Dreams are powerful, sometimes funny and often frightening. Two nights ago, I dreamt I was lying on a floor up on my elbows about a foot away from Jamie Lee Curtis, similar to the way teen girls lounge while perusing magazines with their friends. I was commenting on how nice her arms looked (she was in a sleeveless top) and asked her how I could tone my arms to look like hers. Crazy, yes. I have no deep seated interest in Jamie Lee Curtis; maybe I’ve just seen too many “Activia” commercials! That dream was a stumper. The rationale behind the dream could be because I have been thinking about starting a new exercise routine and wanted some tips. Who knows?
Last night my dream was more fascinating. I dreamt I was with a group of young women milling about in something that resembled the second floor of a large library (think NYC Public Library). The room was filled with over-sized, antique wooden desks topped with beautifully carved lamps. The ceilings were at least 20’ high and the carpeting was rich. I was chatting with a handsome young man who resembled James Marsden; the actor who played Prince Edward in Enchanted. Wow, this was getting interesting. Whereas the previous dream lasted moments, last night’s dream seemed to have lasted at least a half hour or more and it was very clear. I remembered all the fine details when I awoke. Crazy, no. Cool, yes! I suppose it’s normal to fantasize, if that is what I was doing. The dream wasn’t erotic, but rather very sweet and charming. If I mentioned this to my family, they would probably call me a “cougar” but it wasn’t that type of dream. Tonight is another night however.
The International Association for the Study of Dreams states that everyone dreams with “our most vivid dreams during a type of sleep called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.” I know I dream a lot. On the average, I believe I can remember bits and pieces if not entire segments of dreams which seem to last a very long time, five to seven times a week. What factors contribute to a person remembering a dream? Why do some people insist they never dream? There is much debate about dreaming. The specifics lie in our subconscious mind. Some of the common reasons we do or do not remember our dreams upon rising could be attributed to the type of food and when last eaten prior to sleep, such as consuming carbohydrates vs. proteins or whether your last meal was 2 or 5 hours prior to sleeping.
Medications also affect our dreaming as does alcohol. Physical activity and emotional state are known to play a part in the type of dreams we have or whether or not we remember them. These things also play a part in episodic nightmares. I’ve had my share of nightmares but could attribute them, on occasion, to watching horror movies such as the original “Exorcist” right before going to bed! One piece of information I found of interest is that not everyone finds the same meaning to similar dreams. For example, if two people dreamt about flowers falling from the sky, one person might think of it as a pleasant experience like expecting a gift from a friend. Another person may find it terrifying because they feel flowers symbolize death or funerals. The differences lie in the individual person, their culture, upbringing, environment, health, etc.
There is one particular dream I have on a fairly regular basis which is very disturbing. By regular, I mean several times a year; 5-6 maybe. I’m in a room or rooms with babies, children and adults with different physical characteristics. I notice a baby crawling in a diaper that has a head twice the normal size. It is also misshapen. Its limbs are malformed and it did not speak. A few other children of various ages were also in the room and similarly malformed; with twisted faces. There were also adults wandering about; some who appeared normal, others, not so much.
In the same dream, I recollect trying to clean the floors because they were very messy; with colored cellophane strips which seemed to float about in mid-air, empty cups, boxes and other assorted litter scattered about. All the while I was attempting to clean, people spoke among themselves and with me as if nothing were going on. I also noticed a lot of clear liquids spilled on tables and the floor. Nobody seemed to care that the rooms were in disarray. Often, when I tried to stand up, I’d begin to slowly and clumsily fall over, almost as if I were sinking in slow motion. I’d have to lean on something to stand upright, as if I were constantly dizzy.
I realize this dream sounds bizarre and many dreams usually are. I’ve discovered that the people we recognize in dreams are not necessarily the people we believe they are; they are merely representations. In any event, that one particular dream upsets me. Even writing it down now brings me right back into the dream; it’s very vivid and unsettling. Until now, I haven’t thought about researching the possible meaning(s) to this dream, or any of my dreams for that matter. Obviously, it has been on my mind for a while, hence this post. Dream investigation is an area I am extremely interested in exploring further. I already have ideas about what some dreams may mean but I could be mistaken. I’ve decided to keep a notepad and pencil by my bed to write down any dreams I recall upon waking. My next assignment will be a trip to the library (and NOT for the reason you may be thinking…LOL)!
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” Edgar Allan Poe