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Dedicated to clumsy beings everywhere

Dreams of hands, to anyone who's read a lot of modern dream literature, instantly brings to mind one thing--Carlos Castaneda's famous exercise of simply looking at your hands in a dream. Well, except for Giant Hands and My Experience of Lucid Dreaming, these dreams aren't about that, or any other lucidity techniques. Here we have something much broader--something humans take for granted.

Most of these are dreams of hands and of the lack of them, of opposable thumbs and the lack of them, of the thumb envy experienced by every intelligent creature on the planet who takes a good look at us. And the issues hands and handlessness can stand for--control over one's world, one's life... and the lack of it.

So get a grip, people! And not just in your dreams. The point isn't to see your hands. The point is to know how to use them.

RELATED TOPICS: evolution - artificial uplift of species to sentience - biotech - body image - weird dream surgery - disability, deformity and mutilation - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.

ALL TIED UP WITH THE PHONE: by Orion Scribner; before 2002/5/25; a punning dream portrait.
Shandra hangs in a dark void, tied up in phone cords. A phone rings; Shandra coolly says...
ARMLESS: by Wayan; 1997 portrait of dream figures (pencil/digital)
A strange, horny, frustrated being, part human part horse, who lacks hands to hold the centaurs...
THE ARMS POLICY: by Wayan; 2000/4/7, a nightmare.
The government has a harsh policy on armed dissidents. Not the kind of arms you think...
THE BEST HOTEL: by Rick Veitch; pre-1995; an escalating surrealist dream
Rajiv keeps trying to convince me it's the best hotel in India: the orgy of biters, the
bowls of twitching fingers. But it's only the oracular spirits that really impress me...
BLOOD DANCE: by Larry Vigon; Sept. 1997; an initiatory commitment dream
A Gypsy man invites me to dance. But he cuts my arm, deep; then even his touch multiplies
my wounds. Last is a needle through my wrist. But I'm committed to the full dance now...
BLUE MER-ANGEL: by Wayan; 2000, ceramic sculpture, 11.5" long.
Seems strange to have no hands. How do dolphins get things done? By not needing to get things done?
CAT-SNAKE: by Wayan; 1993/3/6, a short dream fable.
I glue cat-legs on my snaky friend, despite the scare talk
from Christians sure that snakes never change...
CENTAUR QUARTET: by Wayan; 1982/2/26, 83/12/24 & 84/10/16, recurring dreams of my spirit family.
Can our interspecies family survive? Our very instincts clash around solitude/boundaries, sex and incest
THE CLARK RANGE, OR, THE HAND: by Wayan; 1975/12/1, a surreal lucidity-prompting dream
In the Sierra with geologists, I stick my arm down a drillhole and feel a living hand! Impossible, yet...
DEAD RIGHTS! DEAD RIGHTS!: by Wayan; 1983/10/1, a dream of the other side.
I die young, to get it over with, like chickenpox. As I slowly revive, I face bias against the dead. So..
THE DEER'S FIRST DEED: by Wayan; 1984/10/8, a dream of gratitude.
A man teaches literacy to the wild deer. But with no hands, how can they give him anything in return?
MY DEWCLAW: by Wayan; 1997/6/30; dreams within dreams within dreams
Body after body is peeled away revealing truth inside truth...
DRILL TO FLOW: by Wayan; 2011/4/8, an anti-frustration dream
A panel of argumentative gods grant me a spare lifetime of piano practice. It takes that long, but...
ERECTION 2000: by Wayan, 2000/11/28; ceramic sculpture 9" tall; response to stolen 2000 election.
A candidate glad to shake your hand... though not all you voters will want him to...
FLIGHT, MARGARET, MOUSE, DOG: by Paul Nash, dreamed 1895-9 + Feb. 1913; art by Dave McKean
As a child, landscape artist Paul Nash dreamed of flying over the countryside
of southern England. But he was threatened by the legendary Black Dog...
