Thursday, August 30, 2012

When Real Life Seems Like a Dream

from Mobile, Alabama to Pensacola, Floride, USAfrom Mobile, Alabama to Pensacola, Floride, USA (Photo credit: Nouhailler)

         It was a trip that dreams are made of or at least the content of that day seemed dreamlike in many ways.  We were a third of a way into our vacation.  Having spent a few days in Houston, my wife and I were next heading toward Orlando, Florida for a quick two day visit.  We decided to allow two days to get there with a overnight stop in Tallahassee, Florida and then two days to return to Houston.

         Leaving at precisely 6 AM on Saturday morning everything was starting out according to plan.  I had anticipated a detour getting out of Houston, but either I had heard wrongly that part of the highway would be closed or we left early enough to avoid it.  The departure from the city was smooth and uneventful.

          Outside of the city limits we found a McDonald's and pulled through the drive-through for a breakfast on the run.  It was still dark which was fine with me.  I expected another hot and humid day, not so bad in the air-conditioned car, but uncomfortable during the stops when we'd have to go outside.  As we continued on, my wife eventually dozed while I drove and listened to the radio.

          As predicted by the weather forecast, I could see we'd be hitting intermittent rain storms  and stretches of partly cloudy dog day summer. The morning was fair and fine as we hit Louisiana.  I had been craving boudin--a type of rice and meat sausage popular in this part of the country--since having decided to make this trip.  My plan was to stop somewhere around Lafayette and get a link of the spicy concoction to satisfy my craving.  Since it was still relatively early I debated doing this, but my wife encouraged me to pull off the highway to get my boudin so I wouldn't be talking about it anymore.

          We exited at Breaux Bridge and found a small boudin market that was open at that time of morning.  We weren't the only customers.  I bought myself a link, but my wife wasn't interested in even trying it.  Instead she opted for a small bag of cracklin's since this was something that she had tried before and liked.  My wife is not a very adventurous eater.  Sitting in the car, she enjoyed her cracklin's and I savored my boudin before heading back to highway I-10.

         The stretch of I-10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge includes the 18 mile Atchafalya Skyway Bridge which transverses a vast network of swamp lands and rivers.  It's a scenic and mysterious looking landscape worthy of a dream setting.  If traveling early in the morning doesn't make you feel like you're driving in a dream, then this Skyway bridge area can certainly settle itself into your subconscious memory.  It's a place I'm sure I have already visited in past dreams and will be revisiting in some incarnation in future dreams.

         Traffic was heavy on this Saturday and became more congested as the day wore on.  The hours were passed in conversation with my wife or listening to the radio or the music CD's I had brought with me.  I was never bored.  There was always something to look at, talk about, or listen to.  It was road tripping at its best except for all the traffic.  And as we got into Mississippi the traffic got a whole lot worse.  I don't know where all the people were going, but there were a lot of them going east like we were and coming in the opposite lanes heading westward.

         Then about twenty miles west of Mobile, Alabama traffic began slowing to a crawl.  We maintained this snail's pace until the crawl became a stop and go.  In a period of about forty minutes we covered less than ten miles.  There was obviously some sort of problem ahead that had slowed traffic.  Now in view of downtown Mobile, I decided it was time to get off the highway.  Just guessing my way on the surface streets would be better than this traffic.

         I made my way over to the right lane.  When I saw signs indicating that there was a tunnel ahead I deduced that there must have been some sort of accident or problem at the tunnel.  The next exit I came to was the hazardous cargo route which I knew would circumvent the tunnel and take me back to the I-10.  I would not be driving blindly as long as I stayed on this detour.

        In the end I was glad that I had exited.  This route took me along the shores of Mobile Bay.  The sights were similar to dreams that I have had.  The bay waters lapped eerily close to the highway.  This would not be a place where I would want to be if it were storming since even now water splashed onto the highway, but on this day it all looked fascinating.  Large weathered wood seafood restaurants and other businesses on stilts stood by the waters edge.  I decided that one day I'd like to come back and eat in one of these restaurants.  There was little traffic and it was not long before we were back on a much less congested I-10.

        A few hours later we arrived at the Tallahassee Fairfield Inn where I had made room reservations.  We were a little ahead of schedule.   The mugginess of the air was oppressive and we were happy to get to our home for the night.  Once in the room I thought back upon the day.  Looking back it all seemed like a dream. We had seen so much and experienced so much and yet we had only gone from there to here where we were now.  Very much like a dream.   Often life can be like that.  We feel like we've done so much that we can't even remember everything that has happened.  Thoughts and images are stored away to be retrieved later at some unexpected time.  That's when real life seems like a dream.  

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Dreamer On Vacation

"Open Your Eyes" by Ada Zdanowicz
How does dreamer location affect dream setting and content?      

         In a past post I discussed the concept of specified geographical locations as dream settings.  The places I typically dream about seem familiar within the dream, yet strange at the same time.  In other words, I will usually know where I am in a dream, but it will not look like the actual place in waking life or it will be an artificial setting that I accept as being real in the same way that a movie set will appear real when seen in the viewing of a film.

         If this explanation seems convoluted or weird, then that's because it is.  Dream setting and the sense of place can be difficult to explain.  In other words, a dreamer might accept the dream setting as being their house, but there are usually many peculiar differences that make that house a much different place that it is in real life.

