Dream Composition

Dear J-

What do dreams mean to you? Do you ascribe any sort of deeper portent or metaphor t owhere your dreams took you last night? When I was younger and I got enough sleep I used to dream more often but then again I wonder if I just had more to dream about, seeing as how I now have just about as much as I could ever want: family, kids, and three squares a day.No, really; I think it’s the lack of sleep that’s been doing in my dreamsas it feels like years since I’ve had a good, solid sleep that wasn’t marred by some kind of strange exhaustion, whether from staying up too late or getting up to early or the various punctuations that growing kids will add to the situation.

I do miss the dreams, which seemed to have an easy way about them, showing me what could be and what I should have done, perhaps. At the same time I’d wake up and wonder how much of what just happened was real; it’s not clear at all whether it was all just wish fulfillment or merely warnings. I’d wake up some days with a huge sense of loss and regret which would spill over into everything else I did that day, little knowing that the mood controlled by dreams would make the day a self-fulfilling prophecy. Still, though, I wonder what it would be like to go to bed around eight, say, get my eight hours of sleep and start to dream again. I wonder if I could even sleep that long, though, too.

The various experiments in sleep deprivation all seem to point out that folks will become less lucid eventually, and I’m not sure that I can keep up in the sense that eventually I can’t count on being able to sleep on the van every day or my hours aren’t going to change or life as I know it doesn’t come to a screeching halt on Monday, 12 December 2011. As it is I wonder how critical dreams are to keeping us sane; not the goals sort of dreams where we say in our waking lives this is what I want to become, athis is what I want to achieve — I’m talking those full-bleed technicolor movies your mind plays after the rest of your body has gone slack and the brain has the chance to reknit a few loose connections. Those dreams, occasionally inconvenient but always personal, those dreams. Make up a third of our lives and are best seen in misty repose, in broken snatches of song, as fragments we sift and resynthesize when we’re awake and what happens when you run out of ingredients for your conscious life?

Mike

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