22 July 2010


Sometimes, in my dreams, my eyelids grow heavier than they ever do in real life, and no matter how I try to keep them open, they clamp down shut. Last night it happened while I was on vacation with my family, whirling down the boardwalk on a red swivel chair, on my way to a party.

The dream dictionaries tell me that there are two possible meanings for blindness in dreams. Either there is a problem that I refuse to see, or I feel lost and uncertain. I think my fight to keep my eyes open in my dreams mean I'm refusing to go blind (it always happens when something fun is happening, or there's something I know I can't
miss). But I guess even my unconscious doesn't know what I'm looking for.

Since we're on the topic of dreams, let's talk the world of "Inception" a bit (I loved the movie).

If I got stuck in limbo, I would probably spend my time doing just what Cobb and Mal did, designing buildings. Except, I don't know much about architecture, so my creations would probably look more Hundertwasser than Frank Lloyd Wright. Or they'd be kinda box-like, because The Sims is about the closest I've ever gotten to designing places.

I'd build all the houses I've wanted to live in, in the places I've wanted to stay--Monterey, Ballesteros, Benguet, Camiguin. But I'd take Cobb's advice and not remake Kalsangi; I'd rather not give into that temptation. I have to admit that part of its magic is in its staying a memory.

If I had a totem, it would probably be the pen my dad gave me when I graduated from elementary school. It seems kind of cliche--ooh, a "writer," choosing a pen as her totem--but actually, I'd choose it because it's old (it was Dad's dad's), a little heavy, and out of ink. I don't think they make refills for it anymore, so if I picked up the pen and could write with it, I'd know I was in a dream. The sentimental value doesn't hurt, of course.

I know the totems featured in the film were tiny, but that's another reason I'd choose the pen; I'd probably lose my totem if it were any smaller.

Do you dream of the same places in your dreams? Over the years, the settings of my dreams have become more constant. Cobb and Mal tended to return to certain places as they built their dreams; is that true of the unconscious in real life? Do we put down roots in our unconscious as we get older? I don't remember places I dreamed about as a kid as clearly as I remember the places I've dreamt about in the past couple of years.

Or is it just a reflection of your current state? I often dream about beaches and hotels. Not always the same beach or the same hotel, just that the events in my dreams tend to take place on a beach or in a hotel. The dream dictionaries say beaches represent a meeting place between the two states of mind, the rational and the irrational (I wonder if Christopher Nolan knew that when he set the entrance to limbo "on the shores of your subconscious"). Hotels, meanwhile, represent shifts in identity. Add the blindness, and, well.

Now I'm a little annoyed. Couldn't my unconscious say anything helpful, instead of just stating the obvious?

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