The first time I noticed a reality problem I was six, and had just had a major tiff with my best friend. We were standing there, both of us in a fist-clenched fury, entrenched in one of those hopeless “I did not, you did too” conversations when the light bulb went on.
It dawned on me that my friend wasn’t making things up. She honestly believed I had done and said a thing that I equally believed I had not done or said. You know the scenario – you’re in an argument with your lover, your boss, even your best friend, when you suddenly realize that you’re not only on different wavelengths, you’re engaged in two totally different conversations. Possibly, you’re not even still on the same planet.
I’m willing to bet that the world that I live in, or at least my perception of it, has a completely different landscape than the one you live in. Sure, this is partly colored by life experience and temperament, but I suspect there’s more to it than this. If we could trade brains for a minute, I think we would be shocked by the differences in how we perceive things. For example, although most of us have managed to agree that blue is blue, I’m willing to hazard a guess that what I see as blue looks very different to your eyes than it does to mine.
These differences are highlighted, I think, in our dreams. Although there are some dream symbols that are fairly universal, what shows up in the dreamlife is highly individualized and often contains elements of a personal mythology. Do you dream in black and white, or in color? Are you an observer or a participant? A hider or a seeker? Hunted or hunter? And here’s the really important question: how much does your role in your dreams impact your behavior in the real world?
These are some of the ideas I was playing with when I wrote Between. Vivian, as a dreamshifter, has to deal with constant reality shifts, and whatever happens to her in a dream world happens to her for real. Some of the characters in the book have alternate reality personalities based on their dreamlife selves.
I’m very curious about the world you live in.
Learn more about Kerry Schafer below.
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