Prove That Dreams Are Not Real

Writing practice 9/29/2017

Postulate – Dreams are not real. Prove it.

Suppose that dreams were real. Then wouldn’t there be an inherent contradiction between dreams and reality? We would have never needed to come up with a new term to describe them if they were real. They would simply be “I lived last night,” instead of “I dreamed we were climbing a mountain wearing orange bicycle shorts, and jaguars carried our packs on their backs, their long, lean tails swish-swishing against the new-fallen snow. We trudged up miles of the mountain, and one time you stopped to take a picture. But what you were holding was a coffee cup, not a camera, so instead of taking a picture you ate the cup.

Then we continued on and the jaguars had become my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Steve, and they didn’t want to carry it any longer, so we had them put down the packs. And when we turned around the mountain was no longer a mountain, but it had transformed into a train station – huge, with soaring ceiling inlaid with stained-glass windows, and at least a dozen platforms and all kinds of people rushing about – people from Victorian England, and feudal Japan, and sub-Saharan Africa in the 5th century AD, and even Julius Caesar was there. He was addressing the crowd – gratefully, thankfully, luckily, I don’t know, he was speaking French. You translated.

You said that he was happy to be there on a momentous occasion. You said he said he was a teapot. Then you said he felt yellow, and that’s when I knew it was time to wake up, so I blinked my eyes twice and I was awake!”

You see? All of that is nonsense. There is no way that could have ever happened. There is no way that “reality”, that “irreality”, that dream theater could ever play out in real life.

So what is real life? Why is it not a dream? Maybe the world in which jaguars transform into relatives is real, and then when those people sleep they dream this world.

Why would they? Escapism – the same reason we dream of them. They must, somehow, find an order, a semblance, a pattern in their lives. Can you imagine, every moment is a contradiction? Every instant you know not whether the thing you are holding at the moment will remain that thing, that object, even that idea, or will transubstantiate into something different – something other – not anything better or worse – but just not what it was before. Can you imagine the toil that would take on a person – on a psyche – living through such experiences?

No wonder they would dream of regularity. No wonder they would invent magical, mystical worlds in which people got up every day at the same time, put on the same clothes, drove to the same building, said the same things, ate the same sandwiches, departed and went back to their same houses, slept in their same bed. Same. Safe. Sound – Regular. Predictable.

Comfortable, because of all those things. Not scary, or intimidating at all. Peaceful. Serene, a rest in a world of chaos. A break form the norm, and a way to reset their mind to be able to handle, to compensate for all the turbulence in their regular world.

So – why are dreams unreal? Because –  I can’t tell who it is that’s having them.

Story Art

Often, when we read a great story or magazine article or book, once we finish we immediately turn it sideways and put it on a shelf. We have a hard time seeing it again, remembering it again, allowing it to influence our lives in any meaningful way. But. . .  what if you could see that story again? What if you could display a story on the wall, that anyone who entered your house could read in 2 to 3 minutes, and allow that to spark a conversation? What if it looked great, fit well inside a frame, and added to the ambience of your room?

This is Story Art. I realized I could do this a few years ago when writing to fill a prompt. I completed a one-page story quite quickly, and as I looked, realized that it would be a shame to hide that on a shelf. I thought about how to make it more visible, and came up with a format I’ve been working on since.

Here’s an example of just the story:

Story Art–Stunt

And these are the finished product I sold to a grandmother who wanted a story starring her three granddaughters:

20151014_StoryArt

I like the way this works. I like that you can do very much with very little. Yes, there is quite a bit of limitation in terms of what stories you can tell and the character development and depth you can reach. There isn’t room for gratuitous world-building, or theme, or motif. But, there is writing, there is story, there is art. There is creativity. There is challenge. There is connection, there is beauty in simplicity, there can be adventure, and in all this can be a great way to add something different, something unique to your experience of the world.