Dreams are fascinating. I cannot believe the mysterious paths my mind takes during the night. I wake up in the morning with snippets of dreams lingering in my mind and it seems impossible that I have actually experienced them. But I know how real a dream seems to me when I am woken right in the middle of one, which means that my mental self has actually experienced the weirdest things. I have been kidnapped by pirates, swam with only one leg and met a cartoon baby bird jumping around with both feet in one large shoe. A few nights ago I entered a fictional YA novel where there were dead people who could come alive after we dropped them from a great height and gave them a potion to drink.

Last night I remember dreaming of several things but cannot quite connect them.

I am reading a piece of news about the Sterling Bookstore café. Apparently it has won an award of some kind. I feel a bit annoyed that I did not know that it had already opened, since I have been looking forward to it.

I am out in nature with someone. We see a fox across a river. I see the fox slink into an opening. As I investigate the opening I find that it is a door into a small “house”. The house only consists of one small room with three beds. A fox family have made the room their nest. I decide to stay with them for the night (not sure what happened to whoever was with me when I saw the fox). I try to explain to the fox mother how different my mind is from the mind of a fox. How my mind contains structured sentences since I know language. I sleep on the bed furthest in the room, while the foxes lie curled up on the floor.

I talk to my boyfriend about needing to change the sheets in our bed. I suggest the purple sheets.

We suspect a man is planning to kill me. At some point he is in a supermarket. The foxes are living at my place.

That is what I remember. Some parts have an anchor in reality. Sterling Books is planning to open a café and I am looking forward to visiting it. I read a piece some days ago about how a dog thinks in images rather than sentences, which might relate to my “conversation” with the fox-mother. I have no idea why someone would try to kill me, although perhaps it has something to do with some office politics at my work lately.

Another mysterious thing about dreams is how difficult it is to remember them. It is as if they do not want to be remembered. I might wake up remembering quite a few details, but 5 minutes later when I try describe the dream to my boyfriend only fragments are left. I can feel the dream in my head but the more I try to focus on it the further away it retreats. It is like a shy creature that cannot bear to be seen. I recently listened to a podcast of The Forum on BBC World Service, where quantum physicist Michiko Kaku suggested that in the future we will be able to record our dreams and watch them on a screen. On the one hand this idea excites me, but on the other hand it would remove some of the mystery surrounding dreams. 

The final thing that puzzles me about dreams is how hard it is to leave them. When I am woken in the middle of a dream, I strongly feel the need to continue the dream. It is more than the need to continue sleeping. However frightening, or simply mundane and boring the dream is (I often dream I’m at work), I don’t want to let it go. I sometimes think of it this way. The I in the dream is an alternative me. What defines me as a person is the continuity of my memories, which connects my present to my past. Since I forget my dreams, the I of my dreams is not really me. That means that every time I stop dreaming, the version of me in the dream disappears, together with the reality in that dream. When I dream I am that other I, and perhaps the reluctance to wake up is caused by the fear of dying. Does that make any sense?

For interesting articles on dreams I recommend the NYRblog series on dreams.

Here is what some other bloggers have been dreaming about:

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