Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dream Theatre

No one knows why we dream. Are dreams the subconscious mind's method of working out our day-to-day problems? Are dreams portents of things yet to come? Do dreams reveal our "true" selves- the selves we keep dark, deep and hidden during our waking hours? These are all interesting questions, but I only want to know one thing-- why are my dreams such a pain in the ass?

As a child, decades before my they turned to the crappy, I had beautiful dreams. Usually, I dreamt I was flying far above the ground, over my house, over lush fields and lakes. I'd swoop down towards the earth, then shoot back high into the sky. Flying felt dangerous because I couldn't fly in my real life, however, given the gift of flight in my dreams, I was a daring aviator.

Some parapsychologists say that recurring dreams are a peek into one's previous lives. I had a recurring dream as a youngster and apparently in my previous life, I was a faceless nobody in a freakish technicolor "Little House on the Prairie" soundstage somewhere. Probably in Burbank.

As I've grown older and life has left its inevitable marks on my psyche, my dreams have become heavily symbolic and redundant. I have the basically the same dream every night with slight variations in the symbolism. Here is the Basic Dream:

I'm getting ready for a trip and I'm late for my flight, my train, my ride. I'm trying desperately to finish packing, but I keep remembering things that I've forgotten to put in my suitcase, which is already filled to bursting. There's someone nearby urging me to hurry or I'll be left behind. Knowing I don't have everything that I'll need on the trip, I leave anyway. I get to the plane, the boat, or the car, which is completely filled with other passengers. So I have to wait for the next departure, which never comes. I'm left there, alone, with my bulging suitcase.

Another dream variation is I leave on schedule, but this time, I'm driving myself. As I start on my journey, the highway is narrow and treacherous, usually with shark-infested waters on either side of the road. The water has risen to dangerously high levels, and is lapping onto the highway. I'm terrified I won't make it to wherever it is I'm going. Sometimes I make it to the destination (usually someplace I couldn't give a shit about).

I don't necessarily look forward to dreaming. The travel dreams are a source of exhaustion. When I wake up, it's as if I've not slept at all, because I've been running around my house all night, packing everything I can get my hands on, and stressing out about making it on time to the train, plane or automobile.

On my good nights, I dream regularly of a beautiful and ancient castle in England, with groves of gnarled, dark trees and gardens of blooming roses. This castle can't exist; the architecture is absolutely crazy and it's quite small-- manor-sized, really. When I visit this castle, I feel as if I'm home. It's peaceful there, and I know I belong. Is this a previous life dream?

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