I get these memory flashes all the time. Fragments of dreams I've had, going way back, from 10 years ago to 30 years ago or more. They are more intensely remembered, in those little moments, than my actual memories of things that happened in the waking world. More vivid than any far or even recent recall of experience.
When these flashes come, it seems like little instances of madness. By that, I mean this: I am peering briefly, while awake, into a world that is not of this world. I feel something like vertigo. I feel bizarre knowing not only that I dreamed such preposterous things but also that they linger with such tenacity.
What I had dreamed into on those strange lost nights, I'm beginning to suspect, is not entirely stuff erupting from my psychology or strictly from my subconscious. It's more like having trespassed across borders of being and into worlds that go on quite well without my presence.
Some of those "trips abroad" must be like what De Quincey experienced, under the influence of laudanum. They are vast and sublime surveys of brain-staggering topography. Others are reservoirs of silent waiting horror -- so damn cool! And then there are the "spontaneous women," who appear just like that, as if bearing some unspeakably significant riddle, as if almost holy personifications of this not-quite-human world of dreams.
The most perplexing of all are those in which the grand plot unfolds with perfect knowledge by all the characters except me. Roles are played to the hilt, while I am left clueless to improvise with difficulty every word and deed.
But this isn't really about particulars. It's about the general fact that so many of those odd scenes keep coming back, as if they're not quite done with me. Or as if I have left those topographies prematurely, with much of paraphysical importance left undone or unrealized.
There is an oppressive beauty to these little glimpses back into the hyper-world. So many of these tiny moments that ripple back to me bring in their wake a re-astonishment and an almost nostalgia. A longing for their liquid existential mazes.