Monday, August 31, 2009
That One Dream You Always Have, You Know the One
Jeff's entertaining analysis of my Captain America dream, combined with tonight's visit from my old Lister Hall friend Joanne, reminded me of one of the consistent recurring themes of my dreams: an imagined failure to earn my degree.
The circumstances are nearly always different, but there are common recurring elements:
1) The sudden recognition that I forgot to take a certain course, therefore my degree is invalid. The course could have been as early as junior high, invalidating all my progress from that point on.
2) An academic or professional setting.
3) Panic that I'm going to have to go back to school all over again.
4) Realizing that some important test - not necessarily an academic one - is imminent, and I've forgotten to prepare for it at all.
5) Confusion: wait a minute, I earned my degree years ago. What year is this? Oh wait, it's 2009...wha--
And then I wake up.
I've always been fascinated by dreams. Mine have always been very vivid and real, to the point that sometimes I'll wake up a little startled, as if I've been suddenly yanked from one reality to another. This is no fun when the dream is a nightmare, but when it's something more pleasant, such as a dream of flight or an adventure story...it's sublime.
Usually, writing about dreams or describing them to friends is an exercise in frustration. Rarely are my dreams as compelling to others as they are to me, perhaps because words are inadequate (or my facility with words is inadquate) to explain the sheer spectacle and emotional power of any given dream.
And yet, from time to time I'll try, because they can be that special. But perhaps dreams are meant only for the dreamer.