Skip to the cut-text if you don't want to be bored with my dream.

I dreamed that there was a war on, and I had just heard that a fighter pilot who had been shot down, a guy who I had a crush on, was not dead as I had thought. I dashed into this weird mad scientist lab, which had glowing multi-colored amoeba-like blobs traveling through a network of glass tubes. Apparently there was no infirmary, so wounded soldiers were given cots in the lab because that was where the doctors were.

The pilot was lying on a cot there. I flung myself on him, clutched at his arm, stroked his short blonde hair, and babbled about how glad I was that he was alive and recovering. He said, rather irritated, "Careful! The shrew-mice are escaping!"

It seemed that he had been there a while and was bored, so he had started taming the experimental shrew-mice and was keeping twenty of them under the covers. I spent the rest of the dream chasing them through the lab.

What struck me about the dream was the extraordinary vividness of the tactile sensations: the impossibly soft velvet of the hair at the nape of his neck and the smooth rippled skin beneath it, and the fluffy fur of the warm wriggling shrew-mice. In my dreams, touch is nearly always the most vivid sensation. Sight is next. Taste, sound, and kinesthetic feelings are dulled, and smell doesn't appear at all. In real life, all but smell are fairly important to me, though I am especially sentitive to touch and taste.

What about you? Take my poll!



[Poll #1158645]
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From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_swallow/


I often read text, know that I'm dreaming, and have really good (although not satisfying, so I didn't check that) sex in my dreams. I also often dream that I'm flying, but not quite like Superman; it's a particular combination of willpower and aerobic exercise and the technique is exactly the same from dream to dream which when I was little I used to think was significant. I also often dream that I am various characters-- I don't mean prexisting characters written by other people, fanfiction-style, but inhabiting consciousnesses that have different personalities and backstories than mine, the way you do when you read fiction.

A lot of my dreams also take place in the same dream city.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Is it a real city? What's it like? Do you like the city?

I can't fly like Superman, exactly, but I can often do the sort of weightless leaping you see in Hong Kong martial arts movies, or skim a few feet above the ground.

From: [identity profile] marici.livejournal.com


Reoccurring nightmare: the world crumples like a ball of paper being wadded up. Lasts a long time, very disturbing.

From: [identity profile] em-h.livejournal.com


About common dream content: I only occasionally dream about sex as such, but I often dream about various kinds of eroticized interactions with dream characters and with people from my real life. I also have lots of dreams about emotional interactions with people in my real life, not necessarily eroticized, though sometimes. I don't know if it's at all common to have dreams about talking through emotional issues (some of which exist in my waking life and some not), but I do.

As you may see from my responses, I also have many nightmares covering a wide range of things (though rarely anything overtly violent). The most common and upsetting is the 'people I love rejecting me' trope, though.

Basically, my dreams are most often centrally about waking-life relationships, which they may or may not mirror accurately.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I don't think I've ever dreamed about talking through emotional issues. Now that I think about it, my conversations in dreams are quite short, though often intense: just a few lines of dialogue each.

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From: [identity profile] em-h.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-03-22 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)

From: [personal profile] ellarien


I get a lot of travel-related anxiety, which I suppose might count as a subset of work-related: when I was younger it was all about catching buses or getting on the wrong bus, while now it's usually about getting lost in the airport and missing the plane, or forgetting to go to the airport at all.

I checked 'naked in public ', but really it's more often being incompletely or inappropriately dressed -- underwear on the street, or pants in church.

From: [identity profile] em-h.livejournal.com


Oh, and about the serial dreams -- I *often* have dreams which I experience, at the time, as being part of a serial sequence with a new chapter every night, but when awake I can't identify any sequence or continuing narrative, so I didn't check that box. But I do often have the *sensation* of serial dreams.

From: [identity profile] janni.livejournal.com


My dreams are mostly really boring, and I usually don't even remember them, but one odd thing about them is that I only rarely run from monsters/bad guys/etc. (when they actually appear at all); I hide from the instead, and hope they just don't notice me.

From: [identity profile] mamculuna.livejournal.com


I go through periods of dreaming of various versions of the same thing. Once for about a year while in mid-divorce, I kept dreaming of old houses, and trying to get into them. Lately I've been dreaming of people I know, but doing things and looking very different from reality--and also usually in big crowds, like parties. Lots of color in these dreams.

From: [identity profile] lnhammer.livejournal.com


The only way I can influence my dreams is to wake myself up. If I don't like where it's going or I can see this is Yet Another Back-to-Grad-School anxiety dream, I can go That's it I'm outta here, and I am.

Can't affect what sort of thing it is, otherwise.

---L.

From: [identity profile] rilina.livejournal.com


My dreams are depressingly mundane. Meanwhile, this one of yours seems very Gundam influenced!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


It totally was! All it need was the substitution of "Gundam pilot" for "fighter pilot" and it would have fit right in with any of several series -- complete with cute mascots.

