The best way to do it is to keep paper and pencil handy bedside. It takes some training to awaken and make notes. I write in total darkness. Notes don't have to be neat but I print because it is easier to follow them when they criss-cross one another. Very brief notes refresh the memory if one has vivid dreaming episodes. Then I type up the most interesting ones. I have infrequent periods of vivid dreaming and it is during these phases that I record my dreams. Here's a favorite. The dream number is a date.
You know how dreams go. Suddenly you're in the next room, but it doesn't even bother you that you have no recollection of actually getting up and walking into that room. You're just there, like in the movies. I dreamt I was living in a community of very poor, hardworking Latin people. I was attending a party. One of the local social leaders came over to me and showed me a large amount of money he had collected in small bills from all the other guests and from the community at large. He put his face very close to mine, looked me in the eye and whispered, "Senor, you know the man who can turn into a dragon, no?"
Well, I didn't really, but I felt as though the idea was too intriguing to ignore. "I think I know who you mean."
"Perhaps you could do us a favor. We are not wealthy people, but we would gladly reward you if you could carry out an assignment on our behalf. We would only like to go about our business as farmers, raising our crops and selling them at the marketplace. But we are very afraid that the man who can turn into a dragon will destroy our fields by breathing fire on them as he flies over. We will pay you all this money I have collected if you will find the man who can become a dragon and cut his arms off so that he cannot fly."
"Cut his arms off?"
"Si, then when he turns into a dragon he will have no wings. Can you do this thing for us?"
Not wanting to disappoint these good villagers, I hemmed and hawed a bit and then accepted their offer. "Okay, I'll take care of the problem. Don't worry, just go about your business and everything will be alright." The man gave me the wad of money and assured me that there would be regular payments to follow so long as they were forever protected from the man who could turn into a dragon. I took the money and got myself a drink and just milled about in the party crowd.
After a while, I noticed a very handsome gentleman sitting on a sofa at one end of the room. I felt drawn to him somehow so I walked over and seated myself next to him. We didn't converse immediately and I just sat near him for a time to check him out. When I got a closer look at his face I could see that he was even better looking than I had first thought. He had blond hair and blue eyes, and he had a very mild expression on his face. His appearance alone made me feel that he was a very gentle person. Still, I had the distinct impression that he was the person I had been seeking. Finally, I turned to him and quietly asked, "Excuse me, sir, but aren't you the man who can turn into a dragon?" He blushed a little and tilted his head to one side.
"Why, yes, I am; but I don't really like to do that because it frightens people into a panic, so I almost never change into a dragon." Thus began a long conversation which lasted only seconds, like in the movies. Afterward, I was convinced that the man who could turn into a dragon was actually one of the kindest and mildest human beings I had ever encountered. He was downright shy, in fact, and I couldn't imagine him ever harming anyone. Harder still, I couldn't imagine myself cutting off his arms! I decided he was no threat at all, so I took my leave of him and went off to find the villager who had given me the money. But I had no intention of refunding the money. I rationalized that since everyone was going to be satisfied with the situation, there would be no harm in profitting a bit from the situation. I soon found the fellow and approached him.
"Hello again. I just wanted to assure you that the business we discussed earlier has been taken care of. You have nothing to fear from now on."
"That's wonderful news, Senor. You will have prompt payments from us every harvest season. We could not be happier with the good deed you have done for us. You have our eternal gratitude."
And so, just like in the movies, years went by... many years. And a few seconds later, even more years after that, I was attending yet another party in this same village when I once again noticed that the man who could turn into a dragon was also in attendance. As I looked at him, his kindly demeanor so impressed itself on me that I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of guilt. I felt as though I had to tell this gentle soul what had transpired so many years earlier. I walked over and sat down near him once again. "Hello. Do you remember me? We met at a similar party in this same house many years ago."
"Ah, yes," he replied, "I remember now."
"Well, I came over to talk to you about something which has been bothering me since that first day when we met so long ago..."
And at this point in my dream, just as I was about to confess to the man who could turn into a dragon about how I had been hired to cut off his arms... just then, Ligia woke me up to fix our morning cup of coffee! I know, as stories go it is somewhat disappointing to have no resolution, no ending. But surely you must agree that this was an extraordinary and wonderful dream.