I would imagine it’s like a night without stars. Or death. When people say they don’t dream, I kind of don’t believe them. I just think they don’t remember, but I cannot say for certain what is true in anyone else’s brain.
As with the whole ‘sitting still’ thing, I feel unqualified to speak about this as I dream every single night. Vividly. In colour and intense detail. Even if I only recall the bones of of my dreams, writing down a couple of words or phrases will instantly transport me back into the space. I practice lucid dreaming as often as I think about it, which isn’t as often as I’d like. Many of my dreams are dark and terrifying, but I rarely have nightmares. When I do, I always (seriously without exception) wake up flat on my back with my arms and legs in a straight line against my body. I’m not sure why that is. So, with all that in mind, being that dreamless sleep is something I’m not totally familiar with, I’m obviously going to ramble about it for a minute.
Perhaps it’s like an empty apartment and the fridge suddenly stops running. Did you even notice the noise until it went away? Much like the thoughts that whirl in your head non-stop, pictures and fragments of songs and snippets of conversation from that weird church picnic you got suckered into going to in 1988 because your mom thought it was important for you to branch out and make new friends but the only thing you learned was that people who smile this much are suspicious as heck. This barrage, this pollution of sound and colour and thought never stops but then your eyes close and your breathing deepens and you drift. Where do you go in this state of mind quiet submergence? Where do your plans and schemes and dreams hole up for the time you’re away? Or do you come closer to self? To a stillness which encompasses every part, without the distraction of imagery, intention, ideas swirling about.
If that sort of oblivion is the thing your exhausted self/mind/body desires, then I will happily take all the technicolour midnight madness of a frenetic and active dreamstate chaos so that your rest is unfettered, your sleep is soothing, and you find a calm which lasts well into the day.
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