Dreams: The Escape to Insanity

Dreams…what an appropriately spooky topic for the month of Halloween. Or has no one else had a nightmare? Nightmares aren’t as common for me as they used to be when I was a child, though I did recently have a dream that I was being chased by the weeping angels from “Doctor Who.” Terrifying.

There’s also the Dark Island scene from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Prince Caspian and company sail into a part of the sea that is shrouded in complete blackness. There, they find a man who has been trapped for years, and he tells them:

“‘Fly! Fly! About with your ship and fly!…This is the Island where Dreams come true.’

‘That’s the island I’ve been looking for this long time,’ said one of the sailors. ‘I reckon I’d find I was married to Nancy if we landed here.’

‘And I’d find Tom alive again,’ said another.

‘Fools!’ said the man, stamping his foot with rage. ‘That is the sort of talk that brought me here, and I’d better have been drowned or never born. Do you hear what I say? This is where dream–dreams, do you understand–come to life, come real. Not daydreams: dreams.’

There was about half a minute’s silence and then, with a great clatter of armor, the whole crew were tumbling down the main hatch as quick as they could…For it had taken everyone just that half-minute to remember certain dreams they had had–dreams that make you afraid of going to sleep again–and to realize what it would mean to land on a country where dreams come true” (Lewis 1952).

One thing I find interesting about this passage is the understood feeling among the crew. Though they’ve only faced nightmares individually, everyone has the same fear and knows what each other must be feeling–which is why there is no explanation needed before the crew steps into action.

Normal, non-threatening, dreams are the same. If not all, then at least a vast majority of humans can relate to dreams. Do dreams have meaning? Well, I think so, in some rare cases. Just look at Joseph’s experience in Genesis 41. But I don’t think all dreams have to mean something special. If that were the case, I’d be doomed because my dreams are STRANGE.

In his book The Storytelling Animal, Jonathan Gottschall says:

“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories” (Gottschall 2012).

Being a lover of stories and a dreamer of dreams, I fell absolutely in love with this quote the moment I read it. In fact, I was so giddy about this idea that I freaked out my sister over lunch while telling her about it. I don’t remember her exact words, but I do remember that she said my crazy mind reminds her of Lewis Carroll–imaginative, yes, but people also thought Carroll was a serial killer.

Some might find this harsh, but–with the dreams I’ve described to my sister–you’d probably support her argument. If having strange dreams at night and, what’s more, remembering them the next day is a talent, then it’s a talent that I possess.

My mom has often begged me to write down some of my dreams as stories, but this request is usually met with sarcasm because my dreams will reveal my true madness! Then, while perusing a library book about sleep one day, I fell upon this quote:

“Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives” (Fisher 1965).

This explains it! If nothing else, dreams are my escape to temporary and imaginative insanity, perhaps to spare me from going crazy in the real world. Considering this, I’ve decided–partly for my mom and partly to see if I’m not alone–to share my top craziest dreams. Oh goodness, I hope I don’t regret this, but–just in case–I won’t go into too much detail.

Weirdest dream #1: Dancing Bottles

In this dream, I am helping out with a Summer Reading Program at the library for which empty water bottles as big as houses are necessary. Then, out of nowhere, these bottles sprout arms and legs and begin dancing with each other.

Weirdest dream #2: Dinosaur with a Handbag

In this dream, two British brontosauruses, one with a hat and handbag, are giving a tour to two other brontosauruses who can’t talk at all, unaware that they don’t understand.

Weirdest dream #3: Movie with the Queen

In this dream, I go to see a new “Doctor Who” movie with the Queen of England, among other people. The screen comes on, the TARDIS appears, and out of the blue box walk the Doctor along with the members of NSYNC, ready to shoot their new music video.

Weirdest dream #4: Assassination of a Cat

In this dream, I am executed by a queen who doesn’t want me to marry her son. But, miraculously, I am raised back to life. In an effort to seek revenge, I hire an assassin to take out the queen’s cat.

Honorable mention: The Slothfather Trilogy

This isn’t actually my dream, but actually a set of three dreams described by a friend, because–apparently–I am as odd in other people’s dreams as I am in my own. In these dreams, my friend Ashlee and I are mobster bosses trying to take over the world. I won’t go into detail other than to say that I was the master mind with a pet sloth always always on my arm, and Ashlee was my hit man with a giant club to knock people out. This is a very detailed set of dreams, so I won’t go into it, but we were all so amused that the friend who had it created this Bitmoji movie poster for it, featured below:

Capture

And that’s that. I hope I haven’t frightened anyone with my strangeness. But isn’t it crazy and wonderful what our minds can come up with when we’re not even trying? Anyone have any crazy dreams to rival mine? Please share–because I need to know I am not alone!

~~~

References

Fisher, Charles. 1965. “Psychoanalytic Implications of Recent Research on Sleep and Dreaming.” Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 13(2).

Gottschall, Jonathan. 2012. The Storytelling Animal. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Lewis, C.S. 1952. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. New York: HarperCollins.

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