Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Three Dreams

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  • linger,

    if I fell right, I’d never hit the ground.

    brings to mind Douglas Adams' definition of the secret of flying -- "throw yourself at the ground and miss".

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • James Dunne,

    There is something oddly gratifying about waking up from a dream - whether pleasant, frightening or just baffling - thinking 'where the hell did that come from?' and then realising what your subconscious was getting at - whether that's just reprocessing recent events or something a bit deeper and more symbolic.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Dunne,

    and then realising what your subconscious was getting at

    Yes. For me it's not like it happens often – like most people, I generally forget my dreams on waking – but when it does it's "Oh, right. I see what you're saying there."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Scott G,

    I have the same recurring flying dream, Russell. It feels like a mix of gliding and swimming. Being able to jump off things and glide or being able to kind of swim upwards in the air. Quite pleasant, they're always fun dreams to have.
    The other recurring dream is being on-stage with a band and being totally unprepared. Anxiety dream I guess.

    Since Mar 2016 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Meta Morpheus...

    It’s really just exercising social noise.

    or 'exorcising' in many cases...

    I always find the light in dreams good evidence that photons don't have mass...

    ...and the detail, oh. the detail - sometimes I wake up drained from the processing that must go on - my poor 'wetware' morphed into 'whetware' as everything gets super sharper!

    I too have a recurring childhood flying dream - running around the grass quadrangle at Sydenham school, when I trip and just pivot at the hips and fly around the 'jungle gym' and the four trees and up to view the playground, school, Sydenham and then all of Christchurch - very exhilarating...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    I too have had recurring flying dreams. As a teenager I had a series of falling nightmares that would wake me with my heart pounding in my chest, that got more terrifying, and more numerous, until one day, after falling off the Harbour Bridge, just before hitting the water, within my dream, I thought, "This must be a dream". I had one further such dream, and as I fell off the roof of the garage, I thought "No worries - this is just a dream", and woke up calm and relaxed.

    Didn't have falling dreams again for many years. But when they did restart, I found I could control my fall, and then turn it into flying. In later dreams I didn't need a fall to get started, if I went about it carefully, I could gently take off from the ground. The weird thing is that within my dream I feel like I have to concentrate on my flying, because if I don't do it just right, I'll fall. But in actual fact, I think I am trying very hard to not think "this is a dream" because if I do I wake up and I'd rather continue flying.

    I used to have another recurring nightmarish ending to dreams, by being swept off a beach by a ginormous wave. Haven't had that one for decades now (as far as I can remember).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    After my mum died, one of her friends got in touch to tell me she'd dreamed about Mum, and how wonderful it was, and I actually felt quite upset that I hadn't. Months later, I finally did dream about her for the first time since she died. I'd just given birth to twins, and she was telling me I must, urgently, go to Briscoes, because they had a sale on.

    My subconscious is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a total arsehole.

    I have never, ever had the Flying Dream. Starting to wonder if that's unusual.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I have never, ever had the Flying Dream. Starting to wonder if that’s unusual.

    I don't know. I'm quite surprised by how many people have something similar to mine.

    Do y'all have the remembered-as-real thing?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Haven’t had that one for decades now (as far as I can remember).

    The Last Wave is available on YouTube - combines both dreams and waves (brilliantly) without leaving the lounge - aaaahhh, the modern world, wake me when it's over!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Do y'all have the remembered-as-real thing?

    Yup, on a number of occasions. I've had falling dreams, but very few flying dreams. I think I always know, in the back of my dream, that I'm dreaming and sometimes use that to wake up, before I hit the ground.

    I've more recently had dreams that are like watching a movie. Last night I got attacked by amphibious weasels which was very weird, and a storyline that seemed familiar even as it happened, like I knew what was coming next. I blame the meds.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Do y’all have the remembered-as-real thing?

    I've spent hours looking for (or worrying about) things that I finally realise only occurred in a dream - or is it vice versa?

    lucid ditty...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Emma Hart,

    My subconscious is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a total arsehole.

    Yeah, not cool, Emma's subconscious.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    My flying dream is often a frustrating one where I can never quite get enough altitude and end up skimming along just above ground level or worse gaining enough height to make power lines a real issue.

