Sunday, February 7, 2010

Of Talents, Gifts, and Dreams

I've more to say on the subject of dreams. Weeks back I posted about some of the weird and wacky dreams I've recalled come morning. We all are dreaming nightly, "they say", but most dreams never register into our daytime consciousness.

As I sit here on this early Sunday morning the skies are still dark and the coffee brewing all too slowly in the kitchen. I remember snippets of my dream from last night.

I am a student again, taking classes in medical school. But, the strange thing is, I am already a doctor fully trained so why I am in school isn't clear. Renal Physiology is taught by a master, someone I've known in the past, someone who in non-dream life is deceased, his life cut short by a devastating heart attack when he was in his early sixties. This already sounds way too convoluted.

True to form, I've missed the first class and have to admit this to the snooty course coordinator the next day as I pick up the course materials. She shakes her head and says, "The first assignment is due on Friday and the test is after that." She goes on to acknowledge that the topics are so complex that even after all her years listening to the chief deliver the lectures, she'd never be able to pass even the first test.

Lecture 1, which I've missed, covers the renal handling of potassium, a subject in "real life" which continues to fascinate me and for which I feel I'll never really have grip beyond the basic talking points. The lecture outline and diagrams are gorgeous, beauty to behold (I've always loved great study guides and visuals, especially in relation to renal physiology) Wow, I think, missing this lecture was poor timing and here's the course coordinator adding fuel to the fire by admonishing me that an assignment and test are on the horizon, implying it will be an uphill battle for me to catch up having missed only one of his lectures. (She doesn't know that I'm already a fully trained nephrologist, I say to myself).

On my way out of the office, I drop my handbag and everything spills out. I hear Professor Hebert who has been wandering about in the background and who spies me, requests that his assistant ask if amongst all my stuff scattered on the carpet might there be a tube (unopened) of toothpaste? In "real life" there was such a mini-tube, the type you get from the dentist's office, in my purse yesterday. Ahhhh, the nature of dreams to weave reality and fantasy in the most twisted ways.

The dream ended but I know from a deep place the message is prescient.

I'm struggling these days with just how to use my talents (writing and teaching) in such a way that I'm ignited with passion rather than beaten down by self doubt and criticism.

I'll think on this; the dream and the real life realities.

If we are blessed with talent(s), must we use them? Are our gifts our destiny?


  1. GOod question. I guess I'd say, it's not a must but I do believe when we have talents naturally, they are what we gravitate toward... or should. The hiccup can be when something in how we are raised or the environment and/or mindframe we find ourselves in in continuing formative years may cause blocks like self doubt or criticism, or even skewing our values so that we don't use them.

    Then there is also the question of being multi talented. I think everyone has mutliple talents but what if you truly have a knack for many things? In that case I think I'd go see what renaissance people like Jefferson and Ben Franklin would advise... As they apparently used all of theirs.

  2. Nice that you were able to remember the dream in such detail.

  3. When we are ready, we will do what we are meant to do. Life is a process and few of us get where we're going by traveling in a straight line.

    I had a vivid dream the other night about teaching. I think I'm through with that part of my life, but occasionally it comes through clear as glass, so maybe there is more to come.

  4. Cornell has a very good video for cat owners that really puts it in understandable terms and I watch it from time to time just to help me with clients and explaining it to them.


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