I’m sitting in a park, on a bench. It’s cold and late, my vision is fuzzy and all I can make out are distant twinkling lights and the bare branches of winter. I don’t know how long I’ve been in this park or how long I will be here. A cool breeze is caressing my cheeks, but even so there is something comforting about being here. I like it. I’ve stepped out of reality. Somewhere in in my conscious-mind I know I will have to wake, but I’m content here. In my dream.
Whenever I wake from a particularly vivid dream I always feel disorientated. It’s as though for the past eight or so hours I have been somewhere else, living a different life. I can remember the crisp details – the way I wore my hair and the colour of the sky. Other times it’s harder to remember my dreams after that moment of disorientation. They slip and slide away from me with the elusiveness of soap. After these kind of dreams I can’t help feel that something has been taken away from me and replaced by the confines of reality. People you don’t have the comfort of seeing every day appear in dreams. They may be distorted but they are there all the same. Sometimes I wake with the vision of someone from my past tattooed in my mind and it leaves me with an unexplainable ache.
In dreams you can be in your own version of the world, or just simply somewhere from the past. The only problem is how you get there, as you can’t control where your dreams take you. There is no programming system to decipher what you will dream about. Some people don’t dream at all. Some people only have nightmares. It comes down to our unconscious mind, our repressed desires.
Our unconscious mind is a powerful thing. It can bring on long-forgotten feelings and make us aware of things we never realised before. When it comes to dreams, Freud has the right idea. He is best known for his theories associated with the unconscious mind. He suggests that our brain protects us from certain thoughts and memories by repressing them. He believes that nothing is done by chance and that every action and thought is motivated by the unconscious mind. However, because of the way society is, we cannot always act out our crazy thoughts and desires. Therefore we hold back on our impulses and one of the ways that these impulses are released is through our dreams.
I would love the chance to discuss some of my dreams with Freud. To dissect them until I understand my own unconscious mind. Maybe he could shed some light on why I am sitting in a park. I imagine he would stare at me with piercing eyes that could almost see through my every thought and desire. What would he say about this park? Would he have an answer for me? One that my conscious mind cannot formulate for itself? I can only imagine.
I will continue to close my eyes at night and glimpse the unstable and twisted world that is my unconscious mind. I will let my dreams take me away from the monotony of every day life to my own version of the world where it’s acceptable to live out my repressed desires.
If only we could live in a world, like our dreams, where it were normal to express our deepest thoughts and desires so we needn’t have to repress them. But the simple truth is that the world we live in will never accept them. And so, we will continue to dream.