I hate dreaming. I hate that feeling of bizarre, unexplainable things happening, and I hate remembering my dreams because they are most often unpleasant. Even more than dreaming, I hate hearing about other people’s dreams, but . . . (you knew there’d be a “but,” didn’t you?) this blog doubles as a journal — one with a search function — and someday perhaps I might want to use last night’s dreamscape in a story, so I decided to recount it. Feel free not to continue reading. I won’t mind. Truly.
In my dream, I was walking in the desert under a clouded white sky. The sand was pure white and windswept. The desert wasn’t flat, but looked hilly like the desert I’m familiar with, and those knolls were also covered with white sand. No vegetation grew in that desert. No dark rocks relieved the expanse of white. The ground seemed hard, but still I left deep footprints in the sand as I walked. I hadn’t gone far, just about a quarter of a mile or so, and when I looked back, I could barely see my footprints, which were quickly being refilled by the white sand. With no vegetation or rocks standing out as landmarks to help me find my way, I feared getting lost, so I turned and followed my footprints back the way I came.
As I walked, three white horses sped across my path, then four white bunnies in a bunch, then one at a time, two small white squarish creatures I could not identify, and then finally, one immense white owl.
I thought, “I must be dreaming because such magical and mystical things don’t happen in real life,” but that world and my feelings of reality were so solid it didn’t feel like a dreamscape. Still, I tried to peel back the veneer of the dream and wake myself up, and when I didn’t wake, I figured it was no dream.
All the creatures passed into the whiteness of the desert except for the owl, who stood watching me. I stood, too, and looked at the work being done on a nearby fenced-in building — a small domed structure that apparently was a relic of conquistador days. Some boys had found a stash of lances and spears, and a woman was saying to the project manager, “We can let them have a couple. It won’t hurt anything.”
I laughed at that, which made my dreaming self think I really was awake since I had never heard myself laugh in dreams.
Eventually, I did awake from that dream, but into another dream where I told the man who’d been the project manager in the previous dream about the strangely solid and realistic-feeling dream I had. I woke from that dream into a third one that was muddled and nightmarish the way my dreams usually are, and then, at long last, I woke into the real world.
Or did I? Perhaps this is just another dream from which one day I will awaken.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+