dreaming and thinking

Jet lag is weird. I feel like i’m mostly in a dreamlike state, and my dreams are so emotional right now.

I’m in East Asia right now. I left the united states of america on July 5th. The last time I was out of the country was when I was 7 years old in Europe. So it’s been 22 years.

Honestly, I was afraid to leave the States. I was even more afraid to come here. East Asia is my heritage, and I grew up hearing about it in my grandparents’ and mother’s childhoods as a place of war and danger.

Of course, the world they knew was 70 years ago. I know it is all modernized and peaceful now, with Apple stores and Samsung. But my deepest feelings aren’t rational, as your probably figured out already.

It was a long journey with many planes. In one of the layovers, I landed in my mother’s homeland. I almost cried, even if all of the land I could see through the glass airport terminal was tarmac. There was one hill, with trees on it, that i could see through the smog. I stared at it for a long time. Then i got too tired to be patriotic and curled up on a bench.

I didn’t dream for 51 hours because i was stressing and then shuffling between flights and airports and had to guard my bags, so I had a bunch of 45 minute catnaps and half-asleep states where i still could hear the intercom, etc.

By the end I was slightly hallucinating. I didn’t see anything, but I kept turning to speak to people who weren’t there. It was like I would sense people in my peripheral vision, but when I turned to speak to them, they were not there.

I was thinking–in that time, if I add up all the short catnaps, I still got like 7 hours of sleep or so. But it didn’t keep me from hallucinating. The people i kept sensing who were not there were the people I love most.

But dreams, in a way, are hallucinations. Dreams for me have always about what I (deep inside) fear most and love most. Usually much more often of what I fear than what I love. But when I do not dream, I hallucinate. So here is a thought–why do we have to hallucinate in our sleep in order to stay sane?

I know that evolutionary biologists have all their theories, but I think I can spot cheerful-theorizing-with-nothing-but-a-guess when i see it, even if it is dressed up in quasi-scientific language.

I noticed when I am going through a ‘dry’ (mildly depressed?) period of my life, all my dreams are trivial fears (not primal ones), usually involving failure at the workplace, misplaced phones and keys, elusive toilets, and social awkwardness. then during the day, I feel so empty and dry most of the time. I hate those phases of my existence, when I feel like an empty milk jug and the heavens a void. On the upside, those phases can be distracted with pleasure and hobbies and studying. They fill it up tidily, though over time the real important things deep down start tangling into a knot underneath. And this knot was tangling inside me, the past 1~2 years, and at some point it began to affect me–it was as if I saw everything through a grey angry smog that kept getting thicker around my sight.

By contrast, when my dreams are primal and emotional, I feel my inner being healing. That is what is happening now. It is as if my dreams need to be ‘deep hallucinations’ in order to restore my inner being. The deepest, irrational part of me. And oddly enough, what seems to have triggered this ‘deep dreaming’ that started this week again was–of all things–watching two intense movies—Logan and Hacksaw Ridge. 

They appear to have triggered my brain back into ‘deep dreaming’ which makes me wake up feeling like an emotional wreck, but at the same time, I feel a healing inside my irrational/deeper/inner/primal being. I feel like something that had been a tangled knot inside me for the past 1~2 years is finally starting to be untangled, to be sorted deep inside.

This ‘sorting’ I feel inside me, as if the shelves are being put in order and swept, as if my irrational being is finding meaning in the mayhem of my heart, is still an ‘in-process’ feeling. But something is happening—I feel it.

So, I’m feeling very emotional. it is as if all the colors are saturated–sorrow and beauty are intensified. Or not that they are intensified–but that I can feel them again as they really are, and not through a grey angry smog.

On that note, this makes me feel like choking up a bit: the well-wishes that some of these posters have for each-other’s well being as they struggle with their personalities. https://www.truity.com/conversation/topic-specific-emotional-complexity-issues So the internet can be full of love too.

Our world is like that. The bad does not cancel out the good, both just exist side by side, in this tangled, tangled world.

Huh, no wonder we need to hallucinate every night to sort it all out.


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