Musings · Present

On the unknowable

Last night I dreamed a dream.

But before someone should get their hopes up, let me assure you I will not now break out into song.

When I woke this night, it was in the wake of a troubling and strange dream. I tried to shake off its shroud, but even as I went through all the motions of night as is my routine, I found my thoughts returning to the fleeting images still imprinted in my memory, most save certain moments gradually turning to wisps of smoke that vanished without a trace. But there remains these nagging armaments, stirring more questions as the hours pass.

I know my dreams. They are strange and dark things, some hidden corner of my mind trying to tell me something. Like the ones where I find her, though I am blind, and kiss her like I’ve never kissed anyone in all my life. Or the ones where he is crying and I am lost. Or where I fall and fall and then I fly. Or when I must kill our children because she commands me to, and I love her so much.

Rarely ever do my bad memories manifest themselves in my dreams; even my subconscious knows better than that by now. Why would I want to remember sadness and pain beyond words, of monstrosity and loss? I’ve enough of these things in my waking hours, and sometimes it is only sleep that shields me from every present reminder of what true pain feels like.

This dream was not mine. I was a boy in colonial clothing. I was being led by an old man down a dirt path in between a field and a yard. We left out a back door. One of the first things I passed on my left was a slave, working with something made of wood and metal. And then when I looked around there were other slaves scattered about, none of them looking at me when I walked passed. The old man who had the tips of his fingers pressed to the back of my neck to guide me took me to a grave, and I recall the fierce wave of grief that went through me. The name to me is unfamiliar, to the boy in the dream it was the name of his father. And I knew this without knowing it.

These are not memories of mine. I was never a boy in colonial clothing. I never owned slaves such as the ones in my dream. And my father certainly did not die when I was a boy, but he died as a satisfied old man surrounded by his legacy of children and grandchildren.

It makes me wonder where this memories come from.

I can keep out the voices, the sounds, the clamour of the world. But there is a terrible vulnerability that comes with being asleep, and I think that sometimes my guard slips because I lack the ability to control my mind.

So I wonder: when I dream, does my mind reach out and latch on to the unsuspecting? Am I seeing what they see? Witnessing a day in their life? Dreams of sitting at a cafe, or smiling at a woman I do not know, that when I wake up perplex me because why should I dream something so pedestrian? Something so unlike my own experience or even my own possible range of experience?

When I dream, do I see their dreams? If the mind I latch on to is sleeping, just as I do, can I share in the vision that visits their slumbering mind? Surely when they wake they can make sense of their dream, whatever it means to their lives and relationships, but to me is merely and utterly confusing.

Are there memories I have shoved so far into the back of my mind that they only surface when I sleep? Did I meet some young man so, so very long ago and see his boyhood memory of his father’s death in his mind, and promptly filtered it into the “unnecessary” category of those things that are never really ever forgotten, not in my mind? And now, for some inexplicable reason, because the mind such a very curious thing, my mind chose that particular memory to give back to me.

In my dreams I have mourned people I’ve never known. I’ve made love to men and women I’ve never met. I’ve seen things in the light of day that I have no possible way of experiencing in my life. I’ve watched people die whom I do not know. I’ve died so many ways, for so many reasons, filled with such a range of emotion from rage to love. I’ve touched and tasted. Yet it leaves me unable to dissect or understand, and when I cannot enclose everything within a impenetrable barrier of understanding or justification, I cannot accept, and it plagues me like something is whispering nonstop into the back of my mind.

7 thoughts on “On the unknowable

  1. Good evening Marius, this is my first comment but I read your words from the beginning.
    I thank you so much.
    I was thinking of dreams some days ago. They are a kind of rielaboration of our subconcious. Maybe in dreams you began to live your experiences sublimated and covered by a sort of mental joke, just as mortals do, for some reason.
    You talk about slaves. You had slaves during you mortal life. Maybe your mind created a similar scenario.
    In my dream I use to elaborate my father’s death in many different ways. I could guess you did the same. You have a heart too, anyway, and heart can be wounded in many ways without even knowing it.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    1. A mental joke. Now that could certainly be, and I wouldn’t put it passed my mind to try to trick me. It does so love to vex me.

      I certainly did have slaves as a child and man, and then beyond. Though mine were all mainly of Greek origin because I loved having them next to me, beautiful as they were and are.

      It could be some trick of the mind. I never get to attend my father’s funeral procession with my family, or attend his body the way I should have as his son.

  2. Ah, dreams are a wonderful thing. It shows With a lot of symbolism, I dig symbolism, and mystery. Desires and wishes, the sights you love to see the sights that you fear.
    Naturally, the processing of the day is important. 3 days without dreams, and you’d be crazy.

    It would take an eternity, and unfortunately I am not immortal, to analyze all your dreams. But it is possible of course. Perhaps Pandora knows some advice?

    Whenever I deal with something or someone, I dream about it. So of course I had some vamp dreams as well. Even I was never be a vamp in the dreams, perhaps I don´t wish for or perhpas it don´t fits me…
    Symbolically is the vampire in the dream someone or something who take something from you with force, he/she drain your life, your power, your energy out of you.
    But of course it may have even more symbolism. It is probably also depends on the person and the situation. And of course what a vamp (or “your” vamp) means to you,
    When Paul dreams from Celeste have that certainly several meanings. *grins
    (greetings to Paul)

  3. Hello Marius,
    I hope you don’t mind me inserting myself into this conversation. I just find your writings interesting. If this is frowned upon, please let me know and I’ll refrain from doing so again in the future.

    I also have had odd dreams like this and it makes no sense to me since I’m just a normal human with no extraordinary powers; that I’m aware of at least.
    One of the last dreams I had like this was about a month or so ago. I dreamed I was this little girl. No more than 7 or 8 and I was being led into what looked like an abandoned mine or cave of some sort by an older man that I trusted. From there it just got weirder and extremely dark and twisted where the girl eventually met her end by this man in an extremely screwed up manner.
    I woke up dizzy, disoriented and even dehydrated and that whole day I wasn’t able to shake it off completely. What really got to me is that the girl, was in no shape or form me in anyway whatsoever! I almost felt like I has relived her murder. Of course my curiosity got to me and I Google a few key words to see if perhaps that’s what it was. But nothing. No recorder of a muder like that, at least that I could find. Maybe I’m some sort if clairvoyant. That would be interesting…


    1. What do you mean when you refer to the man in the cave’s “strange manner”? Was he mangled? Was there a sense of ill-intent about him? Humans are more clever and more clairvoyant than you are aware because it is easy to dismiss these instances as dreams or coincidences. I am the same, in fact. I possess no ability to foresee the future, but sometimes I do wonder if small tendrils of it make it into my always active mind. I believe it depends on how vivid the dream is. Dreams that are surreal tend to be just that– dreams. However, if there is a clear formulated narrative to the dream, there may be something more to it.

      1. It’s been a while, but I do remember this dream way to vividly than I like to admit. I didn’t go into a lot of detail because it was so dark. But I feel as if the man was her father and in my dream I knew something was wrong. That he just wasn’t right. I can’t explain it, but he eventually ended up dismembering her… it was awful…

        1. When I have dreams so vivid, it is typically because I am remembering something that I had forgotten long ago. Not as an immortal– my memory is impeccable, but events of when I lived as a mortal and I had a mortal memory. But these “human” memories do come back to me now and again, in fragments, in dreams.

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