I know, I know. My post title is weird. And guess what that means? Yep: My post is probably going to be weird, too. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Really, what I want to talk about in this post is dreams, in general. Over the past couple of days, I have had two dreams that really stand out to me. One of them because it continues to feel so fresh and vivid in my brain. The other one because it is humming away in the back of my brain, but I can’t recall any of the details. And, of course, the dream I don’t want to remember is the one that continues to stand out to me, while the dream I very much want to hang on to slips and slides away from my memory. Isn’t it crazy how that works? Like … why, Universe? Why???
A couple of days ago, a story idea came to me in a dream. It actually came to me in that twilight time when I was suspended between being fully asleep and fully awake. Y’all! This was the greatest, most amazing, most awesome story idea ever. Ever! Even as I was sleeping, I remember thinking to myself, “Self! This is a fabulous idea! We need to write this!” This idea had everything: great characters, action, a little bit of drama, and even some funny parts. As my alarm went off to tell me it was time to get up, I felt so exhilarated and excited about this idea.
The moment I woke up, I rushed to my office space, intending to write this idea down. And when I say “the moment”, I mean it. I didn’t even pause to do my morning stretches or use the facilities. I know, I know. That’s TMI. But it’s important that you get the idea here. This is how excited I was. This is how awesome this story idea was!
And guess what? As soon as my butt hit the chair in front of my computer … *poof*. My fabulous idea was gone. Well, it’s not completely and totally gone. It’s still in there, hanging around on the edges of my memory and taunting me with its awesomeness. But I can’t remember any of the details from it. None. I am left with this fabulous-shaped hole and nothing with which to fill it. It’s so frustrating. Frustrating beyond measure.
And then, last night, I had a completely different type of dream. We are living through such a stressful time right now. I feel like I do a pretty good job of maintaining — or attempting to maintain — my usual optimism. I’ve been trying hard to “just keep swimming”, as Dory would say. But it’s stressful! Sometimes it hits me just how much things are out of control. How much I don’t have control over anything in my life or anything around me. I realize control is nothing more than an illusion at the best of times. But, at the best of times, it’s easier to believe in the magic. When times are tough, it seems like you can see the magician pulling every wire behind the curtain.
Last night, I guess the stress built up to a boiling point for me. It manifested in a stress dream. It was a ridiculous stress dream that made me laugh in the light of day. And yet, it was no less stressful for all of its ridiculousness. Even as I told my husband about it and laughed at how silly it was, I felt the uneasiness and stress of it gathering inside my mind and body. And you know what? I can recall every single detail of the upsetting dream. The colors around me, the sounds, and even the smells all come back to me in vivid detail. I don’t even have to try and recall it. It’s just there, lurking under the surface of my subconscious.
Why is it that I can vividly recall the dream I would rather forget, but I can’t remember anything about the dream I want to hold onto? It seems like this is always the way of things, isn’t it? We let go of things we should cling to and cling to things we should let go. I’m sure I don’t have the answer to why this is, and I’m not going to figure it out in the space of one (or a gazillion) blog entries. But I guess it is something to think about, in our spare time — you know, when we aren’t foraging for toilet paper or disinfecting our groceries or washing our hands.
Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here in the corner, trying to remember the things I should and forget the things I shouldn’t. Or … something like that.