From: [identity profile] tammylee.livejournal.com


I am a lucid dreamer so 'nightmare' usually doesn't apply to what I dream about. I dream up some pretty horrific stuff but I'm usually aware it is a dream so it's more like watching a movie or nudging things a bit so characters get away (if I'm viewing it third person).

When I was a programming student I would code in my sleep and often wake up with solutions to problems that eluded me the day before. On one occasion that I remember for sure I had a prophetic dream that came true the next day.

I hallucinate when I fall asleep and wake up which is usually WAY more frightening to me than any dream I have. I've strongly hallucinated spiders falling on me, falling and hitting the bed, a presence floating just above me, my name being called, family members calling out to me, my hand disappearing, I've been falling asleep with my eyes a bit open and seen things move across my field of vision or crawl towards me with such convincing realism that I've actually jumped out of bed and ran down the hall. to escape them.

My dreams are often inspirations for stories I write.

From: [identity profile] elynne.livejournal.com


The sensation that's most vivid in my dreams is emotions. Everything is intensely, wrenchingly emotional: what would be mild irritation in waking life is violnt rage, what would be vague unhappiness is heartbreaking grief, etc. Second to that is my visual sense, which can focus closer and closer on scenes, revealing more and more details, which will often segue into a completely different dream-thread.

I have had lucid dreams (when you "wake up" and realize you're dreaming, and can control the experince of the dream), have had them deliberately on occasion, but am currently out of practice - lik any other skill, it requires a bit of attention and forethought. My absolute favorite thing to do in lucid dreams is fly. Ridiculously fun.

I wouldn't say that I have recurring, serial dreams, but I do have recurring settings; places that I visit more than once, sometimes to see them change over time, sometimes to travel from one place to another and get a feeling of how they fit together. I've created a city for them, complete with history, geography, and tourist attractions, bringing the various threads of many dreams together in one place. Of course, when you think about a place in that way in waking life enough, it's hard to say which is influencing which. ;)

From: [identity profile] sophia-helix.livejournal.com


I have recurring settings too! Took me a while to pick up on it, and I haven't revisited any of them more than a couple of times, but sometimes a new location appears and I just "know" it's part of the same place.

Oddly, it's not a nice or cool place or something I would have consciously made up, just sort of an average series of cities and towns.

From: [identity profile] morgan-dhu.livejournal.com


I have three very distinct kinds of dreams.

1. Science fiction, fantasy, or adventure serials, which are lots of fun, even if the events are terrifying, because I am usually playing at least one of the heroes (I often seem to be having these drams from multiple viewpoints) and it usually turns out Ok at the end, even though sometimes a couple of my POV dream personas do die.

2. Highly symbolic dreams that are all about working out personal issues.

3. I am very prone to starting to wake up before the brain chemical that immoblises us during dream sleep has broken down completely, so I have a lot of dreams in which I think I'm awake but I'm paralysed, and I hover in a half-dream, half awake state for a few minutes, struggling with the paralysis with my brain inventing reasons for both my paralysis and my fear of not being able to move.

From: [identity profile] puddingcat.livejournal.com


(here via [livejournal.com profile] telophase)

My most vivid dreams are when I'm fretting about being powerless - either my teeth crumbling & falling out, or desperately trying to shout & make myself heard, but no sound coming out.

Another common theme is chasing - but instead of running away from a Big Scary Thing that's getting closer, I'm the person doing the chasing. I never know what it is I'm chasing after, though (either in the dream or when I wake up), but it's always vitally important that I find it.

I rarely dream about sex but, when I do, it's vivid & good. At least, it is until I wake up & realise I've been dreaming about Jeremy Clarkson...
ext_6283: Brush the wandering hedgehog by the fire (vortex)

From: [identity profile] oursin.livejournal.com


A lot of my dreams feature transport of some kind: a version of the London Underground is recurrent, but is never quite like any particular station or route, trains and railway stations also occur quite a lot. I used to have a lot of waiting at bus-stop dreams (these were usually about frustration and failure to catch bus of any use for where I wanted to go), and still have dreams involving long-distance coach stations.

These are not necessarily connected with the travel-anxiety dreams in which I am packing or preparing to go somewhere and time is ticking by or there are problems about getting to the airport/railway station/whatever.

The back-at-university or school dreams, which tend to involve missing huge numbers of classes and generally Failing.

The giving-a-paper dream (not so many of these lately) in which I find I've forgotten my paper and have to go back and fetch it, which segues into the travel anxiety/time pressure dream, or the room is a really odd shape and half the audience is round a corner out of site, or I'm presenting on a roof with the wind whipping away pages.

