It's commonly said that nothing is less interesting than other peoples' dreams. However, I'm going to completely ignore this received wisdom and post some of the dream accounts from the famous Penzu journal which I've been keeping since June 2015.
Why? Well, why not? I feel like it.
I've obscured names, and of course I haven't included any particularly personal or embarrassingly revealing dreams.
I'm fascinated by dreams, the idea of dreams, and the intermingling of dreams and reality. I love movies where a dreamworld becomes real, like Inception. I wrote this post about my whole fascination.
Maybe some motifs or themes that I don't notice will leap out at the reader (if, indeed, anyone reads them). I read some of my dreams accounts to my older brother once and he pointed out that authority figures often feature in my dreams. I'm not sure if that's all that remarkable, though.
27th June 2015
Dreamed about an airplane to England at night-- one so elaborate it was more like a spaceship. A nice lady was helping me load cartons of food into my supply tank, for my personal use.
29th June 2015
Strange dreams. I dreamed I was commuting to work on a train in a kind of post-apocalyptic Dublin. At one point we came out of a tunnel and into a forested area. Enormous birds-- birds which had grown to gargantuan sizes-- were sitting on the trees. In the dream, I assumed they had grown enormous through feasting on carrion (which I doubt is possible) rather than through mutation. But at one point, of course, they attacked us.
1st July 2015
I dreamed that me and A---- [Italian friend] were operating some kind of space-age traffic control system, and that A. wanted me to go on strike.
4 July 2015
First off, I was working with Pope Francis in a place where he was staying during a sojourn in Dublin. I was given a letter to let me access it and get me past the crowds camped outside. But when I tried to present it, I saw that it was only good for a certain time and I had missed that time. So I went home. I think this was at Halloween or thereabouts.
Home was Sillogue Road. I was waking there with someone and then I saw Sillogue Road, the row of flats where I lived for twenty-three years, completely gutted. We were on the field that used to be outside the flats and I saw my father there, looking miserable. Then I saw T [my brother]. I asked (anachronistically) what had happened to Tenuki [pet dog] and I was told he was dead. I found myself worrying about my archive of published poems etc.
Then I realised we weren't living in Sillogue Road, but in Sillogue Gardens. We went there and, though it was in disarray, it didn't seem damaged at all. Then I saw Tenuki, lying down. I assumed it was his body, but I then saw he was alive.
15th January 2016
woke up from a dream that Sister E-----, one of my old teachers in
school-- a particularly sour and cranky nun-- announced to the class
(for I was back at school) that she had ceased to be a novice and had
become a full nun. This despite the fact that she was an elderly lady in
my dream, just as she was when I knew her.
11th July 2015
Strange dreams. I dreamed I was in a country parish hall and I had to learn how to play some stringed instrument in about twenty minutes. There were only a handful of people there, and I knew that anything I played at all would suit them fine, but it was still frightening. I was also walking past the row of trees that used to be along the drive on Kitty's farm. I was walking with somebody. I looked down at the ground and saw what I thought was a shark in this huge puddle. I mentioned I liked sharks to the person walking with me-- or maybe I had said that a moment before-- and he or she accused me of just trying to be different. Then I realised it was actually a bird [a reflection of a bird, I recall] and felt embarrassed.
Then I was by the lake in UCD, except it was more pastoral, and it was as though I had returned somewhere I hadn't been in a long time. C [colleague] was asking me if a friend of her's was attractive and had a chance with a particular man. That friend came at that moment-- she was a young girl with copper hair, a snub nose, and freckles, but attractive in an idiosyncratic kind of way, which I told her. Then I went back to a shared bedroom I was sharing with lots of people, and apparently it was a tangle of romantic intrigues and speculation. Everybody was trying to tactfully leave everybody alone with everybody else.
16th October 2015
I had a horrible, feverish night, although the fever broke suddenly after a few hours. I also had this dream which I described on Facebook thus:
Just woke from fever dreams, doubtless influenced by reading about the Battle of Lepanto earlier. In these dreams, I was fleeing Muslim warriors (latter-day Crusaders no doubt) through the fields of old Ballymun (of all places), with others but we were all dispersed. Except they were obviously of the chivalric Saladin variety rather than ISIS; they were actually leaving a previous engagement (one by one) and not interested in combat at the moment. And when they reached me they would just mime throwing a sprinkling of magic dust at me and say: "Peace be upon you!", then run away. So there is proof I am not Islamophobic.
How do I know it was supposed to be magic dust? I just do. That's what dreams are like.
9th February 2015
Despite going to bed early, I was tired when I woke up. I had a very odd dream about being in a shop, which had several levels, in which they sold mathematical and word games of various kinds. They also sold small chocolate eggs. There was one skinny middle-aged woman with steel-grey hair, not at all attractive, who was coming onto me and said "You should know, whenever I have outercourse with somebody, it doesn't mean anything". Or something like that; she definitely said 'outercourse', whatever that means.
14th September 2015
I woke from a dream that I was given 'detention' for wandering into the wrong part of the library; except it was more like the Omni [shopping centre] than the library, and the place I wandered into was the underground car-park beside Eason [bookshop]. I passed J--- H----, the head librarian, as I was walking in, and he asked me in surprise where I was going. I told him I was going to the store. I found myself in a cavernous room like an underground car-park, except it was (quite) full of people rather than cars, and it opened out onto a street-- which resembled the Ballymun Main Street. N--- [sister] was there and she was in authority and holding me in detention, although it turned out (when I challenged her about how long I was being held) that she just wanted me to walk B--- [niece] somewhere, when she arrived. I said I would wait for her and then woke up. For some reason, in the dream, I also found myself thinking about King Richard II, when he confronted the Peasant's Revolt and said: "You shall have no leader but I."
