Perchance to Dream
I had a stellar day yesterday. I’d checked my e-mail, had progressed to having a cuddle with the cat while talking to mor when, at the last possible moment, I realized that I didn't have time for a slow start to the day. Babbling something along the lines of "got a meeting, gotta go, bye!", I hung up and ran out the door, barely making it on time. I then progressed to ask very blonde questions and subsequently, making a silent promise to myself never to schedule meetings before my soul has had a chance to catch up with the rest of me. After having done a quick grocery run, during which I forgot half of my list, I suddenly realized that it was Dawn's birthday. Grabbed the phone, quickly dialed the number and when she picked up, enthusiastically and very off key sang the Danish birthday song. At the beginning of the second line, I realized that her birthday is in fact today, not yesterday (tillykke med fødselsdagen, Dawn!), but I completed the song nonetheless - hey, it was her birthday in Australia, so it counts. So since I apparently spent most yesterday in a state of half asleep, it seemed fitting to speak of dreams.
A couple weeks ago, on Dooce, I saw this great link about mundane dreams, like "I am at work, wearing my clothes". I don’t have ‘em. Mundane dreams, that is. Never did. For instance, earlier this week, I dreamt about polygamist settlers in the 1800s in some sort of inhospitable environment, gearing up for battle. Maybe it was about the Mountain Meadows massacre, although I wonder how my brain came up with that – it’s been a while since I read about that particular bit of American history.
I do that a lot. Wonder how my brain comes up with what it does when I drift off to sleep. For a while, I even thought of the 'why' of it, but mostly, I just sit/lie back and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is.
I used to bodyhop in my dreams, by which I mean that I was very rarely myself . Instead I would enter whatever body was appropriate to the context - I've been women, men (although, only rarely), I've been a vampire, an alien and once, I was even a dog. That's just the beginning, we haven't even started on the action yet. There has been attacks by demons housed in the body of a Jack Russell terrier, hot air balloon rides at sunset through the Australian outback, for awhile, I hung out with Russell Crowe a lot in my dreams - alas, it was always completely platonic, although Daniel Craig is, based on his appearance in a recent dream, a damned good kisser. Never have I cursed an alarm clock more. I've been in battles in space, lost in the Amazon, hunted by spiders, levitated (that was really cool), ridden horses, had children, time travelled, visited with my dead, barrelled down a highway in a snowstorm, pursued by evil soldiers and you get the picture. All in Technicolor. I'm pretty sure that my need for adventures that require physical participation is met during these kinds of dreams.
These days, the body hopping doesn't happen that often. I am mostly myself in dreams and when I need to do something I know I can't, the dream just sort of shifts and skips that bit. I love the way your mind gets around reality when you're dreaming.
For the longest time, I didn't have recurring dreams and was a little put out about it - it sounded neat. My first recurring dream happened during a period of a few years in my 30s where I dreamt of being able to breathe under water. I never found out what that was about, although it felt significant. As I've grown older, there are a couple of recurring themes that happen in specific situations. When I'm under a lot of stress, feel like my life is out of control, but haven't quite admitted it to myself yet, I dream of tornadoes. When I discovered the connection, it became a really handy tool for knowing when I need to make some changes. I have another type of dreams where I keep going, but never get anywhere - that one happens during intense relationship problems and reminds me that I've done everything I can and need to get out.
Some people say they can't remember ever dreaming and I feel bad for them - every night, my brain entertains me with movies made up of scattered impulses from the day (it’s why I don't read scary books too close to bedtime), movies that are more fantastical, wonderful and often more demented than anything I can come up with in the waking state. It's why I've never done any kind of hallucinogens – if this is what my mind comes up with unaided, I don’t want to think about what’d happen while under the influence.
And now it's your turn. Tell me about your dreams.