Recurrent dream places include the bizarro version of the town where I was brought up, and cities (include dream-New York), seaside towns, Mediterranean islands - none of which map exactly to anywhere in particular even if they have a real place-name in the dream.

There's an occasional dream in which I find unexpected rooms in a house that I didn't know were there.

Very occasional apocalypse dreams (also the fascist takeover dream).

Sometimes flying or walking on water - usually with a sense of ah yes, remembering how this works.

Reading, watching movies or a play, and usually getting inside whatever it is.

Besides the wandering around naked one (not exactly a nightmare as such) have the wandering round wearing really inappropriate garments, like ratty old dressing-gown, in public place, one.

Meeting people with whom I have lost touch: this can be good, bad, or ambivalent.

I am not sure whether the 'looking for a loo, and unable to find one that works/isn't utterly disgusting/isn't wide open to public view/etc' is universal, but I was interested when reading Antonia White's diaries to find that she mentioned this one several times.

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


I think the looking-for-a-loo dream must be very nearly universal. I certainly get it all the time.

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From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-03-22 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand

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ext_12512: Hinoe from Natsume Yuujinchou, elegant and smirky (585 embrace your demons)

From: [identity profile] smillaraaq.livejournal.com


I couldn't really answer the sense question properly because while there are definitely dreams where I notice sensory input, I couldn't say that there are particular forms of input that are noticeably more vivid than the others or more vivid than they are in real life.

The flight dreams I've had, while not super-common, did at least have common elements in that it's less superhero-style zooming about and more like levitation, somehow; it's a bit like the wu xia movie leaping/flying, but without the need to touch down even occasionally to maintain lift. It's very much an act of will rather than a sense of physical effort.

The reading dreams tend to be a little upsetting because they usually involve books that are really, really good, or else I've wandered into some amazing bookshop or library that has previously-unknown titles by favorite authors...and when I wake up I can't remember anything about what I was reading. (Unsurprisingly, it gave me quite a thrill of recognition the first time I read Sandman and came across the bits about Dream's library.)

While I've had dreams about the usual sort of scary stuff, death, monsters, accidents, etc., those are very very rare. For the most part my worst nightmares, if I were to describe everything that happened in them, would sound utterly mundane and unthreatening, even almost benign. But they're taking me back to times and places and people that I'm still trying to escape in my head, even if they're far behind me in the physical world, and being back in those places is just more upsetting to me than plane crashes or monsters or the like. Dreaming of the dead, on the other hand, has always been very warm and positive.

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


I've had both positive and negative dreams of the dead. The two I remember, on the extremes, involved my father, in the days and weeks after he died. The first dream was the nightmare, just a couple of days after he died. I'd seen that movie about the living dead in LA that starred Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, whatever it was, somewhat recently. That combined in my head with the reality of my father's death (and possibly a similar scene in one of Barry Hughart's books), and I dreamed of his corpse, grotesquely broken and bent, hopping around the room that I was in.

THat dream disturbed me so much that I had to sleep with the lights on for almost a week, something that had never happened before or since.

The much nicer one, a few weeks later, had me rummaging through the drawer in my father's nightstand where he kept his porn a copy of the family tree made my a relative of my grandfather. My mother's presence was off to the side, although I never saw her directly. I pulled out a large folder and went through it. It contained the family tree, photographs of my father, his father, and their side of the family, and a leather bomber jacket of the type my grandfather wore when he was a pilot instructor in WWII. There was also an envelope, with a few words written on it, which read, "The rest of the world goes on, just not me."

I woke up, thinking that my subconscious didn't need to hit me with that large a sledgehammer. XD

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-03-22 09:41 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] smillaraaq.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-03-22 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand

From: [identity profile] mount-oregano.livejournal.com


I dream that I am traveling almost every night. Where and how and why and with whom varies tremendously. Sometimes they're pleasant trips, sometimes there are problems. There seems to be no relationship to my daily activities or anxieties except for one thing: when I am upset or anxious, I don't travel in my dreams. So now when I remember a travel dream, I interpret that as a sign that I am happy, regardless of how weird or disturbing the dream might be.

From: [identity profile] sophia-helix.livejournal.com


Fun fact: I have only experienced a few of the interesting things (couple of flying dreams, couple of sex dreams), but the bad stuff? You'll note I checked almost every single one.

My dreams are long, rambling, disjointed muddles through a variety of things, some of them interesting to me but boring to recount, and very muted because I don't have a good visual imagination (me! a writer!) although my kinesthetic sense is very magnified, often in an off-balance way.

