Writing again

New Nightly Destination!

It’s always interesting when new destinations pop up in my patchwork dream geography. (Just as often the dreams are beyond interpreting as anything other than the misfires of an overheated physio-chemical pudding encased in bone, but that’s not the point, today.)

I am certain that Paul isn’t planning on transferring to some unspecified location in California — think of Hollywood’s take on LA more or less. If we did move to Lalaland, I am equally certain we would not be renting an apartment in a 25 story building that has all its apartments along maze-like corridors that vary by floor.

 If, for some unlikely reason, that event occurred, I am positively, absolutely certain that the floor plan for said apartment would not be a larger, more antique-y east-facing variant of an apartment we rented in Deer Grove Illinois for 5 years or so.

This area is still an intriguing addition to my inner world. The apartment building in all its hugeness is located within a long walk of my dream geography Borders store, despite being in a barely-gentrified slum zone. At first you wouldn’t realize that the area is seamy: the apartment is gorgeous. The danger signs are all behind-the-scenes like the fire exits, which lead to scary stairwells in narrow allyways blocked by garbage and debris.

At one point I was trying to reenter the building through such a side door (I’d forgotten something at home and had to run back on my lunch hour to retrieve it, and I learned that while the building is close, it’s along, long detour to actually walk there instead of driving along roads that had no sidewalks.) Once inside the security door I got trapped between it and the building door at the end of the alley, which showed signs of past burning and seemed to be boarded over with plywood from the inside. (Turns out the plywood was only propped up, and just had to be moved aside…why? It’s a dream, who knows?)

The building has the fastest elevators imaginable, but they can get stuck between floors.

There’s a ghost of a mummy between the 6th and 7th floors. One of the neighbors showed it to me while showing me a shortcut to get back to work faster.

Does any of this mean anything? Doubtful. Was it entertaining? Hells, yes. The other neighbors are even stranger than the one who showed me the mummy.
Life can be weird. Dreams are always weirder.
Writing again

Dream Geography Part 1

Do you remember your dreams? I do.

The images and events often make no sense, if regarded as a narrative,  but I recall many of them in vivid detail. The first time I heard of lucid dreaming (a pop-psychology fad that comes and goes) it was described as a difficult discipline to master. That surprised me. I have always been the director of my own sleeping adventures.

I don’t remember all my dreams, not by any means. I’m sure I go through REM sleep several times a night like everyone else, retaining nothing of the experience. Some dreams, though–some of them stick with me. When I finally pull free of sleep, they trail after my consciousness like loose threads, tickling my imagination and plucking at my ability to concentrate on the practical, grounded necessities of real life.

There’s a distinct geography to my dreamscape, too. I visit the same places time and time again. Events never recur, but themes do: storms, journeys, personal conflicts and disasters all feature prominently. I’m seldom alone, in this interconnected land of my subconscious.  I often interact with people I don’t recognize physically, but who are known to me on some visceral, accepting level of my soul. The faces that I would call enemy or friend in my nightly adventures might look nothing like the people I would reject or embrace when awake. Sometimes they aren’t even human, in my dreams, but I know them.

The disconnected territories I visit are as distinctive as any places I’ve walked in the physical world, and their inhabitants are as fully-realized as the living, breathing people who share my daily life. I seem to add new places and new faces when I’ve learned something new, when I’ve stretched my mental or physical limits. My dreamscape grows richer whenever I’ve lived larger and breathed deeper and stretched myself. Every experience in the waking world adds to the universe of my imagination.

In all my life, I have only had three nightmares. In each case, my brain played a cruel trick, and I woke from dream to dream, then to dream again, each nastier than the next. There’s a scene in An American Werewolf in London that perfectly captures the feeling of helpless panic and despair this creates. The rest of the time, when I’m dreaming, I know it’s a dream, I just don’t care. It’s a dream. Things are happening. It’s entertainment.

That’s not to say my dreams are exciting. I have read books, in my dreams. (It makes for an odd kind of deja vu, sometimes, when I re-read the real text that inspired it)  I have spent dreamtime cleaning grout, climbing stairs, solving math puzzle, and getting lost in malls.

I’m not the kind of person who can keep a dream journal at the bedside and hold the discipline of writing down each one as I wake, no more than I seem to be able to hold to the discipline of writing anything to a schedule. Instead, I plan to scribble them down here, now and then, when I encounter a dream that leaves a strong enough imprint to last into the daylight hours.

I called this post part 1, but please don’t expect me to be consistent with titles. Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, or something like that. Google the quote if you want. I promise I’ll label the posts with “dream geography.” Beyond that, meh.

You’re hoping I dream about gargoyles, aren’t you? Me, too.