I often have flying dreams. I’m not sure why—maybe because i’m an air sign? maybe i have a penchant for lucid dreaming? maybe i just need an escape?—but whatever the reason, i highly enjoy them and don’t ever want to stop dreaming them. I usually write down dreams that leave an impression on me, so fortunately, i have most of my flying dreams recorded, and those i haven’t recorded, i remember. The following are excerpts from said dream journals with additional notes in brackets:
03/09/06: The shooting fire engine and the haystack maze
I could fly. I had to flap my arms forcefully and push myself up to go high. I could reach the clouds. I didn’t get wet. The scenery was beautiful and the sensation exhilarating. The wet fields looked glassy from above. But the fire engine (was there only one?) kept chasing me and shooting at me. I didn’t get shot, but i was very scared. The fire engine was maneuvering a maze of haystacks/bushes below, and it was moving pretty slowly because it had to make several sharp turns to follow me. I knew that hiding in the haystacks/bushes would be safer than being in open air, but flying down took a lot of courage because it meant getting closer to the engine.
I had to duck down to the ground most of the time and fly through the bushes and sometimes hide in them. The bushes were very weird. They were sort of like an elevated platform, except made of branches and leaves. They weren’t too tall; in fact, some were terribly short, maybe a foot tall, and i was stupid to try and hide in them. The maze was made up of these cube-shaped haystacks and bushes lined up and sometimes stacked, kind of like Tetris pieces. There were three main types of cubes: classic dry bundled haystacks, bushes of dry branches and leaves, and moist grass compacted and bundled with hemp. I got scratched all over from flying right through them, but i didn’t notice the pain because i was too scared. I didn’t understand why this fire truck was chasing me and trying to kill me.
06/16/07: The mall parking lot
My most recent one was another outdoor chase dream. Something or someone was chasing me and i was trying to escape on foot. For some reason, running feels really weird in my dreams. It’s as if my legs are in slow motion while everything else continues at a normal pace, which makes me feel like i’m taking slow, giant, awkward leaps. So anyway, i was running, and then i was suddenly able to fly, but in this dream, i didn’t have too much control over my newfound power; i kept going higher and higher and couldn’t figure out how to get back down.
For some reason, i keep thinking of Brunswick Square Mall [as the setting of the dream]. The JCPenney lot. A lamppost and some halloween monster sort of thing. Flying up and up. Evening? Summer evening sounds about right. Maybe that was my first lucid dream ever. [I thought maybe i had become lucid when i realized that i wasn’t able to run properly and essentially *tried* flying in an attempt to escape my pursuer.]
Sometime between June and October of 2007, i had recurring dreams of flying (but more like floating) in a tunnel. It was a short tunnel with both ends visible from where i was inside, and i was climbing the air by moving my legs as if i were riding a bicycle. The wind in the tunnel also carried me upwards, and in both dreams, i almost hit the ceiling before floating gently back down. I wasn’t hurt in either dream, but the sensation was unsettling, likely because the flying actually took a lot of physical effort on my part, and i didn’t particularly enjoy forcing myself up to nearly touch the ceiling. Here is the third dream:
10/31/07 : Tunnel, hitting the ceiling
Today, i hit the ceiling.
I see the tunnel and i start to sing cos both ends reveal no people or cars. What the ends do reveal though are two completely different worlds: a residential street in a North Jersey suburb (or its stylistic equivalent) on one end, and a fantasy world on the other (don’t remember the details of this end).
So i sing (i forget what song), and i walk back and forth cos it’s a really sort tunnel. It’s kind of grey and bleak outside, like it should be when it’s raining, except it’s not raining like it was inside [at this point in the dream, i had just escaped from an indoor rainstorm in a mansion nearby].
I start to float upwards just as i did in the preceding tunnel dreams, but this time, i wasn’t scared of hitting the ceiling. In fact, i was feeling real good after i hit the ceiling and started to descend. It wasn’t until i was nearly touching the ground that i noticed the endless line of cars coming from the fantastic end. I almost get hit by several; i mean, i’m literally inches away from the cars’ path. Then a police car pulls over in the middle of the tunnel, and the two cops, a man and a woman, get out of it and start walking towards the fantastic end without even yelling at me or helping me.
12/28/08: Flying plush penguin
I was an ocean creature. I made friends with an octopus who threatened me at first. The octopus swam fast by rotating its whole body like a frisbee, but on a 0 degree axis, like Uranus. I had to feed its tentacles to a shark to appease the shark, so we swam far to find the shark, and i kept getting lost. I kept bumping into random creatures and things when i swam fast and blindly, but i had to swim fast cos the octopus was already far, far ahead. Then i turned into a penguin, a tiny, tiny penguin, maybe 2 ft tall, and while swimming rapidly and blindly, i bumped into something weird. Ominous. Huge. It turned out to be the bottom of an island of huge pine trees, and the biggest pine tree, which occupied most of the island, was shaking, about to fall down. When i surfaced, there was another big tree inches away from my nose and also shaking and about to fall. So i freaked out and tried to swim away, but remember, penguins actually fly underwater [this is actually true, i learned it in fifth grade], so i somehow ended up flying above water and going up and up and way up into the sky and past the press helicopters that had come to report on the falling of the historic trees. It was quite scary from up there [i think that was the highest i have ever flown in a dream], so i dropped a little bit ’til i was about a meter above the water, and i eventually dropped down onto the sheets of ice which broke under my weight. Then i imagined i was in an animated movie and panicked and yelled, i can’t swim, i can’t swim, while fighting for a breath, when i really could swim. I was portraying a scaredycat and nervous penguin. [Crazy *and* postmodern…]
01/05/09: Magic swimming pool
Sometime after that day, i took a dive, plunging straight across in the water, and suddenly hit air. The front end of the pool was filled with water and the back end with air as if there was an invisible, penetrable, and intangible wall in the middle holding the water in only the front half of the pool. I had my eyes closed when i was shooting through the wall, so imagine my shock when i suddenly felt my body escape the water. In that split-second, i was terrified because i wasn’t prepared to safely land my fall on the floor, but i didn’t fall; i continued to shoot across the pool, essentially flying.
Flying dreams are often associated with lucid dreaming, because being able to fly is a “dream sign”, a clue that allows the dreamer to become conscious that he’s dreaming. I’m not sure if i can call any of the above lucid dreams in the strict sense of the term, but i do think that i became lucid at the end of most of them, only i didn’t take advantage of the fact that i was dreaming and try to control how it unfolded. I’ve always been fascinated by lucid dreaming, but i also appreciate the total vulnerability involved in dreaming. Dreams are the only place you can do whatever you want, but they are also the only place we let anything happen to us, even things that we might avoid undergoing or doing at all costs in our waking lives. That’s what makes for phenomenal dreams. I’ve done some things in dreams that i could never do in real life, like killing people and of course, flying, and although nightmares are terrifying, they keep our waking minds healthy. When you’re lucid, you’d probably avoid all situations that would make you uncomfortable, as i did in my parking lot dream by flying. And i think that’s a little twisted. At night, we should succumb to the imagination of our unconscious and let it take us wherever it leads us. Half the fun of dreaming is in the unpredictability of the events, and we’re not doing our minds justice when we try to one-up them. So why not let them abuse us? The ride will be worth the pain.