I Wonder, I Wonder

“I wonder, I wonder what you would do if you had the power to dream at night any dream that you wanted to dream?” – Alan Watts.

When I was a child I would choose what I was going to dream about before I went to sleep each night.  I planned each dream, each twist and turn and each happy ending.  There was always a happy ending.  I awoke every morning happy in the knowledge that everything had almost certainly gone to plan.  Sadly, it was only ever almost certainly because I very rarely remember my dreams in the morning.  I am familiar with the tripping up the kerb thing, the finding myself naked on the way to school thing, the falling thing, the being somebody else thing, but only vaguely.  I am certain of pattern, but very lacking in texture.  I have no recollection of detail.  It is such a waste, particularly given the range of dreams I could set myself these days.  They would have made my ten years old toes curl.

It has always been a bit of a problem to me, sleeping.  I’ve never managed to get the sleep I am told I need yet I rarely feel tired for lack of it.  The hours between my wife retiring for the night and the time being right for my own slide into stygian slumber are spent picking at crosswords, reading books and considering why one whisky is never enough.  They are frustrating hours because even after all of these years, I would dearly like to be able to drift off at will as many of my friends are able to do – more often than not when I am telling them a story.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what I would choose to dream about if I had the opportunity?  Would I dream about being rich, knowing that I would have to wake up to not being so?  Would I choose to dream about being handsome and popular, knowing that I would wake up a schmuk?  Would I dream that I was still awake?  The obvious problem with all dreams is that you have to wake up at the end of them or risk not waking up at all.  Surely if you could choose what to dream, then real life would have to be a disappointment because most of the time, in the waking world, you are firmly stuck with what you have got, and what you have got is not all that it might be.

Perhaps you could dream a world that is more drab than the real one knowing that when you wake, what you have will seem bright and sparkly in comparison, but that too would be a waste wouldn’t it?  A third of your life spent in circumstances far more dreary than they have any need to be.  While you sleep, you could be a God, a rockstar, a saviour of mankind (peoplekind?).  Your world could be filled with colour, a kaleidoscope, a garden in full summer bloom, then surely, rather than the ability to decide what to dream, you would crave the ability to remember it all in the morning.

I wonder, I wonder…


30 thoughts on “I Wonder, I Wonder

  1. Some people say they never dream at all. I suppose that’s possible. Some nights I think I don’t but it’s more a matter of not remembering, I think. It’s all very interesting, what happens to us when we have temporarily disconnected our brains. Do you experience deja-vu? When it happens to me I always say “I dreamed this”. There is defintely a lot to wonder about. I love the face of that little sheep.

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  2. Droll line about Will nodding off at story time. (Ah, you know what I mean! ) Dreams tend to fade as I’ve gotten- matured more. Still my ongoing nightmare is not waking up.

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  3. They claim that everyone dreams but I almost never remember my dreams. As to setting them, unless I have some serious problem to work out I don’t worry too much about it. If it’s that bad that I have to “sleep on it” then I am more likely to lie awake fretting.

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  4. I am in the either not having, or not remembering having, dreams club. My wife tells me I am also in the ‘not remembering what I said ten minutes ago’ club.

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  5. I’ve had trouble falling and staying asleep all my life, even used to sleep walk as a child. But when I do sleep I dream vividly and remember a lot of them. Of course I’m also a screamer when I have a nightmare so my husband tends to give me a wide berth.

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