I’ve been trying to figure out how to convey the strangeness of dreaming. I guess somewhere there must be someone who never remembers his dreams, who insists he never dreams, who can’t imagine what it’s like to dream. To that person, hearing about a dream would feel like listening to someone describing auras – pretty neat, but unbelievable.
On the subway the other morning I was looking at all the other people going about their day, all dressed up, reading books and carrying briefcases, acting (for the most part) rational. I pictured them the night before: horizontal, motionless, with bizarre little plays going on inside their heads.
Every night we close our eyes and change our state of consciousness, becoming unconscious (I better not dwell too long on this or I’ll never get to sleep tonight); and then move in and out of different states, some of which we remember in the morning. We think of this as normal.
Lucid dreams, where you become conscious you are dreaming, and can, without waking up, change the dream, are stranger still. I’ve only had a few of these – like the dream where I was flying, realized it must be a dream because I was flying, but decided I would prove to myself it was real by grabbing a leaf from a tree and bringing it back into the “real” world. Nice try.
I once took a book called Lucid Dreams in 30 Days on vacation. One of the exercises was to ask yourself, several times a day, whether you were asleep or dreaming. My sister-in-law was with me, and I can still hear her sweet, high voice asking me: “Are you awake or are you dreaming?”
I’m going to try this 30 day program again, even though, as I remember, it can make you feel as though you’re going slightly crazy.
The first step is to write down your dreams, but I will not do that here. Despite all of the above, there is nothing more boring than someone else’s dream.