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9.10.2011

IN SLEEPING COLOR

Dreams are interesting to me.  Both the ones that we hold inside - the hopes and wishes we so desire, and the ones that can play in technicolor on our mind's screens while we are in a sleeping state.  Research says that sleep cycles bring us in and out of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep on average 3-5 times a night.  Sleep stages on a chart are similar to a heart beat - up and down, up and down.  REM sleep is when we dream and if woken during it, can more easily remember the dream.  So it is likely we all dream every night, but just do not consciously remember them many times.  I know people who dream very vividly nightly.  Their dreams involve color, emotion, movement, voice, etc....  I remember my dreams rarely.  My sisters and I were talking about re-occurring dreams we all had as kids - telling each other what they were and then laughing at the hilarity of some of them.  My reoccurring childhood dream had, what my daughter and I have dubbed, displaced histology (it is a made up term), which means things from different periods of history were intermingled.  It involved the shed behind my parent's house which in the 1800's was a butcher/smokehouse.  It was a small, white, clapboard, one roomed building with a dirt floor we used as a playhouse of sorts growing up.  In my dream, the butcher would be inside the building trimming meat and hanging it up to smoke  - set in the 1800's.  In his butcher shop was a modern day 4 drawer black filing cabinet with a priceless collection of 45's (those are records for you young people!).  An Indian would quietly sneak into the building barefooted and try to open the filing cabinet without the butcher, who would be a few feet away, hearing him.  The same thing would ensue; the butcher would hear him, turn and chase him out of the building where the remainder of the dream was the Indian holding in his hand a record being chased by the butcher with a large butcher knife.  The chase would go around and around and around the building with the butcher never catching the Indian.  It was never-ending and always the same in every dream. I also dreamed as a kid that I could fly down our staircase in the farmhouse I grew up in - making the curve with no effort.  That dream was exhilarating!  We all commented that as we grew up we quit having those particular re-occurring dreams.  I'm not sure why we sometimes dream some of the things we do.  Is it things that happen during the day, some of the last thoughts we think while conscious, subconscious hidden thoughts surfacing, God's way of speaking to us, that bowl of ice cream we ate an hour before bed?  This week I had a horrible dream which woke me up in full emotion crying.  Everything was so vivid, so real.  I felt all the powerful emotions in the dream and when I woke, it stayed heavy on me for part of the day.  I tried to figure out how I had placed all those people, places and events together.  I tried to figure out if it had some significant meaning that I needed to glean from it.  Still when typing this post, and recounting that dream, those emotions are brought back up.  I've had a few dreams where people close to me have died and I am at their viewing or funeral.  Those always rattle my cage.  My husband says that I laugh in my sleep and just the other day, that I cried - not lightly but cried.  He asked if I was ok, but without verbal response he knew I was dreaming.  Occasionally I am told that I appear frightened in my sleep and when that happens he says I move very quickly to him and wrap myself around him with a tight grip as though I want to be protected or comforted.  It bothers me that I don't know what I have laughed, cried or been scared about during my sleep.  My sister says my brother-in-law talks full sentences in his sleep like, "I told you to do that this way, etc..."  I was glad to hear that I laugh sometimes during sleep as laughter is such a big part of who I am.  Good to know that holds true in my uncontrollable unconscious dream state!  God used dreams a lot in the Bible to say something, to speak something profound in a hidden way.  Maybe He still does.  I am curious about dreams.

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