For the past 4 or 5 nights now I've had dreams of home, old friends and places I visited when I was younger. The longest and most vivid was a dream of the summer camp I used to visit during the summer. I had mixed feelings about the camp experience as a whole, and the kids I met there, but this dream managed to paint it all in the perfect light. The lake, the boathouse, the old cabins, dining hall, playing fields and the four-square courts.
The camp was broken up into 4 villages (by age), and each village had about 8 cabins, with 8 kids and 2 counselors in each. Each village had it's own four-square court and each court fit into an overall hierarchy of popularity and social prowess at the camp. The lowest rung was the oldest village's court, probably because it was quite a trek to get to, and besides, the majority of the camp was intimidated by all the big kids. Next was the youngest village court. It was slightly smaller than the others and on a wooden platform. Many people returned to it for a trip down memory lane. The second-tier court was the second youngest village, and the top tier court was the second oldest (Frontier Village) court. This was a large, concrete court, in a prime location. It was right along the main road through the camp, and it was close to the swim area and boat house. During lunch breaks and free time, the waiting line to get a chance at square one would wrap around the court and even past some of the cabins. Boys would feel like superheros if they could make it to the fourth square and hold the position for an entire length of the line.
I tend to agree with Izzlepfaff! when it comes to dreams. It is often quite boring to listen to other people explaining their dreams, but we still go ahead and do it.
Last night I dreamt about bicycles and robots.
The bicycles bit is easy enough to explain, but I'm not sure where the robots came from. They had some cool bikes. We were in this world co-habitated by humans and robots. Bike messengers and couriers were prominent in society and both the humans and the robots had courier roles. Alex and I were searching around for the perfect fixed-gear bike and we were hassled by a gang of robot couriers. At this point I think I used the mental pause-button on my dream to stop it (I wasn't much interested in a robot cyclist tearing my limbs off), and I took a closer look at their bikes and frames. Some of the robots were even strange shapes so they would fit onto/into the gearing of the bikes in incredibly efficient ways. Then I woke up.
The other night I dreamt a series of abstract, minimalist images, consisting of lines and circles, sometimes resembling electronics circuit diagrams or flowcharts. There were no words, voices, people, or recognizable objects anywhere in the dream. Pattern after pattern kept floating by, all set against a stark white background. I woke up with a few images in my head and decided to try some Photoshop doodles to express some of what I remembered.
This dream may have been sparked by Finding Nemo (the only deep ocean-related thing in my life lately), but it was two weeks ago that I saw it, so who knows why my subconscious decided to dream about it last night.
I was at a summer camp setting with a bunch of relatives, including my parents and a few aunts and uncles. The first odd thing was that everything was underwater. Not just ankle-deep puddles, I mean bottom-of-the-ocean underwater. It was deep, dark water, but my relatives were all in human form and still breathing fine and didn't have any trouble walking around. I was a tiny little fish/shrimp/crab/insect critter, about the size of a snail. It was my job to swim down a long dark passageway and just touch a treasure chest that was at the end, and swim back. In a dark alcove halfway along the passageway, there was a giant octopus hiding in the shadows. It stretched out a tentacle as I passed and I narrowly missed it. I reached the treasure chest, touched it and started the long swim back. As I was nearing the place where the octopus was lurking, it dawned on me that I had a special ability. I could turn into the shape of any creature that I had seen. This time, as the octopus came out of hiding and started towards me, I thought a certain thought in a particular way, and with a faint 'pop', I had turned into an octopus, twice as large as the one approaching me. I flashed my tentacles towards the agressor and my size coupled with the startling transformation frightened him back to his hiding place. I swam in powerful octopus-strokes towards my destination. I would occasionally shoot out a tentacle and stick it to a rock, then give myself a powerful tug forward. The feeling of movement and momentum was impressive. I arrived back amongst my family and relatives and they congratulated me on the successful trial, without even blinking at my new 25 foot long, octopoidal self.
The nights of intense, vivid dreams come in waves. This week brought some crazy anxiety dreams, a few inspiring ones, and a couple just plain bizarre. The strangest of which went something like this:
I was wandering through a forest and came to a clearing, where there was a small cabin. It was a modern, almost mobile-home type cabin. Like one of those homes you see on the back of a flatbed truck on the highway. It was painted red. I walked up to the door, opened it and stepped inside. As soon as I was inside, something in my mind clicked and I realized I was part of an action movie that was taking place. The main characters were played by John Cusack (the good guy) and Patrick Swayze (the bad guy). The cabin was suddenly lifted a few feet off the ground by a giant crane and started swinging back and forth. There were gunshots outside and I looked out the window and was able to make out John Cusack's character shooting at Patrick Swayze, who had leapt off the ground and grabbed hold of a window pane on the side of the cabin. I then realized two things… I had a gun in my hand, and the cabin was now on fire. I dodged the flames, took cover behind a door frame and started shooting out the window that Patrick Swayze was at. John Cusack ran around to same side of the cabin to get a better shot. My aim was impeccable, but I continued to miss Swayze with my shots. I walked closer and closer to the window and was soon just a foot or two away from him, with my gun pointed right at his chest, but my bullets still would not hit him. He grinned an evil grin, and I saw he had fangs for teeth. The fire in the cabin flared up for a brief moment. I reloaded my gun, caught a glimpse of John Cusack doing the same outside, and then I woke up.
