The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
From Twas the Night Before Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore

I miss the dreams I had as a kid, flights of fancy so feathered and unfettered, I hated to wake up. I’d soar off cliffs and over seas. Oh, how I would fly! Or, I went on daring spy capers, intricate plots surpassing anything Ian Fleming, John le Carré, Tom Clancy, or Robert Ludlum could devise.

At a young age, I was a seasoned warrior—the victor of many dream battles, some won only by waking. And when a monster came to call, one beyond my ability to defeat, I still had an escape—the ability to soar away, high over its grinning maw.


I know. We grow up and get busy with work, bills, kids, and problems like taxes, unfaithful significant others, and health issues. We’re weighted by worries, pain, and loss. So tethered to the earth, who can possibly soar in a dream?

Lately, my dreams have become angst-ridden things, like hands fluttering. Recently, I dreamed I had an advisor who had the look of Matt Smith from Doctor Who, all gangly and twitchy.


He handed me a paper with a big red F on it, then proceeded to harangue me for not having my entire novel written before the end of the semester. Though I pleaded with him, the grade remained unchanged, a beacon to my incompetence in his eyes.


At other times, I’ve had the dreams many of us have—not enough credits to graduate; the discovery of a paper due minutes before class; tests for which I didn’t study. Oh, the scenario has switched sometimes: buses and trains I missed; endless train journeys I’ve taken, but never to reach my destination; cars misplaced or stolen.

Life in my dream state. Sometimes I don’t recall my dreams upon waking. Still, a lingering feeling of anxiety drifts after me into the day like a dark cloud, and I’m grateful I don’t recall the plotline of that particular nightmare.

Maybe my waking dreams need to be taken up and flapped and snapped like a rug—to shake away the dust and sediment of doubt or despair. Or, maybe they need to be gussied up—brushed and curled and reminded that they exist, that they are beautiful and possible, and that the time to realize them is, and always was, now.

Then maybe the landscape of my night dreams would expand. Maybe I would return to those visions of sugar-plums. Or better yet, take a flight so glorious—no wings required. Just me and the air.

Oh, how I will fly!

Need a new waking dream? Reach for the sky with me. Together, we’ll soar.


Pictures from digitalspy.co.uk; photos-public-domain.com

20 thoughts on “Dreams

  1. The earliest dream that I can remember is from when I was five years old (I know that because it was before we moved house.) Opposite where we lived there was a stone wall, with a large slope down into wasteland that people would dump their rubbish. Which went down well in the neighbourhood. My Dad, in an effort probably to keep us away from there for obvious hygiene reasons would tell us to steer clear as there were ‘giant rats’ down there.( I guess there really were rats though, things being dumped and all that.)
    I had a dream that we were playing down there and some now unknown, faceless kid now lost to time shouted that a rat was coming. We all run and climbed over the wall and the rat came crashing through it behind us. By ‘giant rats’ my Dad meant cat-sized, in my dream it was car-sized. Things are always bigger and better, or more troubling and scarier in dreams.
    Thought I would share my thirty seven year old dream with you. Is it any wonder I went on to read James Herbert?
    Now from an adult perspective, I love dreams. A healthy dose of un-reality.
    I cannot understand people who avoid eating cheese before bed.

    • Wow. It’s great that you remember that dream so vividly, Andy. That dream reminds me of the old photographs you collect. Perhaps it will spur you to write that story. I had vivid nightmares like that. Usually, I was chased by robots for some reason. Or I had the insect dreams where a swarm of insects took over a house. I can trace some of those insect dreams to watching cheaply made disaster movies.

      • I remember all sorts from early age-I met my wife originally in infant school and she and the friends who have grew up with us and remained in touch since then remark about how I recall all the stuff they can’t. Conversations we had, things we did etc ( like that ‘James Herbert’ coach trip I’ve posted about.) I would make a great debt collector.
        Dreams-I guess we’ve all at some point had the one about our teeth falling out?

      • I’ve had that dream! Anyway, such clarity of memory will serve you well as a novelist. Yes, I will keep bringing that up.

  2. I love dreams. I remember them almost every night. I never want to dream the things i did when i was a kid. They were all nightmares. I still remember them today. I love the feel of flying in my dream, it makes me want to be free!

    • Thanks for commenting. By the way, you have a very interesting blog!! I meant to ask you what you thought of the movie Inception with its theme of dreams.

      • The movie “Inception” I loved it! It was then that I actually began to really record my dreams more thoroughly. I found the movie fascinating. I thought it would be a different movie, but when I actually watched it, I didn’t mind it at all 🙂

      • I loved it too! Loved the different ways people interpreted the action. My brother and I sat and talked about it for three hours!

  3. Wonderful post, Linda. I love this: “Maybe my waking dreams need to be taken up and flapped and snapped like a rug—to shake away the dust and sediment of doubt or despair. Or, maybe they need to be gussied up—brushed and curled and reminded that they exist, that they are beautiful and possible, and that the time to realize them is, and always was, now.”

    Thanks for the reminder.

  4. It seems like I only remember my dreams when I’ve gotten enough sleep, which is more uncommon than I would like. My dreams these days, like yours, seem to be less flights of fancy than random thoughts circling in my brain. Recently while traveling, I forgot my socks. That night, I had a dream that I found a secret compartment in my suitcase filled with socks. Not paryicularly thrilling. I guess we need to think about our stories just before bed to get them to join us in our dreams. 🙂

    • Christi, your dreams are like many of mine–problem solving dreams! I don’t mind those. They’re entertaining in their own way. But I like the epic ones, where you go on adventures. I wrote a novel based on a dream I had once. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Maybe if you had given your dream’s Matt Smith doppelganger some fish fingers and pudding he would have changed your grade to an A. Dreams are necessary. May yours come true.

  6. For years I dreamed in reccuring dreams that procceeded through natural time. So for example, when a dream ended one night, it would pick up where it left off the next night and continue. They would always have the same setting, people, etc. It was completely incredible and terrifying at the same time. In one of these dreams it had me die. It was so vivd I wole up and knew I had to tell people how I would die. After that, I no longer dreamed in that way. 2 years later I had the exact scenario that happened in my dream happen to me only I was prepared and did not end up dying. The people who I had told of my dream were in disbelief. I don’t know what to make of all of this so I have just left it as it is. One of those unexplainable life mysteries. But whenever it gets brought up to the front of my mind, it does make me wonder how dreams are connected with life. I lvoe this post. Thank you for sharing!

    • Wow. That’s a frightening recurring dream. I’m glad you don’t have that any more. It’s interesting that you felt compelled to tell people what happened after you woke up! I’ve had recurring dreams, mostly of me misplacing my car or someone attempting to steal it. Night after night I had that. Very annoying! I often wonder why we have recurring dreams! Anyway, thanks for commenting!

  7. I have a recurring dream, always I’m wandering around a colourful market, full of sweet spicy aromas. Bright shimmering scarfs tempt me into a quiet space where a friendly woman with long dark hair, beckons me to sit down. We then engage in a long conversation. I wake up not knowing what we’ve talked about, however I feel strangely peaceful. Dreams can sometimes spark off an idea for a poem or prose.

    • That’s awesome! And I have to compliment you once again on your wonderful imagery. Your poetry reflects your trips to the spice market in your dreams. 🙂 You know, I’ve had the spice dream. I’m usually in a store looking at open containers of spices. I still wonder what individual spices mean. Maybe we’ll find some answers here–http://shooken.wordpress.com/

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