Last Night’s Daydreams and New Morning’s Nightmares

by on December 16th, 2005

Sometimes around 11 PM one lapses into the bed, swerves towards the left, gently hitting the big toe of the right foot against the wall, gliding back, ducking ones thighs and extremities under the layers of bed sheets: bed sheets of many colors, many hues, many contexts: solid gray, teal, cocoa brown, black, playboy, sponge bob. Depends on the individual, naturally.

Cocooned in this shelter, in this fabric embrace, one lives out silently: one gazes, fixating at the ceiling; at fabrications of reality and the reality of fabrications. One inventories the tasks of the day in thematical order, mincing each strand, each subtlety into something meaningful, discarding the meaningless, investigating slights, celebrating successes, one cascades into the lap of the late night, around midnight, one starts to daydream.

Daydreams that reveal halcyon visions, emblazoning prospects into symbolic archetypes, anthropomorphic animals ferreting out into the wild, cliffs descending into sprawling valleys, green cascading into gray, blue-yellow skies, faces, girls/boys, erotic ambitions, salacious enterprises, yearnings, blessings, the Godhead, pudding.

Dr. Jung woke up somewhere in Austria, maybe Switzerland and realized, “In sleep, fantasy takes the form of dreams. But in waking life, too, we continue to dream beneath the threshold of consciousness, especially when under the influence of repressed or other unconscious complexes.” Problems of Modern Psychotherapy” (1929). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. pg. 125

Sleep: this paradoxical, perplexing, ponderous, penetrating, pungent, pernicious, peaceful phenomena; Sleep: this mesmerizing miasma, this phantom of our shadows, our immortal counterpart; to our living nightmares a slumber’s secure alternative, of course not all types of sleep produces daydreams. But sleep, the night, the dark, is where solicitude rests, and caresses, sustains, perseveres, and nurtures us with its therapeutic touch.

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th. Consecutive daydreamer of the Republic reckoned,”We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”

He needed his dreams, juggling between the concept of United Nations, the 14 points, the 1st. Great War, and his own personal issues: in the daylight of nightmares, he found great inspiration in his repose. Profound. Precise. Perfect.

Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed..” thus he went on blending into History. He was shot within a few years.

An Honors College student at Drexel University’s prestigious Engineering Department says, his greatest nightmare is “getting shot…dying”. He doesn’t want to leave behind his dear ones, especially his dear one to the unbecoming fate, to the fate of an unbecoming lover. He is married.

He is usually being chased, chased by a large group of people he does not know. Then he goes..he like..locks himself up in some room, but he can’t…then he wakes up!: says Peter who studies Information Systems and is a member of the Pennoni Honors College. Peter has unkempt brown-blonde hair, rectangular spectacles, and an introspective face that reveals nothing, by saying nothing, and thinking about everything, attempting to ignore yet not.

A 21 year old male, also bespectacled and introspective, of Greek-Armenian Heritage reveals that he “does not remember his last nightmare” he adds, an Economist, correcting me on the phonetics of that word, “the stress” he added; he went on that he “cannot remember with absolute precision the time or the subject.”

“My nightmares do not have a consistent theme. They vary” adds Babur, a dignified Pakistani-American who arrived dressed in a suit, a matching tie, and pressed trousers.

Eva says, the only one she ever remembers is when she was on a flight back from Europe, well, it was after the flight, and there was turbulence, so then she had a dream about the plane crashing. Eva is Bulgarian.

“Hmm… interesting” says Edoardo. “I don’t normally have typical nightmares, the kind that make you wake up in your sleep in cold sweat. Most of my nightmares revolve around stressful situations between me and those I care about.”

From the greatest of men, stalwart visionaries; to the most humble undergraduate students, existence is an ever present dreamland and an effervescent one, as in these dreams, nightmares and daydreams, reality is made, remade; done, undone; created, recreated; harnessed, hewn.

This process symbolizes a peculiar cosmic integration, beyond the partitions of light and darkness, where experience is derived through multiple dimensions, resized, refitted, reformatted, and rewired through the carnal and the astral aspects of human existence to give some meaning to a life beyond life within life, an universality and a shared essence to individuals as diverse the Greek-Armenian Economist who doesn’t remember them with ‘absolute precision’, to the Bulgarian Eva whose plane crashed her into a new morning.

Waking she realized, she was, after all still in her bed sheets, draped in that familiar color, the comfort of its feathery warmth, her frame underneath, her big toe, half cold and half warming, cajoling herself into the new day, her insecurities, her fears, that are not only hers, but also Edoardo’s, Babur’s, and Peter’s; they slowly melt into the activities of the new day as a resolution.

In the unconscious scrutiny, in the sublimation of our drives, in the condensation of our carnal energies, dreams become the clouds that pass over the ceiling of our existence, ushering in raindrops, and predicting the course for sunshine.

Therefore, let us believe that it is in our daydreams that our darkness is revealed, and it is in our nightmares our virtues realized.

In the integration of dreams and existence we behold in profound awe the ethereal and sinuous craft of mankind and the ambition of his creator.

Alexander Rai