Tuesday, May 6, 2014

wild dreams and fiction

For months now, my dreams have been insane, wild, hilarious, terrifying, shame-inducing, sad, full of characters from my past, strangers, composites, school, teaching, reading, running, grass, sky, car crashes, parties, ghosts, wild onion, my cat, some odd malevolent something that jolts me awake and convinces me I will die in 10 seconds if I don't cover my head with a pillow or my quilt.

It's been awesome. I've been trying to sketch them out soon after I wake up, but my life is a little busy right now. Time is short (this is also awesome, not that time is short, but that my life is full of things and people I love).

This morning's dream was so exhausting that I slept through my alarm and woke feeling drenched and heavy, not the kind of heaviness having to do with excess weight, but a sort of soul heaviness.

I realized that the dead friend who was in my dream seemed to have appeared to remind me to send some files I saved of his to the friend who asked me to save them after he died. I can't believe I forgot, though I suppose I can believe it since right after the saving of the files, I got really busy (that word. Busy. bizzy. bizzeeee) with freelance projects.

I have some time now, so I'm grateful for the reminder.

My father has been hanging around in my dreams, too. It may be because he's been dead nearly 15 years, and that's one of those strange number things that seem to affect me. Who knows. He's pissed at me about something, but I'm not sure what it is. It's all right. He can be pissed at me if he wants to be.

Some of the dreams involve former MFA schoolmates who appear to be older in the dreams than they are in reality, who crawl into my bed and curl themselves around me. These are not people I find particularly attractive, though they are nice enough. Maybe I'm lonelier than I think I am for romance. No. That's not it. In the dreams, the romantic attention annoys me. I want to get on with creative things, want not to be "nudged" at night, want to sleep so that I have energy to do whatever work it is I do in my dreams, which I suspect is richer and more important than the work I do when I'm awake.

Sometimes, I can't wait to go to sleep at night so that I can dive into these dreams. Sometimes, I nap afternoons when I've slept badly the night before (the dreams sometimes contribute to bad sleep), and those dreams are positively ferocious. I can't tell if my dreams are influencing the direction a novel in progress is taking or if the novel is creeping into my dreams. Maybe a little bit of both. I love this process.

I want to take better care of these dreams, these gifts. I could make them into stories or poems or even just weird little essays, but I too often don't bother writing them down.

I finally upgraded to a smartphone last week, and I've discovered that the Notes app that came with the phone will allow me to record my notes so that I don't have to type them on the tiny keyboard (but I don't have to listen to my terrible voice). The microphone sometimes doesn't hear me that clearly, or not yet, but it's wonderful that if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can tell myself my dreams before I lose the dreams to neglect. I can then email the note to myself and add it to this collection I've just now decided I'm going to start.

This makes me really happy.


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