Whether the dreams are our subconscious working while we are sleeping or idealized hopes and plans for a waking future, we all have them. We all need them.
All of my life I've had incredibly vivid sleeping dreams. I remember a dream when I was maybe 5 years old.
I was walking down a path in a park. Mount Rushmore was in the distance, the heads of dead American presidents frowning down at me.
As I walked the path I could see heads lining the border between the park and the grass. These heads wear blank. They had shapes of features, eyes, noses, mouths. But other than that they were black and identical.
They looked like the styrofoam heads on which people display wigs. It's possible I saw one at my grandmother's house. She wore wigs. But I have no memory of seeing one there.
So, little me was walking down this path with giant faces frowning down upon me and the path was lined with blank. bald heads. As I walked parallel to the heads, they started wiggling from side to side. It looked like they were attempting to put their (nonexistent) ears on each (nonexistent) shoulder. First one ear to shoulder, them the next eat to shoulder. The heads all moved in perfect unison.
I woke up terrified.
I have no idea why this dream scared the shit out of me but it did.
A few years later, I lived in Germany. We had just moved there and I still hadn't learned to speak the language. I remember asking my mom how my radio which I had brought with me from the U.S. had learned to speak German so quickly.
I dreamed I was in a swamp on a raft or a canoe. (I may have been reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain)
There were trees with Spanish moss hanging from them and a man with knee-high breeches, suspenders, and an old linen shirt at one end of the canoe. He was using a pole to propel us along. He turned to me and started speaking to me in Spanish. I replied in Spanish. We held an entire conversation in Spanish.
When I woke up, I had no idea what we had been talking about. Because I don't speak Spanish.
An interesting note: my first babysitters were South American. I can no longer remember their names, but they were "Tia" and "Tio" which means Aunt and Uncle in Spanish. My mom tells me my first words were in Spanish. So apparently, I learned the language at some point. But by the time I was 9 or 10 I had no conscious memory of it.
In my dream, I could speak and understand Spanish.
I learned French starting in 7th grade. As an adult, around age 26 I was told I would talk in my sleep and it sounded French. I have no idea what I was dreaming of at that point.
In my waking life, I feel I'm living my dreams come true.
When I was very little I read some books by James Harriet, a country veterinarian, and surgeon. There were several books in the series which was also the basis for a BBC television show. He inspired me to want to care for animals.
And of course, the famous Dr. Dolittle, who could speak to animals and understand them was also one of my heroes.
My walking dream was to be just like them.
And here I am, living on a tiny ranch in Texas, surrounded by animals who often need veterinary care which I can provide for them. I understand them in ways many people can't.
I also dreamed of being an artist. Painting and creating and just everything that goes along with it. I do this. Not daily, but at least monthly.
I've been "writing" since before I knew how to read. I'd tell my mom stories and she would transcribe them on a typewriter and I would illustrate them. I dreamed of being a "real" writer when I grew up.
And now I'm a professional writer, earning a bit of money for every word I put down.
I'm even working on a couple of novels.
My life doesn't look exactly like the movies behind my eyelids, but it's pretty close.
Unfortunately, my sleeping dreams can be vivid and ugly, too. I have a lot of nightmares. I take medication to help stop the terror my subconscious inflicts on me. Medicated, I no longer shout, scream, and physically lash out. I've bruised my knuckles so many times punching a wall or a headboard. I've elbowed and kicked my husband. I've "hit" him in the face (not sure if it's was with a closed fist or open fist) in my sleep.
Thankfully, medication helps. I only become loud and physical in times of extreme stress.
This week's writing prompt is Dreams. If you would like to join in, the rules are simple.
Write anything on Dreams
Write 100% original content
Write at least 600 words to please Rusty
Join and submit your stories to PromptlyJonica
A few notes before I release your imagination into the wild.
There are no time limits or deadlines imposed. You may write on any prompt anytime forever. For your convenience, I've included all the writing prompts linked and in order here.
It is the responsibility of the writer to ensure there is no plagiarism
Please keep religion to a minimum. Testifying and evangelizing is more appropriate to a spiritual community.
Please be generous to your fellow community members. Consider sponsoring writers whose stories you like. Consider giving a small tip to any comments you get under your story. Consider tipping the story you like at least 5 cents. Everybody here is trying to make a living. What comes around goes around. If you are generous with your tips, people will be generous with theirs.
Lead and first image: Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash
Dreams: 600 words GO!