After each of my children was born, there was a stretch of time that I didn’t sleep soundly enough to dream. With a wake-up call every 3 hours or so, my subconscious never had the chance to go crazy. But I welcomed that dreaming sleep with open arms when it did come. I love to dream, as long as it’s pleasant. And my dreams are vivid and amazingly wild things that make for good conversation over coffee the next morning as I try to figure out just what it all means. But lately my dreams have been even more over the top than usual. And they’ve been dark, long, haunting, stick-with-you kinds of tales. Not nightmares exactly, but unsettling enough to disrupt my sleep, wake me up, and leave me wondering what happened.
Last week, I dreamed I lived in a huge and sprawling castle. It was dark and wet and cold. And one night while I was sleeping (yes, I dream about sleep a lot lately) in a narrow, straw bed, I was kidnapped by some kind of spirit who lead me through the tangle of castle hallways until I was somewhere I didn’t recognize that was filled with giant-sized alligators. I had to swing above the snapping jaws on ropes that hung from the ceiling while I tried to find my way back. It felt like days, but by the time I did make my way back to the straw bed and the familiar part of the castle, years had passed, and that’s when I woke up.
In another dream, I worked in a fried seafood restaurant at the aquarium. (This sounds totally strange to me too.) The aquarium was always busy, to the point that they’d set up barriers so you had to stay in line through each exhibit and move like cattle around the fish tanks. People from my distant past kept coming to visit, but because of the lines, they couldn’t stop to give hugs for say hello, so I was always waving good bye and wishing I could stop the tours. I lost my waitress job because my boss said there was no more work at the end of the season. And that’s when I started dating a fellow server who doubled as a drummer in a rock band. The rest of the dream was spent laying and sleeping (again) in grassy fields around the aquarium, and as time passed my boyfriend gradually became less attractive. His dark, spiked hair grew long, stringy, and uneven; he got pimples and gained a lot of weight while he complained about losing his job. And that was enough to wake me up.
I know you can’t control what you dream. But wouldn’t it be amazing if you could? And do dreams really have hidden meanings? What do these dreams mean? I’m going to look into it, and I’ll let you know what I come up with.