The Hazards of Sleep

Ever grateful when sleep actually envelops me, I really shouldn’t complain.

And yet, this morning I find myself in a fog of sleep’s detritus, muddled, mired, heavy with the night’s work. For some reason the dream machine knobs all ratcheted up to extra high last night. Someone bumped the control panel maybe?

Only in dreams can a skateboard be a perfectly logical means of transportation on a freeway, as well as on a mountain trail.

Only in dreams does a wasteland of sandy desert intersect in clean lines with a dark thick forest of tangled growth and dangers.

Only in dreams can people leap from outlandish heights and end up landing gently in a moving vehicle.

Last night’s ultra vivid movie starred people from my past I haven’t seen in decades, as well as people I just spoke with yesterday. Complete strangers, of course, show up most often. As far as I can tell, no one had anything monumental or prophetic to say. Thank goodness.

Dreams fade fast, like sunsets.

Dreams fade fast, like sunsets.

Even now, as I write, most of what went on fades into the distance as quickly as a stunning sunset. Small glimmers of light wink on briefly but with no hand holds to grab for analyzing.

A couple of nightmares played into the mix as well. Being chased by something dark and evil, a maniacal laugh behind me as I attempted escape. MSH shaking me awake from my frightened cries. I shudder a bit even now as I think about the fogged over memory of it.

Years ago, when MSH traveled frequently for work,  I had a nightmare so real that when I awoke I held the nightstand over my head and was screaming at a non-existent intruder to get out. My children had run into the room and turned on the light and were yelling to wake me. Poor dears were more frightened than I by the whole thing.

Luckily, that’s the only time I’ve been up and about in a dream.

At two and three years of age my son experienced night terrors. What a helpless feeling to see your own child, eyes wide open, screaming, terrified, moving about, but unable to wake up. It took two of us to wake and calm him, one to hold him firmly, the other to get a cool washcloth for his face. Then both of us to talk him into wakefulness.

These remind me of a dream's ethereal and fragile nature.

These remind me of a dream’s ethereal and fragile nature.

I seldom remember my dreams or my nightmares. The few I remember still sit on a memory shelf at the forefront of my mind waiting for me to take them down and replay at will. Those, of course, pack a wallop of meaning and symbolism. Often, when I review the details of those dreams the meaning changes slightly based on changes in my life. I wrote one down once and emailed it to MSH because he played a prominent role in the dream. His interpretation, of course, fell in different lines than my interpretation did. Still does. Otherwise, my dreams stay in my head. No writing about them.

Writing a dream down gives it a different shape and texture. Assigning words to a thing as ethereal as a dream takes away some essential element and replaces it with a less refined, more sluggish substance. Even speaking about them out loud takes away part of the dreamlike quality, like attempting to capture fog in a glass jar.

If I could place an order for a dream or two I’d ask for a dreamy garden stroll with my maternal grandmother. I’d also like a dream of a day fishing with either or both of my grandfathers. And my  paternal grandmother and I at an NBA basketball game would be a dream of epic proportions. And of course, I really want a dream where Kathy and I could chat endlessly. And because it’s a dream and everything could be ideal she’d be the one driving the car and running with abandon and jumping on the trampoline and working on some hair-brained but brilliant project in the garage. Oh, and a dream of being on a cruise for a week would also be nice and relaxing. Of course, the real version of that would be better.

Yeah, I’d like to place my order for those dreams. So if anyone who knows the Sandman and can put in a good word for me, I’d appreciate it.

Awake feels good for now.

Let’s get on with the day, shall we?

Categories: Mental Health, physical health, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Hazards of Sleep

  1. maybe it was my mention of disturbing dreams last night?

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    • That’s certainly a possibility. Could also be a result of the book I read before turning out the lights. Or an overly tired brain. Or something funky I ate. I hope you don’t have that much of the power of suggestion over my life. That’s be really scary.

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  2. Wonderful insight into the world of wonkiness, Kami. I adore the whole dream experience–and protect it as part of my creative process. And funny enough, I would have to echo your sentiments that you and I are definitely on the same page these days, as I finished a post all about dreams just a few days ago. It won’t go live for a week or two, but isn’t it interesting how we’re running parallel?
    Loved the post. Hope you’re soon able to catch those needed 40 winks. ;)

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  3. Hi, Kami, I was just reading that insomnia is a symptom of magnesium deficiency (very common in the US), and I thought about you since we’ve talked about sleep before. You might like to try this … http://aboutwhatmatters.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/bath-nirvana/ Enjoy :)

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