at her in a threatening way so she stopped. the cat was still alive but breathed with a rattle. i put him into my lap and gave him a lot of affection. 

then i was outside of my grandparents’ house and my grandpa tried to shoot me but failed. then my grandma came out with a double-barrel shotgun and successfully shot me. so i woke up. 

and in the next dream my grandpa was throwing missiles into fields all around us and one caught on fire so i jumped into the passenger seat of the neighbor boy from my childhood’s truck. we drove for a long time down country roads and ended up in aurora, mo. 

i got out of the car b/c i thought my grandpa was going to try and kill me and went to a bakery where i ordered a chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate chip cookie lollipop. the total was like $47 so i put back the lollipop and they said one forty-two which I thought of as $142 but then she told me no, it is $1.42 and then i woke up. 

is this because my grandparents didn’t call me back on thanksgiving? 


The short answer is no. But I’m not writing this to tell you the short answer. I’m writing this to draw something out of your experience. Experience is never binary.

The why of dreaming is the wrong question, in that it can only lead to false answers. I can say this with some degree of confidence because I know that I am dreaming right now. In this dream people ask the big why all the time, and it usually ends bad.

Why are we here? Why are we having this dream? Is it because the big bang was the beginning of one moment of super dimensional consciousness occurring, which this experience is one microscopic facet of? From a holistic viewpoint we could consider the all the cellular programs encoded in DNA to be part of consciousness. So why not?  But this needn’t exclude the possibility that since all of our experience is illusory, the physical strata of experience is the wrong starting point when considering the why.

Are we here to learn how to love? Love is great, but that’s part of the program too. What I mean is, babies don’t have to learn how to love, right? Maybe we’re all here to take Charles Manson’s advice and Never Learn Not To Love. That seems more on point, but also stinks like bullshit.

So just like I can’t say why we’re here, I can’t say why you were in your dream. It would make sense that the events leading up to you falling asleep would influence the dream, the way set and setting influence a strong trip, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the cause.

Maybe this is all a dream of Charles Manson’s and each of us is a different face of god judging him from outside the prison industrial complex. Maybe god is a telephone that willed itself into creation here, influencing each nested dream layer. Sometimes I see a telephone in the night sky. This makes sense, right?

I have an affinity for gun wielding grandmothers. I have a meditative practice involving them that I incorporated into a poem once:


think about your cross-legged grandmother

her body not solid translucent

and holding a rifle

how your face is hers

watch the figure freeze

carry it before you

the day’s remainder


I’m not sure what this practice accomplishes, but it feels really good. Also, when you practice creating visualizations of illusory bodies, it helps you to realize the illusory nature of everything. I don’t know this for sure, but I know it enough to know that I’m dreaming right now, and that I know nothing. I know that my next visualization is going to be a chocolate chip lollipop. I will picture it in fine detail, until the reflection of light off every inch of its surface is clear and shining before me. I know that I know nothing. I know that someday we’ll both wake. Then we’ll have a different why to ask.





About Adam Tedesco

Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, a telephone technician, and as a cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pith, Funhouse, Cosmonauts Avenue, Hobart and elsewhere. He lives under a shed in Albany, New York. Portrait By Mary Charlene https://www.etsy.com/people/missmarycharlene View all posts by Adam Tedesco

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