Monday 2 April 2012

Pondering - Horror, fearful but seductive

Dark Pondering Image

When I was younger, I used to be haunted by nightmares almost every night without fail. It was truly horrible. I was afraid of going to sleep because they were so unrelenting. I was of an age where I wasn't old enough to watch scary things on TV, so I have no idea where the stimulus came from.

The biggest theme was werewolves, or normal wolves. I was always being chased by them and when they caught me, they would bite me and snarl. It goes without saying that if a nature program was on TV and a wolf howl featured, I shivered.

Many of the dreams were lucid, which meant that I knew I was dreaming but I couldn't wake up. Sometimes, I found that screwing my eyes tightly closed and opening them again woke me, but more often than not, it just started the dream again from the beginning. One typical example was being chased through a sweetcorn field by werewolves (the field behind our house did have sweetcorn in so it was a familiar location). That dream started over and over, they got me every time. It goes without saying that I was also afraid of the dark.

There were a few occasions where I was in a nightmare of some kind that didn't feature the wolves, but of course I still wanted to wake up. I found in those situations, I only had to shout "Wolf!" and one would come and eat me. It woke me up, but even to my younger self, it felt like using a pneumatic drill to open a tin of baked beans.

One day, Mum said to me that I was probably bringing the dreams on by being so afraid of them. She was right. I was expecting to dream of wolves every night, just because I had gotten into the routine of fearing them. That night I can clearly remember was a no wolf night, and I felt free.

I don't know when it happened, but sometime later I found myself fascinated by horror and dark things, and I love the darkness now, whereas before it was always hiding something sinister. If I have nightmares now, while not that pleasant, I wake up and often think how cool it was, and how relieved I am to still be alive.

Now, I actively create and seek out tales of darker things, for the enjoyment and the richness that I feel I can find in the subject. I particularly like stories which aren't clean cut, the monster being the sinned against party, or the holier than thou good guy not being so good at all. I think this resonates with how I view the world myself, that nothing is black and white and it all falls into shades of grey. The things that outwardly look fantastic and good can be poisonous to your soul and the things that look ugly and evil can really be misunderstood and purer than imagined.

It is also said by some shamanistic cultures, that the animals you dream about are your power animals or spirit guides. If that is indeed the case, maybe my Wolf guide was trying to share a powerful message with me. I have no idea what it was but if he wants to come back and start shredding me again, I`ll try to ask him when his mouth isn't full.

Thanks for reading.