Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dreams. Tuesday, August 24, 2010.

“Dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask.” “The X-Files”

It’s just a regular day at the office, when suddenly three men appear at the entrance wearing back ski masks and carrying semiautomatics. I stand up to get a better view over the cubicles, and I hear the tat-tat-tat-tat of the firing of the weapons and watch as our receptionist Traci falls down to the ground.

Wanda, who works in the cube next to her, screams, and she is next. “Oh, my God,” I think. “They’re going to kill us all, one by one.” I jerk awake, hyperventilating and covered with sweat.

That’s a nightmare I had recently. Working in a field beset by layoffs, I don’t have to dig up Sigmund Freud to understand its meaning.

Luckily, despite my depression and anxiety, I don’t have very many nightmares. (At least that I remember.) Maybe I worry so much during the day that my mind takes a rest at night.

What are dreams? Why do we have them, and what do they mean? Philosophers, psychologists and scientists have been trying to answer these questions forever. Some people, especially people with PTSD, are plagued constantly by bad dreams. Other people claim they don’t dream at all, but the truth is that they do but they don’t remember them.

For people that suffer from insomnia, dreams are a coveted state. To remember the trailing-off of a dream when the alarm goes off means that you were actually able to get some sleep.

As long as your dreams aren’t scary or disturbing, you might be sorry to wake up from them. I often wish I could return to a dream after I awake, and find out the answer to a puzzle, or how the story ends.

A friend of mine has “lucid dreams” all the time. In the dream, she realizes that she is dreaming, and she is able to make things happen in any way that she pleases. I only have had one lucid dream, but it was sublime – I found a fountain that brought forth both chocolate and champagne!

I’d like to learn the art of lucid dreaming. Since there are so many elements of my waking life I can’t control, I’d love to be able to control my dreams.

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