Theories of a dream

I had a dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream recently, which I remember parts of.

I was having a dream in which several people from my life appeared. My mother and maybe my cousin were among them. Then I woke up from this dream. I told one of these people about the dream, and it turns out they also remembered it. In fact, all the people I told had had the same dream! We all thought this was incredible. I thought about it and then presented my theories: There are only three possibilities, I said. One, we were somehow telepathically linked during sleep. Two, our minds were actually all transported to an alternate world. I fixed my eyes on my mother and continued: Three, this… the present moment… is actually still a dream!

Before I had said the last words of that sentence, we all woke up at the same time, proving the third theory to be correct: we had all been dreaming. The moment of awakening was signaled with a sudden shift in reality: the gloomy and gray room all of a sudden turned bright and colorful. This was the passage from dream to waking. However, the shift didn’t cause anything else to change. My mother was sitting in the same chair; and I was standing in the same spot and even finished my sentence.

After actually waking up, I of course realized that when waking up from a dream, you don’t actually find yourself in the same place and continue doing what you had been doing in the dream. Also, although the theory had been correct inasmuch as it had been a dream, in actuality it had been only my dream, not everybody’s. In fact, this theory was inherently invalid, since you can’t explain a shared dream with another shared dream.

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The chosen freaks

I was living in a world where a minority of people was different from the rest. These people had heads that were a little bit bloated and doughy, with a smaller face and no hair. And I was one of those people. Many things happened that I don’t remember. Often there were explosions in the distance, and this was something that the government or people in power were doing. Something had happened in the past related to this.

I was in the woods close to a town or road with one other person – a normal person. Suddenly there was an extremely loud and deep explosion in the distance. We looked in that direction and saw above the horizon a mushroom cloud slowly rising. And we knew that this was the end and that everyone would die. Still we started running in the opposite direction, into the woods. But I knew inside that it was futile and we could never outrun it, and this feeling weakened my muscles so that I almost couldn’t run. I was terrified as the cloud was nearing quickly.

Then it caught up with us and we were inside – gray dust and particles swirling all around us. I looked at my companion, and he or she had turned into a statue of ash. But I was not dead, and I realized I was not going to die. Instead I was somehow changing. And I knew that everybody who was different – who had this strange head – was going to survive and everyone else was going to die. But now I was afraid of the changes that I felt happening throughout my body and shooting through my limbs, because I didn’t know what was happening to me.

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Wondrous and spooky, socks and boots

No dream for 2016, but at least there is one before 2017 is over…

I was at my aunt and uncle’s place (where I would spend time in my childhood with my cousins and our grandparents). I needed to pee, but the bathroom was very impractical somehow. It was very small, like a nook in the wall where you had to bend down to even fit, and there was no door and so no privacy. I wondered why they didn’t have a proper bathroom, and then I remembered that they used to (remembering their actual bathroom upstairs), but that room was being remodeled or something had happened to it.

My grandfather told me of a bathroom he would use instead, and he would show me to it. I first needed to put on socks and boots. We then exited the front door and started walking. My grandfather asked me to help support him (something I would actually do in his later years). He told me that the problem was only his left arm, which would be painful if he did a certain move, as he twice demonstrated this move forcefully, making me worried. Still, walking with my grandfather gave me a good feeling of closeness.

We arrived at something that seemed like a bus stop in front of a building with glass doors. We went through the doors, entering a public bathroom. I went into the only stall, closing the door behind me, but then noticed that it was absolutely horrible, with feces everywhere, even on the walls. I needed to put on my socks and boots again, then went out. My grandfather didn’t notice me. There was another door to the side, which led to a neighboring building, and there was a sign by the door indicating restrooms. I gave my bag and something else for my grandfather to keep.

The door led through a short passageway into the other building, where a staircase immediately started upwards. Lots of people where walking up and down this staircase (although not many people had been in the bathroom). The interior of the building looked ancient and dark, with everything of wood. I had a strong sensation that I had dreamt about this place before, and that it was full of spooky wonders. But I didn’t perceive this past dream, nor the current one, as an unreal dream, but more like an experience. (After waking up, I can’t recall having dreamt about the place before.)

