Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dreamcatcher


"So what do we think it is that dreams actually do?" This is the reason that after thirteen years of being together, Remi and I never run out of conversation. We can and do talk about anything. This morning, as I was hovering over a cup of Lady Grey that just wasn't cutting it, dreams were on the menu. For if I was run ragged it was because my night had been especially long with a non-stop film of them looping through my head. And they are indeed like movies, my dreams. They are utterly realistic and hold such nuances in color, sound and details that I don't ever pop out of them save on the very rare occasion when I stop to think, "Wow, good job brain." When I do wake in the middle of the night - and I often do - at times I have to pull myself out of the grip of those images by telling myself where I actually am, my current age, that Remi is sleeping next to me, that everything is ok. In the mornings, I count on the sun to burn off their last dregs as it does the dew. If I have had cauchemars or nightmares, that process can dawdle into the afternoon.

And yet my dreams are rarely fantastical, nor - save for a period a few years back when my teeth kept falling out in them - are they particularly symbol laden. Remi is hardly ever present, something I account to our spending an inordinate amount of time together during our waking hours. But they do tend to go in cycles where I am in participating in the same event or environment (and sometimes a lot of ground can be covered within one neighborhood) for several weeks straight. Lately, it has been within the offices of the luxury hotels that I worked at between acting jobs in Manhattan, previously it was on the grounds of my alma mater, the Yale School of Drama. All of the characters involved, including myself, are busy and the interactions complex. I wonder what these people, all of whom I haven't been in contact with in twenty years or more, would think if they knew that they were popping into my head on a nearly nightly basis, these strangers that aren't so strange. At times my Dad, who passed away five years ago, is present but rarely in a way that seems to have a specific meaning or connection. The only thing that can be exaggerated is my emotional life. Recently, anger has been coming into play, an element that I am aware deserves both recognition and attention (thank you, Mr. Jung). 

Remi, it turns out, is not only a lucid dreamer but is able to shape the form of his dreams. Leonard, my Mom's Husband, has such extraordinary adventures as to make us gasp with surprised laughter when he retells them. I know that we all are different and I don't wish to be obsessed by dreams despite their hold on me. There is character in the evocative Wim Wender's film "Until the End of the World" who, thanks to science, is able to see video taped versions of the nights previous events and is nearly driven mad by it. But I am fascinated by them and have a grateful respect for their purpose, even if I can't begin to answer my own question as to what that might be.


I stumbled upon this interesting article from Scientific American : here.
Plus Wiki definitions here and here.


From the "Until the End of the World" soundtrack, Jane Siberry and K.D. Lang's utterly magnificent "Calling all Angels": 

And what about your dreams? I rarely turn the tables but so many of you have been extremely generous in your comments lately that I am curious...

32 comments:

Vicki Lee Johnston said...

I am like you ... I dream on a grand scale - and wonder if that is why I am so tired during the day, being cast in such intense storylines.
In fact often I feel the dreams are more profound than real life at times. Just the other day heard the lines of that nursery rhyme "Life is but a dream ... " and I wonder.
Sometimes I would just love to sleep .... and switch the mind completely off.

I Dream Of said...

Very interesting, Heather. (And I love the photo of the spider web that you chose to illustrate what your brain weaves at night). Isn't it fascinating that we all dream so differently? Mine seem perfectly coherent when they are spinning in my head, but once I become part of the waking world rarely make enough literal sense for me to describe them beyond sometimes a place, a few main characters (they are often populated by people I've never met) and a couple basic plot points. Right now, I am just waking and finishing my first cup of coffee, and last night's dream (which continued in a part 2 after I reclaimed sleep after a middle of the night wake up - this often happens) was strange as most, the only thing that stands out is that the main character was my mother (although a much, much younger version of her) and in the dream I was very angry with her. Hmmm I don't think that takes much analysis to figure out. Where do these images go? How do they influence our daily lives? These I are questions I often ask...

Admittedly I prefer my waking life most days to that of my dreams.

