October 24, 2021:
At cool amusement park with mirabelle. Your mind had to be strong to go there. I could look summon my friends. Then at beach
This is the first entry on my Notes app document, entitled “Dream Journal.” It wasn’t meant to be a long list. My psychology teacher had suggested we try keeping one for a week. I logged one more during that time. Prior, I had maybe only two recurring childhood dreams I could remember. They were:
- I am a bouncy ball, barely managing to land perfectly for every bounce on a moving platform making its way down the acid/ink river. – There’s a knot in my stomach when I wake up from this one.
- I pet a dog, and it turns into a bear
I was weird. Anyways, after starting the dream journal for class, I found myself not wanting to stop. So I kept going. And now I’m writing this on October 29, 2022, and it’s been a whole year of dream journaling. Over that time, I’ve logged:
86 total dreams
15 dreams since having come to Princeton
2 dreams where I am not wearing pants and this is a point of anxiety
1 dream where I’ve died and seen myself die
1 semi-lucid dream
1 dream about the Nass
And countless dreams where the characters are people I’m not friends with in real life—including probably some of the people reading this.
Of course, we don’t have the time for me to share every dream. You, you rascal you, probably wouldn’t even like most of them. So I’m going to give a highlight reel here.
Simpson a are my parents they’re abusive. Mr Simpson can’t remember name of kils us with knife homer it’s homer. Homer kills us with knife marge more reserved until she uses lava in wall. They crazy
This is a personal favorite. Feels like psychoanalysts would have something to say about it.
It’s like cross country but trial by fire, I might die if I fail but I’m bad at it. But then I’m in a car, and I need to be towed. I crash. I do the bird
One of the nice things about writing down your dreams immediately when you wake up, is that there’s some mixing of pathways, of language, of images, of sounds. Like in this dream, where I flip someone off. I remember waking up, and the image of my middle finger was inextricably linked to the phrase “do the bird.” Sometimes we rely too much on what words can describe. But in dreams we step outside of that constraint. Letting my mind wander in dreams allows me to get lost within myself.
Old woman Allison is my girlfriend she wears like steampunk trad wife stuff but more steampunk she also maybe can fly? I on accident introduce to my family, who think she’s weird. Then she jet packs over to see if I’m thinking of her, and in doing so, falls from the second story.
I literally don’t know anyone named Allison.
There’s a killer? Maybe not killer, just man trying to accomplish something. He’s tried before but it hasn’t been working. I’m in this room with him and others
Sometimes the dreams are like this, where it feels impossible to write down my memory. Sometimes the memory isn’t an image, it’s a feeling. Sometimes it’s plain nonsense. Part of the beauty of dreams is how momentary they are. You can’t be looking forward to the next thing during a dream. And you lose it as soon as it’s over.
On a plane sitting next to old geezer
This feels mean.
Duck chicken like beasts I had to fight them there’s a slide but the slide is a natural slide and too tight for me, afraid I’m gonna get stuck and then die. I rob people, and then blame it on the ducks, big court case, but everyone just shoots each other instead of law stuff… at home more ducks
Tell me this wouldn’t make for a good Nicholas Cage movie. One of things you find from writing down your dreams is that there are these crazy seedlings of ideas. It’s cool to see what your imagination produces when there’s no inhibition. In my own artistic pursuits, dreams have been important to understanding what images come to me over and over again – since these are the images I want to see more of in real life or in writing.
Climb to top of beautiful peak with friends, find world isn’t that big, come down and tell people on ground, have warm embrace with random person
I remember thinking this was like the solution to all wars. New Buddha vibes.
Car gets hit, very slowly, by old woman in sedan. I tell her I need her insurance or number but I feel bad because she doesn’t believe she hit my car and just keeps laughing
This is one of the few dreams I’ve had while at Princeton that have been funny. Something about the Bubble. Maybe it’s that sleep feels like a commodity here. Maybe it’s just that the dreams I do end up remembering tend to be ones where I sleep through my alarm.
Peter and me. There’s a house. Peter’s brother cannot be in the sunlight but he loves a beautiful tree outside the house when the sun hits it right it looks golden.
Every once in a while, a dream will emotionally move me. This was one of them. I don’t know why Peter, a high school friend of mine, was in the dream. Rationally, there’s a lot about the dream that doesn’t make sense. But I can still imagine the tree through the window, being hit just right by the sunset sun. It was melancholic given the context of the brother, and I woke up a little sad.
Found old film camera in bag at Cuernavaca park when I look through it shows house in Tahoe two years ago, you can see me, gee, papa, coco Chloe, dogs that have died, everyone. It’s looking into the past.
The house in my dream is one I used to go to with my whole family for Christmas. I wrote this knowing we probably will never all go up again together. Looking back on a year of dreams, I find most of them funny, and I put them out into the world here now for that reason. But the reading of all them together also gives me a retrospective of the last year of my life—what’s been stressing me out, what’s been on my mind. And some of the dreams I hold close to my heart, like this one. I definitely recommend dream journaling to anyone who’s interested. It gives you a break to reflect on your creative weird imagination. Because everyone does have weird dreams. You just have to be conscious about remembering them.
This is the end of one year of dreaming. Looking through forgotten dreams has been fun. A collage of my year spread out in front of me. In each rereading of a dream, I in some small way relive the joy or sadness of having dreamt it—that fleeting moment in the imagination that only really exists in the present of experiencing it. And mirrored in these beautiful fading dreams are the real life celebrations and disappointments that formed them. I’ve heard names of close friends who I’ve had to leave across the country. I’ve seen places that since then I’d forgotten. In dreams I’m reminded of the hurt of betrayal and crippling fear. I’m also reminded of love, deep friendship, and family. In a new place, these experiences take on new meanings and transform. But they retain that initial memory that is so fun to reminisce over. And no matter how much my perception of the real experiences may change, the dreams of them persist, stone-like and unchanging in my dream journal. Veiled in absurdity, they take on a nature of their own. At the click of a button they could be deleted. But they remain there, these trippy dream representations of my real life. I have a good amount of ones, irreal celebrations or memories filled with uncomplicated joy, that I won’t share. Because that makes them feel more special. I’m personally looking forward to another year of writing down what I remember in the morning. All I can hope for is more funny nonsense mixed with meaningful memories.