Most of my dreams fall into the category of routine sorting and filing – my subconscious grabs onto something from the waking day and reprocesses it. On rare occasions my dreams are prophetic. I can’t tell you how I know they’re prophetic, but when I have them there’s no doubt what they mean and what I have to do with them.

And then there are dreams like last night where I have no trouble figuring out where they come from but I struggle to understand what they mean.

I was in an old part of Chattanooga (where I grew up and lived till I was 33) and I was looking for my book bag. I found it, but the books I wanted weren’t in it. So I started looking for another book bag. A fellow CUUPS member (who’s a college senior) came by and asked if I had finished the reading for the class we were taking. I found another book bag and it didn’t have the right books either. I started panicking, turning over everything looking for the blue book bag I carried as an undergraduate. Cathy told me to stop disturbing the piles of laundry she had sorted on the floor. I found the blue bag and it had the books I needed, but I was afraid it was too late and I’d never get through them before the final exam.

Like many people I still occasionally dream about a test I haven’t studied for. It was probably ten years after I graduated before I stopped having registration nightmares – I never could get all the classes I needed. I’ve had academic anxiety dreams all my life – I was never afraid of school, but it was always important to me and I was concerned about doing well.

There is work I need to do and things I need to learn and they’re not moving as quickly as I’d like. I know I obsess over things. I know I have a full time job, a blog, a house, a church and a CUUPS group. And a wife, who I do like to spend time with and who in the waking world never complains if I disturb her piles of laundry. I know I’ve never been somebody who can go-go-go non-stop.

But when I see the few large chunks of time I have available disappearing it bothers me. And as this dream shows, it bothers me on several levels.

What is this dream trying to tell me? I’m certain it’s not just another sorting and filing dream – it was too vivid, too clear, and too emotional. Like all those academic anxiety dreams, is it telling me that I’m obsessing too much? That I’m looking in the wrong places? That I need to learn what I need to learn now because a real test is coming?

It could be any of those. Or it could be something I’m not considering yet. I’m going to give it some thought, do some Tarot readings, and do some meditation. And then do some more meditation.

Sometimes the benefit of divination isn’t in the knowing but in the awareness that something more is at work.

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