November's fantastic feat: start a dream journal.
In October I was at my favourite stationary store (yes, I frequent stationary stores enough to have a favourite). The store is called Paper Ya. I mean, how could you not love a store called Paper Ya? Just try saying it out loud. Paper YA! Anyways, I was in Paper Ya and I found a really amazing dream journal. It's filled with strange drawings and interesting tidbits about dreams. Besides giving you a space to title, date, and recount the dream, it has a place for you to tick off common themes, list main characters, location, and atmosphere, describe common colours, explain how you felt during and after your dream, describe the last thing you ate and did before falling asleep, and even a strangeness meter to rate the dream's obscurity. Most of mine range around the Saaaaay What!? part of the scale. Oh, and there's even a spot to draw a picture of the dream. According to journal creator Andy J. Miller, this is important for helping to turn the dream images into concrete memories.
I've always been really fascinated by dreams: what they mean, how they come about, why we have them, what we can do with them in our waking lives. It's pretty hard to answer any of those questions. I love the way Miller describes dreams in his introduction to the journal: "dreams are abstract stories we tell ourselves while we are asleep. While we are just trying to get a little shut-eye, our creative subconscious pens abstract poetry to our conscious minds." Beautiful.
I could go on about dreams for a long time - but I won't. Let's do it this way: here are five interesting facts about my dreams:
1. The first dream I remember is from when I was about 5 and I was chased through a shopping mall by King Kong.
2. I used to have recurring dreams about tornados. Then it was killer whales. Now it's zombies. Once, they even combined and I dreamt about zombie killer whales!
3. Whenever I run it dreams, it is always that painfully-slow-running-through-molasses run. Somehow my dream self figured out that if I run sideways, I can avoid that and go fast. So now, I can control that one part of my dreams, and always turn myself sideways when I run.
4. I have had one lucid dream that I can remember (lucid dreaming is when you are conscious that you are dreaming). I was flying above my bed and I looked down and said "I am dreaming that I am flying right now." I swear I can remember the feeling of flying.
5. Possibly one of my weirdest dreams to date is the one where I had a baby named Baby David Dustin (Baby was part of his name). I put him on a bed and someone rolled over him and he turned into a fridge magnet.
According to the book, which by the way is called Strange Dreams: A Journal, the more you write your dreams down, the better you will remember them. My journal writing started in November and I am happy to say that I have kept it going.
Anyway, that's all for now. but, if you've still got a few more minutes of reading left in you, here is a crazy dream story. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine. But really... it did.
Many years ago in Columbia there lived a brother and a sister. Each night after they would fall asleep, they would enter each other's dreams. They would have races in their dreams, play games together, and go on little dream adventures. They didn't know that this wasn't normal. One morning at the breakfast table they were arguing about who raced down the side of the building faster in their previous night's dream race. Their mother overheard and asked them to explain. They did and their mother was horrified. As a girl, she told them, she had heard about people like this. Travelling into other people's dreams was said to be a sign of the devil, witch craft, and dark arts. They were forbidden to ever do it again. Reluctantly, the children obeyed their mother. Years later, as an adult, the girl told this story to a friend. This friend didn't believe her so she said she would prove it. A few nights later, the girl appeared in the friend's dream. The next time she saw him, she was able to tell him everything about the dream of his that she entered. I guess that was proof enough for him.
I really don't know if this is true or not - but it's exactly what a friend (the friend from the story) told me. I am choosing to believe it is true because how awesome would it be if it were?
And last, check out Andy and his strange world here.