"With Nightmares and with Dreams"
Most people I know have dreams and nightmares, here and there. I'll bet everyone at OWF has one or two to share. And with a lack of other things to talk about, I figure we might as well talk about them. Both on a more general level and on an anecdotal.
What exactly is a dream? An expression of subconscious emotions and thoughts? Garglemesh that your mind connects in an attempt to liven up your night? Or just a weird thing that "happens"?
Do you believe a dream can be interpreted? Is there a general form for interpretation? Is interpreting a dream likely to help you understand anything in your life? Or is the idea of interpreting a dream misguided? Can all dreams be interpreted?
What about nightmares? What are they for? Are they dreams that simply turn into expressions of your fear?
I don't know much about dreams myself. My dreams, I feel, are a kind of emotional expression in a more fluid and unconstrained form; sort of like a book without holding back for trying to be intellectual or concise.
In that same vein, I believe a lot of my dreams can be interpreted. But some parts are simply fueled by a desire for seeing cool things and it's not always clear when that is. And while I doubt they've ever revealed anything I didn't already know, they can help to emphasize the emotional importance of it.
As far as nightmares go, I have not any much explanation short of the one I've offered above. 90% of my nightmares deal with things that are thinly veiled expressions of things I find fearful in reality. The last 10% is just... strange stuff that might have some kind of symbolic or associated meaning, but is usually a little more cryptic than I can work out or care to work out.
As for dreams I've actually had, I'll share one I've had quite recently and some general guesses as to how to understand it.
I dreamed I was in some kind of bizarre Disney World, where everything started out pleasant and chipper, but the longer you stayed there, the longer you rode the rides, the more demented and twisted everything became until it starts looking like a cross between Nightmare Before Christmas and H.R. Giger's work. Besides that, there was a wolf enclosure where they just threw huge slabs of meat to them, 50% of it recognizably human. I quickly squeezed away from that, but found I could not leave the park.
Right around that point as well, I was somehow made into... I guess the equivalent of king, because there had been a sequence of events to sign up for and somehow I was the only one that showed up and received the award. So I led everyone else in the park forward to the exit, all the while being ambushed and fought at every turn by hundreds of brainwashed guests who sought to stop me from escaping for some reason. Somehow we all had swords as well and I'm not quite sure where we got them.
There was one particular sequence that stood out. I was on board one ride which was a very long semi-interactive ride, in that you would sometimes walk around and go to the next part of the ride. In one part, there was a 3D screen where a portal of some kind opened, but I fell asleep in the dream or something and was somehow put into this other dimension in a dream-within-a-dream. I found myself a grey and dismal city, it looked sort of like Brooklyn in the 20's. And suddenly, I see this baby, staring at me. It was absolutely giant, large enough to touch the top of a building. It was made of charcoal and paper, it had this look in its eyes of greed, lust and hatred, both of them milky white all over and it charged towards me in a dream-within-a-dream like sequence. And there were five hundred of them in this giant city, all of them barreling towards me, from different directions, screaming at me all the while. Somehow, I woke up and found the portal that the screen had showed had closed, with the eyes of the baby just visible. Either I hadn't really fallen asleep or I had been watching the screen the whole time and been absorbed in the illusion.
I've never wanted a baby less than when I woke up from all that.
Exactly what this means is a fair question, but one could consider the setting as part of a generalized disillusionment with, in particular, university, which was previously made out to me as a sort of Disney World of academia. I wouldn't go so far as to say I see it as a hellscape quite like H.R. Giger's art, but certainly it disappoints and at times stresses me.
The relevance of the baby, I think, might speak to issues that are a little too personal to get into here. Or, considering the baby is symbolic of creation and it is made of charcoal and paper, a common medium for artistic expression, it might be a comment on art. Specifically, on how intimidating and frightening it seems. But that seems a bit hyperbolic again, since I wouldn't say I see artistic creation as a giant and evil baby that's seemingly trying to kill me.
I'll turn it over to the rest of OWF for a round of possible psychoanalysis bunk, but probably a few interesting anecdotes of strange dreams.
Originally Posted by Splat
Congratulations, Oddey, on winning FC's fanfiction competition two years running! You are clearly the man to beat!