Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Your Dreams

First of all, my apologies to those who are kind enough to check back frequently and who may have been disappointed in my recent lack of posts. My kids were sick, then I was sick, then a bunch of other time consuming things happened. I've been able to find time for commenting here and there (Woman cannot live entirely without Blog) but I'm hoping things will settle down and I can hop into routine again.

That said-

I am a very vivid dreamer. My mind can still easily recall clear images from dreams I had as a child. Don't even get me started on the one where Spiderman captured my mom. Terrifying.

I have noticed that through different eras of my life my dreams have carried themes. For a few years in my young adulthood I was always dreaming of being chased by someone with a knife or a gun, and despite my most clever means of escape they were always right behind me. And I was often shot or stabbed, feeling my wounds and wondering why I wasn't dead yet.

Then there was another bout where it seemed every unresolved issue I'd ever encountered was coming back, begging for closure. I dreamt of the boy who wanted to marry me but I broke up with him instead. I dreamt of the employers of a job I'd walked out on as a rash teen. In all the dreams I was forgiven and a lasting relationship was reestablished.

I bought a dream encyclopedia to help me decipher what some of my dreams meant, but wrote it off as hokey, finding most meanings as specific as fortune cookie fortunes. One entry actually said, "Dreaming of insects indicates that something is 'bugging' you." Hmm.

With my recent flood, however, of incredibly vivid and emotionally powerful dreams, I got the old book out again. I found most meanings just as ridiculous as before, but one meaning in particular stuck out to me. It said "Dreaming of a beautiful lover is like a gift to oneself, a recognition of inner beauty and strength."

I'll take it.

A few nights ago I had a brief but strong dream of a man who, by the emotion of it, was clearly intimate with me. This was not a sex dream. The only image I can retain is of my hand on his waist, the texture of his shirt and sturdiness of his hip beneath it. But this one image carries such powerful emotion, an understanding between two people that I don't think can possibly exist in real life. In that one moment I was the most euphorically beautiful, understood, empowered woman imaginable.

I've also been dreaming stories. Stories more creative and emotionally driven than I can create in a wakeful state. So, of course I've been writing like crazy, right? No, and I'll tell you why.

I'm afraid. These dreams are so perfect in the way I remember them emotionally that I can't fathom where to begin in relating them to others. I don't want to taint them. No matter what I write, something will be lost, for there are feelings in dreams that cannot be achieved during consciousness.

Or, can they?

Have you ever read something that has elicited a stronger emotional response than what you experience in your own relationships?

Do you have vivid dreams like this?

Please share.

Vocabulary Word of the Day:
SARDONIC - adj. - Scornfully or cynically mocking.


Michelle said...

I never thought dreams were completely random. If you think back hard enough, you're processing something that you felt or thought about during the day. Like your brain's defragmenting every night while you sleep. But I rarely remember my own dreams.

Lately, I've been having insane pregnancy dreams, so vivid and real and almost always unpleasant. I wake up crying or in a panic every night now.

You're right, it's so hard to convey the depth of that emotion to anyone else. When I'm writing, I just try to use those feelings to help me get through a scene. Any time I try to transfer an actual dream story on paper, it falls completely flat.

Jaye Wells said...

I've been having vivid dreams recently. They're doesn't seem to be an overarching theme. However, I've started jotting them down in a Word file. I have a few months worth now and it's interesting to see patterns. They're also great for story ideas. And I totally check my dream journal. I'm usually able to figure them out on my own but I'm fascinated with symbolism.

Jaye Wells said...

Dude, it's late. I meant "there" not "they're."

SzélsőFa said...

I used to have dreams about one special man, who, in my dreams was my lover. It was not a sex dream and we made no love, and most of the time in these dreams, we did not even touched each other's hands for example.
Yet there was that feeling, what you so beautifully described with you touching the waist, where you felt mighty and loved - I doubt this feeling we experience would be easy to be put into words, for others to understand.

And no, I can't recall a literature that affected me more than my real-flie problems. Well, most of my reallife issues are less interesting and complicated than those I read about in books, but the intensity of my feelings towards my reallife events are usually deeper.

SzélsőFa said...

