Monday, January 14, 2008


Once upon a time, I was fixated on my dream life. It isn't the dumbest of fixations, is it? Dreams are incredible in so many different ways. Almost always I am fascinated by the tremendous amount of cleverness and creativity in my dreams. From which part of my psyche did I come up with the one last week in which a polar bear is chasing me down an icy WWI trench? The polar bear needed my help, but I was afraid. The anonymous dream people encouraged me to hoist myself out of the trench but initially all I saw were a bunch of ragged, dangerous fences. In the end, I found a staircase and got out. Poor polar bears! Sorry I couldn't help.

Though I consider myself to be creative in "real" life, I never completely surrender to it the way I do in my dreams. I'm always at least slightly rational while awake. Really I am. More annoying is the fact that I'm not nearly as clever when conscious as when I'm under the blankets, my eyelids fluttering, deep in REM sleep. Doesn't seem fair.

These days I allow my dreams to do whatever they need to. I still like to write them down, as much as I can remember of them anyway, but in general I don't focus on them too much, don't try to figure out what they mean. The exception is any dream that sticks with me for more than a day or two, like the polar bear dream. Dreams with longlasting resonance merit more serious attention, but most of them slip in and out of my head without my interference.

I've wondered why my dream life has become less interesting over time. Maybe I know myself better than I used to, or maybe I've learned, once and for all, that the mystery of me (like every human) can never be fully understood, no matter how hard I try. Maybe it's a matter of trust. Even if I don't understand my dreams, everything will be fine!

Whatever the reasons, I've decided that my renewed interest in "real" life, something that has supplanted the allure of the magical (including dreams) is a sign of health and well being. Why not?


Steve said...

Surely the polar bears are a reference to their endangerment by global warming, don't you think? The wartime trenches could be about the current state of environmentalism, too.

Or not.

My dream life has become less interesting as I get older. I think our minds are not as facile as they were when we were young, recording so much so vividly. In the case of dreams, probably not a bad thing!

d. chedwick bryant said...

The moment I go AHA! and figure out what a recurring dream is trying to tell me, I never have that dream again.

I kept a dream journal for a few mos. about 10 years ago --I should do it again --dream journals--they would make good material for poems and haikus.

Reya Mellicker said...

Plus - Ched - your dream journal would be outta this world! You're already so creative, awake, I can hardly imagine.

Yes Steve I'd just read about the polar bears drowning. Did you know they can swim 60 miles? If they can't find a chunk of ice, though, they die. When i think about that it literally hurts my heart.

Barbara said...

It sounds like the polar bears will be the first to go when all the ice melts. How very sad.

lettuce said...

i read about your polar bears and thought of the Golden Compass.


that top photo is just wonderful. very Edmund Dulac colours (i've recently been to an exhibition...)

lettuce said...

oh! and saw these polar bears, the original, in real life!

Lynne said...

Sometimes I have dreams that seem like I am living an alternate life as I sleep. It's creepy, but so real. I don't "recognize" any of the people in my dream, yet they are familiar. I go back to the same places over and over again. Same houses, etc.

Love the first pic!

kimy said...

polar bears have invaded my waking consciousness a great deal ....and I feel such despair over their plight.

I too love the dream world - in mine I find I'm accomplished in flying, surfing, outrunning cars, and transporting myself through seems as if I'm often doing so many more interesting things there than here in the grounded physical world.

I admire that you have written down your dreams....I've often thought that would be a good idea, but have lacked the discipline for doing it.

dennis said...

Dennis dreams that The Grand Rebbe Teitelbaum is still alive. Dennis liked Moshe.

IntangibleArts said...

I gave up trying to "interpret" dream reality ages ago. It seems egotistical to call THIS one the "real world" -- much like some aggressive religions call theirs THE ONE TRUE GOD, etc...

I figure it's all too intensely complicated to fully understand, so it preserves that sense of magic(k) to simply accept it all as real.

Thus, dream interpretation doesn't make much sense to me. It would be like, in my "waking" state, seeing a bus go by and trying to divine what it MEANS... Heck, it means a bus went by.

It's much more fun to take the "fantastic" as absolutely literal, and give everything equal footing--Makes all of reality one gigantic playground of the mind.

Gary said...

Reya, This top photo is really wonderful and a perfect match for the topic (I know you know that but I hope you like the pat on the back). I used to have a dream book to help me figure out what my dreams were telling me. For a very long while I would have dreams of teeth - all kinds of things like having gum stuck in them or them falling out. I found out these are the worst dreams you can have. I have not had them in a while however so I guess I am grateful.

This post makes me want to snuggle up in my bed. Good night.

Reya Mellicker said...

Kimy you have super powers in the dream world! Very cool!

Dennis you're so brilliant. The great Da-Da masters of past decades are turning in their graves. Dennis you are Da Da as the dream scape!

Ingangible Arts - We are like minded on this as with other things. Thank you.

Reya Mellicker said...

Gary, THANK YOU. Love to you.

Does anybody know where Pod is?

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Oh I so relate to this post!