Mariah Proctor is a junior at BYU.
I dreamed a couple of nights ago, about a settlement of extremely pious people located in the topmost bleachers of a baseball stadium. There was a baseball game going on down below, with players wearing uniforms of the Babe Ruth vintage. I wanted to go down and watch the game closer, but in my attempt to do so I was physically prevented from doing so by three different people.
Much of the rest of the dream was my running from the inhabitants of this village who wanted me to be different than I am. In my running, I did notice that the players of America’s favorite pastime were dead drunk and miserable for it. This world had familiar things, but they had their own sensibilities, even their own coinage and the transformation of my normal world into this new one was so thorough that throughout the dream, I kept saying that I needed to wake up and write it down because it would make such a brilliant novella or screenplay.
Seems silly that I was so compelled by this thing, that as I explain it to you now sounds meaningless and nonsensical. It felt so important in the moment, but now even I can’t remember why. I wrote a paper last week on Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams and as I did the research, I realized how incredible it is that we don’t talk more about dreams in today’s society. People tell me constantly that no one dreams like I do, but people do dream. It’s this experience that is at once intensely private and at the same time, shared by all.
It is odd that humans are built to be shut down for 8 hours out of every 24. I think we take for granted how weird it is to be going, going, going and then have to lay down and be completely unresponsive and unaware for hours at a time. What a fantastic gift that God gave us the opportunity to dream, so that even as we sleep we can live and explore ourselves. Freud was one of the first to show the world that contrary to popular belief, dreams were not an escape from reality but a deeper look into one’s personal reality.
When you try to explain a dream you’ve had to someone else (as previously displayed), it can come out disjointed and absurd, but within the dream emotional content is unmistakable. Even if the things you see before you don’t make logical sense, every feeling is deliberate and even confusion is pronounced and not ambiguous or fuzzy. In fact, I find no purer form of expression in my very expressive life than I find in my dreams.
Mr. Walt Whitman said “I heard that you wanted [fill in the blank]…therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you wanted” (To Foreign Lands). Such is the nature of art and expression. Even in poetry, a thing so specifically personal, the reader will interpret what they want to interpret. It isn’t necessarily a window to the soul, and though some prefer their soul’s privacy, I do not. I wish that I could take you into my dreams and you could experience the pure, unfettered feeling that dictates my life and seems as yet impossible to communicate.