The snow fell in large clumps and was stuck onto all the surfaces along the path. The wet precipitation seemed to be the source of great happiness and serenity. As I glided above the snowy surface I felt increasingly greater joy.
Then I looked over to my left and saw the familiar sight of the river. The snow shower continued as I drifted nearer to the stream. The next thing I saw was a construction site that was dominated by one of those very tall cranes that are used to lift and place large objects into position.
The next moment I found myself standing behind the clamshell at the end of the crane’s cable. I was pondering the opposite bank of the river. It was also at that time that I noticed the other side of the river was completely free of snow. I felt compelled to get to the other side.
Suddenly, I found myself inside the crane’s clamshell and began swinging towards the opposite riverbank. The motion of the clamshell stopped just short of the other side, then the clamshell reversed direction and approached the original side of the river. I felt like I was on a very large pendulum as the clamshell continued to swing back and forth.
Before long, I noticed my laptop computer resting in my lap. That was when I began tapping out an email. I clicked on “send”. Then voile’, the scene went blank. Suddenly, I was awake.
In the twilight mind state, I noticed that I had kicked off the blankets on the bed. I instantly pulled them back over me. I switched on the bedside lamp, fumbled for my journal and pen, then jotted down the basic outline of the dream for later reference.
It was time for a brief dream analysis. I deduced that the snow scene happened because I had become chilled after kicking of the blankets. The river in the dream was the actual river that flows near my little house. It appears in many of my dreams. The construction crane in the dream represented the actual crane that is at the sight of a bridge demolition/reconstruction project a few blocks away from my home. Perhaps the swinging clamshell and the email represents my vain, unconscious attempts to grab the blankets to cover myself back up.
The quickie analysis seemed logical, so I put away the journal and pen, switched off the lamp, and snuggled beneath the blankets to return to sleep.
It’s rare that I remember dreams, but whenever I’m awakened by an odd vision, I write down the dream’s outline in order to jog the memory later on. Many times, my dreams are situational, as in the case of the snowy walk along the riverside. Those are easy to analyze.
A rarer type of dreams borders on psychedelic. I love them because they’re so entertaining in their visual and tactile richness. These dreams are how I imagine the experience of someone who has taken LSD look like. The only ingredient missing is Jimi Hendrix performing “All Along The Watchtower”.
Nearly every time I have a memorable dream, I wonder if there is a purpose for that dream. Is it a forbidden desire bubbling up to the surface? Why do I have very few scary dreams? Why are most of my dreams simply frustrating? Why do some of my dreams, including my earliest dreams, focus on the three pure primary colors of red, blue, and yellow? Why do I favor yellow most of all?
My friend Jorge says that he remembers nearly all of his dreams. He says one disadvantage of this ability is that the dreams often influence the way he feels the following day. When he has one of his frequent spooky dreams, it takes him a long time to shake his foul mood swing.
A couple of years ago I picked up The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda for old time’s sake. I just wanted to try my mind again at lucid dreaming. Even though Castanneda’s claims about sorcery and spiritual magic have been debunked, I was curious about what he had to write about lucid dreaming. It was a throwback to those years when I read Castaneda’s other books in order to fuel my “New Age” beliefs. In spite of my best and honest efforts, I still cannot experience lucid dreaming.
The only trustworthy person I know who thinks he may sometimes experience lucid dreaming is my friend Jorge. He says that he has had visions that are almost textbook cases of what is presented in “New Age” books about the subject including what was written by Castaneda.
He also has lucid dreams in bed following an especially grueling road trip at work in his truck. Jorge does not follow any sort of technique to attain lucid dreaming, he is only aware of being “out of his body” observing himself sleeping. Jorge dismisses the notion of “soul levitation”. He attributes the hallucinations to hormone imbalances due to diabetes. He says he doesn’t believe any supernatural influences cause his dreams.
Although researchers have discovered much about the “dream centers” in the brain, dreaming remains mysterious in many ways. Dreams can be very useful in practical ways. There are the often cited stories about the discovery of the molecular formula of benzene plus the invention of the lightbulb. Some writers use dreams as seeds to their novels and poetry. Even musicians find audible inspiration in their dreams.
All I know, is that my own dreams are entertaining and help to provide some measure of insight about life. I appreciate the rare times I can remember dreams. I hope to have many more of them.