FOUR-ARMED SINGER: by Wayan; 1996/5/16; a dream of baring your soul .
In our mutant future, a lovely horse-tailed four-armed girl sings her heart out--as clubgoers ignore her...
FOX-BOY: by Wayan; 1997/2/28, a dream fable.
A boy offends his uncle the King, who transforms him into a fox. Grounded! But Fox-Boy runs away...
FOXCOMB: by Wayan; ink 1990 tinted 2001; daydream of recurring dream character
I visited the first bioengineered fox-person with working thumbs, to see what she thinks of hands...
GIANT'S HANDS: by Wayan; dreamed 1981/12/23, a split-consciousness nightmare
I was a giant carefully & guiltlessly flattening San Francisco--just following orders
to recycle it! Killing how many? While my mind inside the giant's mind was appalled...
GINSBERG UNMASKED: by Rick Veitch; pre-1995; a diagnostic dream
Comics character Doctor Blasphemy, on stilts, bares his secret identity:
poet Allen Ginsberg! But who chopped off his missing fingers?
THE HAND THAT WAKES: by Wayan; 1997; acrylic study of what makes us forget dreams.
I was painting to a sad scary song by Laurie Anderson that goes "This is the hand... the hand that takes..."
HER HAND ON THE MANTEL: by Frederick Greenwood; before 1894; a disowned predictive dream
Greenwood dreams he finds a severed hand on a mantelpiece. The next day
it happens! But he sees no moral, so he dismisses it...
HER HANDS ARE TIED: by Wayan, 1992/4/17, a dream advising a different therapist
I had a chronic illness doctors said was psychosomatic. So I saw Ani, a therapist...
I dream we're prisoners. Ani leads a successful escape, but then walks around
oblivious that her hands are still tied! I offer to untie her; she seems not to hear me.
Great in a crisis, but oblivious to chronic stuff? To me? Not the best fit...
HANDSHAKE: by John S. Dykes, before 1986; a surreal dream-sketch
People ride inside two levitating arms that shake hands
above a desert. Do the insiders know what the deal is?
HORSELIKE BUT NOT: by Wayan; portrait of dream figure, 1997, acrylic, 14 x 17"
My anima Silky finds it hard to go back to classic hooves, now that she's tried opposable thumbs...
HUMMINGBIRD HANDS: by Ranjit Bhatnagar, art by Jesse Reklaw; pre-2000; a freed-by-music dream
A mind-control drug urges her to strangle her loved ones, but
to beat the curse she busies her fluttering hands with bluegrass banjo...
THE LESSON: by W.H. Auden; 1942, a poem on three linked nightmares
I'm told "Your lives are not in order." The golden crown's too heavy. And
I win my lover's hand--only the hand. What are my dreams accusing me of?
MAGIC FINGER: by Katherine Metcalf Nelson; 1982 (May?); a nightmare veering into mystery
Morocco. Horseback mercenaries attack a town. A boy say "Take their lifestyle, and you must remove their brains."
A protective Hand of Fatima dissolves, leaving a finger, a feather, a... vagina. "What a slit!" We burst into laughter...
MAMMAL FLOWERS: by Wayan; 1991. Digital painting on recurring dream situation.
Since I dream I'm an animal a lot (or I'm an animal that wakes to find it's human a lot) hands fascinate me...
METEOR OR STAR?: by Wayan; 2007/9/17, a dream of uncertainty
I'm an anima. But we rarely walk the day-world for long. When will I fade? Ignorance isn't bliss, it's paralysis...
MISFITS ON MARS: by Wayan; 1986/11/20, an epic dream; the climax of the dreamseries UNICORN TAG.
From the punk clubs of Frisco to the Safeways of Si Valley to the vermilion sands of Mars,
Silky the were-nightmare fights for the Misfits against every cliche in science fiction...
MOLLY'S PROSTHETIC: by Wayan, 1994/9/22, a dream predicting a mood drug will fail
My dad's new wife is a collie. Naturally, she wants a prosthetic arm. But she has no site to bind it to...
THE MOUSE: by Paul Nash; Feb. 1913, surreal bedtime experience triggers surreal nightmare
We save a mouse from a man who claims he eats them. Later I dream I am the mouse...
