Yesterday I wished for dreams. After watching a video about why we dream, I was reminded that I’ve not had as clear a memory of my recent dreams as usual. Although I often have nightmares and disturbing dreams that cling like dust to the folds of velvet curtains in my mind, I still would rather dream than not. My dreams are vast worlds that have no bearing on this reality. They offer shifting landscapes and creatures and intense feelings and storylines that I would never know in waking life. So I am grateful for them.
Now I am awake again, coming out of a sleep so heavy with dreams that I was a bit disoriented upon waking. Twisting, colliding levels of dreams that layered upon each other so many times. I don’t remember the order now, as bits and pieces are flashing through my memory like cut-up film strips. In the last one I remember, I was asleep (this happens often). In the dream of sleep within my actual sleep, I was having troubled dreams, causing me to thrash around. My sheets and heavy comforter tangled with my limbs, maliciously holding my arms down and coming for my throat. I awoke, desperately fighting to free myself and feeling as though I was losing the battle. My arms were pinned to the damp sides of my body by the hot, heavy bed sheets. I couldn’t breathe or speak or cry out for help. Then I woke again–this time into the reality I now write from–breathing heavy, sweating slightly, suddenly alert. I breathe slowly, trying to work my way back through the dreams, can’t find anything to wear to work, sunshine and warmth, beautiful terrace and a big family, someone urgently needing help but I can’t find them, I grasp at snippets.
I try to write down my dreams, as I find that helps me retain them better. It’s interesting to go back and read them much later when I don’t have the active memory. They often make me laugh with their absurdity. Some dreams stick around more than others. A couple months ago, I dreamed about my mom and going camping together. We were in a beautiful lush forest, and in the morning we were visited by a mother fox. There was something very profound about this visitation–the wise old creature had something important to convey to us, but I did not feel I quite got the message. I was captivated by her beauty and gentle spirit, not realizing until she softly padded away that I was meant to glean something more from her visit. When I woke, the image of the mother fox remained with me. When I have access to paint and canvas again, I hope to do a painting based off of this.
The video I watched offered a number of explanations that science has for why we dream, and I can see logic in all of them. For me, the creativity and emotional challenge that comes from my dreams are the most important aspects to me. Sometimes I feel that my dreams are reminding me of unresolved trauma or issues I ought to be working on so that I can continue growing as a person. Sometimes they offer an interesting story or setting that helps give me the creative boost I need to continue writing or painting or otherwise expressing myself. And other times, it all just seems like nonsense. Regardless, I am grateful for them.
What do you think? Do you remember your dreams? If so, how do you feel about them? If not, would you like to?