I mean. If I can’t remember, then I can’t be frustrated. How do I even know that that ever happens? It’s an unprovable and unexperiencable experience. If a dream occurs only in my mind, and is not remembered by my mind, then, unless dreams have some unknown effect on our mind (which I believe there is evidence they do) then it may as well not have happened. Consciously, it does not exist.
Is it useful for me to sit here getting angry about dreams I may never have had?
I mean, I guess I could try and wonder at what they actually consist of. Sit here, for the rest of the day, fabricating the realities of the dreams I never had. But in my day to day life (unless I am fabricating the apparent realities that surround me) my imagination never conjures anything as intense, insane, and inscrutable as my dreams.
Apart from that odd occasion where I dream I spend the day at work doing nothing much interesting.
Having said all that, I don’t often have ‘good’ dreams. I’m possibly that little bit too damaged. My dreams (at least the ones I remember) almost always have enough of an edge of anxiety that they can’t be enjoyed for the wonderful worldviews they represent.
My dreams of this morning have already escaped me, for example. Mostly because I don’t want to give too much voice to the worry they represent.
Even at night, it appears I am always terrified, if only mildly.
Even my ‘best’ dreams, which come in two flavours (passionate sex, and the returned dead) are normally imbued with a haunting sense of ‘this isn’t right’ that takes me out of the joy of passion or the sheer happiness of seeing a loved one I dearly miss.
Yes. In my dreams, I see dead people. Not very often, but my heart leaps in those instants. Being told reassuringly, ‘don’t be ridiculous, I just went away for a while’ and getting to go on some sort of adventure with a beloved but lost friend. It’s true wish fulfillment, but there’s always a colour washed over it. A niggling, uncanny sensation of ‘this is not okay’.
I think even my dreams seem to have a notion of what the world should be like. There is an order of things, that sadly includes the notion that the dead are gone, and can never be bought back. I can never see Will, Edie, Julie and the rest ever again.
When they visit my dreams, it is only a precursor of waking up to another bout of grieving. It makes my heart bounce, but I remain aware that these things must pass.
Dreams also pass. You can’t hold on to them. You’ve just got to let them take you for their rides, show you their things and plump you back in the reality you usually inhabit again.
You can learn from them, but you can’t take them with you.
Such is life.
Illustration by Michael