Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another note on dreaming

Okay, consider this the unrefined ramblings of someone with a thought and an argument. The post is not about speculation-dreams, but rather, that thing your brain does to pass time when you log off for a bit.

I don't remember my dreams very often, but when I do they're rarely everyday things. The last two NaNo novels I've written were based off dreams I'd had - for whatever reason being in the middle of some really weird scene, and then waking up and going

"what the actual heck"

Usually they're insanely vivid, and I can remember every detail. Or enough to write about them.

Last year's novel was about a character who gets inflicted with a virus, and nearly kills someone else because of it, and is only able to save them by giving them the virus as well.

Man that sounds weird when you phrase it like that. But that's the summary of that dream, and that scene was the fastest 2000 words I've ever written.

Come back to the present.

This morning was pleasant. It was just nice, and nice for a few different reasons. And then I woke up and had to deal with a reality where none of the things that made that scenario nice were present. It really just meant I had an odd taste in my mouth for the duration of the day, as well as one particular Anchor & Braille song stuck in my head.

It provoked thought. Would we be more satisfied with life if we didn't dream? I mean, my biggest problem with dreams is trying to deal with these two completely different worlds and how they're supposed to relate when I know one of them is just my brain having a spack so it's not real but it felt real at the time.

I guess that this is what happens when you spend too much of your waking hours reading and writing fiction. You start to live it, and get disappointed when it doesn't turn out that way.

Or whatever. I can deal with it not being real in the same way that I can deal with Aes Sedai, Shinigami and birdkids not being real. Draw the heck out of it and start making costumes.

It's the part where you have to master the two worlds and not act like the way you relate to that person or this person is different in any way from what it was like before the dream. I can deal with waking up and not being able to walk through walls - I do that all the time.

It's the people thing that gets me. Do I behave differently because of this spack-attack my brain had? Because the other party is going to get mighty confused if so. They've missed out on a whole chapter of 'what's going on at the moment' because my brain decided to fill that bit in.

Stupid brain.

Oh hey, let me tell you how else my brain is stupid.

Let's talk about memory.

My memory is weird. It's amazing at remembering things like the difference between Iceland and Greenland, why it is you shouldn't be selling lye water commercially, the extra language in the Wheel of Time series, and which Grammy awards ceremony the Gorillaz performed at.

2006. And oh-my-goodness-gracious-Murdoc-and-Madonna, you can stop watching halfway through.

And yet somehow I still manage to forget people's names. I'm useful for winning trivia nights, but pretty useless for everything else. My head records everything useless about my day, and stores it all.

Which is why I had difficulty particularly the last week, trying to remember crucial details about an event when I've had shock pretty much obliterate said details. Not being able to remember is my problem.

Although, that ends up being a paradox sometimes, since I've of late been desperately trying to remember the important things, and trying to cash in my useless memory ability. There's things that happen, and I get trapped inside my own head, trying to figure them out, when it feels like it'd be easier to forget everything and move on. Forget the useless details and remember the ones that matter.

Yeah, good luck.

So, sometimes when something is uuber important for me to remember, I'll write it down. But it's rare that I'll record everything. I hate recording everything. You tell me to write a journal and I'll immediately have my hackles up, because it''s...

Imagine this scene.

A library, vast and extensive, and a desk in the middle of it. The desk is completely covered in paper, stacked high in great piles. Paper stacks crowd around the desk, each like a small child wanting to be picked up by their mother next. There's no-one at the desk.
You begin to search the shelves, tentatively, for the person you seek. They're not at the desk. Your eye catches onto an odd sight nearby - a clerk's desk sitting next to the end of a shelf. There's a pen standing upright on an open, blank book. It's scribbling furiously in a script that is halfway between a cursive and a print, its writer absent. You read what it's scrawling out, and catch words like 'cold' and 'grey'.
"Odd place for you to be,"
You hear a voice, and caught off guard, spin around.
There's a girl. She's shorter than you, but it doesn't seem to register. Her hair, the colour of sunlight, hangs loose, long and wild. Her boots are scuffed but cared for, poking from the turnups of her faded blue jeans. Her top has some print on it, but you don't register the joke it's making because she's speaking again.
"Can I help you?"
You shiver and straighten your grey coat, suddenly registering what the book had been recording when you began observing the pen. You swallow, then stand up straight. You are here to offer Advice. It will be Beneficial and bring Order to this library which is in dire need of such help.
"Can I interest you in-"
The girl has already snatched the sheet of paper from your hand. She gives it a cursory glance, before turning and placing it carefully on the tallest pile of the desk in the centre of the room. She tilts her head, shakes it and returns to where you stand.
"Why do I need to provide an inventory of my library?" she asks, frowning.
You feel taken aback. This wasn't the answer you were expecting.
"Because...because it will help you stay organised?" you manage.
The girl turns, takes in the library in its entirity - the two-storey-high shelves, complete with sliding ladders. The stacks of loose books as tall as a man and four times that height in width.
The ink-stains, frayed rugs and overwhelming smell of old paper.
And then the girl turns back to you. You didn't see how or when it happened, but her attire has changed. Her hair is now bound back, and she is wearing a faded blue bomber jacket. Something in her face has changed too - more reserved, and a little sad.
"What makes you think my library needs organising? The book piles? The paper? The absence of any prior-installed regiment?"
You think carefully about what to say, but she begins to speak again.
"Have you tried to pin down memories before?"
You nod, hoping to inform the girl of the usefulness of said pinning.
"I don't like to do it more than I have to," she says quietly, "it's like taking a camera everywhere."
You stop nodding, puzzled.
"The problem with taking a camera everywhere," says the girl, "is that you can very quickly become obsessed with documenting the moment instead of just enjoying it. It becomes more important to have some tangible proof of your experience than to have that experience in the first place. And that's kind of sad.
My books, they all decay. Some do it faster than others, but the ink bleeds sometimes, or the paper gets crumpled. They're alive, see, and they all have a limited lifespan. I could try and inventory them, but that wouldn't make them any better or worse. The time I'd spend writing down the information on the outside of the book is time I could be spending inside the book, or I'd be so focused on documenting the book that I'd forget to spend time with it and it'd fall apart in my hands. My library might look disheveled, sir, but let me assure you, I know it. It is my library. Very little happens in it that I do not know of."
Behind her, you notice the paper piled on top of the desk. It is moving of its own accord, floating towards the girl. There is a rustling sound as the paper rearranges itself, although you can't discern what the rearrangement is until two great angel wings unfold from behind the girl.
"This is my world," the girl says again, "I know it well enough."
And then the floor of the library ceases to exist and you fall into the sky.




Okay. I got carried away with that last part. But anyway. You get creative writing out of me as well.

I got stuff to do.

*paper rustles*

Brooke out.

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