Panther-Looking Cat

There was a giant panther lying on its haunches in the back yard facing away from me so that what I first saw was its back and head and ears. I started to reach down to pat it, thinking it was the stray that reminded me of a panther that has been recently traversing my yards. As soon as I realized that it wasn’t a little kitty — the same time I saw my indoor cat had gotten out and was meandering around with her butt in the air like she was trying to attract the panther — I scooped her up and gingerly walked back into the house through the closest door. Then I realized that I was dreaming.
I’ve read lately that dreaming is an indication that one isn’t sleeping — at least, not sleeping well. But I have also read that being vegan cures almost any ill. I’m not finding that to be as true as so many others do and it’s alarming. I can’t think of what else to do but I keep trying.
Recently my back gave out and forced me to stop in my always-busy-doing-something tracks. It’s been extremely tempting to become depressed with thoughts that I will never be the same. The dread of things getting worse is overwhelming thoughts of better hopes. It’s a real struggle and not at all good constantly ruminating those unpleasant waves of doubt.
One of my friends said, “I’ve always thought it was all a bunch of hooey,” and by that she meant, my trying to eat better. I’m sure my meat-eating friends will say my troubles are all due to not eating meat. Dr. Roby (Fitt) Mitchell will probably advise to quit eating fruit because sugar in the diet, so he says, is what increases insulin resistance and that insulin resistance is at the root of all our ills. Dr. McDougall and many of my other food gurus will say, cut out any added salt and don’t eat liquid, processed fat, (and certainly not meat) because fat is what’s the real culprit in insulin resistance after all is said and done and all the studies are revealed. Does anybody really know — that’s all I want to know.
So, since not eating meat is not an option to change, I’m trying to figure out if I can be my own placebo. Lately I’ve been trying to let fears rush over me to see if I can find what might really be behind them — and then change that poor thinking like any good vegan would instead of eating any meat.
The latest book I bought to try to think better says that we only think we’re getting sick because we see so many others buying into that kind of thinking and we think that it is normal when in truth, he says, it isn’t normal at all — quite the contrary. And the placebo man says he healed a broken back with just positive thoughts — believing he could direct his genes to do what he asked them to. I tend to believe he’s not lying. I think we fall far short of being what we can be.
As with most dreams, actions are often thwarted — feet get stuck in concrete. In the dream, after I scooped the cat and brought her and me back inside the house, I tried to call animal control. There was some kind of contraption on the phone to make it easier for someone other than me to us like a shorthand for the buttons under it — as if pushing buttons on a phone isn’t easy enough. Once the contraption came off, the buttons still wouldn’t push right and whoever I got, a policewoman it seemed, couldn’t seem to find the right solution. She kept asking me questions instead of sending someone out. Fortunately, I woke up right after that and by then the panther disappeared — except for the little panther-looking cat.
So, what’s the moral of the story: any day we wake up is a good day because that means there’s another day to seek the truth. And maybe, just maybe, the bad back is trying to tell me how to be my own placebo because the only way might be to slow down enough to read the book and let waves of fear rush over me and see what they mean. And maybe too, just maybe, it’s time to try to be an artist again instead of always moving heavy things around the garden.



Of Sorrows Buried

She dreamed that she and her dear departed sister surprised their older sister with a very long distance, impromptu and unannounced visit. The older sister was busy in a shop that turned out to be hers and her husband’s. He was sitting, far in the back, behind a counter that was visible through a window on the wall there and saw his wife’s two sisters coming in so tipped his reading glasses down to watch what would happen next.
The two younger sisters said, “We’re moving here to where you are so that we can all be together again.”
The older sister could be intuited to be pleased even though her extremely subtle smile was barely noticeable. She wasn’t one to show emotion.
The visiting sisters who intended to move there, or were already moving — it’s hard to tell some of the minute details in dreams — started waltzing around her shop that only had some wonderful things lined up on or near walls like it was a gallery of sorts and only a few things resting on ledges and they both got excited at all the space still left in the shop that seemed available for them to bring in all their own collectibles, art and personally produced things for selling and helping their older sister and her husband get off the ground better — or so that’s where their minds went — the two who wanted so to move there and stay. They announced their excitement to their older sister.
The older sister hushed them like there was a spy in their midst and she didn’t want her real intentions known yet. There was some city resistance or a zoning issue pending intimated, but not loud enough for any spy to hear. Apparently she wouldn’t be altogether opposed to their ideas if and/or when any hindrances were out of the way.
The dream evoked a grand sense of fulfillment, of sorrows buried and fences mended and returned all the fantastic and wonderful feelings of youth and playing with her sisters to the dreamer’s soul.
She wondered if that was what she was wishing for in real life — to be near her living sister.
But, she’s read that some well-known psychologist, Jung or Freud, said that the person dreaming is everyone in their own dreams. That may very well be why some dreams can seem so good because the thoughts of others are really the thoughts of the dreamer and the dreamer can ‘write’ their dreams as they might a novel — how they want things to be.
Later in the day, long after waking from the dream, her childhood friend called and they drummed up their own ideas of moving to closer proximity of each other as sisters might. They were sisters that had chosen each other in freshman year of high school and had, all their lives, wanted to be more a part of each other’s daily life. Life gets in the way — college, marriage and a family for one, work and worry for the other had wedged them to be farther apart and on their own, but they had stayed in touch. Now that they were older, aches and pains were making them think that things might not should be long put off and how nice it would be to have someone like a sister to depend on some.
Age is a funny thing, though funny is a poor word to use. Funny queer. It can make you think you have to give up dreams. There are lots of things that one is well advised to give up — lots of things that are really only baggage at a point. Like, she’s probably never going to fly to the moon or be famous — though that is a thing that no one can really know — becoming famous. Flying to the moon is rather out of the question, but being famous might not be. The reasons for wanting to be famous might be different the older one gets. Late in life it might just be that being famous would pay for all the medical bills that Medicare won’t.
It would be nice to think that there aren’t ever going to be any serious medical bills because one has taken such good care of themselves that they are healthy and well enough to avoid them — but it is starting to seem that that is only a likely scenario if one started young or can figure out how to be their own placebo.
Learning to be one’s own placebo is a worthwhile endeavor that might be better put in front of flying to the moon or any hope that might be found in what sisters can be in dreams.