Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Groundhog Dream #2

One of the most interesting things about dreams is how we can hold them fully understood in our minds but, when we try to write them down, the structure collapses. This not only illuminates the imperfection of written or spoken communication, but also, more subtly, indicates the natural illogic and unreasonableness of our minds. A dream with that kind of clarity would be indistinguishable from reality.

I’m calling my newest recurring dream the Groundhog Dream, because it’s a bit like Groundhog Day, in that the general mechanics stay the same while the specifics alter with each repetition. First the dream, then the interpretation.

The dream always starts out in a place like Whiskey Island but much larger in scale, with many other people. We all travel to the shore to hear a rousing speech about fighting some kind of Evil. The Evil causes a shift, or glitch, in reality and everything is chaos. In the first instances of the dream, I was always in a wasteland without food and with companions who were just as confused as I was. The rest of the dreams would consist of wandering around looking for sustenance. Kinda OT Biblical.

In this latest version, my lucid dreaming kicked in a bit and I made sure to pack some food before going to the speech. This time the glitch still affected me, but Neil Gaiman was also aware that it was going to happen and had me and a few others fall into an alternate reality only tangentially like the Harry Potter universe. It was more like Harry Potter by P.G. Wodehouse. We ended up in this orrery where Neil Gaiman explained what the Evil had done, if not why (no one really knows why). The solving of the glitch involves helping as many people as possible find their way back to their proper place and doing it yourself in a certain amount of time. This is a bit like a video game.

We go to a train station where the only way to summon a train is to lie down on the tracks (kind of like how the easiest way to get sick is to mention how you’ve not been sick) Tootle the train shows up and hauls us to another station, where, in previous recurrences, I know that we’ll learn that one of my companions will die. So does Neil Gaiman, so we all take a bathroom break before walking past the mural that depicts this death.

Meanwhile, I find a pile of colorful construction paper cards and deflated latex balloons, and excitedly call everyone over to eat. These are sort of like the cards we’d have to make to send to nursing homes when I was in grade school, but were sent to us as support instead. We have to eat them because the longer we’re away from our rightful world, the more pale and lifeless we get, and the more we hunger for color and joy. We’d become unwitting joy vampires. When we eat these brightly colored stuff we become more human for awhile.

Paper and latex aren’t easy to eat though, and I find the balloons too hard to chew and get nauseated. At this time a new group shows up and joins in our feast. A girl I had a crush on in college appears, obviously with another man, who turns out to be an alternate universe version of me (though we look nothing alike), which is confirmed by the fact that he had the same website URL. This makes me feel lonely and I realize that my son Abraham has been affected by the glitch too, that he’s out there alone and needs me, and I realize just as there are multiple versions of me, there are multiple versions of Abraham and even if I can’t find my particular son, maybe I can find an alternate universe version to care for.

That’s it. I woke up and it was time to get ready for work.

There’s all kinds of stuff going on here, and I feel that I can identify both the foundational feeling and real world references to explain most of it. The foundational feeling is one of searching for a place I belong and be, in confidence and stillness. The train stuff is because Abraham talks about trains constantly, but it’s got a little bit of Stephen King Dark Tower going on as well. I can’t identify the reason for Neil Gaiman’s presence, but the balloons and construction paper is related to Abraham again. Alternate reality stuff is due to The Man From Primrose Lane. The game-like nature of avoiding impending traps and the recurrence are probably related to the fact I’ve been replaying Dragon Age 2. The crush is due to a crush.

I think this dream could be turned into a fairly good tale, but I’m certainly not the one to write it.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Dreams, Lately

A couple of nights ago I dreamed I was at a Guns ‘N Roses concert; they were playing Bon Jovi covers. In the dream, I kept trying to fall asleep, but kept myself awake because I didn’t want to miss the music. I ended up waking up fully because I tried so hard not to fall asleep, while I was already asleep. I’m assuming that I was trying to switch between sleep stages but not letting myself do so.

Last night I dreamed that some important guy had created a new, puzzling, adventurous world to explore; one of the puzzles was figuring out how to get into the world in the first place. I figured this out before anyone else; it was as simple as asking the man for the key. Once inside the world was Escher-like, labyrinthine and full of junk. You had to sort through all of the junk to find the useful items for the journey. I figured out fairly soon that although the world was so large, none of the paths you followed got you anywhere. I realized that this was also an inherent puzzle to the world. Upon figuring it out, I could leave and get a true adventure from the man. Having proved myself, I did so.

I’ve been playing both Portal and Half-Life 2 lately, so I think that gaming fired off that particular dream.

