I dreamed that I travelled back in time ~ not very far, just to 1988, to Cromer in Norfolk where I lived during the last decade. In the dream I met several people I knew when I lived there, and tried to tell them stuff like 'oh no, don't do that, you have no idea of the path it will take you down!', just as you'd warn the you of thirty years ago, if you had the chance (my mother used to say that we all needed two lives, the second one to get it right).
The dream was incredibly vivid, and I was right back there, in that cosy, pre-internet, much more simple life. D'you remember how it was?
- You wanted information? You'd go to the library, or to WH Smiths to rifle through a few books.
- You needed a practical service? You'd ask people for a recommendation, or take pot luck with the Yellow Pages.
- A new book or film? You'd read reviews in papers, or just buy/see it anyway.
- You needed to get in touch with someone? You'd wait until they were home, and ring them up. Or drop them a line.
It's hard to recall, now, not having an endless source of information about every bloody thing in the whole world, at your finger tips. As for that phone thing ~ one of the people I met in my dream was a girl called Claire, who shares my birthday (although she was born 22 years later). In 2000 she was, like me, one of the last people to have a mobile phone, for the same reason ~ she didn't want to be constantly 'on call'. I remember us both arguing with her mother about it; I only got one because my father didn't like the idea of me walking along crumbling cliffs on my own.
The internet has made us more informed, more wordly, ensures that we never, ever suffer a moment of boredom, or if we do we damn well shouldn't. All the same, I did enjoy being back in that more innocent time, if only in the world of dreams. It was kind of nice. Easier.
....which brings me to the other reason the dream has stayed with me. For those few seconds, I knew what it was like to go back in time. It was amazing, magical, fascinating, just as you might imagine, but so terribly frustrating, because I couldn't explain to everyone WHY some things they were worried about didn't matter, how life would just roll on and take its own course.
Have you ever dreamed an emotion or experience about which you know nothing? One that makes you think, when you wake up, 'oh, is that what it's like'? Quite a few years back I dreamed that I murdered someone. Taking someone's life made me feel as though I'd stepped outside the normal world, and was plunged into a terrifying dark realm ~ Hell, if you like, although no-one else would have seen anything different about me. I knew that I would be living a nightmare for the rest of my life. I wonder if that's what it really feels like.
The other experience was much less scary but equally powerful. When I was eleven, I dreamed I was in love. Obviously, at that age I knew nothing of such things past crushes on pop stars, and I remember waking up and thinking, 'so that's what it's going to be like ~ crikey!' It was such a glorious, intense and all-consuming feeling, but not altogether pleasant, in the moments of doubt. Oddly enough, the object of my affections looked rather like someone with whom I would fall in love some twenty years later. I think that was probably coincidence rather than premonition, though!
My dreams are usually the predictable mish-mash of mild, long-held anxieties, random people I worked with twenty-five years ago, ex-loves, and bits and bobs that I can tell come from whatever I've been watching on telly ~ I doubt they mean much, and I can usually analyse them pretty well. Only a few have stayed with me for years (though I have fond memories of the one on the Aerosmith tour bus!).
I'd love to hear about anyone else's nocturnal adventures :)