Finding Damo

The story of a man, his job, two cats and the meaning of success.

Dream a Little Dream of Me. Or badgers. Or Superman.

dreams are strangeCorey Feldman had it good. His character in Dream a Little Dream ran all over his dreamscape, giving out good advice and saying “Heh” a lot. He didn’t have to worry about the streets changing from moment to moment, or giant rats staring at him until he woke up screaming.

Some people are already thinking “dammit. I blog about dreaming. I’m outa here.” And that’s fine. The blog is called Finding Damo, not “Keep everybody entertained all the time”. And one of the things that has consumed my life and fed my imagination since I was a young boy has been my dreams.

Luke, I am your father!

Luke, I am your father!

I have sleep apnoea. I can’t spell it but I have it. I’m not sure when it started, but by the time I was living in Rosebud, it was getting out of control. I was only getting one or two hours of sleep a night, as I would stop breathing when I fell deeply enough asleep which, luckily, woke me up again. It was terrible. I was always tired. I fell asleep in meetings, and when driving.

And I dreamed. A lot.

dream diary lock

If you can open it, you can read it.

Two of my favourite presents ever were given to me by girlfriends. The first was when I was in Japan. Kallie gave me a dream diary. She’d decorated  the inside front cover. The book had a lock and was just awe-inspiring. It wasn’t just a Spellbox book or anything. I’m not sure where she found it, but the book, and the lovely inscription on the inside blew me away. A couple of months later, in an argument, she ripped out the lovely front page and took the book back. Which is why I’m not dating her any more. That amongst other things. But at the time, WOW.

The second was a box to keep my (new) dream diary in. I’d replaced the original with a Spellbox dream diary. Not as impressive as the original, but still, with a nice locking mechanism and decent paper for writing. Melanie made the box for me from scratch. Varnished it, and burnt a design into the top. Now the diary had a home. It was an exceptional achievement and I still love it.

dream diary box

Long before the dream diary, I still wrote down my dreams. I had a yellow notepad that I wrote a lot of dreams into. I even wrote a program in Perl when I was working at Racing Victoria, to catalog the dreams by theme and add more in as I had them. And yes, I had them. Every night was a plethora of images, whizzing through my head. I started writing them down as my conviction that what I dreamed was coming true. So many times I would experience a conversation and say “Wow. I dreamed that!” So, to prove it to myself, I started writing them down, so that I could come back to them when I had that experience again.

I’ve never experienced a moment that I have written down in my dream diary. Bummer.

One that could come true, after my last post:

werewolf dreamBut I’m getting ahead of myself. And the rest of this post is pretty much just an explanation of the dreams I’ve had, how they fit into my life, and what meaning I feel that they had/have. So I’m serious. If you hate being told dreams by your friends, even if they have pictures attached, you probably don’t need to read any further. I’m not going to get overly philosophical. I just want some of this out of my head and out onto a blog. Call it selfish and indulgent, I can handle that. I promise I’ll be more interesting next week.

Here’s the first page (all images clickable for better views):

front page

As it says here, the greatest part of my dreamscape was a place I dubbed Alternate Kyabram. I grew up in Kyabram. I lived in Heathcote, Redesdale, even Canada during my formative years, but from 1983 until 1992 I was in Kyabram. I delivered papers, I explored the back streets with my friends. I imprinted the town onto my brain like a mental brand. And as much as I tried to get away from the place, when I slept, I was back there.

There were a few changes. And streets didn’t always go to the same places. I also dragged in my grandparents’ places from Castlemaine and Kyneton, although sometimes they were the same place. And as I spent more time in Melbourne, there were roads to the city from my little country town.

Here’s the map, and a legend:

dreamscapelegend to dreamscape

here be dinosAs my dreaming was so vivid, I did a lot of reading about it. I tried to convince myself that dreaming was something special. I dream in colour, which is supposedly a sign that you are creative. I have attempted lucid dreaming and astral projection, all after reading about them in books (with no luck, sorry to say). I’ve looked at the meanings of different symbols in dreams. For example, shops and shopping centres are supposed to be a reflection of your subconscious. Next time you dream about being in a shop, take a look at what’s on the shelves. On second thoughts, for some of us, it’s better not to look too closely.

My shop’s shelves are usually filled with books, magazines and toys. What does that say about me?

I really don’t want to go on and on about this. I just wanted to whack up a few fragments. The dreams in the diary start from 2001. There are some transcribed from long before then. The last one is in 2009. When I started using the CPAP machine, my sleep was completely dreamless. I slept solidly from the time my head hit the pillow until I was woken by the alarm clock. By the time my body started to even out and my subconscious started forcing dreams upon me again, I was out of the habit of writing them down. I dream a lot more now, and probably should write them down in the marvelous dream diary once more. But I think that phase of my life is passed now.

