Do you dream?

Do remember your dreams in vivid technicolor or are you just left with the ‘feeling’ from your nightly mental workout?

I do remember my dreams and I get them both in stark clarity of image but also in the more deeply affecting after taste which travels back with me to the real world.

We’ve all no doubt been there. Startled awake in the middle of the night by a creeping dread of unseen monsters, of being chased by the bogeyman, of falling or of any other of a limitless landscape of possibilities. You can’t drop back to sleep easily because of the apprehension of just picking up where you left off. Not that fun.

The other side if the coin is waking up after having a great dream and just wishing you could find your way back in. These dreams always seem to happen just before the alarm goes off, blocking your return with the resolute horror of a day at work. Those dreams never happen at the weekend. Bugger.

People the world over have made an industry of trying to interpret their meanings and everyone has some kind of opinion on what the most bizarre or mundane dreams could actually mean.

But is that all they are?

Dreams are also the spark which have helped people give life to ideas their subconscious was working on. Elias Howe solved a problem with his new invention the sewing machine thanks to a dream about cannibals with spears with holes in the head threatening to eat him. James Cameron saw the image of the Terminator in a dream and both Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde were nudged by the minds of the authors when they were asleep.

I pay attention to my dreams. I write down the good ones. My first novel, The Circle of Fire, came in some large part, from a dream, as did several of my short stories, some I’ve written, others are coming soon. I’ve been able to create very compelling ideas without any conscious effort. The stitching of them into a coherent whole is the tough bit though and I’m yet to discover the way of doing that while I’m in the land of nod.

Maybe I should explore that little idea for another story?

The mind is the most beautifully terrifying object that we all possess. At once we can create images of utter wonder but have them surrounded by the most sickening horror. Comedy and tragedy can be meted out so readily if we so desired. Why wouldn’t you listen to what your mind is saying when you’re not able to keep it chained up with the bonds of rational thought and the dreaded awake. All those thoughts are lurking away in the dustier corners of who you are. As a writer, those places I go when I close my eyes are intriguing in the highest order.

Do you want to see too?

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