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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/21/17

A New Writing Style With Dreams of Flying, Dad, Death And The Future

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Message Terry Sneller


When I was younger, I was taught that there were basically just two types of writing -- fiction and non-fiction. However, after Truman Capote wrote his powerful book, In Cold Blood, it was announced that he had created a new writing form -- the Non-fiction Novel. So, for years I wondered if there could still be even other types of writing. How about writing something that is half fiction and half non-fiction? Ayn Rand once wrote a (fictional) play that had two endings which were chosen by the audience, how about a Non-fiction/Fiction style of writing?


I used to have dreams of flying. Not flying like in airplanes or with the aid of a jet pack, but just being able to decide to "elevate" myself and zip around in the air without any other devices. I even remember those first early dreams when I learned how. I would dream that I was in a multi-floor school and had to use stairwells to go between classes.

It first started when I would take several steps at a time, while going down the stairs in the stairwells. Initially, even though I felt I could do more than a couple or three steps at a time, I didn't want to be too obvious and besides there were usually way too many other kids jamming the stairwells to be able to safely maneuver around them. I would just lightly keep my hand on the hand rail and gently bounce along, two or sometimes three steps at a time. I could feel myself developing more "lift" and used the handrail to keep myself anchored, but I sensed that I was capable of more than just a few steps at a time.

Now keep in mind that this didn't all happen in one dream, but instead in a series of dreams that only occurred when they wanted to occur, and by no means at my beck and call. I don't even recall when they started.

Then one night, I dreamed that I intentionally made a point of staying in the bathroom after school closed and the only people who were still in the building were a few maintenance people. I went to the top of what seemed like about a three story stairwell and started down taking two, three, five and more steps at a time, all the while holding onto the stair rail, for safety! On the top of the last series of steps that ended on the ground floor, I paused for a few seconds, let go of the stair-rail and flew un-encumbered to the bottom!

As I gently landed on the ground floor, I noticed that I had pulled my arms on to my chest and crossed them. This seemed to have instinctually given me a sense of being encapsulated or of being one with myself. The elation, joy and sense of accomplishment was so overwhelming that I woke up and immediately sat up in my bed with disappointment at having woken up and not being able to fly some more.

After that, the Flying Dreams came more often, but they were not my only dreams. No matter how hard I tried, or studied dreams, I could not control when I would have a Flying Dream. Many other types of far less interesting and memorable dreams came and went, but the Flying Dreams had a "mind of their own." Nevertheless, I did continue to experience and explore my dreams of flight. Over time the patterns seemed to follow some type of a series of lessons. For example, I recall my first Flying Dreams that were outside the school and taking off and landing in a field. Then, it seemed that there were several dreams that started in foreign lands where I had never been and usually ended up back close to home.

There was a memorable series of Flying Dreams that had to do with flying around, above and close to, a large ship in a harbor, at night. It was involved in some type of artillery fight and the exploding lights and sounds were magnificent, while being frighteningly dangerous, at the same time. I could not, in my waking state, relate that battle to any current events that were happening in the world, at that time, so I can't say what sparked those dreams.

These days, I see video clips of drone images and they instantly remind me of my Flying Dreams. They give me the sense that I am transported back inside one of my dreams, exploring some part of the world that I would never be able to view, otherwise. Also, like the drones, I never had any interest in seeking high altitudes, as I always wanted to observe the earth and earth-bound activity rather than be so high that people were just moving dots.

The most remarkable series of Flying Dreams always began with me flying toward my A-Frame home near the top of the side of a small green forested, mountain. These dreams went on for years and always started the same way with me flying toward the same A-Frame that always had small changes in its outward appearances. After landing on the deck, I would explore the interior of the house and it too always had changes and/or seemingly fresh modifications made. Sometimes the rooms were large and roomy and other times smaller but cozy. Once-in-a-while, areas of the house would obviously be under construction and other times finely appointed. I was always fascinated to explore the home and see how it had been modified. At some point, I even did some research to see if I could discover the psychological meaning behind dreams of houses or homes. Seems that they represent an image or concept of "self."

On March 8th of 2000, my Father suddenly died of a heart attack. We had a true oscillating "love/hate" relationship. During my childhood, as his firstborn, we got along just fine. However, as I went into my teens, I began to see the world differently than he did. Our major differences seemed to ebb and flow around the times that he thought I was, or wasn't, following a career path that led to making money, or not.

He was a retired, high ranking Non-Commissioned Chief Master Sargent from the Air Force who spent the last part of his military career working in personal and senior management departments that were primarily involved with the Air Police. After he retired, and with his degree in psychology, criminology and previous work history, he ended up becoming a Parole Officer in North Texas. His Republican political beliefs dictated that we should all support the war in Viet Nam and this was one of the biggest differences that we had, as well as his excessive drinking. I ended up with mixed feelings when he died, with love and respect edging out a waning dislike.

His daily routine usually ended up with him, after a sobering supper, staying up late, as was my habit. Without a doubt, the most rewarding times he and I ever had, were the countless nights when the house was quiet, everyone else was asleep and we would talk. There wasn't a subject that we didn't cover and, for the most part, I think he was quite honest with me during those discussions. We still had our differing perspectives, but eventually learned to respect each others' viewpoints, all the same. In fact, one night he actually admitted that the war in View Nam was a mistake.

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