Monday, December 28, 2009

Dream, when you're feeling blue...or pink...or maybe even green

Just past two-thirty this morning, you were tugged gently from a dreaming sleep by the sound of a muffled bark, which by your reckoning had its source at about the ten o'clock position, meaning Sally had shifted from her seven o'clock position on your left.  Added to your computations was the absolute certainty that the muffled bark was occasioned by a dream Sally was experiencing.  Simply put, she does not muffle barks in a waking state. Her waking-state barks are Wagnerian in their ceremonial outrage. You lay there for a time, wondering about the possibilities of her dreams.  She soon muffled yet another bark, then sighed heavily, a sign that she, too, was now awake.  Another heavy sigh, then the light clink of her medallions clinking, then a series of scratches, paw against cloth, as she moved from the new bed at ten o'clock to the old bed at seven o'clock, sighed once more, then slid back into sleep.

Are dog's dreams sight oriented or do they dream in smell?  The easy way out is to say the answer is a combination of both.  Although you have had some dreams in which smell played a role, it is more likely that you will feature sight and sound.  In fact, some time later, you "heard" Sviataslov Richter "playing" Ravel's Jewels in the Water.  Perhaps Sally "hears" me, for instance, calling her or merely talking to her.  Perhaps.

The mystery of another being's dreams is an intrigue for you, a narrow cusp that may quickly give way under your weight, bringing too many recitations of dreams and even more interpretations of what these dreams mean.  Nor are you overly interested in such meanings or symbols that may inhere in your own dream life unless, of course, they directly relate to that dreamy state in which you, to some degree asleep, are still working on the story or essay of your waking hours, applying the trial and error of rehearsal or running options, hopeful of finding and remembering one for use in the light of day (or the bulb-lit light of night).  

Dreams seem to be surreal, things seeming funny or sad or frightening that do not translate to their waking humorousness or sadness or fear, as though some resident emotion were providing the mixed-metaphor of a musical sound track.

Your favorite literary dream is the opening line of Kafka's Metamorphosis, set forth only as "After a night of uneasy dreams..."  We can more readily relate to a night of uneasy dreams than we can to the entire scenario of them, thus the great clue emerges from Kafka's use of the word "uneasy."  The very lack of specificity allows you a closer grip on what Gregor Samsa must have been undergoing as he transformed from a sensate human to something quite other.  

Sometimes, in the midst of a particular dream, you have the authorial knowledge that the event taking place in your senses is the most glorious of wish-fulfillment, at once tinctured with pleasure and the naughty knowledge of possible taboo--yet you allow the dream to scroll forth, wanting to carry the flaunting of the taboo to its conclusion.

Dreams in that context are the secret taboo-breakers we carry about with us, fanny packs for our daily hours that contain ever so much more than cell phones or bottled water or Balance Bars.  With these secrets in attendance, we can stand tall against the gravity of the day's events.  Daydreams are a close second, bolstering us against the wolves and coyotes of loss, disappointment, and grief that track us with those splendid noses and ears of theirs.  Daydreams allow us to stand tall; the moment we break and run, we send these wolves and coyotes a signal that we are vulnerable.  In simple truth, they are faster than us; we are taller than they.

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