My dreams have been really vivid lately. I've been waking up every morning with a fresh one on the tip of my consciousness, and if I lay still for just a moment longer before I open my eyes I can will the dream to coalesce into my memory so I can carry it out of bed with me and release it like ashes to the wind. At the center of these dreams always is a really strong feeling. It's not so much the drama or even the people in those subconscious stories that are important, it's more the overall sense of what it is I'm feeling that is the key indicator and connects them experientially with my reality.
I've somehow learned to listen to and trust these visceral sensations and not the narrative that has unfolded inside my head. The other day I had a really intense dream about accidentally dropping my littlest one off a ledge, and the anguish is what woke me up - a general fear of trauma and tragedy, I think. This morning I was dreaming of a snowy evening at a friend's house, strewn with my art and possessions as well as feelings of uncertainty in a place and circumstance where I didn't really feel like I belonged, themes I have also been touching upon lately.
Most of the time this is the tenor of my nighttime wanderings... intense and emotional. They don't (usually) feel like nightmares, but more like the necessary output of a mind that is constantly working through these thoughts and fears in real time, some days more fervently than others. I think it allows me to safely feel things in a way and at a depth I simply can't go to while awake. It's a way for my mind to filter out anxiety, search for better understanding, and let negative energy go. It can be exhausting but I think it's all a critical part of my own organic process, as sometimes a dream will shoot like an arrow straight through truth and I'll wake up suddenly understanding a certain situation or relationship better, like summiting a peak of emotional acknowledgement and seeing things breathtakingly clear for the first time.
I often wonder if other people dream like this too, at such a pace and velocity. I ask Alex all the time about his dreams and he rarely remembers them, or only tiny bits and pieces of them. Sometimes I can't help but think that might be the easier way, but it's just not how I'm wired. I still have visions of dreams I've had long ago that have stayed with me because of their persistent and meaningful themes that eventually mellow into a familiar companion. I never know where they might take me next, but I am grateful for their insight.