Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tonight's Dream Starring You!

dream...dream... (Photo credit: Norma Desmond)

        In my previous post we discussed the topic of celebrity appearances in dreams as well as recurring characters and other guest appearances.  Who are these people and why are they entering our dream space?

         In this current post I want to look at the role that we the dreamers play in our dreams.  Do we play ourselves, others, or both?

          On my previous post Leigh at Em-musing commented:  A psychologist once told me all characters in dreams are really us and that we put faces and personas on them to deal with our own issues. 

           Stephen T McCarthy from Ferret-Faced Facist Friends countered:  I think that's often true, but I also believe that sometimes the characters stand for concepts or situations or things that somehow apply to us, but do not necessarily represent US as individuals.

           There is probably truth in both of these viewpoints since dreams can portray a diversity of ideas.  However, it also may possible that the dream actors are not us at all but something akin to characters in a movie that we are watching as our subconscious mind improvises the script.  

          Sometimes I feel disassociated from my dream as though I am witnessing the events rather than participating in them.  In a sense, in these cases I seem to be at a vantage point observing a far away view which occasionally I may even manipulate as though I am the scriptwriter.  This is probably why a story inspiration will often come from my dreams.  My mind has been "writing" as I sleep and dream.

           Other times I am involved in all or most of the dream action.  In these cases I will often be aware of a scene set-up either through an actual narration or back story presented in a dream memory--things I somehow know through memories which I don't necessarily relate to anything in waking life.

           An example of this type of situation comes from a dream I had when I was in high school:

                         I am watching the story of a benevolent young outlaw known as "The Kid".  The time is probably the 1880s and the place is an unspecific locale in the West.  "The Kid" is a hero of the common people because of his good actions, but he is apparently wanted by the law authorities.  I hear some of the story narrated, but other parts I know perhaps from earlier in the film that I don't recall seeing in the dream.  I see "The Kid" riding across the terrain on horseback.  His face is covered by white cloth or gauze because he has face cancer.  I don't recall what happens in the ongoing story, but at various times I become either "The Kid",  one of his gang, a boy who is a character in the story, a town person, or a viewer in the audience.  Perhaps I am all of these but only capable of comprehension from one point of view.

           This tends to prove the theory that Leigh mentioned.  The story in its entirety may somehow represent me and whatever my real life situation was at the time of the dream.  Perhaps this is me presented as a story.  On the other hand, perhaps I am placing myself in the relevant roles as they occur in the story much like a writer might identify with whichever character he is writing about at any one particular time.  

           In other dreams I may become whichever character is in the most favorable position.  It becomes almost a case that I don't like the idea of being a particular character and decide I want to be someone else.  In these dreams the story line will also change to the extent that there is no actual story continuity, but more like a collection of images and disassociated vignettes where characters and settings will appear and disappear.  These dreams seem related to stream-of-consciousness thinking where incongruous ideas blend together into an olio of imagery.  

          When I think I see myself in my dreams it is not the actual physical representation of me.  Those people are physically different than what I look like but I accept them as me.  The dream eyes through which I see my dreams seem to be mine and yet they don't always feel like my vision.  The confusion of dream states makes everything questionable and sometimes appear to have multiple layers of meaning.

            I am not sure how to interpret the dream character that I typically accept as me.  Nor do I know why it might appear that I might be multiple characters in a dream.  I don't even really know for sure that I am in my dreams at all.   It's very possible, as I have mentioned above, that my dreams are stories and my mind is merely the author of those stories.  Perhaps my mind is identifying with these mysterious dream characters.

           Do you actually see yourself or know for certain that it is a portrayal of you in your dreams?  Have you experienced the character shift phenomena?    Do you control your dreams or just watch them happen?

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Appearing in Tonight's Dream--

Publicity photo of Ron Penfound as "Capta...Publicity photo of Ron Penfound as "Captain Penny" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

         Since dreams are in some ways like movies, it makes sense that there would be casts of characters and occasionally guest appearances.  My dreams typically will have a recurring cast that includes family members and friends.  There are also a number of unrecognizable players filling important roles in dreams.  These characters either rarely reappear or their identities don't register with me so that I don't realize they've returned.