19th January 2016
I had dreams that I was trying to get to work but I kept getting diverted into other countries-- Northern Ireland at first (although it bore a resemblance to Coultry [area in Ballymun, Dublin] back when M---- and D---- lived there, and in my dreams that's always a grim and dangerous place). In the dream, Northern Ireland/Coultry was full of sectarian gangs, out on the street as though it was a carvinal, with flags and banners and such. Just hanging around.
Then I ended up in Spain, in a place called San Azores. It was very religious, at least superficially, and I was speaking to one swarthy young man who was wearing a crucifix and a robe (though he certainly wasn't a cleric and seemed more a bit of a holy hipster).
30th August 2016
I had horrible nightmares in the night. One involved being berated by a scanger [chav, hoodlum] at the lift in the old flat. I often have dreams about that lift-- in my dreams, I remember, I'm surprised it's still there and still working. The door opened as I was walking towards the lift and the scanger was there, and he immediately made as if to hit me. It wasn't in a cruel prankster way, it was purely vicious. Then he started pawing me, or grabbing me, or something, and I noticed that his hands were full of cuts. I had Tanuki [pet dog] with me, and he was kicking or trying to kick Tanuki-- trying to harm him in some way, anyway. I woke up, and I thought: "I have to go to the bathroom and scrub my hands". Then I thought: "You can't catch AIDS in a dream."
Then I fell back asleep and had an even spookier dream about a computer game I was playing. Even though I was playing the computer game, it wasn't clear which events were part of the computer game and which were in the real world. At one point, I was walking to the library through the tunnel [covered walkway], and I noticed a whole load of bodies lying on the floor-- some dead, some dying, all of them mangled. I didn't know what to do, until a girl lying on the floor said: "Ring the emergency bell". She sounded very contemptuous, and strangely unconcerned, as though she was past concern.
Then I was playing a computer game, which had a picture of a cackling sorcerer in a hood on the cover. The gameplay and the virtual environment were extremely sophisticated. But all the time I was playing, I was worried about the murderer on the rampage, who had killed the people in the library tunnel. Other people I knew were about. I wasn't sure whether the murderer was real or virtual, but I was worried either way-- I thought I would be scared to be attacked even virtually. I had almost god-like power in the computer game, through a sort of oculus visor.
Then, just as I was beginning to get more confident in the game, the screen went blank and the whole game began to reset itself, beginning with a shot of the planet from just above, and slowly descending through the night sky. There was spooky, disturbing music, and a change of tone that was very unsettling. I took it I was now supposed to be evil, in the game. I was also frightened that, if I didn't get my god-like powers back in time, the murderer would attack when I had no defence. Then I woke up.
9th August 2016
Stange dreams. First off, I was Leonardo Di Caprio's character in the film Titanic. I knew the sinking was going to happen, but nobody else did- in fact, I had been through it before. I wasn't the slghtest bit afraid, it seemed to be only a movie although it was really happening. I put my hand in my pocket and saw I had the remote control for the TV instead of my phone. I wondered how I was going to get it safely through the disaster.
Then I was in our old flat in Sillogue Road. Some Muslim kids (a range of ages) were delivering copes of The Ballymun News [a community magazine my father formerly edited]. Somehow they had managed to get jihadist advertisements onto the back page. I reacted angrily, and accidentally knocked over what I feared was a tiny (impossibly tiny) child and killed it. It turned out be a fly that was the pet of one of the children. I then found myself arguing with one of the kids, a teenage girl who was quite cool, self-possesed and argued back well.
Then I was at a dinner in the Central Catholic Library. During a discussion, somebody condemned abortion. Lots of people reacted to this in a hostile way, including a man sitting next to me who looked a bit like Ted Danson. I pointed out to him that it was the Central CATHOLIC Library, so why should it be strange a speaker opposed abortion? He seemed a bit surprised I had challenged him, but in no way hostile or reluctant to argue it. He said the teaching of the Catholic Church had evolved in all kinds of ways, he mentioned Aquinas and I thought of taking out the Aquinas book I borrowed yesterday, though I wasn't sure I had it with me. He started to say that he was a Catholic but, to him, Catholicism was about God's love for creation. I regretted getting into the discussion, seeing it was a waste of time, and wanted to get out of it. But then I saw his face had changed, suddenly it had weird zebra stripes that were purple and white. It was obviously some illness and I was desperately trying to look into his eyes and not change my expression.
29th October 2016
Very strange and continuous dream-- I'm pretty sure I woke up several times and it resumed when I woke up. It started out with me in a house, or perhaps a private house that served as a hostel of some sort, with lots of books. I noticed Mein Kampf had a special place, placed against a display stand, on one shelf. Then I was speaking to one arrogant little girl, in the living room-- someone else might have been present-- who revealed to me that the group who owned the house could time-travel, and had other powers. And soon I was sitting down with other friends and family and they had somehow all been brainwashed into a plan which involved this group taking over the world (or something). I was resisting and quite a battle (a sometimes physical battle, I think) ensued. More of them seemed to appear all the time.
I gave one of the documents to T--- T--- [college friend], and there was a scene where he gives it to someone outside, but I wasn't sure if the twist was that they were both members of the cult.
Then I was in a room with N--- [sister] and other members of my family, they were all lying on mattresses on the floor, and I was arguing with them. It had no obvious connection to the main part of the dream, but soon I was speaking (in a bar outside) to a suave person who told me he could achieve anything by mental power and asked me to sign some legal document surrendering all my family's rights to the group, or he would retaliate. He showed me two things in a row that he achieved by mental powers-- small things, like flies dropping out of the air or something. I asked him why, if he had this power, he didn't just MAKE me sign the document. He seemed to concede that point, suavely.
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