Chasing dreams: one mocha at a time

Brooke Lewis, Reporter

As I entered Calypso’s Coffee in Coeur d’Alene, the bitter aroma of coffee beans as well as freshly grilled paninis filled the air. I recall passing by this coffee shop on numerous occasions and seeing a sign that read “Free dream interpretations every Wednesday and Thursday.” As I waited for my hazelnut mocha to be prepared, I decided that I would give it a shot, given that dreams have always intrigued me.
After quickly downing my coffee, my heart raced and I nervously chewed at my nails as I walked up to the vintage-styled couches, where a middle-aged man sat. I asked him, “Is this the place where we go to have our dreams interpreted?” His eyes lit up, and he introduced himself. Richard feared the snow had kept people away, but wasting no time, he asked me if I had a dream that I would like for him to interpret.
I began to explain the dream to him to the best of my memory. “The dream began as a typical school night during my freshmen year of college and that my dreams always had a way of finding their way back to the time I spent in the dorms at Colorado Christian University. The rules there were incredibly strict to the point where you couldn’t have a member of the opposite gender in the bedrooms.”
“In my dream I was getting in trouble by the RA for breaking the rules and for some reason they had to have a conference with both of my parents. When I entered the dimly lit room that the conference was being held in, both of my parents were sitting there, and my mother was talking the RA’s ear off as usual. I sat between them and listened to the conversation.” “
“I recall finding it particularly interesting that my father hadn’t said one word the entire time, and I said something to my mother along the lines of “Can you let dad say something now?” for my father was always a good mediator for circumstances just like this. My mother looked back at me with a puzzled look on her face as if she didn’t know what I was talking about. I then asked, “You don’t see him? He’s sitting right there!”
“It was exactly then that the realization that my father was no longer alive finally hit me. It was as soon as I made this conscious awareness that he looked directly at me, raised his finger to his lips and then disintegrated into thin air.”
I then provided Richard with a little background about myself, my past and my father’s suicide that took place when I was sixteen. He wiggled in his seat uncomfortably and looked solemnly into my eyes as he gently placed his hand on mine and said, “Oh my word, this couldn’t have been that long ago. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
I then realized that I forgot to tell the kind gentlemen how old I was and reassured him that I was actually 21 years old and that this happened in 2013. He tapped his fingers to his chin, looked up at the ceiling for a moment and then quietly asked, “How did you feel when you woke up from this dream?”
“Well,” I remember waking up from this dream in tears,” I replied.
He then asked me to give him a little more background about my interest in dreams and the reasons I came in today. I said, “I have always had such a curiosity about dreams, and I have never been able to accept that they are merely random and meaningless symbols of my overly active imagination like everyone else likes to believe . . . . Why is it that when my father enters my dream, I am able to enter into the state of lucid dreaming and he disappears every time I acknowledge the fact that I am dreaming and become aware that he is no longer alive today?”
Richard explained that when my father disappears, it is symbolizing the reality that he disappeared from my life so suddenly and without any explanation. He also said that I still have the desire and expectation for him stay there, but he never does. Knowing that I was a Christian, he felt comfortable enough to tell me the more in depth theory he had on it. He explained to me that based on the information I provided for him about my father and the way he presents himself in the dream, he truly believed that this was my father. He told me that sometimes God uses our dreams to show us incredible things and to take us places that we would never be able to go on our own. He believed God was attempting to offer me a sense of closure and healing in giving me dreams like these.
He then asked if he could pray for me that God would give me the same amount of confidence of knowing for sure when my father was really there and that God would make it clear to me what he was trying to tell me. While he prayed for me, he had me place my palms out toward the ceiling with his laid upon mine. I began to notice a very hot sensation between our hands, one that I had never felt before. It is important to note that his palms did not feel moist or sweaty, just warm, as if there was a burning furnace between our palms.
I came back to Calypsos on Thursday to speak with a different interpreter so that I could get multiple interpretations of my dream and compare the two. This time the place was a little more crowded, and there were more interpreters on staff. I approached a lady with circular glasses and soon learned that she was a licensed psychologist named Cassia. I gave her the exact same explanation of the dream as I had to the previous interpreter. She began by explaining to me that the psychological definition of a dream is that they are a successions of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during the REM stage of sleep.
“Every person that appears in our dreams are pieces of ourselves playing the role of who we are attempting to portray. That is why when you ask your father questions in your dreams, he is unable to answer them because you don’t know the answers to your own questions. This is your mind trying to find closure for these questions and is frustrated when it is unable to do so. It is important to not ever be mean to these figures in your dreams because in doing this, you are only hurting yourself,” she said.
Her thoughts were all centered around the idea that dreams are entirely created by your own subconscious mind and no individual or thing can penetrate your own mind and give you these ideas. Her theory made sense, but I have to admit that it wasn’t nearly as satisfying or as heartfelt of an answer as the Christian response from my previous encounter with Richard.
The two experiences made me learn a lot about myself as well as my dreams and think very hard about why I feel that God has given us the ability to dream. I am very glad that I went on these ventures and gained a better understanding of how meaningful the dreams truly are. I am also pleased that I was able to receive both the Christian and psychological approaches to dream interpretation.
For clarification on your dreams or for a cup of joe, visit Calypso’s Coffee and Creamery! It is located in downtown Coeur D’Alene off of East Lakeside Avenue.