Whimsy Writing again

Dreams & other things

A friend on Facebook brought up the topic of weird anxiety dreams a while back. It made me think about how much I enjoy the heck out of my dreams even when they’re full of awful occurrences. Here’s the most recent memorable addition to the collection.

This ramble through the wilds of my subconscious took me to one of my regular locations: a HUGE university campus that grows and changes depending on how recently I’ve visited my alma mater and other factors in my life I haven’t pinned down yet. I’m always new on campus, I’m always clueless about where anything is, and I never know anyone. Signs and maps are ubiquitous though, and I do a lot of research.

In this dream I’m supposed to assist with a medical procedure in one building, but I get trapped by a doctor who doesn’t like me in a classroom building on the other side. So I come up with a clever escape plan involving a cat and a clock (details were vague, but I am *sure* it would work and it does.)

Then I have to thread my way through all the back paths on the campus I don’t know yet to get back to my new dorm to change clothes so I can properly help with the Important procedure (the nature of the medical issue was never made clear/important to me, nor did I ever grasp the specific need for new clothes. I just know I need them. )

And of course I keep getting lost in weird places like a grotto with pine trees and glowing mushrooms. And I steal a bicycle at some point, one with multi-colored glittery streamers on the handlebars. (Important detail)  Also, there was rain, but not on me. All this made perfect sense.

On the advice of the mushrooms I find my way nearly back, but I have to dodge through a food fight in the dining hall to get to the right quad. I get out the door to find that the whole place is unrecognizable because some frat boys have covered all the buildings in big colorful building wraps like bouncy houses designed to look like psychedelic replicas of Roman landmarks.  ( my dream university does not have fraternities or sororities, by the way. Yet there are frat boys.)

And they’re doing it all  for some big unnamed festival so everyone on campus is out and about celebrating and getting in my way.  Given I don’t even know the names of all the buildings or the normal layout, I have no chance of ever finding my dorm in that mess.

Even in my dream I was thinking, “okay, but this is beyond absurd,” and I was persuading one of the frat boys to reveal which building was mine when I woke up.

Objectively I would expect that dream to be jam-packed with dread and worry, but it wasn’t. It was honestly a good bit of fun.

That’s all for now.

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Last night in weird dreams

Shifting bedtimes and being randomly awakened by an elderly cat having hissy fits is evidently stretching my brain in strange direction. I’ve been adding figurative square miles to my inner dream geography every night.

The latest? Cross-continental plane flight with Spouseman.

The plane was impossibly large and split into three levels: I think my mind based it on an public aquarium crossed with a train station lobby — the lowest level was for walking around during the flight and for passengers who bought sleeper mattress spaces. It had these big wrap around windows that were showing landscape scenes but not the actual sky outside. The top section I never saw because that was for “first class passengers.”

The middle section ahd windows like a train, big and wide, and the clouds were amazing. We were flying east into the night on our way to Australia. (Why Australia? Why NOT?!)

Spouseman and I had tickets for seats on a row packed with people, and there was a big school group of elementary-age kids in the row behind us and in our row except for these two snooty young women who were sitting in our seats when we got to them. (The flight was late and took off before everyone got seated.)

Much of the dream narrative revolved around dealing with them and getting them kicked out of our seats (so we could play ball toss with the kids) and the snobs being all indignant and lying — they’d made fake tickets with better seats than the ones in their own names. They lost their actual seats and got exiled to the worst seats next to the bathroom because they annoyed the flight attendants by lying and being insulting.

Oh, and the seats were absurdly big for airplane seats, and the food was delicious– I had beef stew and bread and a big mug of wine (why in a mug? I dunno. Ask my subconscious?) — and the meal was served with silverware and cloth napkins.

So it was obviously a dream. Ha!


New dream geography



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.

The latest

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.

Writing again

Storm Dreams

Last night I dreamed about storms again.

I saw an article yesterday about dreams, about ways people work to experience dreams more completely and controllably. That’s my night-normal. My dreams are entertainment and inspirations full of old friends and familiar places, with new adventures showing nightly.

Sometimes months go by without a storm dream, but when they come, they come in swarms. Night after night. This week already I’ve had three: hurricane, blizzard, and torrential rains. The details vary–tornadoes, floods, and lightning are all fodder for my subconscious and its unceasing need to make stories–but the theme never changes. The wold is full of dangers no one expects, and preparing for the worst is the key to survival.

The dream dictionaries all say storm dreams are a warning of turbulence and stress in waking life, about processing pain, loss and catastrophe, but mine never feel so burdensome. They aren’t nightmares. The storms don’t frighten. They exhilarate.  There’s often an ominous element, a feeling of impending doom, but there’s no fear, because it’s a dream and I know it. The urgency excites. I  feel renewed by the sense of purpose my storm experiences bring me.

They’re always about escape and survival, about preparing and repairing damages. No one listens to warnings at first in my dreams (a reflection of real life, perhaps) but I take something away from trying into real life when I wake up–and I always try. I’m never helpless.

There’s real power in that. Keep throwing that wild weather at me, dreaming self. I’ll keep turning it to my will.

Time: 9:15AM
Tea: Irish Breakfast
Steep Time: almost 10 minutes. I like typing about dreams.