There are dreams that are just plain dreams, and some that seem really vivid. For me, those vivid dreams usually occur right before I wake up, and I usually lie in bed for a little bit thinking about how real it all seemed.
Monday morning was one of those mornings. Right before I woke up, I was sitting in an old fashioned living room watching a black and white TV (most people claim that dreams are black and white, but I’ve never made the distinction). On TV was Del Shannon. He had just finished a song with a band behind him, and there was a rather plain white backdrop decorated with a few faint trees. Del was wearing black slacks, a white button down shirt that was open at the top, and a kind of herringbone sportcoat. And of course, he had his semi-hollow body Gibson guitar around his neck. He looked GREAT. His hair didn’t have that signature semi-pompadour, it was more parted to the side like he wore it in the mid-sixties. Like I was saying, he had just finished a song, and the host of the show was coming out onstage to chat with him for a bit. Del had a big smile on his face, as the studio audience was still cheering his performance.
Then I woke up.
Why did I dream about Del Shannon? There was no “anniversary” that made me think of him (he was born in December and died in February). I hadn’t been listening to a lot of his music, although I do listen to him quite a bit. But after I woke up, I felt so GOOD for him, as if I were witnessing him at his peak. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s almost like I felt a little bit of his spirit was with me.
Wanna hear something REALLY crazy? I’ve always believed that, in dreams, our minds take us to some sort of parallel universe. Think about it…how many times have you had dreams about your everyday life, or something that has happened in the past, and things were ALMOST the same, but just a little bit different? I remember having a dream one time about travelling down a stretch of highway that was near where I grew up. I swear, I know just about every inch of that highway for about a 20 mile stretch. But one night, in a dream, I was travelling that stretch of highway, and everything was the same…except for a patch of trees and, further down the road, a house that had never been there in my memory.
At this point in my life, I’ve experienced enough that I rarely question anything. As long as someone can give me a somewhat convincing argument about something that they believe, I don’t discount it. I’ve shared my thoughts about dreams with other people, and they didn’t look at me like I was an alien on crack…they know that the mind is an amazing thing that has capabilites that mortal man cannot even fathom.
Back in junior high, my friend Scott had read somewhere that if you write your dreams down every morning as soon as you wake up, eventually they all start becoming intertwined with each other, to where it eventually tells a story. And we weren’t even smoking pot yet! Of course, Scott also had the famous dream (in high school) that the Nazis were invading the small town of El Paso, just 10 miles south of our hometown. I’m sure the Third Reich had big plans for the IGA and the Dairy Queen.
When I worked in radio, I would occasionally have what we in the business call “DJ nightmares,” and they were VERY real. This was back in the days when we actually played music from vinyl albums that had to be “cued up” in order to start at exactly the right time. Sometimes it took a little bit to find the right album, the right song, and still deal with everything going on. In a DJ nightmare, you would be working feverishly to cue up a song while the previous song was fading. You would get the new song started just in time, and guess what? It would start fading almost right away, before you have a chance to even LOOK for the next song. And the phone was ringing off the hook, and you would have to get ready for a break and NOT be able to find any of the commercials you were supposed to play. All the while, your biggest worry was dead air. It could make you wake up in a cold sweat.
So have you ever had a really vivid dream? Vivid enough to make you wonder if it really happened when you visited a parallel universe? Was it so crazy that you woke up thinking “wow, that was SO crazy” ? Maybe you felt the way I did a couple of years ago when I dreamed that my wife and I went to a play starring John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston. Before the show I was just hanging out in the lobby, and John Travolta comes walking up and starts a conversation with me…and no one else even recognizes him! We talk about cars, and I mention that I have to go out and get something from my car…he says that he wants to come out with me and check out my car. Just then his wife comes up and says that they have to go backstage to get ready for the show. He says that he wants to talk to me some more, so Kelly writes down a phone number and hands it to me, saying “this is our private number…call after the show and we’ll get together.” Kooky.
Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, or your dreams for that matter. I’d love to hear other speculation on what causes us to dream what we dream.
Maybe this tune can get you started.