Usually I have anxiety dreams about missed deadlines or angry superiors or failed quests–which are as dull as they are stressful–or nonsensical or trippy dreams (floating through green jello, etc) that aren’t even worth remembering. And then the occasional nightmare, where people I love and trust morph into new personalities. But one thing about them all is that it is a smaller world than the real world, something that is less alive, less vivid, than the waking world.
But then there are the very rare, but vivid dreams, that come out of nowhere, that feel “more real” than the waking world, and almost seem like they mean something. A couple nights ago I had a nightmare, that there was another world, which people from our world could get into. It was a physically beautiful place — snow-capped mountain ranges, bright sunlight, skiiing and a big state-of-the-art library for studying. I think there were gardens and modern fountains too. People could go there just by standing under one of the “gates” between our world and that place–I think there were 7 or 4 of them–which was just a location, you would stand there, and turn your palms towards the sky, and lift your ribcage upwards as you tilted your head back–as if opening yourself up towards something–and then there would be a dizzying woosh, and poof, you’d be in the other place.
Alot of people went to the other place–and one of my old friends (just in the dream) with a wife and kids went to the other place. But he didn’t come back, and they had been waiting for 4 years. He wasn’t the first, there were many people in the other place. I decided to go there, give them a good kick in the pants, and get them back to this world. Their kids were growing up without them.
So I opened myself up at the gates, and wooshed into the other world. It was a beautiful place…and yet, something about it felt very small, constricted, stuffy. I had this feeling that from the outside, this was just a dusty speck. I had fallen into something, something that was closing in. I was in no pain, but it was as if I wasn’t breathing. As if the wind was dead there (though air moved), and as if water wasn’t truly wet. I walked into the library (nicely lit, a pleasant place) and saw some intellectuals studying, I recognized someone I knew, a family man. He did not notice me. People here didn’t really speak to eachother, not that they couldn’t, but….
They’d all just come for a couple weeks, at the longest. But they’d stayed a bit longer, just a bit longer. They’d forgotten how long. There was no rush, no reason to go back at the moment, not just now, maybe in a bit….
I was trying to round up people, but wasn’t making any progress.
Everything looked so pretty and clean and neat. But something about it all was horrible. Not in a dramatic way. There was this sense of growing closed-off-ness, no wind, of something imperceptibly shrinking and shrinking. I realized it was myself. My sense of urgency, of getting back to earth, was shrinking down. Why leave this place? Not that I was crazy about it, but it all didn’t seem to matter one way or another….
The gates are closing. Something in me said that. I climbed up the white mountain range, and saw the flicker of the sky–this gate was still open. I must get the people, I must get out…. but even that seemed distant and odd now. I realized, very matter-of-factly, that the longer I stayed, the more I wouldn’t ever bother leaving. I was forgetting already. Something in me shuddered, but it felt so distant…
==============ok, end of dream=====================
It was one of the most terrifying dreams I had, but it doesn’t sound like it now, huh? Weird.
And then I had another dream tonight. There was this man and this woman, they had four kids. They were from a very low socioeconomic background, had very little education, and a somewhat chaotic amoral/social formation. They were not brave or proud people, they just tried to make do. Either the government or the gang was coming after the man, so the woman was telling him to run and start over in another city. They were done. He was very rough (tattoos, broken teeth, foul language), but something in him was vulnerable and confused. He was telling her that he didn’t want it to be over for them, he wanted her and the kids to go with him, they would go to the mountains. She said how would they live, and he said he’d find a way somehow (though he hadn’t been much of a financial provider to this point).
They were both very ugly, and yet there was something there, dearly precious, that made my chest ache. I don’t know if beautiful is the right word. I wanted so badly for it to work for them, it would be worth the whole price of the universe if it could. And then they disappeared, and I was standing in a huge bazaar full of people. I couldn’t find them, and I didn’t know what had happened–if he had just gone back to being the mess he had been before, or if the gang had got him, or if she’d started living with the other men, or if they’d tried to make it to the mountains after all. This weird mix of fear and pain, and sweetness too, was all mixed up in my heart, making it feel both heavy and full.