Monday, November 23, 2009

I dream therefore I am

‘Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee’ by Salvador Dali, 1944

Some people have exotic dreams spawned by the inconsequential.  Dali painted this after a bee buzzed his ear while he was sleeping.  Mosquitos buzz my ear and the only dream I get is me waving my hand at it only it’s not going away because my hand is actually snuggled in my blanket as I am sleeping.

I dream.  Sometimes I’m better at remembering them than others.  I know writing them down would help considerably but so far I haven’t been able to engender the habit.  My dream life is not so fantastic as Dali’s but it is deep and rich.  Sometimes waking is like being pulled from one reality to another.  I remember, I remember and as I get nearer to waking I remember less of the details until at some critical moment I have crossed dimensions and I am now in this one.  I’m awake and the door to that other world is closed, gone.  Sometimes I can recall partial bits, sometimes enough to string along into a sort of beginning and end, an outline of the dream but lots of blank spaces.  Sometimes I can remember them in great detail.  

I have recurring themes like the ones where I dream I have to go to the bathroom and I’m searching for a toilet but every time I find one it’s not functioning or it is so disgustingly dirty I can’t bear to touch it or it’s in a deep dank basement or locker room or it’s so bizarre I can’t figure out how to make it work.  My subconscious knows no bounds to making them unusable.  It’s telling me to ‘wake up you eejit before you wet the bed!’  I figure if I found a working toilet, that that is exactly what I would do.  So now I have trained myself to just wake up instead of the incessant searching.

I also have the classic anxiety dreams of being late for the year end exam in a class that I’ve cut classes to all year, haven’t even cracked the book or read a single page and on top of that I don’t even know where the classroom is.  But at least I’ve got clothes on.  The last time I had a naked dream I and my companion were being chased and we took refuge amongst circus people because we felt we would be less conspicuous there, being naked and all.

Some of my favorites are the house dreams.  I love these, finding hidden rooms, finding whole new wings, sometimes coming upon a brand new house, exploring room after room with all the different contents.  One time I had a sex dream and a house dream combined, the house beckoned but I was with a really sexy guy who wasn’t exactly interested in exploring that house over there.  After a little enticing, neither was I.

And did I mention the sex dreams?  

I remember a dream fragment from many decades ago:  There is an endless row of artists of which I am one, painters, on the beach with their easels and brushes working away, they are swept away by a tsunami; artists, easels, canvasses tumbling submerged in the water.  But I am swimming hovering there breathing the water watching it all swirl by.

I have many fragments like that. 

Some whole dreams I have written down but they are long and this is too long already. 

I have quite a few dreams though that have me mystified.  Dreams that are so bizarre that it’s hard to make sense of them, dreams that are somewhat mundane but leave me feeling the same way.  A recent one...

There were some children in the house with water balloons.  One of them had a big balloon which I filled with water.  It was the size of a basketball, bigger.  Don’t throw those in the house, I tell them which of course, the words are no sooner out of my mouth than I am hit with the big one.  Water goes everywhere.  Gallons and gallons of water.  The children are put to the task of picking up all the wet stuff off the floor while I get a mop.  This mop has a head on it about 2” wide.  I’m horrified to see that the wood floor is starting to warp.  In the kitchen, I hear two people arguing about whose fault it was.  This really pisses me off so I go in there and yell at them to shut up and help...’it doesn’t matter whose fault it was’.  They grudgingly come in to help.  There is newspaper on the floor and when we pick it up we see that the newsprint has come off on the floor but it comes off with a little scrubbing.

Sometimes I am left wondering which is the real reality.


  1. Hmmm. You may be spending too much time worrying about the house, maybe?

    My no-pants dream usually involves sitting the backseat of a car that's headed at 60 or 70 mph over a cliff with no one in the front seat. I have to get the seat belt off, climb over the seat, get behind the wheel and stop the car before it goes over. What upsets me is that I'm only wearing a slip. I haven't worn a slip since I was 12, but for some reason I'm terrified I'll be found in the crushed wreckage below, dead, wearing only a slip, and I'm seriously debating whether to put on some clothes before I try to stop the car. Talk about priorities.

  2. I can't imagine anything worse than water balloons in the house!

    These house dreams sound fascinating. Ever dreamt of exploring a castle?

  3. Oh Ellen, what an awesome mystical post. I saw your dreams through those elegant gauzey descriptions.

    I love how rich and textured your dreams are. I too have the school dream, and it freaks me out every time. Used to have such vivid sex dreams that they rivaled reality. Don't anymore, dammit. I wonder why?

    Thanks for taking us on this magic carpet ride into your subconscious. It was enlightening and fun.

  4. I have no idea what any of your dreams mean but they make for good reading! I wish I could remember consciousness doesn't go any further than ''that bloody alarm'' first thing in the morning :0)

  5. I have a recurring theme of exploring houses too. And cities. hotels.. mansions. Usually, I'm just looking for something.. an address.. or maybe a bathroom but I often end up walking into a house or building and start looking around. I know what you mean about that threshold between dreaming and waking. Often it's what's going on in our awake world (phone ringing - needing to pee - someone's voice) which sculpts our dreams.