    Also I apparently often fly naked, which is embarrassing when you're flying at knee height through the school.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    When I was about six years old I used to have regular flying dreams whenever I stayed at my Nana's house. It became so commonplace I began to look forward to it every time I went to bed. It was a very gentle and pleasant experience, quite "out of body". I would lift off and fly around my neighbourhood, down the road to the school and generally tour the area. Thinking about it invokes some great memories and from the replies here, it sounds like it's a common experience.

    In my early 20s I experimented with lucid dreaming where you try to set up the dream in advance. I never had much success.

    These days I hardly ever recall dreams so it's hard to know whether they actually happen or I just don't remember them.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1381 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    In my early 20s I experimented with lucid dreaming where you try to set up the dream in advance. I never had much success.

    Different thing, but two or three times I've woken up to go for a pee, come back to bed and thought "I liked that dream" and been able to go back into it. That was cool.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Different thing, but two or three times I've woken up to go for a pee, come back to bed and thought "I liked that dream" and been able to go back into it.

    I always know it's time to wake up and go for a pee because I start peeing into all sorts of cavities because there's never a toilet.

    Okay, that might just be the weirdest thing I've ever typed on PAS...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Now that the rains have arrived, I had a dream we ran out of water. Must be polar anxiety. I sometimes get a sence of pending goodness at the start of the day.

    A good inventors trick is to work on a problem all day then set yourself up to be woken just as you drift off to sleep. That can bring on an aha moment, according to Edison – who was actually a bit of a prick toward Tesla by the way.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Alfie,

    In my early 20s I experimented with lucid dreaming where you try to set up the dream in advance.

    A very long time ago, so long ago that I'm confident that no-one's privacy will be breached by repeating this anecdote, I knew a gentle hippie who dabbled in such things. The books he'd gathered on the subject dealt with concepts like the "astral body", and the belief that it left the physical body and traveled about during the hours of sleep. With the right "lucid dreaming" practices one could advance to being conscious throughout the astral bod's excursions, and retain a memory of its adventures.

    All of this was taken very much on the patient faith that, unless one was especially gifted in the art of astral travel, it might take years of practice to deliver results. Then the guy's brother, who happened to be a hell's angel, moved in. He'd suffered a broken leg in a motorcycle crash and needed to lie low, as certain people had some kind of score to settle with him, and wouldn't hesitate to take advantage of his vulnerable state.

    Stuck for something to do during his enforced convalescence he took to reading his brother's material on out of the body experiences. According to his brother, he gave the technique a go while home alone one afternoon, and found himself transported to the next room. The sudden sight of his pallid presumably astral reflection in a wardrobe mirror shocked him into returning to his body, and he swore off astral traveling for life.

    Telling me this, my friend added that his brother had become a much nicer person since he'd broken his leg. Thinking about it later it occurred to me that I could have suggested that he break his other leg just to see what would happen, but I'm glad I didn't. As it turned out the guy found the Lord a year or so later and I've not seen him since.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I think the floating/flying dream is quite common but everyone has their own so all good. Dreams are personal, thanks for opening up about yours
    Paul Butterfield does a dreamy song, this one

    With sublime soprano sax solo by the great Dave Sanborn

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    When I played waterpolo a lot, I had a frequent dream of being able to "eggbeater" (tread water without using hands) so efficiently that I could almost walk on the water. It wasn't really that much of a progression to treading air with powerful strokes.

    In my early 20s I experimented with lucid dreaming where you try to set up the dream in advance. I never had much success.

    I also tried this. I put my lasting insomnia down to it. The habit of checking whether you are asleep might be great for causing waking dreams, but it's even better for causing you to have trouble letting go of your conscious, which is what sleeping is mostly about. The few times I did have lucid dreams, I didn't think they were worth the trouble. And I've heard that it's quite possible to have particularly unpleasant experiences of bodily paralysis when doing this, the "night watchman syndrome". I've had something like it once, and it was really not nice. Sleeping causes some kind of muscle control suppression, and being "awake" when that happens can be quite frightening.