         On some occasions there will be appearances by people who are actual celebrities or famous people.  At other times there will be characters whom I know as being famous in the dream but not known to me in waking life.

          My blog buddy Stephen T. McCarthy related a dream guest appearance in a recent comment left on one of my A Faraway View posts.  You can click on the link for the full account, but to lift Stephen's description the man in his dream is "some famous old character actor (not a real person, but an old actor known to all of us in the dream)".  

          I've likewise had several dreams where a person will appear who is known in the dream to be a person of note, but someone of whom I have no knowledge in my actual life.  Perhaps these people have characteristics that relate to another person actually known to my conscious mind.  In the dream they may represent some archetypal personage that symbolizes something in the dream.

         Usually I find these symbolic figures are played by what would normally be considered to be character actors or personalities who have some unique traits.  Some of the real life figures who have appeared in my dreams are William Demarest (Uncle Charlie from the television show My Three Sons), Andy Devine, and Walter Brennan.  

         One dream that I remember having when I was about 5 or 6 years old starred local Cleveland, Ohio TV personality Captain Penny.   In the dream I was watching Captain Penny on television.  He was interacting with a frog puppet, though the frog seemed very real to me.  At some point Captain Penny accidentally steps on the frog and kills it.  Everyone one on the television show seems distraught.  I am upset and wake up crying and feeling very sad.

         I don't recall if the frog character was an actual part of the television show or not, but it was a character that seemed very familiar to me in the dream.  Since I watched Captain Penny nearly everyday he was a familiar face and an important figure in my young life.  Beyond that I have no idea what the meaning of this dream would have been, if there had been any meaning at all.

         I don't know what the dreams with famous people represent other than the aforementioned concept of archetypes.  I don't think there is usually any direct meaning to the person dreamed about.  

         Have you had dreams about famous people?   Does your dream theater have a cast of standard characters who make repeated appearances in your dreams?   If so, who are they?    Are there people you recognize in your dreams or see in your dreams that you don't recall ever having seen in waking life?

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Appreciating the Zealotry of the #atozchallenge

I found a blogfest over at Denise Covey's L'Aussie blog where she's asking us to repost our favorite blog post from the A to Z Challenge. Go to her site to find the Linky list to read more blogs or sign up with your own.  This was kind of difficult to say one was the favorite, but here's one that I liked.

Rotary Connection

        One of the notable alumni of Rotary Connection was Minnie Riperton, a singer with incredible vocal range who gave us the song "Loving You" after she went on to a solo career.  Rotary Connection was a psychedelic soul vocal group that specialized in highly stylized cover versions of songs by other artists and elaborately produced soundscapes.

         The album that stands out for me the most is Aladdin, consisting of original songs themed after the album title.  Like so many other great vinyl that I bought in the 1970s, I found this album in the cut-out bin and bought it for a song.  I ended up with a collection of great songs and got hours of listening pleasure from this dreamy album.

          My song pick from Aladdin is "Magical World"--a beautiful song.  The accompanying video is like a dream.  The album is like a dream.  I must be dreaming.  Please don't wake me up.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lucky Meme Tag

        When in doubt about what to write or if you're just feeling lazy, do a meme.  I save these things up for times like these.  I'm tired and don't feel like thinking too much.  So here's a meme that came my way on March 15th from Gossip Girl at Just You Wait! One Day I Will...   Her blog title is fitting for my taking her up on her tag.  In this little bloggy game I'm to offer an excerpt from a work in progress and answer seven lucky questions.

Here is the first part of the rules of this meme:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS  (Okay)
2. Go to line 7   (okay did this too)
3. Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as they're written. (Got it)
4. Tag 7 authors  (This is where I stop following the rules--sorry)

5. Let them know  (I 'm letting everyone know here that I'm not playing by the rules)

Here is my excerpt:

  In the distance, he could see towering structures of downtown.  There were millions here that were now threatened by an unknown force that was among them.  A beachhead had been established by the secret invading enemy here in Chicago.  Perhaps there were invasion portals in other cities as well.  John hoped that someone connected with the government would listen.  Alone he could do nothing.  He would need the help of armies and even that might not be sufficient, but they at least had to try to do something.  