MY EXPERIENCE OF LUCID DREAMING: by Maria Isabel Pita; August 2013, dreambased photomontage
Superimposed photos and movie stills show my typical lucid dreaming--I look at my hands,
realize I'm dreaming, dance for joy, meet a guide, fly to strange places--best of all, Egypt...
MY THREE HUSBANDS: by Wayan; 1981/2/26 & 1991/5/26, dreams drawn as a 15-page comic
I'm three women at once! We marry a unicorn, a goat philosopher,
and a magic talking cat. But cops raid our furry commune...
NIETZSCHE EATS A TOAD: by Frederick Nietzsche; c.1867; a (prodromal?) nightmare
At a party, Nietzsche told a young woman "my hand was transparent as glass;
and a fat toad sat on my hand. I felt compelled to swallow it, and did..."
NO FINGERS: by Wayan; 1993/10/6, an indirectly predictive dream.
My therapist has no fingers. A fingerless man intrudes on my session, and they use up my hour talking...
NUCLEAR NIGHTMARES: by Erica DeMane, Michael, Joanne and Scott; c.1984, four creepy dreams
Erica dreams that during a protest she's caught in a radioactive flood...
Michael dreams a nuclear forcefield makes his fingertips explode and congeal into weird knobs...
Joanne dreams she meets nuclear mutants with curling black nails great for peeling potatoes...
Scott dreams the world goes silent and white, bleaching out. His hands dissolve...
PALM DREAM: by Skip Renker, before 1984, a slow nightmare? or a subtle challenge?
After lifeline and heartline, the palm-reader points to a rope ladder heading for Orion. I climb. But
it goes brittle, splinters. I flail. She reads, long-distance, one more line: "Wings", she calls. "Wings."
RIDE THE GODS OF THE HAND: by Larry Vigon; 2002/6/13; an oracular dream
Predawn. The beach. A gypsy goddess rises from the waves. She says
"Begin to ride the gods of the Hand, in London." I say "What?"...
SHARK SENSE: by Wayan; 1988/12/9, a diagnostic dreamtale.
I'm a circus tiger, then a performing shark. One day, I block my human partner's high dive... Why?
SILKY AT THE MIKE: by Wayan; 1998? Sketch of recurring dream
Ours is a mixed-race family, and my sister takes after the horse side. No hands, but can she sing!...
THE SINGLE DIE: by Wayan; 1994/10/17, a dream on child prodigies.
My sisters roll a single die. Miriel can influence it telekinetically,
but can't shoot very well. Since she hasn't grown opposable thumbs yet...
STUCK SNAKE: by Wayan; 2011/9/8; a set of dreams that out-Freud Freud
Girls flash and strip and crawl into bed with me, but I'm blind to their interest--
till I become a snakeboy and discover the real limitations of phallic symbolism...
THIS DREAM HAUNTS THE DAY: by Roswila; 1999, a dreampoem on transference
My father's trapped in a crashed car. But I'm distracted by a young man whose palm cups a living flame...
THUMBS: by Wayan; 1989/6/12, a dream vignette.
Worldwide, hands have gone soft and pliable. I meet
some animals evolving into people and advise them....
TRISKELION: by Kristopher Saknussemm, c.1986, a surreal false-waking dream
Only up close do I see that the map of these mysterious continents is made of moths. I wake
in Polynesia. By the bed, in a jar, floats one of my hands. For no reason, I begin to cry...
THE UNCLEAN HAND: by Wayan; 1995/5/24, a dreamtale.
An Arabic traveler to China is shocked by toilet paper, which explains the origins of dualism. Really.
A VALLEY NEAR HOPE: by Wayan; 1984/10/17-19, an epic dream.
I wander a valley where unicorns love cyborgs but fear giant ants, who love unicorns but
fear cyborgs, who love ants but fear unicorns! And while the Three Tribes squabble, cave-monsters
sculpt them all. I set up peace talks between these four aspects of my tetrahedral soul...
WHITE-KNUCKLE FAIRNESS: by Wayan; 1999/3/23, a dream of not being me.
I'm a conscientious saurian who feels obliged to duel with a hot-tempered friend.
Preparing, wanting to fight fair, I don't just file my spurs blunt, I...

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