It’s a strange feeling, waking with fragments of vivid dreams having tarnished the supposed clean slate of a new day. What is the purpose of dreaming? Why, sometimes, do our minds delve beyond what is real world and into this cosmic abyss, which can sometimes be eclipsed by what seems like proper horror?
Think of a bad dream you’ve had. How bad was it? Did somebody close to you die? Did you kill someone? I know that these sorts of dreams exist. Personally I’ve never murdered anyone in my dreams, but family members and pets have died horrific deaths, my husband has turned into an appalling infidel with a non-existent heart and some other downright awful things have happened. What drives our minds to these places of darkness?
Most people are familiar with that weighted feeling of regaining consciousness in the deep of the night, having grown so unsettled by a dream that sleep is no longer possible. It’s as if we need rebooting – awaken, breathe deeply, acknowledge that it was all a dream and everything is truly as it should be. Then often, the remaining hours of what should be pure rest are blemished; bodies toss and turn in a restless chasm of ambiguity and confusion until finally, another day dawns. You sit up, gazing quizzically at nothing in particular, pensive about the origin of such creations, your mind boggled as you begin a new day. Today, the slate will not begin as clean.
At night, the brain becomes similar to that of an electric car wash. It removes grime from the day, it polishes a clean surface once the muck is gone. Build up of amyloid plaque is scrubbed back, memories are removed from short term and stored in long term. It seems though, that the mind becomes more susceptible to both genres (good and bad) of thoughts and dreams during this time. Have you ever been in a half-woke sleep state, and suddenly the weight of the world is bearing down on you? Conundrums of the day are amplified and your feet are glued to the patch of grass in front of the speaker. You wear no ear plugs and through your restless sleep, you sense no escape from the discomfort and unrelenting noise in your head.
This morning my son awoke in a state of distress. He removed his little body from bed and advanced to the two corridors and three doors blockading his access to safety. He managed 20 steps before tears could be retained no longer and a little voice perforated the morning quiet. “Mummy,” though much longer and slower and with sorrow in his tone… “I don’t want to go to school.” He sobbed, briefly explaining the source of his upset. I wonder if I really do need to reconsider my child’s one-day-a-week expedition to daycare, with it now being the origin of his nightmares. All our issues are relative, I suppose.
I dare you to anonymously (or not) comment on this post with your most baffling dream to date. Have you ever bludgeoned someone to death with a sledgehammer, feeling and hearing the crush of his skull under your destructive force? My gentle, compassionate husband has. Have you ever woken to see your spouse sleeping peacefully after they’ve just spent 8 hours destroying your life and ripping your soul apart with their promiscuous treachery, your eyes swollen from crying tears of utter heartache? I have.