Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pushing the Dream Story

This is a close up shot of the Carousel at Hou...
This is a close up shot of the Carousel at House on the Rock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         There is a phenomena that sometimes occurs for me at the end of an REM sleep cycle (that is the cycle when dreams occur) where I will try to hang on to my dream story and push it further.  I may focus intently upon the dream story while I am awake and then push the story into a continued REM cycle or an on and off dream-like state.  Sometimes I am very successful at continuing the story within the dream, while at other times I suspect the dream story is being forced in a conscious artificial dream state.

         A recent dream is an example of that phenomena to which I refer.  Before my waking, I am dreaming of a tourist attraction  in Spring Green, Wisconsin called "The House on the Rock".  This is a place I haven't visited in waking life for over thirty years.  At the point where my dream memory begins I have arrived at this attraction.....

        My wife and I arrive at the House on the Rock after some period of travel.  We are accompanied by a young man who resembles  my son-in-law Tom, a young woman I do not recognize, our granddaughter Marley, and a young woman tour guide.   We have completed touring the house itself and are about to go to an observation area where we can see the scenic view.  
        In my mind I imagine the view to be a vast panorama that overlooks a river valley where a small town sits along the river and gentle mountains in the distance beyond the town and river.  I know the view is spectacular because I remember having seen it in the past.  I am anxious for all of my traveling companions to see the view.
       However, everyone is tarrying with other preoccupations.  For one they all need to go to the bathroom.  I go to the observation room which is mostly enclosed with only a small square window too high to look through.  There are support railings where viewers can stand and hold onto.  This is all new to me--an addition since I was last in this place.   I am somehow aware that the room is movable and when everyone is in place it will go into viewing position at which time the walls will retract allowing those present in the room to see the panoramic view around us.
        Tom tries to go to another "viewing room" because he doesn't realize how they operate and is concerned he can't see out of the window.  I direct him to the room to which we've been assigned.  The young woman has changed into a white skirt and blouse outfit in the bathroom and while she was there accidentally peed on herself.   We tell her not to worry about it, but I can see that the front of her outfit is soaking wet.  I am trying to get them situated in our viewing room as I am anxious for everyone to see the view.  I mentally reconstruct various ways this viewing room operates...

     Then I wake up.  I try to return to sleep in order to keep dreaming the story.  I try to push my mind back into the dream.  At times I think I may be dreaming, but then again I may only be in a half sleep having some sort of lucid dreams.   We never seem to make it to the point where the walls open and we can see the view, but I visualize various parts of "The House" attraction and imagine how everyone will react when they see them.

       Eventually I am too awake to dream.  My attempts to stay and push the dream story end and I get out of bed for the day.

       This is something that has occurred in a similar way at other times.   I want the dream experience to continue because I anticipate the enjoyment of the dream activity to come.  On other occasions I will be interested in the dream story itself and want to finish it in the same way I might want to finish a movie I am watching in waking life.  In those cases the story is very interesting and these dreams will often cause me to write them down to be turned into a written story.

        Do you ever have dreams that you are so interested in that you will try to push them past waking?   Can you successfully go back to sleep and continue a dream that you are having?  Have you ever written a story based on a dream that you've had or finished a dream story in your mind after you've woken up?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What's on the Dream Menu? Food in Dreams

Piggy always dreams of food.
Piggy always dreams of food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My dream Saturday February 9, 2013:

        I am at the home of Cathy, my first wife.  Her sick father is somewhere in the house.  Her sister has become mentally ill and she too is somewhere in the house.   There are people present whom I know in the context of the dream but not in real life.  At one point food is delivered from an Italian restaurant.  I'm either unhappy because of what I ordered or because my food wasn't delivered with the other meals.  Cathy and this other guy are sitting at a  6 ft folding table with large plates of spaghetti with large tasty-looking meatballs.  I wish I had some.

       Later I am traveling and stop at a gas station.  I go inside where there is a take out Chinese food place.  The food looks very good and I ponder what I want to eat.

       When I awake I am very hungry.

        It's common for me to dream about food if I am hungry while asleep.  The food I dream about will be very savory looking which tends to whet my appetite even more.  If I am hungry while asleep, my mind will conjure up foods that I enjoy in real life.  The dishes entice me, but I seem to never be able to eat in the dreams which makes sense to me.

