I’m always amazed at some of the things that my mind produces while I’m asleep. Nothing is ever the same, well, except for that one reoccurring dream, but for the most part they are unique.
Dreams have a funny way of being influenced by your last thoughts, recent memories of something you did/watched/ate, or by the environment around you. Of course, they can also be influenced by fear, phobias, illnesses, and other negative aspects as well.
Some people claim to be able to control their dreams. Whether by meditation, diet, or some form of tether, it’s said that one can actively create and mold the world around them.
I can’t attest to this, however. My dreams are influenced by my environment, with just a smidge of fear thrown in. I seem to remember hearing somewhere that the dreams you remember the most happen before you reach deep sleep. That being said, I usually go to sleep with some light music playing in the background.
Most times I turn on the Traditional Classical or Symphony Hall channels from Sirius radio and set the sleep timer on my TV for an hour. Of course, it doesn’t always take me an hour to get to sleep, but it’s probably around there that I hit the deep end of it.
So what does that get me?
I tend to dream of my life, but with an upgrade. Sometimes I dream in alternate universes. What if I hadn’t met my wife? What if we hadn’t had kids? I enjoy the “what if” dreams because it gives me a chance to explore life outside of the confines that I currently exist in.
Other times, I dream in medieval fantasy. Magic, Knights, mythical creatures; it’s all there. These hail from my pen and paper gaming days, which I miss dearly, and I plan to write a volume of novels based around once I’m done with my current project(s).
The closest thing that I’ve had to a nightmare was after I had lost someone who was close to me. In my dreams, I was with that person when the accident occurred, but I always woke up just before…well, you know.
I’ve never really been able to control my dreams either. I think I have come close a few times, but then the dream would transition into another. Funny how that works. Just when you’re about to get what you want, whether it’s a pile of money, a new car, or that hot looking member of the opposite sex, things take a turn for the “WHY THE FUCK DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!” Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Those are the ones where you wake up and you’re still poor, your car is still a piece of crap and you’re spooning with your body pillow.
I had a lot of nightmares when I was a kid as well. I think that my home situation had something to do with it. My parents were divorced when I was young and I bounced back and forth until my bum of a father killed himself. Mom did the best she could but sometimes her fears passed down to us and we worried a little more about things than kids are supposed to at that age.
There were dreams of poverty, yes. There were also dreams in which the bad people would get into our house… Looking back, I think these dreams weren’t all that bad when I consider the ones that derived from watching Elvira’s weekly special. (Or Ray Adam’s Friday Fright Night when it was on.) While I have a special place in my heart for horror now, back then was a different story.
The first time I saw a human skull really screwed me up for several weeks. Our (my sibling’s and I’s) room was connected to my Mom’s by a short hallway, halfway down of which was a small bathroom. For many, MANY nights, an eight foot tall skull with flames in its eyes would float down the hall towards me. Its mouth would slowly open, as it drew closer, until I could finally take it no more and woke screaming.
That one was the worst.
I enjoyed my escapist dreams more. This was in a different house and time, years after my father (bum) was buried. In these dreams, I would be laying in my bed when suddenly a portal to another dimension would open in the wall next to me. I always had the option of whether I wanted to go or not. I guess you already know what I chose…
Sometimes I would travel to a mystical kingdom where I would battle unspeakable horrors in order to save the town, princess, etc. Other times I would roll into the portal and into something else, like a pit full of spikes, or a river of molten lava. I would get the Anakin treatment, but sans the cool robotic outfit and breath-y helmet. Nor where there ever any cool powers or unlimited funds with which to build a death-ray. No, I just crawled from the fiery death sauce, the flesh dripping from my bones, with my organs boiling inside of me, until I would awaken out of breath with the final image of my eyes popping stuck in my head.
Speaking of stuck in your head… You’re welcome.
It’s been a long time since I had those dreams. As I said before, most of my dreams are influenced by my environment. If there’s music playing, the mood is that of the music. If there are sounds of traffic, I dream of the city. If there is a thunderstorm outside, well, you get the point, yes?
Dreams are funny things.
I find inspiration in my dreams and I create inspiration by which to dream by.
Tell me about some of your dream experiences.