I’ve always found imagination and dreaming far less confusing than reality; even in the flu-induced dream I had last night where I was living in a giant sachet of Nutella, which was a particularly upsetting dream as there was no Nutella left in the sachet. While other people are slaves to their subconscious in their sleep and are completely free to act in whatever way they wish in real life, I find real life stifling, confusing, and sometimes downright upsetting, but my dreams, I find incredibly easy to control.
This all started when I was very little and was traumatised by watching the film Watership Down; the horrors of which I have already described in a previous post. As a result of this trauma I would only sleep for an hour every night; the time between 6 and 7 where my parents would let me sleep in their bed with them. My dreams became a horrifying mish-mash of thoughts, fears, and frankly quite psychotic images and sounds; probably a result of my mind trying to give me 8 hours-worth of sleep in just one hour. Here is one featuring the weird skeleton with octopus arms:
And here’s another where a duck exploded:
Despite the passing of almost 2 decades, I remember these nightmares as if I’d just woken up screaming from one of them. However, if you have enough nightmares, you really begin to notice when you are having one:
After a while I became fascinated by lucid dreaming. There was a particularly interesting one when I was about 8 where I kept waking up, realising I was dreaming and waking up, then realising I was STILL dreaming, and waking up again, etc. I began to really take notice of waking life, occasionally saying to myself- “I’m NOT dreaming. This is REAL.” And before long, this comes up in your dreams as well. It’s all about confidence; I know now that if I ever have to ask myself the question “Am I dreaming?” Then the answer is most definitely “Yes.”
One of these days, of course, I will jump off a cliff or strip naked in the street because I have the mistaken impression that I’m in a dream, but, fortunately, that day has not arrived yet. I tend to use my lucid dreams to do constructive things, like practicing speeches, flying, practicing ice skating moves, or simply create a landscape and having fun in it. Real life can be okay sometimes I guess, but there’s nothing like sitting, alone in a dreamt landscape, painting ones desires onto an imaginary canvas and watching it come alive in front of you; everything you create is yours to command, and everything you command shows you something you didn’t know; unlocking the secrets of your subconscious and revealing what is troubling you and what is really important. It’s a bit like ‘The Sims,’ but with better graphics.
I don’t get nightmares anymore, but I still dream things that disturb me. Even though I control my dreams, the ‘me’ of my dreams is very unlike the ‘me’ in real life. I am spontaneous; vivacious, confident, and arrogant to the point of rudeness. (Whereas in real life I’m just a delight!) My dream minions, who I suppose are just different versions of myself, are very unlike people in real life, who won’t stop in the street, push me up against a wall and kiss me ferociously, or cheer heartily when I walk into a room. I guess that I worry that the dream 'me' is actually the real me, and she can be quite a biatch!
My chocolate mousse I make in my dreams, unlike the one I make in real life, is to DIE for, (though I must admit I still haven’t got the texture QUITE right…) and on my dream ice rink I can do a triple axel without even thinking about it. I do a fair amount of flying, too. It’s a bit like moving through water but without any water.
The thing is, though, it’s not real, and I know it’s not real even when I’m living it. I can never get truly involved in the fantasy because I’m fully aware that it’s all the product of a deranged imagination. I feel isolated by this world; I don’t get other peoples’ jokes, and they don’t get mine;
Things in this world can be messy and dirty, things can be too expensive, and I would have to travel 1000 miles in a plane to see Foofy. The chances of being absolutely happy in a world where things like unkindness and avocados exist are fairly slim, but ultimately I’d rather struggle through this world than live a pain-free life in my dreams any day. If only I’d spent all that time that I spent perfecting my dreams on actually figuring out how best to live my life in the real world, I might have been a much happier person today. I used to blame the world for isolating me, but really it’s my fault for isolating myself and living in a little dream bubble. Now that I’ve been travelling to new places and having great experiences with new people, I’ve been lucid dreaming less and less. This is a bit disconcerting, but probably a good sign that I’m beginning to become a real human person. Or duck, that is.