XOXO

donna baker said...

Wasn't it Poe that said, "all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream".

Heather Robinson said...

Yes, all of this ticked true for my experience too, Vicki Lee! Especially just to have a night of truly peaceful sleep. Although sometimes my brain gives me a treat in dream form...this will sound silly but it goes back to one of my initial pasttimes - vintage clothing shopping! And of course I find something amazing at a great price and just the cut of all of the clothes and feeling the fabrics...those would be one of those "good job brain" nights. I warned you it was silly. But most of the time it can be and is profound as you say...certainly there are dreams that have more power over me than real life.

Heather Robinson said...

Such amazing questions. I especially love "where do these images go?" Something that I have never considered before...
As for anyone who has the good fortune to read you or even better, to consider himself/herself a friend...well, I was very moved by what you wrote about your Mom.
And yes, those mystery people that we don't know but are there nonetheless...who are they? People that we are supposed to meet? Ah, you can see that it is nearing Halloween and the mystic in me is rising to the surface...
Gros Bisous,
H

Heather Robinson said...

Such a perfect quote Donna! Either taken literally or just in terms of perspective... :)

D A Wolf said...

Oh. Dreams. Fascinating! (And cool. I am a lucid dreamer too!)

RebeccaNYC said...

When my mother died, I had extremely detailed conversations with her in my dreams, which I found so comforting. As if she was visiting me to help me along with the transition. My favorite quote from these dreams is "Oh honey, I'm not dead! I'm right here!"

Jennifer Connolly said...

Interesting!! I love this topic. I dream vividly and love trying to recall them throughout the day.

Joan McKniff said...

I had far more, in number, drama, and effect, dreams as a child than I do now or as a younger adult. Does that mean I'm living my dream?

My retirement time at home discovery: my sweet old cat has the occasional nightmare, waking up w a start, often w teeth bared and hissing..... !!! What is going on in his mind?

Caroline L said...

Fascinating topic trying to understand our dreams. I always remember what I have dreamt and in vivid detail but my husband says he never does but don't all of us dream every night? Whenever I am stressed I have this recurring dream which is always along the same theme; I am my age now but I have to take important exams which we take in England (where I'm from) at 18, called A levels which determine where we get accepted to university. In this dream I always know it is the present but that is what it makes it a 'nightmare' as I also know I can't remember all the curriculum! I did worry at the time about these exams but I worried about university finals too and yet never dream about them! Does this sound familiar to anyone else? It really is an intriguing subject and I so enjoyed your perspectives in this blog, also loved the spiders web!

robin said...

For reals - that is a real spider web? We had one, too - huge, round, beautiful, but there was never any dew in it so no way to capture it! And, "Calling All Angels" - holy crap. Dreams are so fascinating, I agree!! I sometimes look up overwhelming images/aspects in a dream dictionary. My 2 recurring dreams are that I'm back at Ernie's and "in the weeds", and that we're doing a revival of "Gypsy" and I can't remember my choreography/blocking! It sounds like Dad appears in our dreams similarly - he is never a major player; in the background, quiet. I read some of the article - are you going to try to control your dreams tonight? Or to get an answer to a question?? If so, let me/us know how it goes!! Sweet dreams!

Silke Bauer said...

I would not want to make it a question of gender but I hear very often that woman dream very intense, realistic and can remember their dreams likewise. Whereas men seem to "sleep" and do not remember the dreams as intensely.
But of course I may be wrong with such a thesis, (I hope so)

As others already said, me too I dream less dramatic and more realistic the older I get. But I also dream about having to pass school exams once again and all over sudden that I have already passed more than 20 years ago. (:

When I was a child I had to fight with a regularly recurring cauchemar that left me afraid to go to bed. I started changing my room before going to bed, so when I awoke during the night I knew I was not dreaming.
Also, I forced my consciousness to wake up while dreaming which was very hard to do. While still in nursery school, I started to paint that dream over and over again. And one day it was gone.

