I am a dreamer in all senses of the word. I dream of new and different realities…I dream of all sorts of potentialities while wide awake. I also dream at night – often vividly. Those dreams at night aren’t quite the same as my daydreams (even though they sometimes deal with potentialities that I may have daydreamed about). My night dreams are eclectic, and often interlaced with the things I choose not to spend too much time thinking about during the day – things I dismiss either to avoid too much distraction or based on a dislike for the thoughts.
God bless my subconscious though…it keeps all of these items stored on videotape somewhere and gleefully splices the tapes together as it sees fit and runs its creations in all-night marathons while I sleep. They are little bits of masterpieces to be sure – the realism factor has often awaken me with a jolt or left me not wanting to wake up at all so that I might continue to mentally play out the activity going on in the dream.
Mostly I dream about the following things: my kid’s safety, wild love affairs, being late to or forgetting an engagement, violence, being embarrassed because I am in some state of undress in public, or sex (and no the last two topics do not appear in dreams together – well, at least the embarrassment does not go with the undress in the final topic). Many, many, many moons ago when I was young and my subconscious had much less to work with I had a book that addressed why folks dream about certain things. At the time I was not all that interested in the book as my dreams were fairly straightforward and predictable – boys, work, social life – not too much to interpret there.
These days the films are typically complex and intertwined with a multitude of themes and sub-themes. I often wake-up with a clear appreciation of all the thoughts I tried to push aside the day before having just viewed the tape in my head. And lucky me, I remember my dreams – at least just as I first wake-up. The memory of most dreams tends to evaporate over the day as I push away most of those thoughts back to the place I liked them in the first place – in my deep subconscious. There are some dreams though that I must admit are so very pleasing that I not only continue thinking about them throughout the day, but I also purposefully think about them as I go to sleep again the next night – there are some movies I don’t mind being in again and again.
Before I went to Ghana in 2009 I took Malarone (a drug used to prevent malaria) which produces as a side-effect very vivid dreams. As a girl who already dreams quite vividly I have to tell you – WOW – that was a wild week or so of dreams. Fortunately, I didn’t experience any serious nightmares while I was on Malarone as I understand that they can quite literally undo some folks. My dreams seemed very real and were decidedly pleasing so I went to Ghana with quite a smile on my face.
I sometimes think I should go buy one of those dream books so that I can better interpret the meaning of my dreams, but most days I care less about why the Cheshire Cat appears than why I am dreaming about a clandestine love affair with a soldier going off to war. Alas, I can unpack the latter scenario quite easily knowing the things I pack away in my subconscious.
It has been said to me more than once in my life travels that I am “living the dream.” Indeed, I am. I am the vessel in which these dreams are created and they represent my hopes, fears and thoughts – often the hopes, fears and thoughts that I push down during the day and try to ignore while I am going about the real business of life. I do so appreciate my brain capturing these things and saving them for later (and while I say that with a healthy dose of sarcasm I will note that some of the items my brain captures and saves I really do appreciate).
The brain is an amazing thing and I can’t help but believe that dreams are purposeful in their delivery. As a person whose mind never shuts-off I understand that the mash-up I get in my dreams is my brain doing some level of sense-making and perhaps some purposeful re-emphasis on topics of enduring focus, concern and importance in my life. If I look at the topics I tend to dream about I completely understand what root feelings they come from – love, fear, shyness, insecurity, control and sexuality. I don’t need a book to tell me that – that part I live and I get…but, if you have a dream book and it explains the presence of the Cheshire Cat in dreams, please let me know what it says…that grinning cat is just creepy and seeing as my name isn’t Alice and I haven’t fallen down any rabbit holes I have to wonder why he continues to appear and disappear at will.
Day four hundred and nineteen of the new forty – obla di obla da