I have an idea. Actually I have few ideas…about dreaming and what dreams mean. They are not founded in science, but don’t let that stop you from walking a little with me as I extrapolate.
I have been having some strange, lucid, dreams lately. Scratch that. I have been having some strange for as long as I can remember and they come in clusters, if that is the proper collective noun. They come in clusters around this time of year –March into April into May. The dreams come with my urge to write. Or is it the other way around?
I have been having strange dream clusters that feel so real that when I wake my body is tired from a long journey. I have dreamt of visiting Australia, of clearing Australian customs and immigration, of living in a house made of marble, with green columns and a giant aquarium in its living room. And in this marble living room I am wearing a glittering turquoise dress with emerald jewels. Everything is sleek and green …in Australia. Funny thing is I have never been to Australia. The closest I have come to being in Australia is watching the Mad Max movies and reading The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett ( I loved them both), but if you’ve read or seen any of these you could appreciate the distance between my dreams and the Australia in those worlds.
Or how about the one where I am a close-to-retirement white, middle-aged detective lady, who wears white cardigans with brightly colored appliqué flowers to work. She is working her last case with a partner who has a penchant collecting ceramic and porcelain fish ornaments (the kind with gaping mouths and perpetually stunned expression in their eyes) and arranges them, mostly white, on his desk. Theirs is a special branch that investigates cases outside the parameters of regular police work…like say corpses with unexplained puncture wounds to the neck…that sort of thing. In this dream, I am me, but I am also that white detective lady and I can hear the sounds of her office…the chatter of police speak, the noises of the city which is not in St. Vincent, and I can see the panes of glass that separate their desks.
And there is the one where I am on Sion Hill Bay, only it’s a much larger beach than Sion Hill Bay, and it has been sectioned into perfect squares. There is a red comet in the sky just above the bay, illuminating the Taurus constellation and the island of Bequia is much closer to the mainland than it actually is. In my dream and I have had this dream more than once, Bequia is just a short swim through shallow waters from the mainland. And I am always trying to solve a mystery in this dream, not literally me, but the person who is my proxy in the dreams.
Finally there is the one where I am visiting my parents in a house just like ours. I am an older version of myself in this dream. My mother is at the kitchen sink and my father is sitting on a stool and we are all chatting. I don’t remember what the conversation is about but I do recall the living room being in a different color than it is now. It’s our house but it isn’t really. In this dream I look at my watch and tell them that I have to leave and shortly after kissing and hugging them and saying goodbye I wake up. I wake up with the sensation of having actually visited another world where my father is still with us, like I was leaping through a Star Gate worm hole …or something.
I also have a bunch of other dreams where I have extended conversations with various iterations of my cat, who explains to me her technique for stalking, catching and skinning mice, rats and lizards. Yes, in my dreams, my cat can talk, change sex and pedigree, and she has opposable thumbs…what?
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I have a few ideas about dreaming that are fueled by my writer’s imagination and that I plan to mine for future stories. One is related to the many worlds theory that I talked about in my previous post. What if when we dream our consciousness, spirit, or what have you, visits these other worlds? What if they inhabit the bodies of other humans in other worlds, sort of what happens when Granny Weatherwax “borrows” the minds of various animals? (She never really lets them know that she is in there with them). That would explain why I feel so tired when I wake up, as though one part of me is moving in this world while the other part is playing catch up. The process of reentry, reconnection is quite taxing on the body and mind. Realignment is a delicate process. It takes its toll.
Or how about this: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld has something in it called L-Space. It’s a brilliant concept where books (library or bookshop) emit energy that builds up over time that eventually warps reality around them. I am currently sharing desk space with four book towers. Books are tucked away in cupboards, storage bins, glass cabinets, mahogany space savers and faux wood bookshelves in my house. Most of my books are by Caribbean authors and I have a lot Sci Fi works as well. I also have quite a few works on my tablet e-reader (currently reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman). What if my books are generating their own L-Space that my mind is able to access while I sleep? I have fallen asleep with my tablet on the bed beside me. Perhaps that L-Space takes on other dimensions in electronic devices; maybe my dreaming mind is picking up the talking ghosts in the shell? It would explain a lot actually. It might even explain Australia.
These are some ideas that I am toying with for future storytelling. My influences are plain, but my dreams assume some extra vivid dimensions that stick with me well after I am awake…days, months, years actually. I know there are probably loads of perfectly logical scientific and psychological explanation for these dreams of mine, but where’s the fun in that, really?
I like indulging my dream walking writerly imagination.
So how have you been dreaming lately?