Dreams in detail
Have you ever, upon waking – and if you actually remember – tried to write down what happened in your dreams?
I have, several times, but only because the dream was so vivid, or so strange that I wanted to write it down so I could share or retell it. The first time I tried, what seemed to be just a short few minutes of dreaming turned out to span four pages of explicit detail.
I don’t think everyone is like this. I’ve had people ask me how I can remember such detail from just a dream. I don’t remember all my dreams. Sometimes I have moments during the morning when I remember something random and realise I have remembered a very small fragment of a dream. Other times, I just remember it vaguely upon waking up, but then it’s gone.
The detail of feelings and perception
One thing that I can always particularly remember is feelings. I remember, in the dream context, how I felt when I made a certain decision. Sometimes we can control our dreams if we are in the right stage of sleep – and that’s usually when we nearly wake up – but otherwise, everything just happens. Personally, it seems like I am making decisions I wouldn’t normally make, and I cannot seem to stop or control myself. But above all, I remember if I have felt wrong, weird, upset, or frustrated with decisions I have made in the dream.
I also seem to remember exactly what I am thinking in the dream. Along with making decisions I wouldn’t normally make, I also remember why I do certain things in the dream, even if its as simple as walking in a certain direction, turning around or interacting with someone. I somehow feel like I’m a bit separated from myself in the context of the dream.
Dreams go really fast in our heads. I have heard that they go very speedily. I can’t remember the first time I did it, but upon waking up from a dream, if Nick is with me, the one-sided conversation usually goes like this.
‘Oh man, I had a dream.’
‘Well, I don’t know. But I was walking with this guy from work. I think we were supposed to be in a group but we wandered off. He was telling me about his family and his children. Then he showed me some photos of them.’
Five minutes later…
‘And then there were these inflatable jumping castles, and for some reason they were arranged like the entrance to a Disneyland theme park. One of them was like Mickey and Minnie Mouse and there were some kids on it and for some reason I don’t know, that part of it started like, deflating? And I think we were going to go through that way but the thing just looked so weird deflated? And the kids were like wondering what the heck was going on. Then I saw a family and the mother was facing her daughter, holding her daughter’s face in her hands and just walking around like that. And to everyone it looked like they were having an argument, everyone watching looked kind of concerned but I went up to her to ask…’
Five minutes later…
‘And then I was back at the table I was sitting at at the sort of beginning of my dream, with some girls I knew, who I was just hanging out with. Then I started telling them how I talked to that guy from work and all of a sudden he laughed from behind me and said, “Yeah you mean me?” and I laughed back and said, “Damn you”, then I think what happened next is that I was going out of the place and down these stairs, kinda like the gift shop… like you know when you are going through a tourist attraction and the gift shop is at the end, yeah like that…’
Some time later…
‘I’ve never met anyone who could tell their dreams in such detail.’ Nick said.
I don’t know how or why it is that I can remember my dreams that way, but sometimes I realise I have been retelling for five minutes when in actuality, the happenings in my dream surely didn’t take much more than twenty seconds. If I was having lunch with someone and they asked how my morning had been – and I went through it in as much detail as possible from waking up to being on my way to our lunch – I doubt I would talk for as long as I do when I recall my dreams.
The dream that went backwards
I had a dream a couple of years ago that really stuck with me, because it was in events towards the end of the dream that suggested that I was experiencing the events in the dream in reverse chronological order. It was pretty cool, actually.
But I’m not going to share it because writing it out turned out to be longer than this post… 😅 I might share it another time if I feel like it, but it’s strange. I started a dream journal when I was younger but the fact that it sat by my nightlight every night was almost a curse in itself; I could never remember my dreams for the duration it was there. Or, I didn’t have any.
Do you keep a dream journal? Just how much detail do you recall from your dreams, if any?
Dream details in this post are small snippets of a dream I had this morning just before I woke up.