Notes about “ongoing” dreams

December 23, 2015

An interesting thing about being awake during many dreams is that certain dreams are what I call “ongoing,” by which I mean that they progress in time just like life here. For instance, in dreamland I’ve lived in several different places, but I’ve lived in the same place now for the last three years, and the dreams in that space are always different; time progresses there like it does here. I get older, I notice that my neighbors’ kids get older, and so on.

This morning I woke up from an ongoing dream of a place where I have gone for vacations at least twenty times that I can recall, maybe fifty. I drive to one island, stop at the same little shop to stock up on food and drinks, ask the owner how the wife and kids are, then get back on the road and drive to the next island, where I park and do my vacation thing. But the dream is different each time, and as I become more conscious in each dream I remember exactly where that store is, how to get from the store to the next island, how to get home, and so on.

A final weird thing is that it takes a little while to recover from this when I wake up. Everything there is as real as everything here, so when I first wake up and I’m a little groggy I might think, “Gosh, that was fun, I need to go back there again and stay longer.” But then as I wake up more I realize that that place doesn’t exist in this world, and there’s a disappointment in that.

Other dreams are just “funky what the heck was that about” dreams, but there’s a certain class of dreams that are ongoing like this.

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