Bring on the night!

While you’re sleeping soundly at 3 a.m., I’m usually up slinging words, editing documents, absorbing university course lectures, researching, wrestling with websites, scouring freelance listings, or tackling the next creative project.

As your night is ending, mine is just beginning.

It’s quieter.
People don’t interrupt you.
Your focus is sharper.
Your concentration is better.

If you pay attention, you can hear the subtle whispers of creative, inventive, unconventional souls that have gone before you – if you listen deeply enough. There is, in fact, precious illumination that is found in the darkness.

Oh yes, I do love the night and the energy it brings! As a naturally nocturnal soul, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Bring on the night!

Dreams that terrify, haunt, and warn

Quite often, my dreams scare me. They’re always intense, always intricate, always complex. Unfortunately, I don’t always dream of good things. I dream of horrific things. On occasion, I dream of things that happen in real life. I also dream about things that could happen in real life, but haven’t. Still, the thought that they could completely horrifies and haunts me.

An example would be the dream I had last night. In the dream, my husband and I were at a mall. Now, in real life, I avoid malls like the plague. I don’t care for crowds, I hate shopping (didn’t get that female gene, apparently). If I could order everything online, I would. I’m an introvert, so going to the mall isn’t my thing. Too many people, too much noise, too much sensory irritation.

But I digress…

In the dream, we noticed a small, remote-controlled Army-green truck buzzing along through the mall. I looked around, but didn’t see who was operating it. I shrugged it off because there were toy stores in the mall, as there always are. Probably someone trying out the truck for their kid or something, I figured.

Suddenly, the small truck exploded, but it was such a massive explosion that it blew up a huge part of the mall. People were running and we were trying to get out of there to save our lives. Apparently, a person had fitted the small truck with some sort of explosive that was powerful enough to detonate and cause bodily injury and massive property damage. In hindsight, after we escaped, we realized it had been a terrorist attack! Needless to say, I was shaken up after the dream. It was too real, and the fear I felt was palpable.

I recounted the dream to my husband upon awakening, telling him that the scariest part about the dream was that it seemed like something that could happen in real life, if some diabolical, heartless SOB decided to do such a thing. This is why I say my dreams are often so terrifying and realistic that I wake up traumatized.

Who wants to dream about such things—and then worry about them happening in real life? I know there’s a slim chance that anything like that would happen, but with the constant influx of bad news in the world and not knowing what terrible people are out there and what is brewing in their twisted minds, I DO worry about such things. After all, I live in Colorado Springs, which isn’t that far from the Aurora theater where James Holmes decided to maim and kill people who’d innocently gone to see a Batman movie in July of 2012.

I also tend to have night terrors, and my poor husband has been on the receiving end of those terrors one too many times. Instead of running from my terrors, I tend to charge at whatever it is (or what I think I’m seeing) and I try to fight it. As you can imagine, this isn’t a safe response for anybody in the same bed or in the same room.

I suffer from PTSD (diagnosed in mid-2006), so night terrors have been a part of my life for a while. They’re not fun, and there’s certainly nothing funny about them. If you’ve never felt genuine terror take hold of your body and shake you from the inside out, I can tell you it’s not pleasant. It is NOT true that only combat veterans, police officers, or firefighters have PTSD. Civilians and everyday people have it as well.

Having an overactive imagination is a blessing and a curse. When I was a small girl, the pediatrician told my mother I shouldn’t watch any shows with frightening or supernatural images. According to her, he said my imagination was such that even watching something as seemingly harmless as Casper the Ghost could frighten me and cause me to have issues. Quite frankly, I didn’t care about Casper as much as I did Dark Shadows. Mom would send me for a nap when Dark Shadows was on, but I remember trying to peek around the corner so I could watch it.

Thankfully, I grew up and was finally able to see classic episodes of the campy soap opera that featured vampires, werewolves, witches, and the like. I also grew up loving dark fiction, cutting my teeth on Stephen King’s books as a young girl. My husband and I have a huge collection of horror movies, both classic and modern. You can try to take the girl out of the horror, but in the end you can’t take the horror out of the girl.

There’s a good chance I’ll keep dreaming horrifying dreams. I’ll wake up terrified—and sometimes crying—but I doubt my mind will ever stop conjuring up intense stories, characters, or plots. I try to remember some of them and jot them down, especially if I think those stories might lead to a viable short story or a novel. Other dream tales I don’t care to remember because they’re too traumatic or distasteful. Most of all, I can only hope that the other dreams I have—of tragedies about to happen or those that could happen in real life—don’t occur at all.

