Monday, July 27, 2015

Common Dream Themes

I'm sure this happens to everyone, but hardly anyone ever really talks about it.  Some types of dreams or themes within them tend to be more common than others.  I'm going to cover what I personally experience.


For some reason, elevators are a really common occurrence in my dreams.  Usually, unexpected things happen in them, like the buttons looking or acting really weird, the buttons not being there at all, or the building suddenly having way more floors than it previously had.  Sometimes the elevator just does whatever it wants.  Sometimes the building has lots of basement floors.  Sometimes the elevator car is a cylinder rather than a rectangular prism.  When it's a cylinder, it also has a chance of falling.  When they fall, weird things happen, such as bouncing back up off the bottom of the shaft, or the elevator car suddenly rotating in ways that it shouldn't normally be able to.  Hardly ever am I in an elevator with someone else in a dream.

One of my first recurring dreams, that I had as a kid (in elementary school), actually involved a strange elevator that I'd never noticed before in our old house.


I'm fairly certain this is a common theme for a lot of people.  I can often hover in my dreams.  It's not flight, I'll just be moving close to the ground at walking speed, but not actually be touching the ground.  Usually, the people around me can't hover, and don't think it's weird that I'm hovering.  Maybe they don't even notice.

Things that weren't there before

As I mentioned in the elevators section, this happened in one of my first recurring dreams.  More recently, I'll be upstairs, and go downstairs to find that my dad has suddenly and without warning obtained a bunch of stuff.  This most recent time (last night, actually), it was a bunch of old game consoles and games for them.  Except that none of the consoles looked like they should have, and none of the games were recognizable titles (except for one case where he had all three Donkey Kong Country SNES games).

Not being able to punch with any kind of force

This might also be a common theme for some people, and in particular is one of the things you can use to recognize that you're dreaming, while it's happening.  Sometimes I'll just want to punch people in a dream, it seems.  Kind of like in real life, but without the consequences that cause me to avoid doing it.  Except in my dreams, the force behind each punch disappears mere inches from my target.

Driving a car, but not being in control

This is different from reckless driving.  This is more along the lines of "no matter how hard I hit the brakes the car doesn't slow down in time".  Also, sometimes the steering doesn't work right in my dreams, or it's a manual transmission and that's doomed from the start because manual transmissions hate me.

Things that spark creativity after I wake up

Stuff like Jungle Planet and the Peaceful Town song, mostly.  The rest of the "weird dreams" stories posted here under the "dreams" tag don't really count because they're too random.  There was actually another dream that resulted in some dream fiction a bit more recently, that I spent a few days fleshing out into a more full story, but haven't posted anywhere public yet.  The still-unfinished result would be too long for a single blog post, and that's saying something given all the walls of text I have here.  I can easily post just the portion that happened during my dream, though, since the majority of it was extrapolated from there.

Generally being random

Again, I think everyone gets this to some extent.  Hardly ever does a dream form a coherent narrative.  It's usually just a chain of events that have no relation to one another.  And then when you wake up and try to tell your parents/roommate/friends/whoever, it fades away.  In fact, when a dream has formed a coherent narrative, it usually doesn't fade away nearly as quickly.  It's like my mind has to work really hard to make these absurd sequences of events, and doesn't have the energy left over to remember it for very long; and making something coherent doesn't make it have to work as hard, so it's easier for my mind to remember what happens.  Or maybe it's the opposite, in that my mind works really hard to make something coherent, and so it remembers it; whereas with the really random stuff it's just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, and it all slides off of that metaphorical wall rather quickly.

Things being sexualized

I think this is just because I'm a pervert, but... I can't deny that things can get a bit sexualized in my dreams, even when such things would be considered inappropriate at best in real life.  You know what, I'm not going to go into this one in any more detail.

Timing of me waking up relative to events

With the random dreams, that never make much sense anyway, I'll wake up after one whole completely random section of it has played out.  With the more coherent ones, it always tends to be at the most inopportune time, such as when something awesome or amazing is happening.  Try all you like, going back to sleep never results in a continuation.

Actually, I think that's a good point.  In the vast majority of these dreams I'm drawing from, if not all of them, I wake up at the end of the dream, or me waking up interrupts the dream.  Maybe it's something about the stage of sleep right before I wake up that causes this stuff.  I kinda want to have some sort of magical "dream imaging" device hooked up to me while I sleep sometime, except that I wouldn't want anyone else to see the contents without me okaying it first.

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