From: [identity profile] fuchsoid.livejournal.com


I hardly ever dream of people I know in real life, but the characters in my dreams seem solid characters, during the dream, at least. I also often dream I'm someone else.
The settings are often houses or flats where I've lived earlier in my life, often with extra rooms or floors (one block of flats regularly acquires a whole extra floor, with a little row of shops. Sound doesn't play a large part, I think, but I often remember tastes or smells from dreams, as well as things like warmth or cold.
ext_6385: (Default)

From: [identity profile] shewhohashope.livejournal.com


If I could have ticked 'falling' twice I would have. It's my most common nightmare experience, and can happen every night for days or weeks on end.

Paralysis is not that common, but I often have dreams of running - or running away - when I'm moving really slowly. This is about the only time I can really feel my body in motion, and happens enough to put 'kinesthetic' up there with sight and sound.

And I can have serialised dreams, but they don't happen right after each other? Sometimes I'll dream about something, and have another dream in the same 'world' or along the same narrative years after the initial dream.

I never know I'm dreaming. I'll sometimes think it's all a bit ridiculous, but I believe it.

(This is what you get for asking people about their dreams)
ext_6385: (Default)

From: [identity profile] shewhohashope.livejournal.com


And shouting, but not being able to make a sound! That's awful. Being naked in public - but only at school. I suppose for maximum horror.

I can never maintain a logical storyline like yours. Sometimes I'll be watching a character, then I'll be that same character, then it will be me, instead of the character (who is possibly of a different gender, age, ethnicity, personality etc).

From: [identity profile] laurashapiro.livejournal.com

I often dream of...


being at Disneyland at night. I don't know what it means, but it happens *often*, at least five times a year. It's always a very realistic Disneyland, with the music coming out of the bushes and no line for Star Tours, and crowds while Fantasmic is going on, and the layout of the park (which I know pretty well) is consistent with reality.

Possibly relatedly, I also frequently dream of being in Santa Cruz and going back to school there. I'm always the adult me, going back for more schooling, as opposed to the more negative "I never graduated high school and now I'm back in Algebra class" dreams that I have much less often. The Santa Cruz dreams are filled with happiness and/or sweet longing for a time in my life when I felt free and unencumbered.

I dream about sex increasingly often as I get older, almost always with famous people or characters from my shows about whom I may or may not have conscious erotic feelings.

From: [identity profile] hokelore.livejournal.com


I haven't had one for a while, but I used to have running dreams a lot. People were after me, usually with the intent of executing me, and I was trying to escape. I use the word execute deliberately. These people, if they actually appeared, were uniformed, vaguely fascistic in appearance. Often in these dreams, my fastest running was incredibly slow; try as I might, I couldn't cover much ground, and I was getting so tired...

My most vivid dreams ever happened during a six month period in the mid 80s. I took a job I hated, in a smallish town where I had no friends or anything to do. All I did was work, read (mostly fantasy) and drink (alone).
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Default)

From: [personal profile] chomiji



I dream about traveling a lot, and by different means - usually cars, but sometimes trains, planes, or on foot. I cross bridges often - or try to cross them, and get blocked somehow.



I also explore buildings, or have dreams about odd things (furniture, objects, people, rooms) showing up in "my house," which rarely resembles any house in which I've actually lived.



I'm very prone to the classic school-anxiety dreams: it's exam day, and somehow I've never attended a single class; it's the first day, and I can't find the classroom; it turns out I never graduated elementary school, and have to go back and sit crammed in a kid-sized desk and complete the work. (Actually, I don't think I've had that last one for about a decade, but I used to have it often.)



This is a good site about dreams. If you put your dream into their dream database, they'll give you automatic feedback on some of the basic, typical symbols in it. The symbology is culturally-dependent and is based on the data they've collected (they ask you, on the dream submission form, question about whether you've had stress in job or personal life recently, and give you room to type in details). Clearly, they're better at symbols common to many people - but I've actually found their stuff useful for untangling weird dreams.




From: [identity profile] umbo.livejournal.com


My disturbing nightmares often involve driving and not being able to control the car, like the brakes not working, or the dream when I was having to drive in reverse on the highway, or the one time I did dream that I actually died, in which I was sliding on ice on an off-ramp and crashed and died. Yes, I do have control issues; how did you guess? ;-)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I had a memorably horrible one in which I was driving up such a steep, almost vertical hill that the car sloooowly flipped over backward, like a falling domino! Aieeeee!

I actually am afraid of driving up very steep hills.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] wordkink.livejournal.com - Date: 2008-03-23 01:26 am (UTC) - Expand
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From: [personal profile] oyceter


My dreams are almost never sensorily vivid. Well, unless my teeth are falling out, and then they are disturbingly so. I also don't remember most of my dreams, though I do tend to dream about being people who are not me. It's particularly disturbing when I wake up and realize the me of waking is not the same me in my dream.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I usually don't remember my dreams. I think I only remembered that one because the phone rang and woke me from it -- and then I promptly recounted it to the caller (a friend you don't know), to her amusement. ("Was he like an old WWII pilot, or a young one like in Top Gun?")

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