Monday, April 12, 2010

Whilst I was Sleeping

Generally, dreams aren't very interesting and they only stay a moment. Sometimes I wake up thinking - - ahhhh yes, a whole, long story there and it was about- - - now, what was it about? - - - But already it's gone.

The scariest dream of my childhood was of meeting an old, witch-like woman on a woodland path.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"The Dead of the Dead," she replied, in a phrase which I'd never heard before and which was enough to terrify me for years (yes, yes, all right, at vulnerable moments it probably still does).

There was a recurring dream which happened many times: the Communist and I were floating quite contentedly down from the top of a cliff on a large sofa and my mother floated past us, waving happily. I would ask him why she didn't need a sofa and he said she was absolutely fine as she was. I would wake up reassured.

Of course, a lot of people have dreams about flying or floating and I know there's some scientific explanation for it - - though I can't remember what it is.

I don't tend to have those "naked in a public place"-type dreams that I know are very common. But what I do have are dreams that are - to me at least - absolutely transparent psychologically. If dreams are there to try to make sense of what happens during the day, then I find myself saying "Oh, come on, I already knew that about myself," to my dreams as I wake.

So - - a couple of nights ago, I dreamed that I was driving along a road in which there were huge potholes. Yes, there are huge potholes in Leeds roads at the moment. Yes, okay, I know, it's a kind of dream metaphor for all the difficult things that have happened recently. Enough! I thought as I woke up. I knew that. You don't need to tell me, dreaming brain!

But recently - and I know this is going to sound melodramatic - I am getting really, really upset by constant dreams about the cries of lost children. Their shouting wakes me up. "Mummy, Mummy! It's Luke!" was last night's: plaintive and distant.

I don't know any children called Luke but I still woke up in a cold horror.

Yes, I do know what it's all about, and if you know anything about my past then you will too. And no, I haven't got over it, I freely admit it. But I really don't need my brain to keep pointing it out to me night after night after night. I know what it means. I understand. Stop it now. Please.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I don't remember dreams often but sometimes I find myself in the middle of an intricate technicolour dream, with so much detail it's almost overwhelming and then wakefulness arrives and it all just evaporates no matter how hard I try to hang on to it. Sorry to hear about the "Mummy!" cries - they must be a torment - but as you suggested, dreams are probably just one of the brain's methods for processing our psychological issues and the everyday data we have to amass.

11:54 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I've had them all -- naked in a public square (trying to hide behind a potted palm); flying; gobs of teeth falling out of my mouth. Sometimes I revisit old dream haunts that seem utterly familiar, yet I have no idea where they might be in real life.

4:11 am  

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