    Another theme I used to have as a kid, was finding secret passageways which led me to places that in reality were too far to get to. Like.. a hidden fence at the local park, obscured by bushes, could be climbed and once on the other side, I'd find myself at our summer cottage.

    Dreams bring magic into our lives

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  7. hi ellen, i love dreams for the open dor they represent into my real understanding of this world. once you're past the clutter and monkey business of the surface you get to dig down way deep and see it for it is. i love the dali painting you posted here. it's been a very long time since i last saw it. have a peaceful day! steven

  8. Hmmm. Well, I'm a guy, so my dreams usually involve naked women or food. Sometimes both. This is all we typically think about when we're awake (and football), so it makes sense that our dreams would follow the same pattern :).

    But every once in awhile I'll have the most vivid and memorable dream, so real that when I wake up I'm not sure if it was a dream or if I'm remembering something that really happened. Those are the ones that mean something, I think. I've had several that I can still remember every detail of, years later.

  9. I remember very few of my dreams, except if they are recurring for awhile. Otherwise, poof, they are long gone!

  10. Oh yeah .. I know those. Sometimes my dreams are so bizarre that when I wake up I wonder how could I even come up with something like that? Crazy.
    And naked dreams and exam dreams ... I know what you're talking about. Everything holds you back from being a normal person in your dreams. :)

  11. My son liked to play with flour. He watched it fall when he threw it into the air. Once he decided to clean it up himself and used water. Do you know what happens when you mix flour and water all over the living room? This is what I came home to. Wish it had been a dream...

    Then there was the time when he and his sister got into a cattail fight in the house. Cattail fuzz everywhere. I found some years later behind the couch...

    HHmm - Maybe I'll stick with dreams...

  12. Well now I know that the inside of Ellen's head looks remarkably like the inside of the Bug's head. Toilet dream? Check. Exam dream? Check. Many roomed house dream? Check. Sex dreams? Check.

    I haven't dreamed about water balloons, but I did dream once that Dr. M & I were washing all his baseball caps & I put too much laundry detergent in the washer & soap went EVERYWHERE. Very odd.

  13. We do combine lots of things in our dreams. Artists are more appreciative of their imagination, and your sharing proves that.

  14. they say dreams are our way of working out issues or situations in our waking life. I've had some really wierd dreams where I wake up and think "What the hell was I trying to work out with that one?"

  15. Oh, to be in Salvadore Dali's head!

    I have a recurring dream where I'm lost in an immense, deep, dark green forest.

    As I'm walking, I start hearing voices and I look up, startled.

    Lo and behold, it's the tree talking to me. Only, not just the's actually ripped it's bark open and guts and blood are pouring out, but it keeps talking to me.

    I've had this same dream on and off since I was little. And yea, I have the 'pee' ones as well. Also the classic anxiety dreams...not being able to remember your locker combination, where the classroom is, or any of the answers to the tests.

    Dreams are fascinating...but odd.


  16. Some days, I wish my reality is a dream and my dream world is the truth.

  17. I would try to help decipher your dream, but that is not one of my witchy powers lol. I suck at dream interpretation, but I think Cynthia might be on to something: are you "spending too much time worrying about the house...?" Did you check to see if any small children caused damaged and you haven't noticed it? Checked your pipes? Told you I sucked at this.

    In my last dream I was been chased by Parker Jr. (The turkey-peacock created by Bridgett and her family). Yep, now we all know what I think about when I go to bed: colorful things. You should stop by Bridgett's and meet Parker Jr., he is the thing dreams are made of.

  18. Well, don't ask ME which is the "real" reality. You know I believe in layers of reality.

    LOVE this post! And your dreams, (the ones you remember) are truly spectacular.

    One dream interp technique is to tell the dream in present tense, adding "part of me" after every noun. When you refer to yourself in the dream, say "the ego part of me." Pretty intriguing.

    So what IS the water balloon part of you? The warped floor part of you? The anonymous dream people part of you?

    Fun!! And absolutely free. Yet another reason to love dreams!

  19. First, a sheepish apology from me for not visiting in so long a time. 14 hours sleep has revived this exhausted little mail lady and here I am!

    Did you happen to see Nova last night? It was all about dreams! I have had that very same needing-to-pee dream and YES, there is always something wrong with each one! I've also had the identical final exam dream. Houses, too, play a frequent starring role in my dreams.

    Sometimes, as you may know from my blog, I turn my dreams into poetry, or even literally "dream up" the poem itself!

  20. I have house dreams quite often too. In my case, though, I guess they somehow flow from my profession. I think about houses and housing stuff a lot during the day, so they just transform into my dreams too.


  21. Brim over I agree but I think the collection should have more info then it has.


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