Fascinating article: The Dreams Of A Man Asleep For Three Weeks
It starts out: “On March 22, 2018, I was rushed to the hospital for life-saving surgery. Due to complications with the procedure, I didn’t regain full, coherent consciousness until the second week in April. For three weeks I was stuck inside my own mind, subject to a seemingly unending series of dreams…”
A couple of excerpts:
The Grassy Plateau: Neutral Territory
How do you wake up from a dream when you’re too sedated to actually regain consciousness?
Imagine a massive hole in the Earth, a perfectly circular pit with brown rock walls. Rising up from the center of this pit is a cylindrical plateau covered with soft, green grass. The plateau is high enough to be touched by sunlight passing overhead, but still so low that I can’t see over the sides of the pit. That’s where I would find myself every time I “woke.”
In video game terms, the grassy plateau was my central hub, the area I returned to between subconscious fantasies. It’s where I would realize whichever dream or nightmare I’d just experienced wasn’t real. It’s the only place in my reverie I felt I had any sort of control, if only imagined. “Waking” from a particularly harrowing vision, like a return visit to the wasteland, I would think “Something different, please,” or “Don’t take me back there.” Sometimes it felt as if someone was listening, taking notes and influencing where I went next.
Whatever it was, the grassy plateau was a safe place. To this day, when I feel troubled, I imagine myself lying in that warm grass, and I feel better.
A recurring dream theme that makes perfect sense, given my medical condition at the time, was the struggle between life and death…
Another battle for my life, more of a gamble, still haunts me. Somehow I was deep under the ocean, in inky blackness, playing poker with a group of naga, or humanoid serpents. If I won, I received a giant bottle of some sort of whiskey. If I lost, I would be killed. Now, I am not a drinker, so I have no idea how I would have gotten into this strange situation. But there I was, playing cards amid inky swirls of darkness, my breath bubbling in my lungs, making a horrible gurgling sound.
I later realized the gurgling noise was coming from myself. One of the reasons I was having trouble breathing was my lungs were filling with fluid, causing me to gurgle as the respirator helped me breathe.
I like that he plays a lot of videogames and uses that kind of metaphorical framework in describing his dream journeys – it also seems to influence the way he dreams.
It’s notable that while he was sedated and near death, he was having a very active dream life.