Recently, the Gorgeous Boy, aged not-quite-three-and-a-half, discovered Playstation. The effect on the Gorgeous Boy was extraordinary and, watching his hypnotic state while my girls ran about busying themselves with other games, I was convinced more than ever that nature, not nurture, is the dominant force in children’s personalities (unless you are a (s)mother, but I’ve never had the energy for that). One of the many consequences of GB’s meeting with hand-held game controllers (something I am really going to have to blog about in more detail very, very soon) was that we purchased one to use with PC games at home. Then we purchased the games. Then a second controller, and a third, on account of having three children. But we’re still way ahead of the cost of a PS2 AND I do not have to have the vile console in our house. Yet.
But none of this is the point of this post.
The reason I am thinking about recurring dreams is that one of the games, a Disney concoction based on the llama’s trek down the mountains in The Emperor’s New Groove, has scenes where you, the llama, fall off the side of a steep Andean Alp. And holy shit do you fall.
The vertigo as your llama (you) teeters at the edge of the mountain; the moment of panic as you realise you can’t scramble back to safety; the splayed legs and arms as you fall, fall, fall into blue nothing…
Well, I know I’m reading too much into a Disney game but haven’t you had that dream? That falling dream where you don’t hit the bottom but wake yourself up to blissful, safe consciousness.
I can’t say this dream hits me at any obvious times of crisis or indecision. I do remember having it from pre-school years onwards and had it again only two weeks ago. When I was a teenager I realised that I had more vivid, and more often recurring dreams than most of my friends. But then, most of my friends were dairy farmers’ kids with two left thumbs and one set of grandparents so it’s not like I’m establishing an advanced level of awareness there, is it?
The opposite of my falling dream is my flying dream, which sadly does not come along anywhere near so often, but when it does it is so real that I am absolutely certain I know what it would feel like to fly unassisted through the air.
Every time, I have been flying through my primary school playground.
Only there are not so many trees as in this picture, only the really big plane and pine trees in a long avenue down to the oval (my dream is set 30 years ago).
The thing I love about the flying dream (and hate about the falling dream) is that I can recall it so easily, right down to the way the air feels on my skin and how I can swoop and turn by twisting my shoulders.
I’m not really sure now where this post is going. Originally I thought it would be about why we get recurring dreams and whether they are annoying or wonderful and whether you can make yourself have the wonderful ones and avoid the annoying or awful ones.
But now I think it’s more about balance. About Ying and Yang. About how you can pretty much cope with the falling dreams provided you can sometimes fly.