        However, in cases where I might be sick or not particularly hungry and I dream about food, the food that I dream about will be uninviting.  It may have an unsavory appearance as though it is unsanitary with strange unclean ingredients.   Or the food may have been dropped on the floor or prepared in dirty food vessels.  There have also been cases where the food was some sort of insect or animal product that might be still moving or dead still, but in either case very uninviting as a food product.  There have been a couple dreams where the food looked good at first glance but on closer examination turned out to be something very disgusting like feces.

       There's nothing difficult about the first scenario.  If I'm hungry I'll dream about good food in the anticipation of being able to eat upon awakening.   The second scenario is a bit more difficult.  Perhaps my physical state finds food repulsive and the dream is reflecting that.  It could also be that something I'd eaten prior to the sleep did not sit well with me and caused bad food dreams.   In some cases the food might symbolize something in my daily life that I am afraid of or not happy with.

        Have you had any particular food dreams that you can remember?   Have your food dream experiences been similar to what I've described here?   What else do you suppose food in dreams could symbolize other than food?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Dreamed of a Macaque

Placid Celebes macaque
Placid Celebes macaque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
     Recently I've had a series of dreams that seem to be radically different in content, but somehow related. I may be fabricating the relationship of these dreams, but each of the dreams has lead me to think about the same aspect of my life and connected my dream to a previous one.   My suspicion about the fabrication may be directly linked to an upcoming event about which I am extremely apprehensive.  My discomfiture about this event could be the cause of the dreams or because the dreams created a sense of discomfort for me I may be relating the dream scenarios to the real event that I am anticipating.

       The dream that I consider to be the first of the series is mostly forgotten since I did not focus upon it after I woke up.   The dream had to do with a house in a foreign place.   My wife and I had seemingly taken possession of the house from my wife's former sister-in-law or perhaps we were just visiting there.  The dream setting had an uncomfortable odd feel to me and I was anxious to forget it.

       The following night I dreamed that I was travelling somewhere in the Chicago area.  I have stopped at a service station with a convenience store and a McDonald's restaurant.  The establishment is old and in somewhat of a disarray.  An old friend of mine is there--perhaps as an employee.  I get some french fries and  a drink in a clear cup from the restaurant and am talking to my friend when I notice a macaque sitting in my van.  I'm not sure why there is a macaque or why I would have even dream-thought this animal since I am not very familiar with these monkeys.

       At some point I am distracted by something and the macaque grabs my french fries and drink. I see the creature casually eating the fries and downing the drink.  I am mildly annoyed but fascinated at the same time.  Upon a closer look I see that the drink has some sort of particles floating in it and realize the drink was not very clean.  I feel relieved that the macaque has stolen my drink.

      The day following that dream my wife gave me some news about an event that will be happening in the near future.  I felt uncomfortable about the news and was not happy about it.  However, I felt like I need to support her decision and be part of something I don't want to do.  I remembered the house dream and the macaque dream and realized that there seems to be a significant relationship between the dreams and the news  that my wife has delivered to me.  I am torn and distraught.

        That night I had a third dream.  I am in a peculiar wooded mountainous area.  Is it Pennsylvania?  It seems to be somewhat touristy with rustic cabins and scenic roads.  I go to a campground where I meet up with some old friends.  Eventually we are walking along a road that is going to a town.   There seems to be a foreign invasion underway or a war perhaps.  We are being shot at.   After we get to the town I encounter an enemy soldier.  I manage to wrest his pistol from him and knock him to the ground.  I begin beating him under his chin with the pistol.  I beat him and beat him until his head comes off.  I am disgusted at what I have done.  I look up and beyond the edge of town to see a road that disappears into a vast unpopulated area that is very inviting to me.

         I woke up not afraid, but somewhat horrified at my final actions in the dream.  I am resolved to tell my wife that I don't want to do what she wants to do.  As the day wore on I realized that it would be best to go along with what my wife wants to do.  That night I gave her the news.  She seemed very pleased.   I kept thinking about that macaque.

         Have you ever had a series of ongoing dreams that seemed very different but somehow connected?   Do you sometimes have difficult life decisions that cause you to have bad dreams?   From the clues in my dreams, what do you think my wife wants to do that I'm not excited about doing?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sleepless May Not Necessarily Mean Dreamless

think (Photo credit: the|G|™)
       You've undoubtedly had those nights when you've tossed and turned and gotten in and out of bed desperately wanting sleep, but unable to attain that much needed level of restful bliss.   There can be many causes for this.

