Thursday, August 18, 2005

Empty Chairs and Curious Dreams

I was watching a show last night in which an interesting form of therapy was used to aid people in confronting an issue in their lives. It is called The Empty Chair. A person is to sit across from an empty chair and envision someone they want to confront. They then are to address the chair as if the person were there, telling them what they really want to get off their chest. The people who engaged in this activity had some pretty significant emotional breakthroughs.

Yes, I watch strange shows for entertainment. But that’s beside the point. At least I think it is …

Anyway, the whole thing got me thinking about whom I would place in my empty chair. Who springs foremost in my mind as someone I would want to confront about how they have adversely affected my life?

A few people immediately came to mind who have deeply hurt me. Blindsided me so badly that I reeled completely off course for years – even permanently altering not only my path, but my very nature. If you are interested in details, I decline to give any. Too personal, too gory. So stop asking. But these things have raged, smoldered, and tempered over time. Did I really have anything to say to them about it now?

My mind chewed on these thoughts until long past bedtime.

When I fell asleep, I had a strange and vivid dream. I dreamt that the boy found a lizard in our house, round the base of a footstool that we do not own in the waking world. He reached down to grab it and when he did I saw that it was not a lizard at all but a snake. A fiercely beautiful snake, with rough and pointed scales the color of pumpkin and embers and number 2 pencils. As the boy picked it up, it turned vermilion eyes upon us and struck his hand. The boy didn’t cry, only looked surprised. I instinctively dove at his arm to inspect the bite and the serpent then bit me as well.

The creature did have a large, arrow shaped head as venomous snakes characteristically have. But its bite barely gave any sensation at all. I could see its teeth as it lunged, but it merely felt as though I were gently grazed by a teasel while walking through crisp fall fields.

The snake leered at us and smiled. The boy looked up at me and laughed.


a spoon said...

interesting form of therapy...would have been great to watch. i hate snakes! that dream just gave me the creeps :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the dream means that you don't really have any one to confront regarding the past; maybe you have already confronted it and worked through all those issues hence you and the boy both being alright after the snake bite. And maybe the boy laughing is telling you that, sometimes when you think you may not be a good are doing a fine job after all! At least, my interpretation.