In the realm of dreams
A topic that has come up repeatedly during these strange times we’re living through is the of world dreams, and particularly vivid dreams. It’s an infinite universe of fantastical and sometimes banal images. I would say on average I dream every night, but I imagine like most people, I don’t necessarily always remember the dream the next day. In the interests of creative writing and possible problem-solving, keeping a dream journal is a way of holding any pertinent dreams in the memory. I have tried this before and I wrote in the journal very sporadically. Now after some time away from it I have restarted it and actually enjoyed noting down my dreams. I’m not strict with it by any means but I do try to capture some memories from each week’s dreams.
To illustrate what I have been dreaming about recently let me break there and give you an insight.
I had been for a meal with three friends (that I didn’t recognise at all) and we had apparently taken photos on our phones. I think we were in London but I’m not totally sure – certain aspects of the buildings and landscape made me think that. After the meal I was heading back to the hotel where I was staying with James. Trying to make my way back through the hotel and get back to our room – I recall it as number 154c – was like a major expedition. The hotel was larger than I can really fathom. There seemed to be people travelling to Heathrow from there via a monorail system as well. These people were somehow blocking my way through the lobby and beyond. Once I’d got past them there were other obstacles to overcome. Some non-descript people were saying things to me which didn’t make any sense.
Anyway, I eventually made my way to a set of lifts. I pressed the button to go to the first floor but as I did two guys were messing around with going in and out of the lifts. I had to be forthright, and I said to them to stop. They stopped and I got in the lift, going up to the first floor. Once I got to that floor I then had to battle against a maze of walkways – so I phoned James to tell him I would be with him by 5pm. Why the timing was so precise I have no idea! As I hung up the call I heard a noise – in reality this was my alarm going off and so then I woke up.
After around a month of intensively dreaming on most nights, I have now re-started my dream journal. I’ve rediscovered an affection for it – maybe I will find it therapeutic and cleansing. That’s always an attractive feature in any activity I undertake – the glorious side effect of being calmed and healed. This year has felt so fast-paced and manic that it seems impossible to imagine that we are now nearing the end of it. Dreams can assist here I think – reflecting and deflecting the effects of a year under unusual and undue pressures. Having dreams does feel like a gift, one that is sent by our inner mind to soothe and restore our outer mind.
There is another common theme I find when I talk to others about dreaming: the night adventures we encounter stay with us throughout the day. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the fragments of the dreams are as clear and distinct as when you first awoke from the dream. But it has a lingering collection of images that represent it, also maybe some motifs that mark it out from other dreams you have had previously. I relish the feeling of the dream almost haunting me throughout any given day. It makes me think in unexpected and previously unexplored ways. It’s like a new and multi-coloured cloak that I wear that no-one else can see. I wear the cloak in contended reverie, enjoying the comfort and warmth it gives to me.
Coming back to reality I’ve often wondered if our dreams are meant to tell us something profound? Or are they just a way to fill our sleep? It could be that they are an unconscious method of solving our problems so that when we awake, we know exactly the right course of action. I don’t think I will ever get to answer these mysterious questions. But I can tell you that my dreams do appear to help me declutter, to cleanse my over-stuffed brain. The days worries are washed away with a restful and rejuvenating sleep, and sometimes the solutions to all kinds of predicaments rise to the surface. Now, with the aid of my dream journal I will be looking forward to problem -solving and the prospect of a calm mind to take me through into a hopeful new year.