Maywyn Studio said...

Wonferful post, Thank you
Dreams are a landscape of life like driving on a country road through a city, and back out again to the country. Its all about sometimes...we stop...we speak to people...they speak to each other...we watch, wonder and wake up. Writing down things that stand out creates a personal dream map. Maybe, sometimes, you can chose the destination before it choses you.

Mumbai said...

I believe dreams have always a meaning. I dreamt many years the same and suddenly it stopped and my fears related to this dream disappeared.

Emilia Tremante said...

I have had several recurring dreams in my life and I asked someone to explain why I did them. They were related to some experiences of my life.
Anyway some of my " dreams"came true ( I am not talking about wishes ). I do not know why, I do not know why me. It just happened. Maybe one day I will be ready to understand. I do not like dreaming!

Loree said...

I tend to have vivid dreams too. And how funny that you mention you had a recurring dream about your teeth falling out. I used to the same type of recurring cream. I never bothered to check what it might mean. I haven't had it for a while - thankfully.

simpleimages2 said...

O,if only we can interpret dreams. At certain times it’s possible to continue a dream when interrupted by waking.The article you cited showed some progress in dream study. Influencing someone’s dreams occasionally?
Certain dreams are lucid others are blurred upon waking. Dreams and dreaming are fascinating.
Sometimes when I'm immersed in poetry I dream often. When I'm immersed in chess I don't dream.

Wyn Vogel said...

I had to share your post this morning - it was such a wonderful way to wake and start the day hearing JD Lang's gorgeous song and reading your dreams!! I hope the good ones come true for you!! https://www.facebook.com/wynvogel

Heather Robinson said...

Somehow that doesn't surprise me at all. :)

Heather Robinson said...

That is amazing and very beautiful, Rebecca. I had heard that others have had such experiences - it is why I was so surprised that my Dad wasn't in my dreams for so long after he passed and then one day just showed up. But if you say my Sister, Robin's comment, it was the same for her so I guess that says something about my Dad. I can only imagine how comforting that must have been.
Thank you for sharing that with me.
Gros Bisous.

Heather Robinson said...

Then they must be pretty positive dreams. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Your life has been pretty fantastic from what I know of it Joan, so I think that you answered your own question!

And of course the doggies go to town in their dreams! Barking, running...

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for the comment Caroline - I am sorry that I am so late in responding! And if you look to the other comments, you will see that you are definitely not alone in your dream. What I find fascinating about it is that duality of both I'm here and yet there too...Hmm....

Heather Robinson said...

Sister, I did it! I stopped a dream the other night! I had - for some wack reason - totally set myself up in the dream to get mugged on a walk home through a dangerous neighborhood in the dark - so I just up and woke up instead!!! Whooohooo!! I was so proud of myself that I could barely get back to sleep. :)
And yep, that song...It might be up there in the top ten favorite songs of all time list for me.

Heather Robinson said...

That is awesome, Silke and makes me wonder if we knew more instinctively how to take care of ourselves when we were children than we do now? All I know is that I am glad that you were able to put it behind you at such a young age. There was a period when I was afraid to go to sleep and it sucked. Yes, it is a ghost story...

Heather Robinson said...

Grr...I have trouble leaving comments on my own blog! But what I just typed out was a little something like this: that yes, I did it and I was really inspired by your last phrase. I think that it helped a lot so thank you! And that I really like the rhythm that you used to describe the act of dreaming.

Heather Robinson said...

Very cool, R. Happy that it is over...

Heather Robinson said...

Emilia, I am so fascinated by your response...but I have seen in my own life that there is still so much that we aren't capable of understanding or explaining. And I have to say that most of the time - especially lately - I don't like dreaming either, as fascinating as it can be...

Heather Robinson said...

Good. Look it up and you will see why!!!

Heather Robinson said...

That actually makes a lot of sense to me, Edgar. Enjoy your weekend...

Heather Robinson said...

You always have the loveliest things to say, Wyn. Merci. :)