What Do You Dream?

"What do you dream about, Mommy?"

I knew my eldest son was asking me the question, fully expecting that I dream about the same things he does: being Batman and beating the Joker, getting to the end of the Spiderman videogame, and having a pet dog that catches tennis balls.

I don't dream about that stuff.

How do I tell a six year-old that I can sometimes make myself dream about people that I know just by thinking about them very intensely and praying for them before I go to sleep? And in those dreams, I am usually sitting with the person in the gardens around the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. All we do is talk, and even though it's a dream, it's as real as anything. Sometimes when I talk to the person again or get an email from them, they are telling me the same things they told me in the dream.

Or, how about my recurring dreams. In one, it's nighttime and I'm walking down the street I grew up on. I'm walking toward the house I grew up in. These very dry, brown leaves are blowing across the sidewalk and the wind is whipping my hair around my head. Then, I get the sense that something is behind me and it's not friendly. I start running and the rest of the dream feels like I'm in a foot race through every single neighborhood I've ever lived in. I slide through holes in fences in Chicago, leap over abandoned bicycles in China and scramble across the tops of cars in LA.

Most adults I know say they don't remember their dreams. Maybe we forget them because they're more complicated than dreaming about a pet dog. I fully believe that dreams are a connection to our souls, the conversation our mind has with our soul.

Maybe we "forget" the dreams because it's too hard to face our true selves.


West said…
I've heard that people who want to remember their dreams should try to remember and recount them as soon as they awaken. Apparently, it helps retention.
Liz Dwyer said…
Yes, I try to do that as well because it helps me to think outside the box during the rest of the day...and I get alot of good writing ideas in dreams.
Anonymous said…
Hmmm. Well being a clinically diagnosed megalomaniac who named himself after a fictional character who took over a small North African country, I often dream about being a non-fictional character who takes over a West African country (usually Liberia)

People sometimes tell me that they don't dream, which is a biological improbability. They mean they just don't recall them once they've awakened.

I, too, think there is something hidden in the firings of our synapses, even if it's nothing more than the subconscious ordering things and making our priorities.

Your dream doesn't sound very good, but I like the ones where you talk to people. I do not have that kind of control myself.

I tend to mostly remember the dreams I have when I try to quit smoking. With or without the patch, you get some weirdly disturbing dreams.
Liz Dwyer said…
DJ Black Adam,
You officially get the coolest blogger name ever award. Love it...and taking over Liberia isn't such a bad idea.

Yes, I like that I can make myself dream about certain people. I used to think that everyone could do that. Years ago, I had one of these dream conversations with my at-the-time boyfriend. He told me in the dream that he was cheating and told me he was having lunch with the other girl the next day at a certain restaurant. So, I went there and sure enough, he was there with her, at a table in the back, holding her hand.

And no, my dream isn't such a good one. I have it less often than I used to though.
none said…
My dreams are too bizzare to put into words. I'm aways wondering "where in the hell did that come from?"
the last noel said…
One night I dreamed that I lost a tooth. At first, I freaked. Then I decided that this was a good omen. Useless parts of my life are falling away.
Liz Dwyer said…
I don't get too many weird psychedelic dreams. Just weird combinations of things in my real life. Last night I dreamt that I got a private concert with the group AFI. Literally, they were rocking it out and I'm the only person in the room. After the show, the lead singer, Davey Havok, discussed the pros and cons of various mascaras with me. Now, I do like the group and I do like mascara, but the whole scenario...just weird. What does it mean? Who knows!

I think I once read that dreams about losing a tooth are very common. For you though, it must have been an omen that you'd be rockin' the house with your new novel.
For many years, I had a recurring dream similar to the one you describe in which someone was chasing me. Finally, after having it most of my life, I lucidly dreamed a good ending and knew that the bad dream had released its hold on me. I never had it again.

Dreams add a dimension to my life that I really need. Sometimes I dream that I am dreaming, and it is like writing a screenplay. It always seems very real.

A night without a memorable dream feels almost like a waste.

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