Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dream Diary 2

I'm thinking of starting a dream diary again.  I kept one from December 1993 through January 1996 because I was curious about what sorts of things I was dreaming.  For over two years I kept the record and discovered some interesting things:  That dreams are seasonal, like weather.  That I have my own dream-city, a rambling and shambling thing with good bus service, at least one river, and many bridges.  (It has a water bus service called the Women's Line, which was the invention of Victorian feminists and cannot be used by men, and a used book store so crammed and labyrinthine that it would be closed instantly in the real world as a fire hazard.)  That dreams are often mixed- and multi-media, and not all of those media exist in waking life.  And so on. 

After two years and change, I read the diary for the first time.  Then, my curiosity satisfied, I stopped.

The better bits of the dream diary were published as Lord Vacant on the Boulevard of Naked Angels.  You can find it here.

Anyway, last night I had a dream I found evocative enough to tempt me to begin the project anew.  I present it here:

I dreamed I was in a modern city that sprawled across the side of a mountain.  Somewhere most of the way up the mountain, I climbed up the side and across the top of an enormous white marble building.  It was built in the shape of a naked woman, lying on her back but just beginning to rose up on her elbows, so that she was half-sitting.  Her face was vast and placid and unreadable, as is the case with most neo-classical monumental statuary.

I started climbing at the fluted jamb of the front entrance, and then strolled up the abdomen and belly.  Climbing again, I made my way up the torso to the building's left breast.  There I paused.  I sat down spraddle-legged just above the nipple, and looked out over the city.

The view was magnificent.



SpeakerToManagers said...

I mean no disrespect to your dreams, but that line in your diary about accidentally witnessing the assassination of Forrest Gump was hilarious. Has your subconscious ever done standup?

Dreams are bizarre experiences, I must agree. I've been a software engineer for almost 30 years and I never had a dream about the subject before taking medication for ADD, starting about 4 years ago. Since then my dreams have almost all been about programs and algorithms. In some of those dreams I am an algorithm. And in several dreams I've actually solved real programming problems. But no dreams about going to exams without having studied the subject, so something good has come out of it.

By the way, what did people dream about before there were exams?

Michael Swanwick said...

The dream about being an algorithm is a classic. If Einstein had been a programmer, that would have been his sort of thing.

Now that I'm getting on in years, the incidence of dreams about going into a final exam and realizing I haven't attended any of the classes has reduced itself to three or four a year. Instead, I have recurrent dreams about suddenly realizing that I'm naked in public. But -- and this may stem from the fact that I have no stage fright whatsoever -- in them, that realization invariably prompts me to say, "This is just like those dreams in which you realize you're naked -- and it doesn't bother me in THEM either!"