I am very happy to present a guest post by Oliver C. Damon, owner of the blog, Chronicle of a Wayward Son:
ONE WAYWARD DREAMER
By: Oliver C. Damon
First, let me say I’m honored to have a spot as a guest blogger on this very fine blog. Thanks, Cordelia’s Mom, for the opportunity!
“Nah, nah! You’re just a dreamer!”
Yes. Yes, I am, thank you very much. This image is a Japanese kanji symbol that means “dream”. I happen to have it tattooed on my shoulder. Why?
Because dreaming is both my blessing and my curse.
Let me try to explain.
Somebody once told me derisively that I am a dreamer. It was meant to be an insult because I’m always thinking of things to do and create. Most of these things never come to fruition because they are just that: dreams. That’s ok because the act of dreaming up something is, in itself, useful to me.
If you are like me and born with a nearly uncontrollable urge to create, you dream out loud. You think up stuff and “what if” to others because you want to share. Most of the things I dream up are things I never intend to follow through on. They are nothing more than creative exercises for my brain. They are a way to expend some of my restless mental energy and indulge my urge to express my creativity. I’m actually quite proud that I’m a dreamer in that regard because that’s how God wired my brain. He’s the greatest creator of all and although my efforts pale in comparison to the vast universe and diversity of life that that are His handiwork, that still puts me in some pretty good company.
Being a creative person and a dreamer means I spend a lot of time building things in my head. If I’m thinking about putting in a flower garden in my back yard, I daydream it through. I go over every detail from the type of seeds I will plant to the brand of soil I’ll need to the type of wood I have to buy for the raised planter boxes. I even detail it out to the nails I’ll use to put it together. All of that means I’m also thinking of what tools I need which makes me think of what I already have in my inventory. I see myself in Home Depot selecting the things I’ll need for the project. It really doesn’t matter that where I live right now doesn’t have any space for said garden. I’m dreaming up the garden for one day when I can fulfill it. You know what? I’ll re-dream it many, many more times before that day comes to pass. It’s just what I do.
Having this kind of mind works very well in my job where I have to creatively solve problems in software. I have to understand a problem from as many angles as possible and dream up all the requirements, potential pitfalls, and benefits to my solution. I have to make it as detailed as possible so that the developers can build my dream effectively. In this regard, dreaming is my blessing.
The Other Side of the Coin
The downside to this innate need to dream things up, is that I have no control over it when I sleep. I sometimes feel like I barely have control of it when I’m awake so you can imagine what happens when the brakes come off when I hit REM sleep.
All my life, I’ve endured dreams that are sometimes mundane and boring but more often than not they are bizarre and intense. I dream in color, although some people claim that’s not possible. When I wake, I often have a few moments where I must collect my thoughts to sort out what I dreamed from reality. Did I actually have a chat with my friend about such and such? Did I actually buy this or that thing? Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell right away. A cup or two of coffee helps.
I once had an argument with a friend because we were talking and something came up in the conversation that I insisted I’d shared with him already. It actually got heated as I swore by my statement. It wasn’t until a few moments into the argument that I realized it had only taken place in a dream. Of course, I felt pretty stupid.
Another time, I woke up lamenting the fact that I’d quit an extra part-time job I had at the time because even though it sucked, I needed the extra cash. While I was showering after waking, I was contemplating how I’d humble myself and ask for my job back when the reality dawned on me that I’d only dreamed I had submitted my resignation to my boss.
Other times, I dream I’m mowing the lawn or at the mall. These are the sort of mundane dreams that I have but they are as real as waking moments to me. I feel every exertion of every muscle in the dream and time passes slowly. I wake up exhausted because I feel I haven’t really slept. I’m accustomed to my mind often being on “11” when I’m awake and I know how to reign my thoughts in, but when I’m asleep I have no way to dial it back down to a manageable level. I’m at the mercy of my own mind.
Now, the bizarre dreams are another story! I’ve dreamed up things like metallic robots disguised as bushes that were chasing me because I threw gum on the sidewalk of a very ritzy neighborhood I lived in at the time. In that dream, I could see the inner workings of the robots’ steel frameworks and the rivets and motors and such that held them together. I could hear the sounds they made as they chased me down the street citing city ordinances at me. It was very detailed, as it always is.
Another time, I dreamed that I was working a movie ticket booth…with Ozzy Osbourne. If that wasn’t weird enough, the booth was smack in the middle of the road at the end of my street. I can’t recall the movie we were selling tickets to but I recall I was no better able to understand him in my dream than when I’ve heard him speak on TV.
Another time, I dreamed that I was running a fruit smoothie stand….out of an old Volkswagen Bus…In the desert…with David Lee Roth. Yup. THAT David Lee Roth
You can’t win for losing (What does that even really mean?)
Here’s the thing with dreams (the sleeping kind, not the daydreaming kind). They are a no-win situation. If I dream something awesome like I won the lottery or I live in Biblical Times when it was ok to have multiple wives and my harem happens to include my wife, Jessica Alba, Kerry Washington, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Kate Beckinsale, then I wake up disappointed that it was only a dream. Conversely, if I dream that I’m being chased naked through the forest by chainsaw and laser gun wielding zombies…well who the hell wants that? Either way, it sucks. I hate it. I wish I could go to sleep and just….well…sleep! Instead, my mind runs around unrestrained without my consciousness to keep it in check and I wake up without the benefit of rest.
I’ve decided that on my own blog (Chronicle of a Wayward Son), I plan to start logging the bizarre dreams. They may be amusing to my readers. For example, just a couple of nights ago I had a dream that involved Best Buy, Brian May (of Queen) and a group of nudists. Yeah. Go figure.
P.S. I have never done drugs.
Oliver C. Damon and I love to hear from our readers. You may comment on this post, comment on Ollie’s link in the introduction to this post, comment on my Facebook page, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org