Some time ago Gypsy Dave and I had an email discussion regarding the dreams we have while sleeping. He wrote of a recent experience where not only did he have a dream that was utterly fantastical but he was fully aware that he was dreaming throughout the two-hour experience! I have come to learn that lucid dreams of this nature are not necessarily all that unusual. But they can definitely be spellbinding.
And then there are those recurring dreams which we all have from time to time. I told Dave of a dream of mine that I had experienced over and over many years ago, and then it simply disappeared. Then, bingo, a few weeks ago it resurfaced after being AWOL for at least ten years.
Some dreams just don’t give up.
The whole idea of a dream is utterly fascinating to me. The experience is said to be the result of the collaboration of the unconscious mind with conscious experience. I think what that means is that one’s brain can manipulate the memory of one’s actual experiences to meet, well, whatever result it would like—or prefer. Take flying, for example. This is easily one of my favorite lucid dreams, having been a Superman comic book fan since childhood—and, for the record, have come to understand that the only time I can do this is when I am asleep.
(I learned this the hard way when, as a small boy, I donned a cape made from a bath towel and, while holding an open umbrella, leapt from the roof of our house. Oh my.)
Actually, the sensation might be better described as levitation and I find it absolutely exhilarating. According to some so-called experts, this type of dream means that I am strong willed and “in control” of those things that are important to me. Hmmm. If you say so.
Then there are the nightmares, of course. The worst ones are those that seem to be most connected to our real world. I recall having nightmares about my young son being snatched. Used to scare the heck out of me. But that was many years ago. He is grown now and, at six-foot two, an unlikely candidate for snatching. But, oddly enough, just a few weeks ago that dream hit me again—it was a lucid dream, too, so I decided it was time to wake up. Phew.
I also confess that given my inherent gift of imagination I am easily seduced by the fluff of idle daydreams and the allure of big plans. Always have been, as my high school grades will attest. I often found my woolgathering to be far more captivating than the activities in my immediate surroundings, such as those in Mrs. Snyder’s English class, for example.
But I am not alone in this business of conjuring up lofty dreams: C. S. Lewis said “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” And Anatole France, the French poet and novelist, told us that “To discover great things we must not only act, but also dream.” Carl Sandburg said “Nothing happens until we first dream,” which seems to agree with Eleanor Roosevelt’s take on it: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” And then, of course, there was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, simply, “I have a dream…”
Some dreamers just don’t give up.