Monday, May 19, 2008

On Dreams and Dreaming

I have always had a very rich dream life. At one point when I was a probation officer and had 7 teenagers in juvenile hall for homicides, my dreams were very disturbed, dark and unpleasant but they served a purpose. I was able to work out various feelings that I had...sometimes against the perpetrators whom I was to get to know and write about what they did and why. Things that I could not give voice to came out in my dreams. I would frequently remember them in great detail.

I always know when creativity is at it's best because my dreams start becoming very vivid. I am practically producing movies in my sleep. They become long, convoluted stories. If I am not happy with the way things are coming out, I seem to come up a level in consciousness, realize I am not pleased with the way things are going, and then drop back down to resolve the story in a more pleasing manner.

When I was at UC ( as a psych. student we had to be guinea pigs for graduate students) I found out that I had the ability to retrieve dreams on successive nights. I have several different locations that repeatedly come up in my dreams. These are not real places but they might as well be as they have become embedded in my thoughts. A house on a street, with great detail, about the streets around it, how to get to it, what the entry way is like, the four different living areas, the strange kitchen that had huge old appliances and a strange basement with various little rooms that I was trying to figure out how best to use. I can still describe in great detail the various living areas, including the downstairs beauty parlor and spa. I can describe the bathtubs, tiles, etc.

And then I have action movies. Very involved stories that would rival Frances Coppola...vivid, detailed and interesting.

Sometimes I have dreams about resolving issues in my art. A clear image of how to do something. A clear sense of where I need to go with an idea. A way of completing a piece of art. How to construct something. In my dreams I will go through the entire process of creating a piece of art, troubleshooting as I go.

I know when I am healthy because my world becomes enriched by all this dream activity. I am very fortunate that I am able to remember at least the basic ideas and sometimes much more from these episodes.

I have been having lots of dreams lately....


Vicki W said...

Very interesting post! I have very vivid dreams every night and I can always remember at least one of them. Many of my dreams are violent. I think it's how I cope with stress. My real life is never as bad as my dream life. Most people think my dreaming is very odd. You are the first person I've heard talk about anything close to the type of dream world I have.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better and getting over whatever grabbed up and put you down. I recently had a dream where my arm/hand were an extension of my felt tip pen and I was drawing images creating a new piece of work..what a wonderful feeling it was to feel so free to be able to do this. I also have a reoccuring dream of a specific house and know the rooms intimately walking through them in my dream.