To sleep, perchance to…

…have weird people trying to eat you?

I’m pretty sure that the Shakespeare quote involved the word ‘dream’ but my latest nocturnal meanderings by my subconscious were not of the peaceful type!

I’m a great logger and journaler of dreams.  I can remember many dreams that I had when I was a child and a teenager – particularly the unpleasant ones – and since the late 1990s, when I suffered a mild nervous breakdown, I’ve recorded my dreams on waking whenever I am aware of having dreamt and am capable of remembering anything that happened.  When I started the journal, it was on pieces of paper or text files; I toyed with the idea of using a nice, hardback book to put everything in but that never really suited; nowadays I have a section of my OneNote notebook labelled ‘Dreams’ and that does the trick nicely.  It also allows me to easily search previous dream records, and has the additional advantage of allowing me to easily slot in stuff after the event.  Every now and again I come across a Word document or some scribbled notes recording a dream that I had years ago, and it’s easy for me to pop a note in OneNote in the right place and transcribe the contents of my previously lost records.

Why do I bother?

Well, it’s been interesting to see when I dream, to start with; I now realise that I’m more likely to dream when I’m slightly mentally agitated – ignoring those dreams that Ebeneezer Scrooge referred to:

“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you….”

and the really ‘big’ dreams for me – those that either fit the pattern of deep and important dreams defined by Jung or those that have me waking up feeling strong emotions – tend to take place when my sub-concious is needing to get my attention.  I have to say that sometimes I wish that the message that it attempts to convey was more clearly expressed….

If I dream when I’m ill, over-heated, still digesting my supper, drunk or just having a ‘bad night’ I’ll record the dreams and ponder them; but if I have a dream that leaves me waking up with strong emotions, kicking the cats off the bed as I flail around like a lunatic or that is particularly vivid and coherent, then THEY are the dreams that I attempt to ‘read, mark and inwardly digest’.

I’m actually quite reticent to discuss my dreams with lots of people; like most people, I think whatever public standing I have (not much!) would go down the toilet were folks to know of my antics in some of my dreams, and over the years I’ve learnt a great deal about myself from studying my dreams and reading the more ‘serious’ books on the subject.

I’ve learnt to recognise certain things in my dream as having specific meanings; to you that workbench might be just a workbench; for me, I know that if I dream in detail about a workbench, there is some aspect of my creative life that’s currently lacking and I need to find a new outlet or kick a new project off.  There are also people who turn up repeatedly in my dream – that’s more intimate, and whilst I think know who and what they represent I’m not telling here!

And as for being eaten by weird people?

Well, without going in to too much detail, let me advise you never to allow yourself to be followed in to a perfectly dark room by a stranger who then proceeds to start eating your hand…..

the analysis of THAT little horror will start soon.