It's not late, but **my real-flie problems.** should be read **my real-life problems.** instead.

and I'm with Michelle, dreams are not random. I don't think anything's random, though.
But dream encyclopedias are rather for fun.

Scott said...

A dream inspired my only published short story. Sometimes I dream of beautiful women that want to have sex with me, but when it gets down to business, they don't have the equipment (think Barbie).

Hoodie said...

Michelle - Are you pregnant? I've only ever had pregnancy dreams while pregnant. I had a weird one where the baby came out with rastafarian hair. My dream book says having weird pregnancy dreams while pregnant just means you have some anxiety about the pregnancy/labor. If you aren't pregnant, I don't know what to tell you. My pregnancies were nightmares, asleep or not.

Jaye - I find symbolism intriguing as well. But how do I know that symbols in my dreams mean what I think they do? If you and I both dream of mountains, do they symbolize the same thing?
I'm going to have start a dream journal.

Szelsofa - Isn't it interesting that there seem to be emotions that exist only in dreams? Sometimes movies make me feel things stronger than I do in real life, but I think it's like you said, nothing happening in my life is as intense as what's happening in the movie.

Scott - Published, huh? Maybe there's something to this. As for the women in your dreams, I'm sorry. That must be truly disheartening. And strange.

strugglingwriter said...

I know I left a comment here, but it seems to be lost in the ether. Just wanted to let you know I stopped by. A synopsis of my original comment:

My wife remembers her dreams and is sometimes troubled by them in waking hours.

I rarely remember my dreams, and have to write them down or they're gone. To me a dream is like a movie, once the camera stops rolling the movie is gone.

Hoodie said...

I sympathize with your wife. I've had nightmares so terrifying that I've had to turn on all the lights and listen to happy music or have my husband read to me. The scariest one I've ever had will still get the best of me if I dwell on it, and I had it about 3 years ago.

You are like my husband. The most detail I get from him is, "Umm, I think I was playing soccer?"

Anonymous said...

My dreams are disappointing. Very mundane for the most part.

I think you should use your dreams in any way they move you. Don't worry about capturing them. Just capture what they evoke.

Minx said...

I dream sometimes three or four times a night. Mostly random, unconnected thoughts/images but I often wake up halfway down the stairs to my computer with an idea balancing on the end of my fingers.
Cheese gives me erotic dreams (I am positive you wanted to know that).

Hoodie said...

Jason - I agree with you. The feelings are just so intense, they seem too heavy to capture. A challenge I shall pursue.

Minx - Cheese, huh? *installs fridge in nightstand*

Church Lady said...

I also have vivid dreams, and believe that they're not random.

One nightmare I remember, unfortunately, is about my 7 year old boy. He's on one side of a body of water, standing on a cliff. I'm on the other. There's a tremor on the ground, and he slides off the cliff and into the water. Instead of reaching behind him for a rock to cling to, he decides to try to swim across. I see the top of his curly head, his eyes wide in concentration, and his mouth pursed as tightly closed as he can make it. He's doing the doggie paddle. I stand on the cliff, for a brief second trying to decide whether to climb down the ladder which suddenly appeared beneath my feet, or jump the 30 feet. I jump. The water is murky. My son goes under. I go under. I can't see or feel him anywhere. I surface and look. Nothing. I go back under, my arms and legs trying to go as deep as I can.

I wake up in the hospital, lying in bed. In my dream, I am wondering if this is real or a dream. My eyes are heavy. I say in my dream, 'this is only a dream.' Then Sister Concetta from his pre-school comes in. 'This is not a dream,' she says. Her face tells me my son is dead. I try to scream, but I can't. I drift into madness, not knowing what's reality and what's not.

Then I wake up.

That's probably more than anyone wanted or needed to know, but that's the worst dream. I knew, if only briefly, from that dream what it must feel like to be insane.

I am very interested in the study of dreams. You've got me thinking about this topic again.

Hoodie said...

Church Lady - That's terrifying! I hate dreams where you wake up and think you're awake but you're still dreaming once. I remember one morning a few years ago right after waking up I was able to recount four false awakenings in one dream. It was like peeling off layers, and very frightening.

Dreaming of not being able to save your child would carry such a sickening feeling.

SzélsőFa said...

Omg, I have just read Church Lady's dream. ouch.

sexy said...
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