Here you can find some of my thoughts on dreaming and a few of my favorite dreams that I've pulled from notebooks, loose papers, and text files.
The Egg Dwellers
The Batman Show
The Fitness Center
A Dangerous Trek
Forms of the Joker
The Grateful Dead
Injury on the job
The Last Unicorn
The Water Park
Castle, Church, and Cat
My Friend Fred
A Realistic Game
Tetris Castle Death
A Mean Dog
More Mean Dogs
Trouble at School
Conflict in the Theater
Charity and Teeth
Many of my clearest memories are of things that never happened: jumping from an impossibly high cliff; running through darkened rooms to evade a menacing creature of an impossible-to-look-at silver color; realizing one day that I am able to fly if I shift something in my mind in a certain way. These are memories of dreams, and I value some of them as much as memories of waking experiences.
I've always been fascinated by my dreams. I wonder what their purpose might be and what triggers elements in them. I'm impressed with their creativity that at times surpasses that of my conscious mind, their astounding beauty that can leave me disenchanted with the things that I see when awake, and their situations so unique and bizarre as to leave me pondering for days.
While I have always remembered especially vivid dreams, I have discovered that it is possible, with very little effort, to dramatically improve my memory of dreams in general. I'm convinced that when it seems that I have not dreamed one night, it is never the dreams that are lacking, only my memory of them. If you'd like to improve your dream recall, here are my suggestions:
The first and most essential step to improving your memory of dreams is nothing more than to have some interest in doing so. A simple decision before going to sleep to try to remember your dreams upon waking is adequate preparation. It is surprising how easily you can remember something that you have made a conscious effort to remember before going to sleep.
Next, it is important not to allow thoughts of the past and future to flood your mind immediately upon waking, as you may be inclined to do. Try to pause, focusing on the moment, holding back the tide of reality long enough to recall a few final images from your dreams. I find it easier to start from the most recent event before waking and work backward than to try to remember the beginning of a dream sequence.
Sometimes it's too difficult to block out everything else upon waking, even for a short time. Sometimes dream images come back to your mind later in the day without conscious effort. If you can't remember anything at all, just keep trying. You have the rest of your life to improve.
After you begin to remember dreams with more clarity, you may want to record some of the particularly interesting scenes you encounter. This is the case for me, as you can tell from this page, and I have discovered that writing or typing my dreams leads to a drastic increase of very specific details and involved plot lines that I can recall. I am sometimes able to remember several long dream sequences in a night, and since writing everything down would require a serious effort, I record only the most interesting parts.
Aside from admiring the intricacy and novelty exhibited in my dreams, I have found that they sometimes teach me about myself. Their themes almost invariably include many of the issues that have been on my waking mind, mixed in odd combinations with past experience, as if my mind is filing away current thoughts and I am able to see other things in the files, as well as elements that have no discernable origin. Emotional response seems to be heightened in dreams, and concepts more clearly defined.
Of course, dreams can also be unpleasant. Although I have had many frightening or otherwise disturbing dreams, I have had only two that I consider true nightmares. In these cases the negative effects remained long after waking. Even knowing very well that they were dreams, I could not overcome them easily. One of these, which occured when I was much younger, involved a bizarre systematic murdering of my family in a science museum. It left me frightened for several days. The other, which involved feelings (not to be confused with emotions) more than concrete occurrences, disturbed me more than any waking event ever has. But these unpleasant dreams are just as intriguing as the ones that I enjoy.
I consider my interest in dreams a hobby--I don't really know what else to call it. I enjoy going back and reading the dreams that I have written down. I also enjoy hearing about other peoples' dreams that are meaningful to them or especially odd. I consider my dreams something like stories I have written, though it seems strange to take credit for them when their creation seems such a passive act.