I’ve been dreaming again. Well, sorta. Since REM sleep research indicates I dream every time I slee, I suppose I’m remembering my dreams again comes closer to what I want. But that isn’t quite right either. My dreamtime world is no less real to me than my waking one, but it’s also no more real.
Most dreams are too ephemeral, too disjointed, to solidify into memory. Fragments of sound and image pass across my sleeping senses, emotions bubble up and coalesce, but they connect only in the most fragile of ways. They melt into chaos on waking, dissolving into wispy incoherence like frost in morning sun.
I don’t commit such cobwebby stuff to long-term storage any more than I recall what I wore to work two months ago on a Tuesday or what I ate for supper on May 13th last year. There’s simply no point.
Other dreams though– some dreams are built to last. Some dreams boil over with vivid ideas so perfectly, weirdly connected they leave impressions as deep and permanent as dinosaur footprints in the river mud of my mind.
Those are the dreams I’ve been making lately. I’m dreaming fossil dreams.
Dreams that add layers of history and mystery to my everyday wakeful life are worth revisiting, adding to the ever-growing map of my inner world. So to be strictly accurate, I guess I must say, my dream world is growing again.
As with most growing processes, there’s some pain involved. Poor, patient Spouseman has had to cope with me being clingy and fretful several mornings this week. Unlike the kid in the picture to the right, I don’t get angry at him for what he’s done in dreams, but I do awaken feeling vulnerable when his dream avatar was angry at me.
Anxiety and guilt take longer to detach from mindful awareness than the obvious oddities of dream logic. The sight of an old friend (last seen decades ago IRL) riding a black spotted Shire horse along the second-floor hallway of a hotel criss-crossed by Escherian elevated corridors? That’s clearly unreal. The regretful ache of decisions gone wrong, on the other hand–that’s hard to shake even when the choices involved make zero waking sense.
Despite the awkward moments, I mostly enjoy adding new places to my recurring dreamscape. It generally happens when I’m changing and growing, so I take it as a sign that I’m doing something right in my life.
A cave complex. This is a totally new place, and we’re talking BIG, the kind that make Mammoth Cave in Kentucky look like a starter house. I’ve only been there twice now, but escaping alien invasion and fomenting rebellion were involved both times. I’ll likely be exploring it again, if only because I’m gut-certain it connects to other mental spaces, but I have no idea how/where.
The horse & rider I described earlier were spotted in a convention center/hotel complex. Despite all my real-life travels, this is the first time a whole dream hotel has solidified into memorable shape. This place is complicated, and my initial wanderings indicate it’s already attached to many existing dream destinations (like the bizarre locking stairwell that only lets you travel one way, the bewildering rental car counter/underground garage/pull-up driveway that never let me go where I want, the decrepit hotel lobby on a lakeshore where monsters lurk in the depths, the restaurant with a swimming pool in the center…) I’m sure I’ll run across the convention again, now that it’s settled in.
And as of last night, my dream house relocated. For years any dream involving “home” has been a building in a semi-urban environment, with neighbors close on both sides .Usually I play out dream resolutions for IRL connections and conflicts there. Now the home-building has planted itself someplace that looks like a cross between Appalachian ridge&valley mature forest and Wisconsin rolling prairie: tucked against a hill with rolling meadow below, and within walking distance there’s a a town full of unfriendly folk (who all work at the hotel and dislike me for reasons I haven’t quite figured out yet.) I’m looking forward to investigating the mystery in due time.
So, in conclusion, fun things are happening in my head.