I was walking up this never-ending staircase with another person, but now I don’t know who. At each landing there were rooms in both directions. But I got the feeling, from a half-memory, that there would be no restrooms for a long time. Lending to the feeling of having experienced this fantastical place before, we encountered the head of a giant creature thrusting out of a room. It looked like the head of a prehistoric moray eel. It was shrouded in shadow, faded, but when I touched it, it lit up in ethereal colors.

However, before long, we did reach the bathrooms – gentlemen to the left, ladies to the right. The men’s room was fairly big. I think I was using the urinal when I noticed something moving in the darkness of the ceiling, but it was impossible to see what. I somehow found a flashlight with special properties – maybe of revealing things from the spirit world. I shined it on the ceiling, and saw that furry bats were hanging down, covering every inch. The light also made them react aggressively, although they stayed put. However, suddenly I noticed that there were also bats all over the floor, sticking up in dark, fuzzy clusters. I wanted to get out of there quickly, but there was almost no place to walk, and again I needed to put on both socks and boots first.

I somehow got out, and I was involved in an endeavor with another weird creature. It was shaped like a giant stingray, but instead of being fish-like it had giant pterodactyl-like wings. We were several people trying to make it fly. One person was propping up its right wing, while I was supposed to do the same on the left side. But the skin of the creature was prickly like the surface of a bur, and small thorns embedded themselves in my fingers. On the right wing, the other person was lifted by the wing, but I had to let go on my end because of the pain. I proceded to pull the thorns slowly out of my fingers.

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Dream F/X

At least 2015 didn’t go by without me posting a dream. One dream a year seems to be the new ratio unfortunately.

In this dream I had recorded my dream using some novel device. I was watching it on a screen. It was like a short movie or music video, that I had “made” through dreaming it instead of having to film and edit it.

My cousin G was also in this dream/film. (In real life we have done many creative projects together in the past, also short films.) In the first scene we were lying, as if dead, in a rowboat slowly drifting across the water. The view was from above and from the side. The boat was half-filled with water, and our bodies, one in the stern and one in the bow, were half-submerged.

In the second scene G was swimming, and I was holding on to his shoulders. Then he dove down with both of us below the surface.

In the third scene we were both floating under the water. Again we were like dead, moving expressionlessly in awkward formations.

Watching this I was thinking that it was really well-made and that I was so lucky to have this unusual dream-recording device, since it would be difficult to make this film for real. At the same time I was wondering if the death themes were a bit too overwrought.

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Holding on to land on the high seas

I’ve not been good at writing down or even remembering interesting dreams in a while. But here is one, from a week ago.

The earth is a huge ocean. Continents and islands are floating on the ocean. Below the ocean are fishes. On the islands are animals, feeding on the fishes. Above are birds, feeding on the animals.

The landmasses are flowing rapidly on the waves, following fierce currents. The smaller islands are faster. I’m on an island, holding on tight, but I’m wanting to get to the continent of Australia. Even the continents are not that big though.

There are more waves and they become bigger. The seas are now flowing upwards, like going up an increasingly steep hill. This is due to the curvature of the earth, as I’m about to go around and below. Some fellow traveler warns me about the danger of octopuses. I miss Australia in the chaos. The waves are getting higher and higher. I think that I could always go around the earth again, but it doesn’t seem tempting.

Another option appears. It’s a building standing right in the middle of the seething waters, kind of a tower, with many doors and windows. Someone I know is in there. But all the windows and doors have been closed because of the high waves, reaching almost to the top of the tower as they break against it.

How to get in?

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Do we create our own lives?

I was in my old room, sitting on the bed. My left knee had a big open hole right in the middle of it. It looked red and smooth inside the hole. Somehow it wasn’t supposed to matter, like it was temporary or make-believe, and I had a vague feeling that I was some character in a comic book. Still, although it didn’t hurt now, I wondered what would happen if I touched it. I didn’t have the nerve to feel it with my fingers, so I took a stack of papers and slapped them on my knee. It felt uncomfortable and there was some moisture from the rim of the hole that was transferred onto the papers. I wanted to go into the living room, but my mother and grandmother were there and I realized that I couldn’t go in looking like this. I thought about getting some bandages to cover up the hole.

