Some of us pull our ideas from personal experience, some from movies or music, some from the air, and some visit us in the dark hours of the night.
Dreaming has never been a reliable way of conjuring up new story concepts. It usually happens, at least in my case, when I’m neck-deep in a different project and don’t have the luxury of starting something new. I have a file where these ideas are kept, often jotted down as soon as I can clear the grit from my eyes. Most of the time when I return to look at these ideas they make about as much sense as a dream can be expected. Perhaps this is why the experimental genre has grown in popularity, so that these ideas have somewhere to go.
The British Cheese Board did a study on the effect of cheese on dreaming. Turns out that several people had noticed more vivid and intense dreams after consuming their favorite cheese before retiring. According to the 2005 study different cheeses affected dreams in specific ways.
I tried Stilton for the first time last week. For those unfamiliar with Stilton imagine a firm Roquefort or Gorgonzola – both hearty blue cheeses. Stilton is one of the cheeses on the study. Turns out that 85% of woman and 75% of men have more vivid dreaming after consuming a 20 gram serving of Stilton 30 minutes before bed. No one reported bad dream experiences, just bizarre.
The first night I didn’t have any bizarre vivid dreams. However, the second night . . . dang. Here it goes:
I was walking along a small sandy beach when without warning the sand changed from cool to blistering hot. Someone mentioned that it was some geothermal event and everyone needed to run. I wasn’t fast enough and fell in the sand but had the presence of mind to crawl to the safety of the rocks. I knew that I was burned, perhaps terribly so, but couldn’t feel it. The scene changes to that of a medical facility unlike any I had ever seen. They are in the process of treating the burns which I still cannot feel more than a dull ache. I receive visitors and well wishers and am annoyed that everyone is acting like life is over for me. I prove them wrong and fight to regain functionality. Walking feels alien and awkward, like I’m trying to control someone else’s body. Then I wake.
I didn’t find the dream disturbing, which now thinking about it, perhaps should have. It was so intense that it woke me and I wanted to churn it over and over in my mind instead of returning to sleep.
I’ve only had the one vivid cheese enhanced dream, but I would like another.