From dreams to reality… literally

From dreams to reality… literally

by Ross Caligiuri

It’s late at night and you are drifting in and out of the warm world that exists between awake and asleep. Suddenly, the ever-changing geometric patterns pulsing quickly through an array of alternating colors, defying the spectrum of your vision, form into a familiar shape. The face of a woman appears, and without warning you know everything about her – from lifelong desires to single moments of pain.

What happens next?

If you are anything like me, ideas for your project (art, storyline, song) probably visit you in your sleep, or at least in the moments before you begin dreaming. As a child, I was taught not to place a considerable amount of meaning on my late night visions, but as a creative adult I am gradually being made aware of the large number of individuals who pull inspiration from this unknown realm.

Still, none of us talk openly about this seemingly less-than-random occurrence. I wanted to use this blog post to officially state: I am a dreamer and I know others like me are out there! It’s time to remove the veil and begin this discussion in order to ultimately discover what we are unconsciously tapping into.

We all know that inspiration can strike at any given moment, but that’s not the purpose of this post. As I began to dive deeper into my research on this subject, I realized that many of my colleagues not only draw material, melodies, and characters from this world, but they also have visions of their own lives. Futures that can’t yet be explained, that is, until those moments come into fruition.

What the heck is this guy ranting about? Premonitions, or as some cultures refer to it, deja vu. Subconscious imprints left in our waking minds, only to be revealed to us yet again days, weeks, or years later.

My most recent experience with this phenomena happened while driving down the road in Middle of Nowhere, Montana. The man next to me – a tall, slender, musician type along for the cross-country tour. We had been passing the unwavering travel time discussing many subjects, from alien life and the subconscious mind to the quirks of human nature.

I breathed out a small laugh and turned to him, shaking my head slightly, my eyes leaving the road for a split second. “You won’t believe it, but I’m having deja vu at this very moment.”

Excitedly, he sat up straighter in his seat, shifting his weight onto his left leg. “What happens next?” he asked me.

“Well,” I started, attempting to collect my thoughts before continuing. “I remember all of this from a dream I had recently. That blue sedan cruising up ahead, this single lane road, even you sitting here next to me. It’s all familiar. Although at the time, since we hadn’t officially met in real life, I didn’t recognize it as you until just now.”

Before speaking again, I dug deeper into the fleeting moment that had now visited me twice, once in my dreams and now here in my present reality. “For some reason, I remember feeling panicked suddenly. Something happened to increase my anxiety – I think that’s why the memory of this dream stayed with me.”

“Do you remember what caused the sudden change of emotion in your dream?” he asked simply.

My eyes widened as my brain finally connected the world in front of me with the realm buried deep within my mind. “Yes! I do remember! A police car came up behind us with its lights flashing. I was frightened that we were going to be pulled over and given a ticket for some reason, but as I slowed the vehicle, the cruiser sped past us and disappeared into the distance.”

Excitedly we both craned our necks, looking out the windows of the van in all directions. After 20 seconds or so, our shoulders hunched back down and we began to laugh. Nothing but empty cornfields and a single blue sedan further up the road filled our line of sight.

Silence encapsulated the car as we contemplated our inability to capture a glimpse into the unknown. As the mundane task of sitting patiently in the van for another few hours settled into our thoughts, I glanced up into the rearview mirror.

The words “No way…” managed to escape my lips as my lungs tightened; on hearing me, my travel companion turned in his seat to look behind us. He drew in a heavy breath as we both silently watched the local police cruiser closing the distance between us, my body naturally slowing our vehicle and beginning to slide towards the edge of the road. As if orchestrated by a higher power, the pursuing law enforcement sped around us and continued far off into the distance.

Is it possible that I somehow connected with my subconscious mind in order to extract information that already existed in a future state? If so, could this mean that time exists as a whole, happening all at once and not in the linear point A to point B fashion we have always thought to be true? Has science fiction led us to believe that time travel is only possible through technological advancement and not simply by traversing time in a forward motion the same way our minds are able to drift back into a memory of the past?

What, if any, experiences have you had similar to this? A present moment you knew you had already experienced? An idea so perfect for your story that you had to get out of bed and write it down? A melody haunting your mind, begging you to sing it out?

Comment below – I’d love to hear all about it. 🙂

Did this post pique your interest or curiosity? Connect with Ross Caligiuri through his website,, where you will find copies of his new novel Dreaming in the Shadows available for purchase. Written on this subject and based around a dream he experienced, the series follows a main character with the ability to manipulate people’s memories, both past and future, using the powers locked inside of her own subconscious mind.

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