I was now reading a comic book. A vague connection between the character in the book and the character I’d just felt like. The ending was strange; there were several page-wide panels of the protagonist driving into the desert. he was on the left side of the panels, while on the right side was an odd man standing in the desert. His appearance shifted from panel to panel; his face changed and he turned from fat to thin.

I was now driving the car, or maybe still observing somehow (but it was now real). The driver picked up a young boy, about 8 years old, with red-blond hair and a very distinct face. He had just been on a kind of experience where the fictional and the real mixed somehow. This was like something he had ordered. He said he had put in the last few people himself, but he wasn’t pleased with those. He wanted to think or try a bit more before making his decision. I understood it now. He said he was done with “bad boying” (being the only exact words I remember he used). I think this referred to an earlier part of the story.

The car was high up now, either flying or driving on some elevated road. There was a railroad track at the side of a mountain below, and the driver wanted to bring the car down there. He wanted to be clever, and used his “powers” to make the track into a dirt road, raised it up and landed there. Suddenly the train came. It managed to drive on the dirt, past the car and into the tunnel that was nearby. The man and the boy went into the tunnel too, by foot. I observed this from above, but I could also see inside the tunnel. Since the train had just passed, they/I thought it wouldn’t come again soon, but there was a bad feeling anyway. And then a train did come, from the other direction, speeding towards them. In panic they ran, crisscrossing the tracks. I thought the train seemed slow. But then it neared the boy, who could do nothing but press close to the tunnel wall. The train crashed into the wall, the boy horribly caught between. The man ran towards him. The boy’s body was mangled and bloody.

Now the police and ambulance personnel were at the scene. A man was treating the boy. The boy’s head was completely ruined and in pieces. I thought it was too much, over the top, like I would think if I were watching a movie. The boy’s face kept falling off as the man tried to treat him. I then realized it wasn’t a real head; there was no blood. Actually the boy’s body seemed to be made of building materials. The man was cranking something, as plaster and wood fell off the body in pieces, and the man seemed to be collecting it for reuse.

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A heartwarming Christmas tale

A dream from tonight. As usual only fragments remembered.

I was living in some kind of dystopia, or at least trapped in a terrible and dark building. I was sleeping on the floor, but I was accompanied by a dog-like creature (with a long snout, like a collie), and I cuddled up to it, and loved it very much. It had a name, which I believe was jackeman, or jack-e-man. I think this was the name of the type of creature rather than its personal name. I had to walk down a hallway and open a door, and on the other side there would sometimes be an evil of some sort. But in these instances the creature would reveal its power and magically protect me.

At some point later in the dream I was climbing around the top of a giant hall made of stone, looking for a way to escape before the inhabitant came back. There were parts of one wall missing near the ceiling, but it was a steep drop on the outside. There was also the question of what world I would be escaping to.

Later I dreamt that I had woken up from this dream and thinking about its meaning. The dog-like wizard creature seemed mostly like just a dog. Dogs are good companions that can be petted but can also show another side when ferociously protecting you from some attacker.

I remember the next part more vividly, it being the last part before I woke up.

As often happens the previous dream turned into a narrative I was observing instead of participating in. I was reading the book and at the same time watching the movie, comparing them side by side. They turned out to be very similar, the book being very visual. The protagonist was seemingly still living in the building but in his own room. The camera was showing me only close-ups, panning past parts of the room. It was Christmas and there was glitter and a warm light, showing that he had found some measure of happiness. I never saw his face. The shot panning down over the floor and towards the open door, a bright symbol was being reflected on the floor. I noticed it was glimmering in the movie, something the book version had failed to reproduce. A box had been put down on the floor just inside the entrance. It was made of wood and glass. I tried to figure out what it was. The shot panning slightly up and through the entrance, I could see that a woman was standing there. She was about to enter, but didn’t yet. I only saw as far up as her hands. She was forming the fingers on both hands in a meditative gesture.

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Steely evil

Fragments from a dream, from 25 May 2011.

At this stage in the dream, as is often the case, I’m thinking back on something that happened earlier in the dream, but it’s unclear whether it actually happened earlier in the dream or I’m just dreaming that it did.

My brother, my mother and I are living in our old apartment. But in the dream we apparently have recently been living in a much worse, run-down apartment, since we were poor. A helpful angel is the cause of our good fortune of getting the opportunity to move to this nice place. I remember the angel using his/her/its powers to manifest this new apartment.

