Monday, March 20, 2017

"In My Dweams We Fwy"

So sang Joni Mitchell in "The Silky Veils of Ardor," the last song of 1977's double-LP Don Juan's Reckless Daughter.

  Dreams are often thought of as being one of two things:
  • 1.      Refractions of the previous day’s thoughts and actions, while being filtered by the brain for dismissal or longterm storage
  • 2.      Symbolic of conscious or unconscious desires, aspirations, or fears

.... let’s not get into the whole supernatural malarkey of dreams’ foretelling future events, shall we?

            Option 1 is simple observation.  Who hasn’t had something unusual or dramatic happen to them, which is often imitated crazily in a soon-following dream?

            Option 2 is our consideration for today, friends – specifically, dreams of flying.  According to one writer,
 ... according to Freud's 1953 classic, The Interpretation of Dreams, dreams of flying through the air reveal subconscious thoughts of sexual desire, while dreams of failing to fly (i.e. falling) through the air reveals thoughts of ... well ... eh  ... also sexual desire.

            Some people just have dirtier minds than others, I guess!

            (Quit looking at me.)

            I usually subscribe to the idea that many dreams of being able to fly are a sort of wish fulfillment.

            We wish for escape from a situation, or to be able to “rise above” life in general.

             Of course, we’ve always envied (from the ground) the perceived freedom displayed by birds, as they seemingly drift carefree, ’way above us.

            And other aerial things seem once-removed from the troubles of Earth, too.  In the words to one of my recent songs,

And I wish to fly
Ride in the sky
And never wane
Above my pain

            Nowadays, because of advances in visual arts and special effects, it’s a lot easier to imagine yourself flying.  We even envision ourselves as flying like any of a bunch of superheroes.

             When you’re a kid, this often involves Mom attaching a towel to your shirt with safety pins.

            Similarly, we can easily equate dreams of falling with a loss of control, or a fear that something bad is going to suddenly happen.
 * * *

            But, I’ve often had a somewhat different dream about flying, most recently last week.

          Many of these dreams begin with the joyful idea of being able to fly, just like the happy-flight dreams.  But then something bad takes over.

             You see, in these bad-flying dreams, I’m up there, but I can’t come down.  No effort of will, or arm-flapping, will get me coming down towards the ground, after I’ve left it.

             Sometimes it appears that I’m in danger of flying off into space.  Other times, I’m just suspended in a kind of limbo, disconnected from everything.

              “Disconnected from everything.”   In fact, that’s my best guess for the meaning of this dream.

            While I’m got plenty of family, friends, and people to love and to be loved by, nevertheless I think these dreams are inspired by the feelings of isolation sometimes experienced by just about everybody.

            Don’t you ever feel as if nobody understands you? or experience the “imposter syndrome,” in which you feel that folks wouldn’t like “the real you”?

            No matter what, I haven’t found away to banish worrisome thoughts or dreams, have you?  We’ll just have to be thankful when reality is way better than the dream we just shucked.

            “There’s no place like home” isn’t always corny.  Sometimes it’s a godsend!

            See you next Monday.
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© by Mark Alfred