Dreams are torturous little things.
I have incredibly vivid dreams, and I’ve always been thankful of this fact, despite that it means some days my dreams really fuck with me. There’s this unique range of emotions that seems exclusive to dreams: hazy nostalgia and melancholy mixed with the sense of more memories just out of the reach of your mind. These feelings always come wrapped in a sense of appreciation of incredible, complex beauty.
My dreams are influenced by my life, but more or less out of my control. They have their own recurring locations and characters, some of which are amalgamations of real life places or spiritual representations of real world people (some people in my life are replicated in my dreams shockingly well.) There are locations within dreams that are impossible to access from the waking world, and likewise locations within the waking world that seem impossible to conjure in a dream. Most dreams I am content to leave, some I am quite happy to flee. Occasionally, though, dreams take me through simulations of that which could have been if not for what actually was.
Such dreams are the most painful, I think, because leaving them, while necessary, results in the loss of a beautiful potentiality. While I don’t believe it’s healthy to preoccupy myself with every painful past event, it’s undeniable that some events stick with me and the prospect of a different outcome is tempting and poignant. Emotional vulnerability at a peak, even a surreal vision of pains undone is difficult to walk away from.
I embrace them all: the time traveling dreams in which I live an entirely different life lost in an unfamiliar past, planning each day what I will do when I reach the day my younger self fell through time; the bloody nightmares planted in my brain by John Carpenter’s The Thing; the heroic struggles against demons with holy weapons (or angels with demonic weapons); and the dreams in which I spend time with those now gone in a world just different enough to not be our own.