         Typically, abnormal times of fitful sleep are the result of stress and worry.   At a time when rest might be most important, troubled sleep is the reflection of what our day has been like.  We carry the worry and concern to bed with us and mull it over in our brains which leads to mental stimulation rather than relaxation.  The more we think about our problems, the more frazzled we become.   Eventually we may succumb to exhaustion and fade in and out of the sleepy state.

         For me there have been some recent occurrences that have caused these kinds of nights.  Often I will fall asleep for the first half hour or so after I've gone to bed.  Then I will awaken wide-eyed as though reminded of what had been bothering me earlier.  After that sleep may become elusive for hours.   I may get out of bed at times and go on the computer, watch television, read, or play solitaire.   Sometimes my diversion works and I can return to sleep.  Still the rest so needed for the night has been disturbed and I usually can feel the negative effect the following day.

        The primary things that can cause sleep disturbance for me are:

  • Worry about some unresolved problem or situation.
  • Anger or some sort of conflict concerning another person.
  • Fear of some vague circumstance over which I have little control.
  • Thinking about the past, present, or future.
  • Hunger
  • Physical pain or discomfort
  • Illness
  • External influences such as loud noises outside or the occasional earthquake.
        There are fixes for a few of these, such as getting a snack to assuage my hunger or taking a medication if something is available.  The others are mostly mental aberrations that are tough to shake.  Getting diverted might be a temporary fix,  but usually once I think I'll be able to go back to sleep, the intrusive bothers reenter my mind after I've gotten back into bed.   

           The thing I have noticed is that if I do sleep or half-sleep and have dreams, those dreams will be equally troubled and related in some way to what has been keeping me awake.  Drifting between worry filled wakefulness and worry fraught sleep is disconcerting.  Not getting proper rest with healthy dreams is tough on the mind and body.  Fortunately it's not something I deal with on a nightly basis, but I wish it never had to happen at all.

          What usually causes troubled sleep for you?   Do you use any sleep aids?    What do you do when you can't sleep?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A to Z Challenge Reflections: It Wasn't a Nightmare!

          From the beginning of the year I was planning on having all four of my blogs in the 2013 A to Z Challenge, but then the year started with a vengeance...

         Some bouts of odd health issues and other funky distractions were big setbacks starting from the first day of this year.  Add to that some computer problems that totally sidetracked me at times and I had the perfect storm of troubles to start me off of the wrong foot in April.  My plans of having all of my posts prescheduled had not been realized and I was heading into April with nearly no content prepared.  I had topics outlined, but that was it.

          Toward the end of March I strongly considered withdrawing my dream blog and my memoir blog Wrote By Rote, but then decided that I'd try to keep them in and drop out if I couldn't keep up.  I had solved my computer problems in the week before the Challenge was to begin, but no posts had been yet composed and I was feeling rather down about it all.  I fully expected for this blog to be out of the running fairly soon into the Challenge.

          Once I got started writing my posts I got into the swing of things.  Keeping posts short and simple I was able to push out daily content.  I usually kept ahead by about two days and that helped.  Where I fell short was in my comments.  My apologies for not making it around to as many blogs as I would have liked to have done.  My new follower additions and low volume of comments certainly reflected my failure from the standpoint of networking.

         The bottom line is that preparing ahead makes a big difference in the networking one can do.  The advance preparation is imperative if one is attempting multiple blogs.  The Challenge can be met without the preparation, but the networking will take a big hit.

        I'm not sure about next year.  If I can prepare each blog months in advance then maybe entering four blogs will be okay.  I don't think I would do another day by day on multiple blogs.  After all, in my view the A to Z Challenge is mostly a networking feat.  That's how it all began.  The content is always important if ones blog is to be taken seriously, but if you're not making the rounds to connect with new bloggers the true Challenge is not met.   At least that's the Challenge for me.  Just achieving the content is fine, but if no one is reading then there's not as much point in producing that content.

        A note about my theme:  In April I did an A to Z dream interpretation/symbolization study.  Since in my opinion dream symbols are not totally universal I presented my symbols in regard to what they mean to me and might mean to readers as well.  I closed with questions to allow readers to relate their own thoughts and experiences.  We got some interesting insights from your comments.  A big thank you to the few of you who regularly stopped by to leave a comment.

         The A to Z may be over, but I'll keep dreaming cause the dreams aren't over.  Please continue to visit A Faraway View.  This blog publishes every Thursday.

  ****   My thanks to Thelmaz at WindowSphere: A Circle of Hope for recognizing A Faraway View as one her 26 favorite blogs during the 2013 A to Z Challenge.

Enhanced by Zemanta