Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Oneiroi, part I: Why Catch Dreams?

Dream: a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.


Should you catch dreams?


Maybe not.

It's difficult. Even with four years of experience I lose or do not chase dreams all the time.

Do I really need to do this? I think. Why don't I just roll over and go back to sleep? Or: Argh, I need to hurry up or I'll be late. Can't take the time to do this.

Why bother?  The chance of one dream changing your life is slim.  Only a couple out of hundreds have found their way directly into my art.

Not very substantial things, dreams.


But then again, maybe.

Dreams are a gold mine of ideas and inspiration. Much of my dream records have been as yet un-utilized, it's true, but simply having proof of that connection we all have to another side of our mind, to the mysterious depths of our consciousness, makes me feel more capable of creating art.

My dreams let me describe things I have never experienced waking.  I have never flown on my own power, but in dreams I have done so (or tried to) often enough.  I've never jumped off a cliff to catch someone dropped by an enemy, but still I know what the edge of the rock feels like under my feet when I push off.

Also, my unconscious knows me better than I do.

For example: last Monday I had a horrible, horrible nightmare that had me curled up with my eyes squeezed shut for the rest of the night. The image of a building burning straight down through the foundation was what comforted me.

And now, a week removed, I can say that I will use this somehow. I will create something in which a run-down gray roadside building turns out to be a hospital turns out to be an evil-nest of vengeful spirits.

Gathering this image turned me back into the kid who was scared of the monster under the bed.  But I never would have realized how deeply the notion of evil spirits - how do you fight against that which exists on a different plane of existence? - struck at the core of my terror without that nightmare.

I don't believe in fortune-telling via dreams (called oneiromancy), but I do believe that dreams can tell you things.  Listening to your dreams is like being on the other side of a thick glass wall that at once obscures and makes clear, listening to a clearer-eyed version of yourself.

To me, that voice is worth hearing.


What say you?


  1. Well, my dreams are usually freaky-messed-up and weird, so I guess I'm freaky and weird. :P Have you ever had a dream where you're suddenly pregnant? Sorry, little awkward. But those are the weirdest.

    I've flown before in my dreams. It was more like swimming than flying, though, in that particular dream.

  2. Haha, I think everyone has freaky-messed-up-weird dreams.

    Nope, I've never had a pregnancy dream. I think I'd remember it. o.o

  3. Flying - CHECK
    Pregnant - CHECK

    I had to read the first part...ditto on everything you said!