Nicholas Goodchild

Historic and Pared Down


2 March 2011 by Nicholas in Personal

This weekend, having been battling a cold for most of the week, I finally succumbed to sleep. A solid 10 or so hours, riddled with those strange dreams you only get when you have been ill.

In one dream I was removing used carpet tiles and storing them. Psychologists, I dare say, would have a field day with that. In another I was trying to escape a flood by going into a tall building and running up the floors. As I reached the top floor (ninth, if memory serves) I was surrounded by children looking at tanks of water with fish in them. Upon studying a tank I was accosted by a fish shaped animal that had a human esque face, but coloured blue with gold eyebrows (but no hair). An earnest, young face with wide eyes and oddly sharp features. If I had to say, I would say a P Craig Russell drawing made 3d and animated. There were also para sailing SWAT teams at the windows.

Now I remember reading somewhere (and you will have to forgive me, because I can’t remember where) that the human brain cannot create new faces and that the faces of everyone who appears in dreams is of someone who we have previously met or seen. Which can explain, to an extent, why people we know pop up in our dreams so frequently. It is not necessarily that we need them to be there or that they actually represent themselves, but that they are familiar and our brain needs someone’s face for that role. But, hand on heart, I can honestly say I have never met a small, talking, bald, fish person with P Craig Russell features.

Memory and dreaming is an odd concept anyway, as is trying to recall a dream once you awaken: the conscious mind takes the man disparate and non-linear threads of a dream, where locales morph seamlessly into one another with no travelling between them and people change completely within moments and enforces a structure and logic on them that they never had. In trying to analyse or even remember a dream we throw much of it out in an attempt to even comprehend it. And the more time passes between the dream and our attempt to work it out or actually recall it the less of it we actually recall, what was vivid imagery as we awaken rescinding into the merest of summarised descriptions.

I have had a few dreams that seemed to have burst forth whole from my subconscious, which I have transcribed as best I can to use as stories at some later date. If I ever get round to fleshing them out. If ever I manage to draw them. But the thing about fever dreams is they seem to lack any form of structure or narrative or meaning that would allow me to do that. Despite my best efforts all they ever remain is the fragmented musings of a healing mind that defy all efforts of transcription.