Yes, I know it’s not healthy to live in fear, but I think it’s wise to be aware of our surroundings, to take note of anything that seems out of place, and to report it to authorities if you have any suspicions. We are all busy, we all have lives to lead, we all have errands to run. But in this day and age, vigilance is imperative; we must look out for one another. We all exist in our own microcosm to some degree, but we should make an effort to remember that we are also connected to others and to the larger world in general. We are all responsible, to some degree, for what happens in this world while we’re in it.

With that said, I hope my dream never comes true. Maybe by writing this blog post, the potential for this dream-horror will be snuffed out, never to manifest into reality. I pray it never does.

In my oddly optimistic way, I wish more people would evolve, stop engaging senseless violence, realize we are all connected, and begin to act in a more self-actualized way. I want my children to grow up in a world that’s kinder and more thoughtful. Unfortunately, that’s one pleasant waking dream I’ll probably never see realized. But one can hope, right?

[Dream of July 29, 2013] A steep road, impish statues and lush greenery

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A path to an interesting future?

Last night I had a cool dream where I was in a car with some people (I don’t remember who) and we were traveling up a steep, one-lane road that wound around and had sharp curves. It was precarious, but still beautiful because both sides of the road were lush with greenery and featured all sorts of beautiful plants. Within the plants and greenery that dotted the side of the steep road, there were countless statues and parts of statues of all types. Some were peeking out, some were posed, some looked like they were intentionally placed there for artistic effect. The lush, deep green plants and trees/bushes grew up, over, and around the statues…it was fascinating and beautiful.

I was driving, and although I was fearful of the steep road (and worried another car would come down the hill and force us off the road or hit us), I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty all around us as we made the trip. We eventually made it to the top of the street and up the hill, although at one point I had to stop, put the small car in reverse (it was as small as a Mini Cooper — reminded me of a European car), and carefully back it down the road a bit (not sure why). But eventually we continued our trek up the hilly road.

Once we arrived, there was a beautiful stone mansion with majestic pillars on the outside. The place had an astonishing view. We got out, but from there I don’t remember much after that.

The prevailing memory from the dream was the amazing beauty of the foliage and how the statues were cleverly placed along the side of the road, seemingly peeking out from behind leaves and trees as if they were alive and not merely made of stone. There was an impish, playful nature about the whole thing. Like the statues were alive, but shy and hiding. Like…I don’t know…guardians? I don’t know how else to capture the feel of it.

A strange, yet wonderful dream. I needed the respite from the nightmares I’ve been having lately.

Strange and creepy nighttime episode!

Shared this with a friend in a comment and decided to post it here as well. Do you like creepy stories? Well, here’s one from my own life! The only thing is…I don’t remember ANY of it. I asked Paul to tell me what happened again because I feel I need to post it here before I forget. Here’s what he said went down (again, I do NOT remember any of this):

The strange event happened about three years ago, according to his estimation. Paul says he woke up and I was making low, guttural noises. He asked if I was okay. I replied, “Uhhhh-huuuhhhh” in a sing-song voice. He told me he loved me. I rolled over, began tickling him while cackling, then responded, “We love you, too!” Then he says I stopped, rolled over and went back to sleep. Paul laid there and jokingly thought, “Great! Now I have to tell the kids their mother is possessed!” He figured it was a weird sleep episode and dismissed it.

>>>>END of story<<<<

Now, tell me that isn’t creepy! He thought I’d been awake and joking with him, but I hadn’t.

Shortly thereafter, we were in the car riding down the road and he told me this story. I replied, “Paul, you’re creeping me out. Stop it. Quit effing with me!” He said he wasn’t joking and I told him I didn’t remember ANYTHING like that AT ALL. I had chills down my arms.

Ever since, I’ve been bothered by what he told me. At first I thought he was pulling my leg, but he was dead serious. He will recount the same story to anyone who asks. He’s not kidding. It did happen, and I have NO idea what to make of it. I don’t remember anything about that episode.

The “We love you, too!” part creeps me out. I mean, “we”? I’m just ME, not “we”! I joke about it to other people we’ve told the story to, but deep down it still makes me shudder. It was probably a weird sleep episode, but it’s still strange/weird!