Open Mic Friday: you talk: dreams

Happy Friday (and Harry Potter movie day), inspiring friends! Guest posts return next week with photography from Naveed Ahmad. For today, let’s talk about dreams.

Comic: dream about a pirate on Oprah's show

Jesse Reklaw draws comics based on dreams at slowwave.com

As you may know from reading this blog, I am a prolific and vivid dreamer. I often have (and recall) several dreams in one night, each with its own world and storyline. These range from the epic to the mundane; last night I dreamed about a woman who thought “egg sandwich” meant a hard-boiled egg, in shell, between white bread and Miracle Whip. There are several recurring images and themes in my dreams. I often dream of falling, though never of flying until very recently. I clearly remember one dream in which I fell off the top of a spiral staircase and kept falling, stomach plummeting, until in terror I forced myself to wake up. My dreams frequently deal with vastness of space: wide open areas, great heights, dense forests.

Japanese print of rice paddies and mountains.

Bird's eye view: My dreams often look like this. Gihachiro Okuyama, Evening Glow at Akaurawan, 1943.

In conversations with friends I’ve often been surprised at the similarities and differences in our dream patterns. Everyone seems to have some version of the “kick” so graphically brought to life in Inception, that moment of collision when something in your dream (and maybe in real life?) jolts you awake. For me it used to be roller-skating on a sidewalk, and I’d trip and wake up out of that half-dreaming state before really falling asleep. But other patterns are less universal. Many of us have had dreams of being chased, of flying, of loved ones dying, of seeing ourselves sleeping, and so forth — but often there are particular images and themes that come back to our subconscious worlds again and again, and that seems to be different for everyone.

Do we all dream differently, or is it just that we tell them — or experience them — differently? If you and I spent a night wandering the same dreamworld, would we wake to remember different things? Perhaps you were one of the nameless faces I passed on my journey. Perhaps the dream that was dangerous to me was placid to you on just the other side of the river.

Tell me about your dreams.