So now onto the Lucky Questions to answer:
1. What is my dream Vacation?   A year long all expense paid grand driving tour of the United States and Canada.  
2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan?   I am usually a planner, but knowing that even the best plans can go awry I like to be prepared for spontaneity.  
3. Tell us one thing you want to do, but don't dare do?   I suppose it's better that I don't say since saying it would be admitting that I want to do it and somebody might get the wrong idea.  
4. What's your biggest phobia?   Being trapped in a tight place and not being able to move--I'm very claustrophobic.
5. If you were stranded on a desert island--what 3 things would you want with you (not including laptop or family)?   Lots of food and water and a satellite phone--I don't want to stay there for long.
6. Name 3 blessings in your life:       My family, my relatively good health, and a lifetime of great experiences.
7. What was your nickname in high school?   I've answered this one before.  I didn't have a generally known nickname but a few guys called me "Juggler". 
I removed three of the questions so I'd have seven.  That made the most sense.  I'm not tagging anyone else but you're free to do the meme on your own if you wish.  Now let me go back to sleep and dream some more.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Respite Despite the Dreaming

"The Dream" by Edouard Detaille. Sol..."The Dream" by Edouard Detaille. Soldiers dreaming about glory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        It's A to Z Challenge Reflections week in case anyone is not yet aware.  If you have anything to say about the April Challenge, put up your post before Saturday night and then add the link to that post on the list which can be found at the A to Z Blog.   We want to know what you think about the Challenge.  Since my focus is on the A to Z Reflections posts this week, my entry here today will be themed as such.

        My sleep dreams have been relegated to the back of my mind of late.  With the Challenge and the Reflections and all of the related catching up with things, I have dreamed during sleep.  I remember the dreams--sometimes vividly.  Then I stop thinking of them and busy myself with other things until the dreams are completely forgotten.  It's been like this for a month and a half now.  I've been too busy to bother with dreams--waking or sleeping.

        What I have noticed about what I do remember about my dreams is that they mostly were related to blogging.  A few times I even awoke from dreams about blogging to go to my computer and check my blog--to see if my daily offering had posted yet, to check if I had gotten any new comments, or to begin another blog post that I had thought of while dreaming.

          Have you ever been so focused on something that you thought about it when you were awake and asleep?   Do you often dream about work or things you are responsible for getting done?    How often are your dreams pure escapism?

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

A to Z Reflections: Dreaming About the Music

Badge artwork by Ada Z from
        April on A Faraway View was a dream come true as I combined two of my favorite topics--dreams and music--into one ongoing festival of the study of the subconscious mind and how it relates to our lives.  My thanks to the small but faithful audience who followed this journey and left encouraging comments.

         My follower count doubled during Blogging from A to Z of 2012 as I met my goal of reaching 100 followers.   I hope that many of these followers will continue to return on occasion and provide their input regarding what I post here.

        The concept of posting videos and playlists on my blog site is something I love to do.  After the first A to Z Challenge in 2010 I posted about music in my blog Tossing It Out for about two months. Since then I have put up music videos whenever I could find an excuse to do so.  I wouldn't mind doing it all of the time.

         I hope that my text combined with my musical picks provided those who followed along a bit more insight as to some of my thoughts about dreams as well as my musical tastes.  It has been an interesting and enjoyable time for me to reflect on music that I like and why I like it.

          In the future I may at times resort to posting additional music clips as well as film excerpts that illustrate what I am thinking or trying to say about dreams.  It's an easy way out, but it also provides examples of what I sometimes write about on this blog.

          My thanks to all who stayed with me during the Challenge or dropped in to visit.  I encourage you to go back through the archives to visit the posts you missed.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about any of them. And in my opinion there is some excellent music to listen to.  I hope you will listen and I hope you enjoy what you hear.

          Now it's back to posting on schedule.  Hope you'll come back to see me now and then.  A Faraway View appears here each Thursday.  I will not be posting again on this site until Thursday May 17th after the A to Z Challenge Reflections list has closed.

         See you in my dreams!   Here's one more video to enjoy.  This is one of my favorite songs.  I think it's a very dreamy dream-like song and video.  But please--do dream!  The A to Z April Challenge may be over, but there's much more to come on A Faraway View.

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