Friday, 5 October 2007

New Recurring Nightmare

My new recurring nightmare places me in something like an Egyptian tomb, at least in terms of decoration and danger, and the low ceilings, dim light, and definite sense of tons of weight overhead. I’m part of a team exploring this place for its treasures and dangers. There are many rooms, each with its own particular trap and the doors to the room are of the secret passageway revolving sort. In the first room each team member becomes fascinated with one trivial aspect to the exclusion of all others. This is bad as the chances of survival for one person alone [me] are virtually nil. I try to rescue them but the door to each room closes after a certain time so I have to leave or be caught. I go to another room, intending to rescue the other folks eventually, where some sort of demon critter tries to overwhelm me, I escape from here as well. Now all the rooms are opening and releasing their critters who are after me. I run back to the original room where I’m cornered. I’m trying to keep all these dudes at bay and manage to creak open the original door and yell for my teammates. Right before I’m overwhelmed they show up to be slaughtered but allow me time to attempt escape. I don’t make it, but always wake up before getting sacked.

I’m pretty sure this is just the 2.0 version of my old nightmare [mentioned in passing here] which is pretty obviously about abandonment, trust and being frightened about independence and my ability to cope with things. I know when I have the dream that I’ve had it before, but instead of lucid dreaming my way out of it, I just try to beat my subconscious at its own game.

Monday, 13 December 2004

Groundhog Dream #1

I was dreaming last night that I was falling from a certain height over and over and over and over and over and over again. Falling and landing, hard; a belly flop onto the ground. I felt a bit bruised, I must admit.

I often have dream where I am injured, tortured or even killed. Sometimes the pain has a purpose behind it, like my recent body-switching dream, but other times, like last night’s falling dream, it has no continuity or structure at all. Most of the time I am powerless and just have to experience the torture or death or gravity in the most recent version.

What do these dreams mean? That I am a masochist? That I am ridding myself of guilt subconsciously? That I am an ill juvenile canine?

I bought some more crap for my apartment this weekend. I’ve got nothing else to say, really.

Thursday, 15 May 2003

Goth Dreams and Continuity Editing

I had this dream the other night, where I was in this goth club just minding my own business listening to some kickass darkwave, when some dude started something.

Apparently I was not sufficiently ‘goth’ to be present in the club [i.e. I wasn’t dressed very gothy.] He said something along the lines of ‘You don’t look goth, you’re not welcome here.’

To which I replied with my characteristic razor dream-wit ‘You aren’t very goth yourself if you think it’s something only determined by style.’

Before he had a chance to reply, his goth girlfriend, all fired up with her black makeup, red fishnets and flutterby wings decided to defend her mate. I continued to sit placidly listening to some Dorsetshire. She approached and told me to [I’ll paraphrase] ‘Fuck off.’

I politely declined.

To which, enraged, she then told me to follow her outside where she ostensibly was prepared to kick my ass. I said: ‘Fie! I am allowed to choose the weapons.’

Briefly puzzled, she conceded this point. I chose swords, and since she was goth and swords are sufficiently gothy she accepted. So she took down two rapiers from the wall and proceded out. On my way out, I grabbed a couple of full ashtrays. Stopping by the door, I removed the butts and combined all the ashes into one tray. Then I spit a big gob into the ashes, mixed it together and smeared it all over my face. Out I went.

Needless to say, I looked a bit gothier, and goth girl was a bit taken aback. She handed me my sword with a flabbergasted look that was quickly replaced by the old anger. Most of the club was outside now, ready to watch her kick my ass. I assume they assumed that since she was goth she had an innate knowledge of swordplay, whereas t-shirt and jeans guy [me] wouldn’t know jack.

‘I’m ready,’ said I. She lifted her blade high, yawped, and followed this up by rushing me. Her flutterby wings flapped behind her. She was some sort of demented fairy.

When she got close enough, I cut the blade out of her hand.

‘I used to fence in college.’

In my dreams I switch back and forth from POV shots to high-angle medium shots [including medium-close, and medium-long]. Thus my dreams are quite like movies. I wonder if others’ dreams function in this way. If this is so, I see two possibilities for application within film theory.

  1. That the development of continuity editing styles is directly related to a subconscious understanding of dream-functions. The implications that this would have upon ideas of psychoanalytic film theory and suture boggle my mind. And:
  2. That immersion in television and film experiences has changed the way people dream. I don’t even want to try to get my head around that.

Saturday, 15 March 2003

Dream Rules

if you ever find yourself in one of my dreams always remember this. anyone drinking tea has been or is about to lie to you. that includes you and me. if you are drinking tea, you have been lying to yourself about something. when i drink tea in my dreams it is always Earl Grey. and if people are drinking in my dreams, it is almost always tea. no one ever drinks coffee, because i don’t like coffee. sometimes someone will be drinking wine, but the wine tastes like a cran/grape combo even though it retains its alcoholic effects. these winedrinkers don’t lie any more than regular folks. Tea drinkers always lie. these tea drinkers sometimes use honey in their tea. when this happens they are about to tell an especially good lie. so beware. never go to Britain in one of my dreams.