I'm curious to know how many of us Bloggers have a journal and a pen by our bedside to capture midnight thoughts and flights of fantasy, in fear that the coming rays of light might erase those dreamy inspirations from our memory?



Show of hands?
Yes, mine is raised.

Also, because this is 2015 and my alarm is on my phone which is also on my nightstand, I can also be found typing away on a tiny keyboard in the dark.   Call it a sad comment on our time, call it our obsession with technology grown so big we are literally sleeping with our gadgets.  Call it whatever you want.  I'm going to call it convenient.  

Quite frankly, I don't care how I capture those thoughts, ideas, and dreams; as long as I capture them.   If stone tablet was my only option, Left Brain would frequently wake up to the tapping of hammer on stone, instead of the soft, silent glow of my iPhone.
Now, which would you prefer?

I love the silent hour of night,
For blissful dreams may then arise,
Revealing to my charmed sight
What may not bless my waking eyes.”
 

~ Anne Brontë, Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters

Everybody dreams.
But not everyone remembers.

Do you ever have those dreams where you are falling, falling, falling and in your dream that ground is rushing up so fast that you can see the end?   It's oddly beautiful and terrifying.   Then at the last moment, some sort of instinctual preservation kicks in and snatches you back to wakefulness before the sudden stop.     Then the very next night I might dream that I am flying.  Soaring high above that same beautiful landscape; able to zoom down for closer look at a meadow of wildflowers, or trail my fingers along the glassy reflection of a pond, then back up into the bright to touch the clouds.

The silent screams that catch in your throat while your mind screams: "wake up! wake up now! RUN!"
Those are the worst.   Let's not even go there.

The mind is ever swimming in thought.    The kids are enjoying Shark Week on Discovery Channel this week, and I've had the image of my noisy brain, sleeping or awake, as that of a restless shark ever circling.    Unleashing in his swirling whirlpool pointless images, meaningless narratives, and irrational fears while my body is begging for rest.    This shark, the world's best feeding machine, has the uncanny ability to sort the important matters and leave them untouched, and instead devours the useless data I can forget.

How does it know?

As a fairly intelligent person, and from the little amount of Psychology I have studied, I know that it is not all useless, meaningless data swirling about in there.  That my brain indeed does sift through all the data collected during the day, sorting memory from experience from education from imagination; and ultimately regurgitating it all into some sort of high fidelity technicolour meshed up mix tape for the brain. 

Sometimes the playback gets stuck in a loop.  Other times I visualize it all strung out and tangled and caught on the wheels, much like cassette tapes that have spit out their musical innards, and I now must patiently insert a pen into the wheel and wind it all back inside.  Hoping that the playback has not become distorted or broken, and continues to play true.    Those are probably the worst kinds of days.

I think we all know that good sleep AND good dreaming is an important part of our physical and mental health.   For someone like myself who is prone to periods of insomnia, this can mean a lack of both on those nights that I toss and turn, and even emptying the contents of my brain into those pretty bedside journals doesn't bring relief.   Even worse are those times when I finally do fall asleep, just as the light creeps under the edge of my room darkening blinds; drifting into that dreamy mash-up --- only to be snatched awake by the alarm in the midst of floating and remembering.  Rather like getting to the end of a novel, only to discover the final pages have been ripped out.   A cliffhanger. 

But how does it end!?

Do all those never seen endings just sit there; undigested?     Is that why my brain gets too noisy?  My dreamland becomes a wasteland of never assimilated information that just lays there rotting?   If all that data is never sorted, is that why I can become confused as to who I am, where I am going, and even where I come from is a crooked memory lane.   All unreliable road maps to Who I Am

The Native culture believed in the use of Dream Catchers, which in the simplest terms, allowed the good dreams to sift through it's web opening, and the bad dreams to become caught.    Even ancient cultures knew of the importance of good sleep....and good dreams.   Did you know that there are dream catchers designed specifically for children, and others that are only for adults?

You know what that means?

We don't stop dreaming as we age.   
We are never to old to dream.

My bedside journal is my dream catcher.  
There I separate the illusion from the real; in hopes of achieving that ever elusive state of Awareness.  That place where I see the world as it truly is, and my place within it.    Over time, themes and patterns will emerge, and these will be more reliable in showing Who I Am, then that mixed up imagery which unfolded while my eyes were closed. 

You know, I used to think I did my best thinking enveloped in the warm, bubble wrapped womb of my bathtub.    Now I am thinking that in my dreams, my noisy brain is trying to tell me something.  It's ME, speaking to ME - showing the landmarks and guiding the way, to the very best version of myself.   It's a voice that is both beautiful, and brutally honest.  And let's face it, that one dream that keeps coming back?  It can be an annoying nag too.    But this all means, that better than anyone else, it truly knows me, and thus: it must know what is best for me.

So, if along the journey, we might meet and you should ask:  where are you going?

You are very likely to get a reply:  I don't know.  Let me dream on it.





 An original photograph of a sunset I posted earlier this week, with some Native dream imagery and a quote.

“We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words 
so that they would live forever, unforgettable.” 

~ Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
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