Saturday, March 24, 2012

Defying Gravity

My 2-year-old granddaughter, Briannah likes to sleep. She takes a nap with little or no resistance and goes to bed at night without a fuss. She did not inherit this trait from her mother, Alicia. Both of my daughters eschewed naps at an early age and kept me hopping the entire time they were awake.

However, Briannah seems to enjoy the cuddliness of a soft blanket, the cozy feeling of her stuffed bear, and her bed time routines. I can’t help but think that she has happy dreams. Sometimes I ask her what she dreams about and she does try to tell me.

One time her aunt Brittany (who Briannah and her sister Rosannah call Aunt Birney) babysat them one day and I watched the girls the following morning. When I asked Briannah what she dreamed about she tried to tell me something about princesses and Aunt Birney. I didn’t understand the whole story, but it did seem like a pleasant nocturnal experience for her.

I did not have happy dreams until well into middle age. It seemed my sleep was littered with a mish mash of the day’s events and threats of natural disasters – particularly tidal waves. Fortunately I lived most of my life in Arizona so this was not a serious threat in my awakened state. But just to make sure I don’t have any other watery disasters I usually wake up to pee at 2 a.m.

Last night I had a dream about playing basketball. I tried to make a shot and the ball fell embarrassingly short. I remember thinking that my upper body strength was in dire need of exercise. This is true in real life too, but I don’t need try to shoot hoops to recognize this obvious fact. However, I was tenacious in my dream, practiced a few layups and finally made a shot from the free throw line by executing the granny shot maneuver. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.

Next I decided to work on my vertical jump. This is laughable, so I’m glad my slumbered state was kinder than reality. In my dream I had the ball, squeezed my eyes shut, let the energy well forth from my body, then I shot a couple feet into the air. Then I stopped. Yes, in mid air I hovered in one spot. However, rather than falling back to the ground like any good Newtonian-believing mortal, I slowly, but effortlessly rose the rest of the way to the ceiling. Being the cocky little being I am in my dreams, I touched coup on the ceiling every time (because I could.)

This is counter to my thoughts and actions in real life where I believe you have to use tremendous effort and never backslide. And being vertically challenged, it is a rare ceiling that has been touched by my stubby, little fingers.

The problem was the time between when I willed myself into the air, stopped and continued the effortless part of my ascent, took a couple of seconds. This was still a lot of fun, but if I was going to block any shots, I was going to have to make the whole process one, smooth move.

Fortunately, after a few attempts I was not only able to do this jump vertically, I could do a gravity-bending side to side maneuver as well. I was defying gravity, blocking shots and dunking the ball with ease. Woohoo!
I don’t know where that dream came from. I’m 5 foot 2 inches tall, middle aged, haven’t touched a basketball in years. I need only look at my chest to realize that I, nor my body parts, can defy gravity. But it was a cool dream none the less.

After I woke up I thought that the dream symbolized balancing effort (revving my internal engine) and letting go of the urge to want to control everything and creating an opportunity for the universe to work a little magic.

As I shift into my daily routine today I can’t say that I feel compelled to shoot hoops or jump in the air. But I have to admit, the ceiling looks a lot lower today than it did yesterday.

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