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I dream a lot. I dream vividly and lucidly and remember clusters of them like they were pulled from a photo album or notes in a journal from last week. Sometimes my dream world becomes so rich and evocative that it comes close to a dangerous escape from reality, my pillow a ship to worlds unknown and the sheets wings of creamy high thread count to adventures that await.

I know there are many who can’t recall dreams at all- they can’t grasp those fleeting moments after waking to log what happened in the universe of sleep. That might be nice to not consider a whole other world to ponder on with an already over stimulated mind but while dreams can be a burden, I would be lost without mine.

It’s safe to say that most of us have dreamt of a place, a person, or an experience and awoke with an outlook and viewpoint changed. With a nightmare, I easily shed the fear felt in my sleep state once I awake under a blanket of cold sweat and usually find that I was just in a chilled room. There are some nightmares that don’t fit within the slasher category as someone chases me through dark forests or as I drown beneath piles of decay…there are the dreams I wake myself up from punching a wall in a frenzy of anger, from weeping so hard that I jolt out of slumber with a wail or sob, from reaching out for someone only to touch the hardness of a wall or knock a glass of water off my nightstand. These are the dreams I take to my mother for interpretation, that I file away for later, and that don’t leave me even when my eyes flutter open or I sit up with a gasp.

Lately, I’ve been dreaming of mystery places that seem paradoxically very far away and extremely and intimately close. Some I know, many others I don’t; the lights are of cities I have yet to lay eyes on, the smells and sounds are so foreign they seem like they’ve been pulled from of a Dr. Seuss book, the people not quite fitting anywhere in my memories- their faces blurry and beautiful. These bizarre, delightful lands call to me and speak to me in lullabies.

Hundreds of nights and thousands of hours spent in the landscapes of my mind can make reality a bit disorienting at times- but the inability to take hold of what streamed through my subconscious allows me to grasp what is true and real. They help me to open my eyes to each little thing that may otherwise go unnoticed: the softness of lichen clinging to a shaded branch, the rough edges of a half dead sand dollar greying as its life fades away, the light vibrations after the low, blue groan of thunder, the saline scent of the sea that awakens the senses in ways no other subtle aroma can: the pheromones of the earth.

These are things that I missed from home when they were a world away and I could visit them only in dreams. They’re the bits and pieces of the Northwest that I ached for and now that they’re here- I’ve to praise them as they’re around, and as I’m around.

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