Each morning I follow the same routine. Before I leave my bed, I try to recall my dreams while they are still lucid. My dreams have always been impatient creatures of the night, too elusive to pin down for more than a few seconds.
You may ask why I bother with such a trivial undertaking. You might think (and would probably be correct in doing so) that dreams are unworthy of much concern. They are, after all, rather confusing and nonsensical imaginings of a brain reluctant to follow the body into shutdown mode. The mind still wants to play, even to the point of embarrassment and beyond. Why should we care what it does when we have no control of it? Let it have its fun and do not, by any means, place any credence in its bizarre ramblings.
If you must know, the reason I attempt to recollect my dreams is that sometimes, though rarely I admit, my dreams allow me to do the impossible.
In the last month alone, I have made wild escapes from zombie-like beings while defending a maze of tunnels on a world where this made perfect sense. For a short time, I became a resident in a house of candles, where the lack of electricity was never questioned. Instead the group of us (and I was young by the way) amused ourselves by hiding in the many dark nooks and crannies of the place, never wanting to be found but still fearing the dark. At another time, I was a soldier again, in the war fields of Vietnam, wondering how I arrived in the country once more after so many years away, and doubting that the luck of a reckless youth would follow an older man, wise enough to know the anger of bullets.
More recently a theme has developed. My dreams are curious to discover how I would react to circumstances in my past, tweaked just enough to make the easy formidable and to make the safe dangerous. I must admit to not passing these tests with flying colors. If it has become a contest of sorts, a weird game with my sleepless brain acting as the rather sadistic host, then I admit defeat. I am much too old to compete against such a devious adversary.
Perhaps I’m beginning to give the impression that the bad outweighs the good. It does not. My dream life often contains incidents worth remembering. Just three weeks ago I was, at some point during the night, in a sunlit field of almost unbearable beauty. I stood for the longest time soaking in the glory about me. I knew something miraculous would occur and it did. I soon felt myself rise above the windswept grass, not much, maybe a foot above the earth, but it was enough. I found that I was able to move be simply rotating my arms from front to back, as if I was pushing through water. It was so effortless I remember laughing, and so real I was sure could still air walk even when awake. And I tried. Oh yes, I tried, because if I did it once I could surely do it again.
I have yet to revisit the field of my first walk on air, but I have air walked twice since, and accomplished other feats of amazement to boot.
Each morning I lie in bed and try to remember my dreams. Often I shake my head in bewilderment, but sometimes I capture an elusive wisp of wonder before it returns to the night.
On those mornings, I smile.