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I get up late, I celebrate

I woke twisted with anxiety, but also vaguely impresed at how my mind had neatly combined two favourite anxiety dreams ("big old house full of stairs" and "vast overwhelming waves") by placing the house (this time a big, square, dilapidated deco hotel, decorated mainly in pink) in the middle of a valley which would flood if anything happened to the huge dam at its far end. When the inevitable happened, we were too far from anywhere else to evacuate and had to just keep on going upstairs, trying to keep ahead of the water. We finally ended up in an attic, floors above the attics we knew about, where the ghosts of long-dead tenants stood stock-still among the rafters, wreathed from head to toe in vague black clothes. When we accidentally brushed against them it was like lace or cobwebs made of ice, burning cold. The water stopped rising, removing the immediate threat, but what would we do now?

Then I was in wartime, a long campaign, far in the past. I was a servant, junior, unimportant. Working for a duchess fond of grand gestures. She was determined to prove she wasn't cowed by the aggression of the fairies by going and having a picnic on the very slopes of fairyland. So we prepared a grand picnic, the sort that takes a whole passel of servants to carry, and set out through the magic mirror into the twilight lands. Once there, we set up the picnic but, in the chilly light, the food seemed unappetising, our hunger diminished. As her grand friends picked listlessly at the spread (which looked claggy and flavourless in the greyish light) the duchess (unprecedented!) asked the servants to join in, but we (though the food, of course, was glorious) were no more tempted than the aristocrats. I found myself thinking back to the spell the duchess had used to open the way. What were the words? was it possible that she had said something that meant we couldn't go home until the food was all eaten? I opened my mouth, and found I was too uncertain to say anything, too small. But I could see a future ahead of me spent eating increasingly rancid picnic food in an attempt to break the charm, a future which I was powerless to avoid.

It was a bloody relief to wake up, less of a relief to discover I had just under ten minutes to get to work.

The weekend was mostly spent drawing, scanning, and swearing, but I crushed in drinking myself into oblivion whilst wearing stupid clothes (variant: cocktails) and watching The Incredibles (well, yes, of course it's good) so it wasn't all about stress ...


( 26 worms — Feed the birds )
22nd Nov, 2004 08:21 (UTC)
I have to say that one of your anxiety dreams is very similar to my mellow one. 'Big Old House Full of Stairs' used to be how I put myself to sleep. Shades of Gormenghast, which I loved. Your dream sounded more like a scene in 'The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'
22nd Nov, 2004 14:19 (UTC)
the dreams start out well
the ones in the big houses, that is, then the houses start to twist out of my control and I get caught in shrinking corridoors and stairs that stretch out endlessly ...
22nd Nov, 2004 09:20 (UTC)
Eeee, Crikey-
You too? I am in such a state for frenzied free-floating anxiety, that I'm worried about having a stroke(MORE anxiety!) There's no concrete, particular reason,I've just felt very, very bad for the last week or so. Brrrrr- Your icon is so perfecto,btw...
22nd Nov, 2004 14:19 (UTC)
Re: Eeee, Crikey-
I went off and gave blood and now I feel calm and floaty. Yay!
22nd Nov, 2004 10:20 (UTC)
Hey, I get the old house and the stairs, but on my stairs, bits of bannister come away in my hands. Or is that standard?
22nd Nov, 2004 14:20 (UTC)
I don't tend
to get things falling apart around me like that, the houses seem more solid than I do I think.
22nd Nov, 2004 14:35 (UTC)
Re: I don't tend
Hm. Semi-illusory stuff is standard for me. Stuff disapppears or disintegrates when I touch it or even examine it too closely.
22nd Nov, 2004 14:50 (UTC)
at least that must make it easy to tell that you're dreaming. Or were you talking about real life?
22nd Nov, 2004 15:05 (UTC)
Re: well,
You know, I'm never entirely sure.
22nd Nov, 2004 12:48 (UTC)
You dream in short stories
.. with lovely atmosphere.

(1) House. Very Jungian. Which I'm sure you know, as the Interpreter of Dreams par Excellence. I have a similarly rambling house of my own, but in Germany, or is it Lisbon (it has trams). I'm more often finding secret passages into the cellar than going up stairs.

(2) Here Comes the Flood (Gabriel). Freud; emotion, female, (he would say mother), surely. You already know this, passim.

(3) Jonathan-Strange-and-Mr-Norrell inspired perhaps? Still; horrid. Trapped in an unpalatable circumstance. But on the edge of faerie!

22nd Nov, 2004 14:27 (UTC)
Re: You dream in short stories
1. Secret passages *into* the cellar? Occasionally I get a train terminus in the cellar. That's in the really big houses, of course.

