I am seeing the word "Dream" in articles a lot recently. It's a word with a lot of different meanings and connotations. Sometimes it's a positive, other times a negative. On the one hand we are encouraged to "Dream Big" and to balance that we are warned against having unrealistic dreams. Sometimes we wake in the night after having a bad dream. Other times, we wake refreshed in the morning feeling absolutely renewed from having an especially good dream.
The film "Pretty Woman" opened with a man saying, "Welcome to Hollywood. What's your dream?". But Hollywood itself has been accused of shattering many a persons dreams. As beautiful as a dream can be there truly is the other side. Crushed dreams, shattered dreams, broken dreams, nightmares, dream killers.....all very bad.
There are a lot of songs with the word, "Dream" in the title: "Dream On" by Aerosmith, "Dream a little Dream of me" originally by Ozzie Nelson, "Sweet Dreams (are made of) by Marilyn Manson, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day and "All I have to do is Dream" by the Everly Brothers......just to dip a toe into the song title realm.
Movies use the word, or a derivation thereof, a lot too: "Mr. Blandings builds his Dream Home" with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, "Nightmare on Elm St, numbers1 through at least a zillion by now" nightmares being the other side of a dream, "The Dream Team' with Michael Keaton, a zillion or so versions of Shakespeare's, "Midsummer Night's Dream" or how about the teen flick, "Dream a little dream of me" with the Coreys (Feldman and Haim).
As for TV Shows: "I Dream of Jeanie" is honestly the only one I can think of and I won't even get started on book titles. Suffice it to say that the concept of Dreams or Dreaming is important to us. So important in fact, that there is something called, "The American Dream". It is not ambiguous. When you say that phrase, almost everyone in the world knows exactlywhat you are talking about. It's not just a nationally understood concept, it's global.
Some cultures put great stock in dreams. All the way back to 5,000 BC in Mesopotamia. There archeaologists have found a book believed to be the first book about the meaning of dreams. In ancient Sumaria, there were Dream Priests whose job was to interpret people's dreams. Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome also believed in the prophetic nature of dreams.
Some Native Americans believed so strongly in the importance of dreams that they decorated their homes with Dream Catchers which were meant to filter out the bad dreams and only allow the good dreams through. Having visions and dreams, to some of these Native Americans meant that the dreamer was in touch with a higher form of reality and that dreams and visions were a doorway, so to speak, to a wider awareness.
Dreams are fascinating. There are countless books that claim to help us interpret our dreams, much as the ancients did. Secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, some people still believe very strongly that their dreams have deep meanings and even prophetic powers. Edgar Cayce, also known as the Sleeping Prophet, was believed by millions to be a clairvoyant who solved problems, predicted the future and answered questions while asleep.
While I do not subscribe to that particular fancy myself, I do find the concept of dreams and dreaming to be very interesting. So interesting in fact, that years ago I took a class on the "Psychology of Dreams". It was fascinating. The first and most important thing that I learned was that the dream belongs to the dreamer. Which means that a dream means whatever the dreamer believes that it does. Never mind that scientifically, dreaming is mostly just your subconscious sorting out all the dribs and drabs of information your brain has collected.
We are constantly bombarded with information throughout our day, it's almost a sensory overload and it's just too much to fully appreciate and review while we are awake and busy in our workaday lives. So while we are asleep and our brain isn't busy doing other things, it has the time to go through all the piles and kind of clean house. I suspect that is why a lot of dreams make no sense at all. It's just flotsam and jetsam. It's not supposed to make sense. A lot like the junk drawer in the kitchen.
But other times, suddenly something that was very confusing makes perfect sense. That's because so much information came in so quickly, that the dreamer didn't have time to fully process it during the busy day. But at night, while sleeping, all of the unimportant things are separated from the far more important bits and taadaa! A solution to the problem is presented! Voila! It's not magic. You always had all of the information that you needed to find the answer, your mind just needed some chill time to follow the clues.
It's kind of funny because I have all of this information, I am aware of all of these (and many more) related things about dreams and dreaming and yet...and yet...and yet! I almost never remember my own dreams. Bizarre.
Sometimes I wake up knowing that I have dreamed but I have no idea what it was about or even the sort of dream it was . Good? Bad? Meh? I have no idea. I do recall that as a child I had dreams. In fact, as a child I had terrible nightmares. Often. In fact, I had one very detailed recurring nightmare for years. I know that I had dreams in highschool. Before school started sometimes my friends and I would walk around talking about what we had dreamed the night before. And then, one day, suddenly, I realized that it had been literally years since I remembered any dream. Which is bizarre.
At first I suspected that it was because I wasn't spending enough time in REM sleep. It was, at one time, suspected, that REM sleep was necessary to achieve a dream-state. But science has since disproved that. True I don't get a lot of sleep. As a life long insomniac I suppose it would make sense that to dream, first one must sleep. And of course I do sleep. Here and there, now and again in fits and starts, bits and pieces. So obviously, I do dream.
I just Very rarely remember those dreams. And I find that incredibly odd. But I'm not alone. There are enough people, like me, who don't recall their dreams that scientists are intrigued and do studies on it, trying to determine why that would be. To date, they have theories galore, but nothing that they can be certain about. So hmmm. No answers there. They do all agree however, that day dreaming is quite important.
I suppose I suppose it doesn't matter whether or not I remember my night dreams. The important part is that I have the other kind of dreams. Big dreams. Day Dreams, Life dreams. And most of mine have been realized. I am very fortunate and I am grateful.
It is essential to have dreams, goals, wishes. It is absolutely vital to have something to work toward, something to fight for, something to grab onto when it feels like everything else is slipping away. I think you have to be very brave to hang on tightly to a dream and I also think that bravery is eventually rewarded.
Have big dreams, my friends and never stop.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.