Over the years, I’ve read different news articles about the science of dreaming. How dreaming is our brain’s way of working through issues in our life and basically cleaning house so to speak. Each night is like a system reboot. And maybe I’m odd, but man, I love dreaming! Even crazy nightmarish dreams are fascinating to me. I wake up, and I’m amazed that my subconscious took me on some incredible journey to space or another continent or to someplace I know well but in a way I’ve never experienced it before. In fact, if I wake up and haven’t had a good night of dreaming, I find myself bummed and kinda lost like — what did I do wrong that my dreams didn’t come last night? There was one point in my life where my dreams were particularly vivid. I was taking a “Dream Theories” class at my Art School in Pasadena and part of the class homework was to keep a journal. My teacher said that if I really started paying attention to my dreams and writing them down first thing when I woke up, I would begin noticing themes and motifs that if I took the time to consider them would most certainly be associated with something I was experiencing in my real life, and she was right. For instance, I kept ending up in water in my dreams, sometimes it was rushing in about to drown me and sometimes it was just hard to wade through. Either way, I began to realize the water was symbolic of my life and how overwhelming my existence was at that particular time — new city, new friends, the reality of the hardship of getting to where I wanted to go from where I was at. I kept seeing killer whales, too, and realized this had to do with my school work — black and white, friend or foe, beautiful and yet dangerous — they represented the tug of war I was in with this new line of thinking my school was enlightening me to and whether it would truly be beneficial or detrimental to my person. The color red represented my boyfriend at the time — he drove a bright red jeep. Interestingly enough, my boyfriend and I used to always share our dreams with each other first thing when we woke up. That was our small talk — sharing the craziness of our private nights' sleep. And I might venture that, in fact, sharing such a profoundly intimate part of myself with another was probably one of my favorite things I ever experienced with a lover.
At any rate, last night I had a particularly incredible dream about being in the Congo of Africa and breaking this beautiful Italian vase and trying to fix it and attempting to navigate some gorgeous but abandoned mansion to get to my family. While I won’t go into all the specifics that each of those themes might mean to my life currently, I will say that I began to wonder just how much our dreams have changed over the years because of television and movies. I know for a fact the Congo images I dreamt were because I recently watched the Netflix Documentary “Virguna,” and the gorgeous but abandoned mansion was reminiscent of the home of Bathsheba Everdene in “Far From The Maddening Crowd,” which I also recently saw. Certainly my mind wouldn’t have been able to create these locals out of thin air. Surely, I had to have seen something previously that my mind could then bend into my dreams. We all have imaginations, but doesn’t there have to be some jumping off point? Or does an Amazon Indian, who has never set foot outside their culture, dream of Time’s Square and the Eiffel Tower? I think not.
So, as television and movies give us images and ideas that are jumping off points for our dreams and imaginations, new visuals are created that expound those dreams and imaginations into a limitless infinity. And maybe it’s almost laughable to consider the implications of such a thought, but I also feel like it’s kind of beautiful and profound. And I guess all I wanted to say was that thinking about all of this makes me want to be a better and more inspired writer. It makes me realize how important it is that artists of all sorts don't just follow the crowd but strike out on their own to new and unexplored areas of life, not just to create new revelations and innovative tangents for our own dreams but to inspire the dreams of millions of others the world over who might chance upon our work.