The Beauty of Bad Dreams

An Inexplicable Lingering Charm

Most of us don’t like having bad dreams, they wake us from our beds, tear us from our sleep, drag us deep into the dark part of our inner psyche. But they do something else too – they show us what our minds are capable of, and in all that running and screaming and sweating there is a peculiar beauty.

A beauty that has us thinking about those dreams for the rest of the day with a strange need to figure it out. More so even than those nice happy dreams that leave us feeling well rested. How many have you had and been unable to stop thinking about just how the banister on the stairs twisted in a very grand Tim Burton like way. Or how the water in that glass was so unbelievably blue. Or the clothes you were wearing made it so impossible to run.

It’s no wonder so many horror stories are said to be written after horrific dreams. There’s something in them that’s equal parts difficult to forget and difficult to bring to life. To show the world just how it was.

Some nights are so strange that even the waking moments have you wondering whether you’re still dreaming.

It is said that dreaming is a way of working out the thoughts or occurrences from the day. And if that’s the case I probably do too much thinking.

But this also means that nightmares and bad dreams are about working out what happened during the day. I don’t know about you but I rarely feel like a nightmare worked anything out. It definitely gives me a sense of ‘Crap I don’t want to be in this house any more, with it’s creaking pipes, and stair noises’. Especially at 2am.

The thing is, the thing that bugs me that is, if in dreams a house represents your mind, and the rooms and things in it are the things you’re thinking about, why is the house so different in a nightmare or bad dream? Seriously, in a regular dream I have hidden doors and rooms, nice furnishings, and a stupid amount of stuff just kinda stored against the walls. Rooms that I recognise and some that I feel like I should.

But in a bad dream its completely different. The house is huge and grand, decorated in dark decadent colours, luxurious even. The stairs curve, the doors have gold handles, there are often turrets and basements, lavish dining rooms, and more rooms than I can possibly explore in one night.

Which version is really the inside of my mind?

And why was there so many people crowding into the hallway last night – breaking into my dream house. Who the hell were they and why were they congregating in such an irritating fashion at the bottom of the stairs. I mean seriously, even in my dream I was trying to sleep – damn that bed was comfy.

We all know that feeling of suddenly being awake, arms pinning the duvet to your sides, unmoving as you peer into the dark corners of the room to make certain there’s nothing there.

Does it mean there’s something we’re really afraid of in our waking lives that we’re failing to confront? Sometimes I wonder if dream me has really considered the plot before she begins on her treacherous thought hopping journey in my head. I mean she rarely has a plan, hardly ever has appropriate weapons, and what the hell is going on with dream punching? I’ve only ever been able to actually hit someone in my dream properly once, and I was so ecstatic I finally manage it that I completely missed what happened next – I can only assume it was in some part a lucid dream. But normally it’s more like trying to hit someone through water. No I don’t spend most dreams hitting people, just some, occasionally. Remind me to tell you about the one where I blew someone’s brains out with my fingers.

And what the hell is going on with flying? Why am I always doing the breaststroke in mid-air, why can’t I just fly like superman?

But whatever your dream is about there are bound to be elements in it that linger with you all day. I think those things should be written down, savoured, and used in stories.bad dreams

Because sometimes those nightmare landscapes are just beautiful.

Kate xxx

P.S. What strange thing happens in your dreams that’s unexplainably weird.