Archives for the month of: December, 2012

I don’t use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough. – M. C. Escher

The dreams I remember upon waking feel like a strange little gift presented by the subconscious. Even if I have a horrific dream, at least it is something interesting to tumble around in the back of my head the next day (or sometimes for the rest of my life).

We forget most of our dreams, of course, shortly after our feet hit the floor. Some of the best stories and songs ever written appeared first as dreams, and those dreamers had the good sense and well worn skills to immediately record a few notes before the brainwaves settled back down.

My first memorable childhood nightmare was a harrowing adaptation of the Norwegian fairy tale “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, with my parents and brother as the three goats clip clopping across the bridge. I watched in horror as an ugly troll emerged from under the bridge, pulling them down and and eating them alive, one by one.  I slept the rest of that night in my parents’ bed.

Perhaps we’ve all had the classics.  Falling perilously and waking up just before hitting bottom was a repeat throughout my childhood. It was coolest when it involved a waterfall, but I usually fell from a mountain or foreboding cliff. I’m glad I outgrew this set of dreams and thankfully never hit rock bottom.

Another childhood classic (I say hopefully) is walking to school naked or taking off my coat at school and realizing I had forgotten to get dressed. Social anxiety, not prepared for my third grade quiz? This one I looked up online, and the questionable source suggests an inflated sense of self. OK then, perhaps I was a confident eight year old.

Somewhere in adulthood I started having “vision dreams”. There is no memorable plot or story line to a vision dream; you simply awaken with a wildly vivid picture in your mind. In my favorite I’m up on a mountain looking down at a tropical bay and boats and fireworks and thousands of stars in the sky.  Years later I found an illustration that doesn’t depict it, but the colors and mood are exactly like that in my dream.  I definitely dream in color.

I haven’t taken out books from the library to study dreams or anything like that. I can usually piece together the two or three elements from recent events that curdle into mind blips that then surface as dreams.

But I was inspired to write this post because today I had my favorite kind of dream… in which a close, beloved deceased relative or friend pops in, for a few lifelike moments, to say hello. While I was taking a 20 minute power nap, my father appeared. It was just for a second;  only a quick look at his combed hair and his glasses and his bright blue eyes, wearing his favorite tan jacket over a tall wiry frame, smiling and stepping up a curb to approach me as I stood somewhere outside.

So thank you, dream, for giving me back my Dad, just for a moment. That’ll keep me going for a while.

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Reading, in fact soaking up art and ideas in all forms, feels as important and sustaining to me as eating and drinking and sleeping.

To me, reading and writing are simply different entry points into the same energy space of communication and expression.

So I hope that the way I write here, and the things I write about, creates a place where you might want to come when you have a moment to kick back, have a cup of tea, and read something that might strike a chord with you.