I wrote a short story out of one of my dreams. Is that allowed? It seemed like cheating, like the story came out of somewhere magical instead of me. It’s about a blind woman who listens to birds, and a husband who has learned to imitate her favourite bird call. I can’t dream that stuff up. I don’t even know the name of any birds!
Dreams are great because they come pre-packed with thematic content. I have a sixth sense when I exist in dream world: I know why everything is happening. I know what everything means.
There was a while in which I didn’t dream. I was too busy with school and I guess I just forgot. I made a sign (“Dream!!”) and put it on the ceiling of my bed. I started writing down my dreams and they came back. Isn’t it funny that it’s that easy to get in touch with our subconscious?
I’m experimenting at writing at different times of the day. Right now it is the morning and it is awful. Evenings I am sometimes tired. Afternoons I am SO boring. So we’re trying things out. I wonder whether I age throughout the day? I start the morning off stumbling around, speaking in a soft, childish voice, eating cereal. I end the day an old man, drinking a glass of wine alone, falling asleep in front of the TV, wise, maybe.
So I’ve been wondering if we need dreams to write, if they are our most primordial writing coach. They have awful plot structure. Characters are not distinct (in fact they often morph into other characters). Setting is often interesting but impossible. But the feelings!!! Dreams exist on theme and emotion and that’s what I want out of a story.
Tonight I plan to post over my bed a sign to remind myself, in my dreams, to remember my dreams. Or to wake up and remember to write my dreams down. For the last five nights I have kept my journal under my pillow with a pen at a page titled Dreams. Though I have not written a word, I write this post with the clear and focused intention of trying to find the dreams I’ve lost.
I spent a year daydreaming and writing a novel, two inseparable activities. My dreams were a continuity of my life: nighttime variations with even less control. Now I am back at school and I go to bed tired and thinking of textbooks and I wake up to the sound of the morning news in French on my alarm clock. Sunday morning announced the impending threat of “La Troisième Guerre Mondiale.”
For three weeks now I have not remembered dreams. I actually ate more Brie than I should have eaten Saturday night with the intention of dreaming. Cheese is said to make you have crazy dreams. I remember one dream that night: I was running around naked in the back kitchen of my old workplace because I had a shower in the middle of my shift. I didn’t realize I was still in the middle of my shift and there were customers waiting for me. I’m not saying I have great dreams: common threads are I am late for something or I missed it entirely.
(I also dream about World War Three: caves and tragic partings with one fellow male guerrilla fighter).
One thing that dreams give me is a centre. I wake up and I know where I’ve been for the last 6-8 hours.
Another thing that dreams give me is an explanation for my mood. I wake up inevitably affected by my dreams. If I can’t remember them then I don’t know why I’m shaken. Dreams often make me wake up feeling nostalgic. But what is the feeling of nostalgia if I can’t remember the past I was dreaming about? A sinking feeling. A terrible pit.
I woke up this morning with that. I have no idea where it comes from. I’ve spent the past two hours thinking of my dream. I remember a person, but I’ve lost the mood. My dreams are just that, moods, and if I’ve lost my moods then what does that say about me in my daytime life?