2. Ah yes, it's all about my mother. My counsellor used to tell me that.

3. Yes, I thought it somewhat derivative. Although I grew up surrounded by fairy stories, of course. One of the nice things about Mr Norrell was that the fairies in it were pretty much how I remembered them.
22nd Nov, 2004 14:39 (UTC)
Re: You dream in short stories
being your average, unimaginative layperson, I'd have thought floods and tides might be more to do with feelings of overwhelmed-ness - e.g. too much something (work/stuff/whatever). That Freud seems so illogically precise with his fortune telling at times.
22nd Nov, 2004 14:49 (UTC)
that's pretty reasonable
... although my suspicion is that it's actually a physical manifest as I tend to have them during migraine saeson. Rather pragmatic, but there you go ...
22nd Nov, 2004 15:27 (UTC)
Re: You dream in short stories
1. Yes, often from upper floors, but there's this secret door, you know, and if you press just here you reveal the narrow dark stair leading </i>down</i>.

2. I almost censored the mother comment, but so classic House = Jung, Water = Freud, and you know with Freud, mother/father is primal. (Did you ever read the White Hotel? That's Father version Freud though)

3. Yes, she had the right tone; spot on. I hesitate to say his name, but TERRY PRATCHETT had it too in his Lords and Ladies where he did a very acute class war version of the Faeries Return, his line being that everyone thinks of them as being aloof but aesthetic (and isn't that 'nice'), whereas in fact they are more like the cat who plays with us as if we were mice. It's class-conscious while being correct for folk-lore. He trunps it by having the earthy, more-plebian-than-thou witches be our saviours - which made me like TP a whole lot more than I had before - and could be a Marxist set text!
22nd Nov, 2004 15:59 (UTC)
the White Hotel
Nah. When I've seen a book in the Oxfam bookshop more than twenty times I get a bit put off it. The first of my wave dreams, however, was about a white hotel. And now I've had a pink hotel. What colour will I get next, I wonder?
22nd Nov, 2004 13:30 (UTC)
The only house dreams I have are where I find cool extra rooms, exciting architecture and loads more space. I wake up happy and excited...
Then I realize it was just a dream and get disappointed.
22nd Nov, 2004 14:30 (UTC)
they have
that aspect, too. I may have been about to drown and in a state of panic over the icy ghosts but that didn't stop me admiring the awesome deco friezes we found behind some battered hardboard covering
22nd Nov, 2004 16:09 (UTC)
Curious about the Duchess
In particular, how you knew she was a Duchess ... was it the stereotyping profile of Duchess ... that she said she was a Duchess ... or that you simply knew.

Maybe I'm too functional in my thinking, but I'm curious about identities within dreams, and how that is sorted.
23rd Nov, 2004 02:22 (UTC)
I just knew
... she was my boss, the lady of the house where I worked, and had been working all my life. Of course I knew who she was (that's part of dreaming in another character -- I get backstory).

However, that identity may have come about because she resembled the Duchess from the Corto Maltese film. Different clothes, but something of the same air.
23rd Nov, 2004 02:35 (UTC)
Re: I just knew
I love the Tanith Lee-type dreams in which I am the last scion of an ancient line or some such. The rambling house is interesting, but I am usually trying to find my way out of it and generally end up applying the "no this is MY dream" rule and insisting that I be able to break a window and that no, this time there will NOT be an unexpected extra room beyond it.

I often dream that I'm driving around trying to find my way somewhere. I am a good mapreader in real-life but I can't handle dream maps at all, because they keep changing. It was even worse a few months ago, when I dreamed that I was trying to draw the cat while he washed. I ended up with this piece of paper with random legs and ears everywhere, which of course changed every time I looked at the cat and looked back.

That's probably why I believe in objective reality. It's consistent. I can draw things and find my way around :)
23rd Nov, 2004 06:45 (UTC)
I'm not usually aware
that I'm dreaming when I'm dreaming. Even when they make no sense there's a convincing solidity about them ...

The cat-drawing dream's a beauty! ... though it probably wasn't so much fun having it ...
23rd Nov, 2004 07:07 (UTC)
Re: I'm not usually aware
It was both funny and irritating at the same time, and on that occasion I was not really aware I was dreaming, so it was a relief to wake up and realise that I probably could draw a cat after all!
23rd Nov, 2004 05:48 (UTC)
Water water everywhere
Water is a fascinating dream symbol. I kept a dream diary for about a year (in the days before I had a job and could have a wee lie in)and the categories of water that showed up were numerous and all appeared to have a different meaning: a clogged up toilet, a bounded canal, a rockpool with a lethal fish in it, a house with a flooded basement, the edge of the ocean. Oh and don't even get me started on dream sea creatures. Anyone else had the pregnant dolphin/whale/seal dream? Or have I said too much?
23rd Nov, 2004 06:42 (UTC)
not enough!
Were you the pregnant dolphin? Or are you responsible for its (hrm-hem) condition?
24th Nov, 2004 04:58 (UTC)
Nah, the dolphin and its consort were in a glass, water filled case in an underground lab. They were both wearing little gold crowns. Kind of 'King and Queen of Dolphins held captive by sinister government agency' scenario.
4th Dec, 2004 07:25 (UTC)
that old chestnut .... ;)
( 26 worms — Feed the birds )