Dreaming Away from Home

         Recently when I was on vacation traveling across the country and staying in different hotels or at my daughter's house, the settings in my dreams seemed to reflect the fact that I was dreaming away from home out of my own bed.  Unfortunately I do not recall any of the dreams as I did not make a point of remembering them upon awakening and I did not record any of them for future reference.  After all, I was on vacation wasn't I?

        However, I do recall being specifically aware that my dreaming mind knew that I was not at home and my dream setting reflected this.  This was a noticeable phenomena that stood out in my mind.  My dreams away from home had a distinctly different feel from the dreams I would normally experience in my own bed.  The settings continued to be strange, but within the dream context my mind had an awareness that I was traveling.  It's difficult to explain, but lets just say that perhaps the dreaming mind is aware of where the dreamers body is and when it is not in its normal sleep base then the mind somehow is able to convey this to the realm of the subconscious.

Why would dreams seem different when one is away from home?

       It seems obvious that new or different sensory stimulation would have a dramatic influence on ones dreaming mind when one is not at home.  Waking hours when traveling are often filled with a bombardment of new sights, sounds, and other assaults to the senses.  Especially if driving long distances, sensory stimulants are passing by so quickly that the mind cannot process everything at the time and may use the subconscious mind to sort things out in dreams.

      The affect of different surroundings, such as a hotel room, while sleeping can also undoubtedly have an influence on dreams and at times even provide a certain sense of disorientation or other mental affectation that can enter into the sleeping mind thereby swaying ones inner visions.  Likewise things like time zone shifts, changes in eating times, and other jolts to ones routine might cause dreams to feel vastly different than when at home.

       Could it even possibly be that external effects stemming from ones location in the universe influence what one dreams?   Perhaps there are force fields encompassing various areas of the Earth that can affect our bodies differently depending on where we are.  There could even conceivably be forces emanating from the stars or somewhere in the universe that pass through us in different ways depending on where we are.  These are all wild thoughts, but are they concepts that are totally inconceivable?

My Conclusion

       I'm sure we can think of many reasons logical and quite far-fetched that dreams away from home would seem different than dreams in ones own bed.  I will hold to the theory that most dreams are merely processing the day's activities and when that days activities involve relocating to another locale of sleep then the processing codes the new place to be interpreted as such in the dream.  The sensory overload of travel combined with the unfamiliarity of new sleep location provide us with a somewhat different dream experience than we are accustomed to.

       Did I thoroughly confuse you?   When you travel are your dreams different than the ones you have at home?   What do you think that travel or new sleep location does to the dreaming mind?   Do you think that external sources (fields, auras, and the like) change with geographical location and can influence dreams?   Have you ever slept in an area that some consider to be near a psychic or energy vortex (Sedona, Mount Shasta, Devils Tower, etc)?   Any stories to relate?

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Obama in a Parade

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 15:  U.S. President Bara...(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

         Often when I dream of people it's almost as though I am seeing a sort of shadow or projected image of them rather than a distinct in-person presence.  At times it may be as though I see them in the periphery of my vision.  At other times it seems I have an awareness of the essence of being or the soul of a dream character without actually seeing them.  In my dreams I seem to know most of the characters whether or not I see them clearly or directly.

          A recent dream I had exhibited an anomaly to the way I typically see dream characters.   In this dream I am standing on a sidewalk watching a parade pass by.   A strange vehicle comes into view.  It's not a float, but more like an industrial type vehicle which has a large high powered fan device mounted on the back.   The force of the fan-driven air is so strong that a person is suspended in that stream.

         I look closely and realize that the floating person is President Obama.  He is wearing a finely tailored expensive looking suit and high quality shoes.   His body is tossed about in the air stream, tumbling as though in slow motion.   I can see his face very clearly and he is very real to me.   His eyes dart about as though looking for someone to extract him from his predicament.   He doesn't look overly afraid, but he appears to be very confused with a sense of helplessness.

          As for me, I am amused by his predicament and awaken in a humorous frame of mind, perplexed by what the dream might signify.

          How do you see people in your dreams?   Have you ever dreamed about a president or world leader? What do you think my dream meant?

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dreams vs. Dreams

A Subconscious Past StudyA Subconscious Past Study (Photo credit: ssoosay)

     Dream is one of those crazy English words with multiple meanings which are often nuanced and even perhaps in opposition to each other.

       When Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech or Barack Obama wrote about the dreams of his father, they were undoubtedly talking about different dreams from each other and definitely referring to dreams different than the ones we have at night.

       We might have dreams for our future, dreams of things we might like to acquire, or dreams of relationships we'd like to be involved in.  We can idly dream in consciousness during the waking times while subconsciously dreaming with the peculiar vision of sleep. Are any of these dreams connected?

        Do your practical dreams of what you would like to see in your life ever manifest themselves in the dreams of sleep?    Does your fanciful daydreaming ever influence your subconscious dreaming?   Do you think that subconscious dreaming can help bring desires of your mind to fruition?   If so, how so?

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Dream of Flying: Federico Fellini

         One of the masters of surrealistic film was Federico Fellini.    8 1/2 is his most noted film.  This film begins with a dream sequence.

                Have you seen this wonderful Fellini film?   Have you had dreams of being stuck in traffic?   Have you had dreams about flying?