    Different thing, but two or three times I've woken up to go for a pee, come back to bed and thought "I liked that dream" and been able to go back into it. That was cool.

    Not so cool is thinking you've woken up to go for a pee, and finding out that you haven't actually woken up, or gotten up, at all. Fortunately that's only happened to me once, when I was about 8. But yes, finding your way back to a good dream is something I can definitely do. Mostly in the morning. It's part of why I value my morning sleep ins so much.

    These days I hardly ever recall dreams so it's hard to know whether they actually happen or I just don't remember them.

    I'd bet you are having them, and just not remembering. Experiments have been done on people about this, and dreaming is strongly associated with REM states, which are very much common. People who think they don't dream are woken during REM, and find that they were dreaming. And people who have been denied REM have suffered terrible side effects. It seems to be quite vital to us to sometimes dream.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    Attachment

    A couple of years ago I was in Kaiaua on the Miranda coast, and spotted this ghoulish head built into the climbing wall of the playground.

    I had this immediate flashback to the one recurring nightmare I remember from childhood.

    Around the age of 11 we moved into a house on the clifftop in Whakatane, which we knew to be adjacent to, and partly on, an old pa site. I’m still investigating the history of this, as it has become more and more of interest, but in brief up until the early 1800s it was home to many chiefs of Ngāti Awa, most notably Te Papaka, for which the site is named. Papaka meaning crab, after the way the chief was said to walk.

    In 1866 the land was confiscated by the crown, and when Te Kooti started raiding the district in 1868, the constabulary built a redoubt on the site to use as a look out.

    As an adventurous 11 year old, I would run out the front of our house, across the lawn and through the fennel, over what I now know to be the location of the pa, and later the lookout platform used by the constabulary, to the edge of the cliff, and sometimes over it.

    So to the dream.

    It was a dark and stormy night… wait that’s Peanuts.

    It was dark. So dark you couldn’t see shapes, only feel fear. I’m being chased across the lawn and through the fennel. I have no idea what is behind me, but as we come onto the headland there is a building without walls, that has multiple staircases going up, and around, and up, running away from this unknown terrifying goddamn thing, up and up…

    … then I’d wake up.

    This went on for a couple of weeks, as I recall until one night, after being chased in terror to what seemed to be the top of the building, there were no more stairs. Running to the edge I had to decide whether to jump into the abyss, or turn and face (oh god) the thing. Which I did. It looked like the disembodied head above, more or less.

    I stopped having the nightmare after that. Although I’m still a little bit afraid of the dark.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream.*

    *Poe's law.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    There are various lists of common recurring dreams around the interweb.

    Some are:

    Flying
    Falling
    Being Chased
    Trapped/Can’t move [see also sleep paralysis]
    Naked
    Lost/Unprepared
    Teeth falling out
    Can’t find the toilet
    Drowning
    Discovering new rooms in a house
    Losing control of a vehicle [see xkcd]

    I have flying dreams quite often but the flying’s usually strenuous – like treading water to stay aloft, as Ben says. I’m often afraid of hitting buildings (so much that I have developed a technique in the dream of shutting my eyes and visualising looking down at the building from above – it always works!)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I have a terrifying recurring dream of being the house of I grew up in and looking out the window and seeing the garden in flames.

    Recently I told this to my sister, who said, “You know Dad used to have bonfires in the evening to burn garden rubbish? It would have been when you were going to sleep.”

    When she said that, I realised that the smell of smoke and the terrifying crackling sound of fire were remembered, not imagined. I haven’t had that dream since.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Do y’all have the remembered-as-real thing?

    and

    I always know it's time to wake up and go for a pee because I start peeing into all sorts of cavities because there's never a toilet.

    Most realistic dream I have ever had nested this two levels deep.
    [In the dream] I started peeing and stopped just in time because I remembered I was asleep and had to wake up and go to the loo. So I woke up [in the dream] and went to the loo and did my business, and then before I had returned to the bed I really did wake up - fortunately the very realistic micturation had only been part of the (outer) dream! It took a while to get back to sleep after that little escapade.

    Okay, that might just be the weirdest thing I've ever typed on PAS...

    Er, definitely!

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

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