I dreamt I was wearing a pair of roller shoes. The contraptions that look like regular, thick-soled shoes, but have little flip-out wheels on the heel. I was rolling down a long sterile white hallway, with rows of bright flourescent lights along the ceiling. The walls slowly changed from vertical to curved, then back again. The sensation while moving was as if the whole building was writhing and undulating around me.
The other day while walking downtown to the baseball game there was a guy in front of us who had wheeled shoes. He was casually leaning back on his heels, coasting back and forth. He would occasionally put the fronts of his feet down to take a few normal steps, then push off into another coast.
The past few nights have been full of strange dreams. A number of them were nearly lucid dreams, where I started to take control of my actions, but I couldn't quite connect with things. A recurring theme/experience throughout these dreams was old friends and acquaintances. I had conversations or spent with some people I'd nearly forgotten about from grade school, highschool, and other scattered places in the past. I wanted to achieve lucidity and ask these people some questions that always lingered in the back of my mind, but I lost it.
I dreamt I was on a family vacation, staying in a cottage by a lake. Around the lake ran a train that was maybe half the size of a normal train. My sister and I were still able to fit inside and as we rode it around the lake, it crashed head-on into another train coming the opposite way on the same track. I remember the train wreck being enormous and earth-shaking, even though they were such small trains. My sister and I magically appeared outside the trains as they crashed, so we watched it all happen from safety. After the crash, we looked at each other in disbelief and began lifting massive pieces of the wreckage, entangled with body-parts, off of the track. We made sure the train track was clear, to allow the next passing train to get by safely, and then we walked the rest of the way to our cabin.
Some weeks bring better and more easily remembered dreams than others. The pieces I remember from the past few days…
-A number of anxiety dreams, focussing around finishing projects on time. I always manage to catch myself and realize its a dream before I ever reach the point of breakdown, and then it becomes fun.
-I dreamt of a heavy snowfall (a couple inches) in Seattle, which caught everyone by surprise, and shut down the city for days. The next day I found out that overnight it snowed 6 inches in my hometown in Connecticut.
-After finishing a book about Mt. Everest, I had a series of mountaineering dreams. Trudging uphill through many feet of snow, gasping for breath in the high altitude.
-Just the other night I had a wonderful lucid dream. Not all that wonderful in the content, but wonderful in the way that I took control. I dreamt I was at a party and wanted to chat with some people. Their attention was elsewhere, and I knew I'd upset them if I butted in, and I knew exactly how they'd react and what they'd say. I then realized I was dreaming (how could I have known every reaction and every word they would say to me?). I decided to take control of the dream and do what I wanted (talk with the people, without the others getting upset. although I normally decide to just start flying). At that point I remember concentrating on splitting my dream into a new set of rules. In this new world, the people I was approaching were no longer preoccupied. While I did manage to alter the dream world a bit, I also knew in the back of my head that the original world still existed. It had drifted out into the realm of all the other billions of dream possibilities, and I had chosen a new one with a slightly different outcome.
And now it is time to get to sleep and find a few more of those dream worlds to play with.
In my dream I saw a woman walking slowly across a barren, ancient battlefield, littered with the remains of wars fought many hundreds of years ago. It was just before sunrise, and as the sky began to grow brighter, she approached the top of a hill. Lying on the ground, propped against a rock was a battered skeleton, with the rusted remnant of a sword on the ground next to it. The woman softly spoke a few words, “The light at dawn will change this.” As soon as the words left her mouth, the sun crept above the horizon and its rays flooded the field. As they hit the bones of the skeleton, they dissolved into a fine dust that was immediately dispersed by the wind. The same happened with every other piece of iron or bone on the ground. With that, the field was clean.
I dreamt about lots of swordfighting. I can't remember the full context of the swordfights, but they were quite intense, acrobatic and well-choreographed. I think it might have been related to a play or performance. A friend was showing me a big book of scenes from a play she was doing. One scene was an elaborate outdoor wedding reception, with crowds and crowds of people, filling up the large yard. Although, it was really only a dozen or so people, with some backdrops, and tricky angles, to make it look like there were crowds of people. But then I was swordfighting with people in try-outs for the play. Except this wasn't acting. I was really trying to hurt these people and kill them. As if this wasn't strange enough , there was a rule in the fighting that I could only kill my opponent, with their own weapon. In one fight I disarmed a man wielding a rapier, and a ran him through with his own sword. Another man was throwing knives at me, which I was dodging. My attempts at dispatching him were in vain, until I picked up one of his knives and threw it back at him. Bullseye.
I dreamt I was at home with my family and I was getting ready to go out with friends, but we had unexpected guests arrive. It was some family friends, and a bunch of British and Irish people with them. Instead of going out, I had to stay and be social with them. At dinner time, we were getting ready to sit down, but decided to go to the British people's house instead. It was a fancy old house, kind of like my great uncle's. While they were preparing dinner, my sister and I played with a life-size, animatronic, white-tiger. It was like one of those robotic pets, but was covered in fur, sat about 3 1/2 feet tall, and looked completely realistic. We were able to get it to stand up and walk a little. We also tried riding it, since it was a robot and could support our weight. I had deja-vu about the tiger, as if I'd dreamt about it before. We finally sat down for dinner and it was quite awkward with all the British folk that we didn't know too well. The food was weird, the glasses and silverware were not in their normal places, and I kept using the wrong utensils…