Upon waking each morning, I drift to consciousness to the sounds of the morning news playing in my bedroom as my wife gets ready. Slipping in and out of wakefulness, I pull on the threads of my dreams and wonder what journey I travelled through during the night. It always amazes me that my dreams, those that I can dig out of my limited sleep memory, are more akin to full Technicolor movies than disjointed images. They say that dreams are the brain’s way of dealing with issues that the conscious mind cannot deal with. Other ideas are based around the need for the human brain to rest and it entertains itself by giving it something to do while it rebuilds the body after a day of stimulus. Whatever the cause, I can honestly say my dreams can be something of an epic story.
Unlike other people I know who long for the peace of sleep; I am not one that is easily drawn to sleep. I fight turning the light off and giving myself over to the blissful silence of the darkened room. It is partially due to the desire to experience life as much as I can. Looking back, the comment must have been made at an early age that “I will sleep when I am dead”. Not that I actually buy into that line of thinking, but it makes for a quick quip when someone chastises me about only sleeping five hours a night. There are so many things I want to do and it can’t be too much of a cliché if it is true. I need more than twenty-four hours a day to do all that I want to do.
There is also the pleasure of the silent house after everyone goes to bed. The darkness folds around each dark corner, breeding thoughts and potential horrors that only the mind can imagine. Read enough stories of paranormal beings haunting an unsuspecting protagonist and even the sturdiest of minds will get lost in the slightest creak or shift beyond the reach of the dim lamps. A few might say this is why I don’t sleep much but I have to admit, there are few things that excite me more than the imagination of what might be in the shadows. Walking through a dark house, how many of you let your imagination cause your heart to pound in your chest, your pace quicken as you almost sprint to the edge of the light? The feeling you get when you walk through a darkened room and almost experience the reach of a hand brushing past you from the dark can be exhilarating. Just when you think that you will make it to the safety of the lamp’s luminosity, the air conditioner kicks on with a rattle, breaking your resolve. Once in the light, your heart pounding, you laugh at the grown person still jumping at dark and its nefarious possibilities.
This fear drifts over into our dreams and produces the tendrils that grip us in our sleep. Think back to when you are startled awake in the middle of the night, brought out of your deeper sleep and remembering the flashes of your dreams. At that moment, the veil of dream and reality are blurred, mingling together to reveal what is truly hidden in the dark, or what our mind creates to explain its fears. This is the moment that we gasp, heart pounding, and sit up in bed searching for what brought us awake. When nothing is discovered, our head falling down to the pillow, our mind starts creating explanations. Changing the dreams we are captive in to reflect the terror that courses through our now active bloodstream, we fold back into sleep.
In the morning light, the news anchors cheerfully spew out stories about death, fires, and the continued uncomfortable weather as I pull at the threads of my dreams. Fading back into sleep, in search of that movie like dream causes so many emotions in me throughout the night only to stumble through darkness without any hope of finding it. I search it out as I know that if the images could only stay with me a little longer; I would be able to write them down, sharing them with others to give life to more dreams. Abandoning my futile quest, I begrudgingly embrace the day and give up hopes on the elusive story. The rest of the day will bring brief flashes of my terror, taunting me of what is to come when I again sleep. One of these days, I will catch it and give it life in the world for others, until that day, I am forever chasing my dream.
Until next time…