This is its eulogy:

click for more.

 

part onepart twopart three

random nightmare

IMG_1119

IMG_1123

It is self-indulgent. I’m not seeing anything that would be interesting to anyone else. I’m going to stop now. Dreaming is an incredible invention of the human race. The number of stories I’ve sucked out of a dream… and then thrown away because basically dreams make absolutely no sense! I have, however, had a couple of dreams that have turned into quite interesting stories. And of course, there is the old stand-by for story creation:

what if…?

And I get a goodly number of “what-if” stories out of my dreams.

Sweet dreams!

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10 thoughts on “Dream a Little Dream of Me. Or badgers. Or Superman.

  1. This is easily my favourite post of yours so far, Damian! Granted, it’s semi-ruined my next post which was about a dream of mine, but never-the-less, I love it. Perhaps the fact I own the DVD and soundtrack to “Dream a little Dream” helped. Incidentally, that’s a movie that completely escaped the English …. amazing that such a B-Grade, forgettable movie could go unnoticed 😉

    I can’t remember if I told you that a friend of mine is friends with Neil Gaiman (they both wrote together, back in the eighties). He once told that my dreams remind him of Neil because his dreams are equally vivid and of a very similar nature, and it struck him how alike we are (I instantly thought of you, as I know you’re a fan of NG, and I’ve never read his work).

    Anyway I love, and have always written about, my dreams. I love hearing what a source of inspiration yours are to you. This was an exceptionally beautiful post, as far as I’m concerned, and I didn’t find it at all self-indulgent. It’s definitely the post I’ve enjoyed reading the most. I can see the wonderful old Damian in it and you know I love him 😉

    Keep dreaming!

    • Oh, and when do I get to see you?

    • Oh, and the dream I turned into a story for you, with all the vampires. I still have plans for that as a novel. Just a couple of other novels to finish first. Plus, we have to wait for the bad taste that is Twilight to leave the scene first.

      • Oh god yes, I’d forgotten about that story! You were good to me in your youth 🙂

        I’m having the same problem with “50 Shades” re a book I wrote last year. If I put it out now it’ll look like I’m copying – very frustrating.

  2. Thank you very much. Oh, and GRRR. You never told me you knew someone who knew Neil. *sigh*

    I really enjoyed going back through the diary and reading all of the dreams. You showed up a lot. Dave’s in there a bit. A number of students. Dad trying to convince me to go *out* with a student… Superman, Buzz Lightyear as an old man, many many muppets.

    A weird space, my mind.

    • I meant to, and wasn’t sure if I had. He’s been a colleague and friend of mine for years, he’s a great guy though we struggle to ever have “serious” meetings as they always result in laughing until we both cry. We now just stick to coffees and lunch that are solely personal – all pretence of work has been thrown away.

      I dread to think of what your teenage dreams involving me were about 🙂

  3. Wow, very inspiring post! I found this page looking for some pictures for cover of my dreaming diary – got here via google image, of first one in this post. I read it all and it was simultanously exciting and sad. Eventually I’m happy that all these problems with sleep apnoea are gone. It’s hard to imagine for me how hard it likes to live like this. Well, I must also admit, that you ruined one of my idea by bringing knowledge of existing this CPAP machine 😉 I was into making a comic book about group of Mediators, who use rather talk and intelligence than power to solve various problems, and one of them would be Sleepless Medium, who has ability to connect with collective consciousness, but the price is that he can’t sleep, because of sleep apnoea, so he uses advanced mediation and smart drugs to be fully awake all the time. Now I have no idea how to solve it, when he can just buy CPAP machine 😀 (Sorry for my English, I’m from Poland.)

  4. lukaszpatula on said:

    Wow, very inspiring post! I found this page looking for some pictures for cover of my dreaming diary – got here via google image, of first one in this post. I read it all and it was simultanously exciting and sad. Eventually I’m happy that all these problems with sleep apnoea are gone. It’s hard to imagine for me how hard it likes to live like this. Well, I must also admit, that you ruined one of my idea by bringing knowledge of existing this CPAP machine 😉 I was into making a comic book about group of Mediators, who use rather talk and intelligence than power to solve various problems, and one of them would be Sleepless Medium, who has ability to connect with collective consciousness, but the price is that he can’t sleep, because of sleep apnoea, so he uses advanced mediation and smart drugs to be fully awake all the time. Now I have no idea how to solve it, when he can just buy CPAP machine 😀 (Sorry for my English, I’m from Poland.)

  5. lukaszpatula on said:

    My emoticons strangely moved from there places to somewhere inside the text 😀

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