I’m with my brother in my old room. Maybe it’s his room in the dream. He’s looking at or doing something with some gray steel bars which are mounted horizontally a few feet above the floor. There are small holes, like screw holes, in them. He says that he sometimes put some of the meat, or the small bones, or some of the silver, into the holes. I’m thinking that he must mean during dinner, like chicken bones left over and pieces of chicken meat. “The silver” is mysterious, but I don’t question it in the dream. There’s some reason he does this, something to do with the holes or what’s inside them, like they want it.

I then think about seeing the angel creating the apartment. It didn’t have enough power on its own, so it summoned various demons or evil spirits to lend power. As a result, some of this malignant force remains, and I assume that this force is what’s wanting to be fed through these holes. I’m very concerned and warn my brother not to do this.

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This dream is from 27 March 2010. It was one of the most visually stunning dreams I’ve had in years, so I tried using it as the basis for a poem. That never really worked out, so here it is instead.

As in many other dreams I’m in a complex of rooms and hallways — maybe a mall, a school or a convention center. And as in many previous dreams I seek the passageway through and out — always by going further in.

The walls are white. A door leads to a big, cluttered storage room, which is almost completely dark. The dream becomes (as usual) more like a nightmare when I venture into the darkness. To the side of the room are some curtains. Behind the curtains is a kind of small stage area, even more run down and dirty. I find another door, half hidden away. It leads to a smaller room, wherein is total blackness. Still I enter, feeling my way. I hit the far wall, and it feels like this is where I can never get through. But now there’s an opening..!

I tumble through, into a black sky. I’ve finally escaped! I race forward through black space. Then twinkling yellow lights appear. I’m in a city at night, tall buildings around me. Then I start falling down, points of light shooting up around me. I’m afraid, but force myself to change directions. I manage to fly up — black space again welcoming me.

I zoom through the void. Then an enormous yellowed skeleton rushes towards me, head first. But it’s a million miles long so I can slowly trace the huge bones from the cranium to the phalanges of the foot. After it has gone past me, several more skeletons appear, two or more at a time, moving from the vanishing point toward me. They’re perfectly still, but placed in different symmetrical patterns. When they go past I see that the ribcages are composed of petrified men. It all has an ethereal beauty.

Lastly a gigantic lone skull moves towards me, its mouth yawning open. I cannot avoid this huge opening, so I fly through. Inside is a brown rock, a boulder floating in space. I’m drawing closer and closer to this asteroid, until I descend upon its surface. It’s big enough that it’s like being on a planet.

I’m now in a canoe, the leader of a group of men paddling through the landscape. As I steer the vessel down the river I see something in the sky above us. An immense skeleton is floating up there, but only its skull can be seen between the craggy cliffs. Inside its mouth floats a rock, a world like this one, with its own flowing river. The gravitational pull between the two rocks makes the very land rear up, threatening to thrust us into the grinning head above.

But I maneuver the canoe onto the river banks, sliding over damp moss and slick rock, into the stream and back, barely avoiding the undulating hill directly underneath the jaw. We race uphill and down, a mad ride to find the right way.

Seeming to have escaped for now we disembark in a lush forest. Leaning against a grassy stone I feel a hardness on my hand. It’s a growth, a gray brown shape protruding out maybe an inch. It’s cylindrical with a concave base, tapering towards a half-burst top. Like a lid I open it. Inside is a clear amber liquid.

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Smoking baaaad (so is pun)

A dream from tonight.

I dreamt I was a smoker, and I had a sheep in order to use its tail to light my cigarettes.

When I was going to buy the sheep, the shady character who was selling it to me was going to demonstrate lighting its tail. But this was intercepted by some secret agent, in order to stop a major event that he had some foreknowledge about; maybe a big fire would be started. The seller left, angry that his sale had been ruined, but leaving the sheep.

After that I just sat around at the cafe were this had taken place, smoking and looking at my sheep grazing on the other side of the fence. I never did use it to light my smokes. Sometimes it came close to my cigarette, like it wanted a puff, but I deemed this wasn’t a good idea. Even in this dream it was more like I was playing a role than really being a smoker. I did inhale, but wasn’t taking too many puffs and it didn’t really do anything for me.

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