Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Dream: the Fear of Public Speaking

Mirabile dictu, thanks to a couple of Aleve and light exercise, my back seems to be recovering nicely. Yesterday's caterwauling notwithstanding, the progress has been from agony to a mere ache. Now for a dream:

I have accepted a position as President of Loyola Marymount University. (I was in reality Dean of the arts there in what seems like a former life, back in the 1980s, in the days before I awoke to the fact that I was not supposed to be spending my life in academia--having already spent nearly a quarter of a century there.) It is the day of my inauguration, and I realize that I have not prepared a speech. I have been relying on my ability to ad lib, and have assumed that it would be enough to utter a few pleasant words. Now that the moment is arriving, it dawns on me that a full speech will be required, and I recall in something of a panic that I'm more likely than not to freeze in such situations. I have taken too much for granted. There is no time to write a full speech, so I begin to scribble cue words on the back of an envelope in the desperate attempt to have something to work from. When I wake up, a good few minutes pass before I realize that my mind is still writing that speech that will never need to be made...

A big day at the computer today, editing and stitching together all the telephone interviews I've done in preparation for my next " Art of Outrage" column for Artscene Visual Radio.


Fred said...

My version of that anxiety dream, which plays fairly frequently in the "grindhouse" of my subconscious, is that I'm about to open in a play. As curtain time approaches there's lots of frantic activity backstage, and I realize that I don't know what part I'm playing, have never rehearsed, and have never even read the script. No one listens to my protestations of ignorance, and terror mounts as the curtain rises and I try to bluff and improvise. Yikes!

carly said...

Mine stems from my love of old cars. The damn thing won't start, or something is broken. Now I'm in a fix.

Peter. Did I ever tell you of my dream about a man standing in an office which began to come apart with cracks and smoke? The word "disintegration" came over the loudspeaker in my head. This dream happened the morning of 9/11.

And another, in which I dreamt the nearly exact events of my car being stolen, 2 days before it did?

It really is evidence that there is more to reality than we can see.

PeterAtLarge said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one--though anxiety dreams are rare for me. Maybe I have more than I remember! Carly, your dreams sound frighteningly prophetic. Ever thought of helping out the CIA? They could use the help. Cheers, PaL

Cynthia said...

Congratulations on your new position. If anyone can speak eloquently that would be you, I find the nervousness to speak is like a fire that makes the event brighter inside and out. If that makes any sense. I know the back issue - I woke up unable to move awhile back so I use the Pete Egoscue method to lie on the floor, knees bent over a stable foot rest to stablize the lower back and a chiropractor who recommended I sleep on my side rather than on belly/side. Hopefully it will stay in place.... Again, congrats!