I have kept a dream diary over the last ten years or so…
… I like to detail them immediately on waking – this is the best method as they are like gossamer & will slip quite effortlessly away otherwise. They are best captured in hand. The practice of keeping a nocturnal diary will enable a stronger retention of dreams.
What do they reveal? What do they mean? I don’t pretend to understand & that is part of their joy. The diaries are, I think, a fine habit to acquire, if only as a creative writing, handwriting exercise & documentation of the subconscious. Only several times in my life have I experienced some form of precognitive dream, but they remain locked vividly in the mind forever – a true bridge between conscious states &, I don’t know, time travel? Mostly, if deconstructed, they can be explained away as details of everyday thoughts & recent experiences or hopes or concerns – often though, they remain quite mysterious – again, the pleasure of them I suppose.
Here, in keeping with their chance like nature, I will include random ‘dippings’ into my dream diaries dating from the last decade. They are examples retrieved from handwritten volumes dated January 2008 – the present.
Each volume is accredited with an address relevant to the period & each entry dated.
One interesting feature about the dream diary I have noticed is that, despite their often (notoriously) flimsy nature, once captured, they are, upon reading, or revisiting, immediately almost always at once quite vividly remembered! Also, unlike a day-to-day journal, they are hugely entertaining (to the dreamer only, no doubt!) to revisit & often only bring joy!
Further, they are a beautiful way to stay in touch with the people & places of one’s past (& future?)
Quadrant, Mill Dam.
January 1st 2017
A man in a pinstripe suit tries to force his way into the bedroom. He carries a pinstripe carpetbag & wears a pinstripe full-face mask.
January 2nd 2017
It is a beautiful day. I am sat on the top deck of a red bus travelling up the hill toward Caterham woods. It is a place that I have never heard of. I am going to scout out some places to camp.
I notice that Danny B. is sitting near me. He says that he is on his way to the cemetery to redress his father’s gravestone. As proof of this he produces a lovely piece of pale blue cloth. The cloth has some text printed on it & I comment on the font.
The bus climbs ever higher up the hill & eventually we are passing through an ancient oak wood. The sunlight plays between the trees. We get off the bus in a village & walk to the cemetery. Danny B. says goodbye, but I decide to go with him to the cemetery, saying, “I’ve decided to take the air.”
We are now back on the village. A small boy crouches in the gutter at the side of the road. He prods the drain cover & says, “Cannabis.” He stretches the syllables out very slowly & finds this very amusing. I find it sad.
You can follow my dreams at nickreeves.blog
6 thoughts on “Dream Diaries”
I love dreams. These recordings are great little anecdotes, any more or less for knowing you I can’t be sure, but I enjoy the way they encapsulate the bizarre yet strangely logical nature of dreams in general. I am going to start recording mine down again. I thought about it last week and have been ‘remembering’ dreams on waking all week.
It’s interesting that you note sounds and colours, something some people say doesn’t happen. Mine are definitely technicolored and full of sound.
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Dream Walker, thanks! One aspect that I find interesting about recording dreams is that on returning to any given year the dream is almost immediately recalled upon reading. Never once have I read through a dream (possibly years later) & thought…’eh? What was that all about?!’ – For such tenuous & ethereal things they sure are memorable.
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I know exactly what you mean.
Your diaries I’ve read are great. I really like the concept. I take dreams quite seriously and often have noted or included them in poems or short fiction. I never really try to analyze them, as I consider dreams just a somewhat wild extension of day to day life. Your diary format treats them exactly like that. Another place where incidents and events occur. I suppose I do keep an eye out for subtle prods to look deeper. Anyway, the idea of creating a discipline around recording them is a great idea, for a number of reason’s, as you’ve mentioned. Thanks for all the inspiration today!
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