When I moved house a few months ago, walking out on a flooded basement and an angry landlord, I started keeping a dream journal. I've written and tagged 53 entries now, and while that isn't much, I've learned something interesting: my subconscious is a strange and twisty place. Some things are frankly baffling (why couldn't I remember if that millipede was my sister?), while other themes seem to be marked in flashing neon lights. "PAY ATTENTION TO THIS, IT IS IMPORTANT!"
Some of the recurring themes aren't that surprising, considering. The dreams where I have someone to cuddle up to; the dreams where I explore unfamiliar rooms with secret doors. The ones about packing (moving, unpacking, realising I've left things behind) in particular: they're reflections of my literal circumstances, as I've had to move my belongings into and out of storage on three separate occasions for reasons too tedious to list here. Those I get.
What I didn't expect, however, was the water. Water is everywhere in my dreams; flooding from the taps in a church's bathroom, filling my mouth, crashing in a big tsunami wave over an entire civilisation. I've stood in a rising tide, sailed a ship over a waterfall, and pissed off a river goddess. One in five dreams of mine features water in a big way.
Another one that took me by surprise is that - look, I'll apologise in advance, because it's going to make me sound excessively egotistical, but - I rescue people. I've led my friends down to a bomb shelter during an air raid; I've swatted bats away with a big stick while we fled a haunted house; I've even tried to get plasticine monsters out of a factory without them being seen (or mangled by machinery).
I don't know why this is. I've mentally linked it to my brief stint as a youth leader, but it's fun to think of what it might be preparing me for. Not that dreams foretell the future, I don't believe that; but perhaps by thinking of myself as 'someone who leads others out of danger' I'm making it more likely that I'll have the balls to do it for real if the time ever comes.
There's not many nightmares, as a whole. There's the occasional nightmarish side-quest, though. For example, I did recently took a brief detour from a fairly standard dream about my ex and secret rooms to face down these guys:
So, ya know, THAT was horrendous. Did you know that, if you blink, they can come through sheet glass without breaking it? Well, in my dream, they can.
I don't know what these dreams tell you about me (aside from more than you ever wanted to know), but I'm going to keep writing them down for now. I wonder what else I'll learn.
P.S. One dream I logged goes as follows:
Was in a room with about 5 other people. Dylan Moran was going through some material, and had wandered into really personal stuff. Hard to tell if it was still part of the routine or not; he seemed really sad. "You know I'm starting to realise my dad wasn't a very nice person. You know something's wrong when you have to explain to vampires how awful your dad is."
I've never seen Dylan Moran live, but I want to tell him everything's going to be ok.
P.P.S. Oh, I did see Ross Noble live the other day though! You know how I got turned into a fairy over the summer? (Oh man I just realised I never told you about that. I'll write about it soon.) Well I found these on the way to the gig, and took it as a sign...