Saturday, January 19, 2013

Flying Dreams

"To sleep--perchance to dream." Yes please!! I've never understood why so many people, including myself, would put off the sweet hours of sleeping just to play some meaningless game on their computer, or waste their lives away in a bar until 3am (not me), only to get involved in some potential nastiness afterward.  To me, there are worlds and experiences that can never happen in this world, just waiting inside of our own minds.  It's as if the creative juices in our minds swirl and take on images of their own.  It's the pleasure of writing during the day, knowing that, the potential creativity will set off some wonderful, bizarre plots in my head while I snore and the TV replays the latest sports highlights or some long ago episode of Suite Life on Deck. I often find myself in the mall (and as I've said before, the food court is huge!), usually working at Borders, which has never closed in my head. Or I'm at college (or some learning place) and I'm going to class, going around the large glass elevator in the middle of Atkinson Hall or around the Olympic-sized swimming pool in what was the old English building, but was torn down in a massive pile of rubble to make way for the library.  Those are the dreams I'd just as soon never wake up from, as they are quite wonderful.  To learn, to work at a bookstore, that, despite having to show customers where Sex Chronicles was way too many times, and cleaning up the children's section after the tornadoes (that were 3 year old children and their parents) hit, I would never want to work anywhere else.

Dreaming is so vital to our waking lives, because during that time, the brain can restore chemicals that keep us happy during the day.  Seratonin, Dopamine.  It's one of the things I always look at when someone has depression, because if they're not dreaming, they're gonna get cranky (see Star Trek: TNG episode "Night Terrors", Season 4, Ep. 17).  Now, it usually regenerates, but if I have a nightmare, say, me stuck in a classroom teaching, with students going out of control, then it will just as easily drain, and when I wake up, it feels like I've been run over by a bus. Then there's the dreams where I'm visiting an old friend, and I wake up in a nostalgic state of bliss.

There's no better dream, however, than the flying dream.  Look up "Flying" in any dream dictionary, and it will tell you that it's a symbol of escape, that something in your life was restricting you, keeping you chained to the ground.  Or it's a symbol of freedom, of having escaped from life and enjoyed some ubiquity for a time.  I can understand both those ideas, but when you've had the dreams, even in waking times, of being able to fly (and I'm sure most everyone has, ever since man saw a bird fly and wished he could do the same), sometimes it's just flying.  I remember looking out of my mom's 76 Mustang, as we drove on I-40 down through Oklahoma City, out the side window and imagining myself flying along side the car, whipping through and in and out of the power lines and the few trees that were there.

Dream flying is interesting, because I don't always fly the same way.  Sometimes, it's hard to get off the ground, frustrating, as if my weight kept me slow and struggling to get even a few feet into the air. The dream-symbols would interpret this as some sort of frustration I would have with my weight, but I doubt that.  Then there's the idea of going just a little too far off the ground, and being afraid of falling.  The falling dream is another thing all together, but I don't usually have those.  But those feelings of having your brain up atop your head, and being too high up, those feelings come regularly, if I get to high from the ground.

The best flying dream is the free-from-all-restrictions flying, and would look something like Bastian riding on Falcor from the Neverending Story.  Those are amazing journeys past lakes and cities and forests and straight on till morning.  Nothing could ruin my mornings after those dreams.

(I had to make that video large, and I switched it to the Atreyu-Falcor scene. Turn the volume up, I love that soundtrack!) Anyway.... Why I mention this now, is that we are all used to looking at things on the ground, with the trees and buildings attached to the soil and then going up. We don't see the world as birds see it, Until now. Google has changed the way we look at the world. With Google Earth, and Google Maps, we can now see world as the crow flies. And I'm quite addicted to it, willing to look at my county for hours on end, seeing the roads and where they go, finding trails that run deep into the forests, following railroad tracks for miles. I can fly to other cities, even ones that friends live in, and see their shops and streets. I've flown over roads in the middle of Spain, finding villages that clearly exist outside of the 21st century. Add that to the "Street-View" idea, and I can land and walk down those faraway roads. Travel without even leaving my chair. It makes my dreams even more real, because now my brain has a blueprint of how things are supposed to look from the sky, and it fills in those experiences when necessary. The best thing? I can fly anywhere I want, in worlds real or imaginary, and I will never lose my luggage.

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