This post is inspired by The Unfoldlings thoughts on dreams.
Freud used to keep a pen and paper at his bedside to record his dreams. The unconscious mind unleashes clandestine thoughts, which then evaporate for all eternity or else they are reclassified and confined once again to that place of seclusion, to be revealed in cinematic elegance in another time and space.
What do you dream of, My Love? And on awakening do you discard that other life, concentrating instead on the practicalities of the day ahead? Or do you savour those night-time escapades and grasp on to threads of possibilities? Struggling to recollect fading fragments, does a sense of peace stroke your stirring body or do demons embed themselves into your wakefulness?
I have heard it said that, during our formative years, that time when the world seems so mystifying and the mind intangible, visions of the night come vividly but it is not until we have had a chance to expand our knowledge of the world that we realise fully the power of such visitations. Then, in retrospect, we are more equipped to interpret them and analyse our psychoses as they once were and, for some, continue to be.
Can you still recollect your dreams of youth? And have you decoded these or is your mind strong in its denial of them? Do parts of your history remain unmanaged, not dealt with, or can you in all sincerity comfort yourself with the surety that nothing remains unsolved? Along with all those decisions we have made in our lives, there are roads we’ve never travelled, places we’ve never dared to go, ideas that have screamed out to us in our slumber but which we failed to acknowledge or refused to grasp.
Some people can no longer dream. Ginny told me that from the very day she knew about Thom, her dreams left her forever. She was not haunted by the ghost of him, nor could she evoke his spirit into those hours of darkness: nothing. But he does come to her, I’m sure of this, because why else would she be cloaked in an inexplicable tranquillity each morning as the alarm clock bullies her to rise from her bed and see to the twins, her beautiful boys? Thom’s beautiful boys, who are thriving, despite his absence. But I’m sorry, My Love, you don’t want to be reminded of death. It is all around you, a breathing truth, an inescapable energy, an unseen figure. That is our strongest bond and nothing is deeper. It is fathomless. This truth is not a dream.
But are any of your dreams are so delicious that, on awakening, you wish to shut out the light in an effort to re-enter that fantasy world of your own making, so you squeeze your eyes tight, hoping to hold onto those rare and precious images for a moment longer and so delaying the inevitable danger of life? Where do you go to for salvation? Who leads you there? Are you surrounded by those you love today or do callers from the past remind you of who has gone before, helping you to build this person you have become? Are tenses confused: an old acquaintance in a recent location or a new recruit in your childhood playground? Do you witness people chatting who would never normally meet? Are settings muddled? Those fierce and impenetrable foreign mountains juxtaposed with the familiar rolling hills of your parents’ village?
Are joyful trances a gift from the Cosmos, a custom-made offering from some other-worldly realm? Or are they nothing more than self-constructed happy feelings? Does the rational being in you disregard dreams as sleeping thoughts with little connection to the real world or does that Romantic in you entertain them with abandon?
I’m sitting up in bed, the lap top resting atop my lap, and it’s late. I can hear a dog: it is his baying, I’m convinced, that tiptoes into my semi-consciousness mind, stalking me with his low plaintive voice. I dream of that sound but I can never then fix it to any living creature because there is only me, wrapped in the sarong you presented me with after your first trip of our marriage. You were away for just six weeks, a wrench nonetheless for that new bride; the woman who had found her Hero but he had escaped her, to return with altered eyes and strong arms and a love as fierce as any she’d ever known. I remain upright, an ornament draped in the finest material, aware of a pining here in our home but unable to locate the source. It seems to be within me but the noise is not of me. I awaken to an exterior silence and an inner disturbance. I shake myself down and distract myself with a bedside novel but I can find no solace and I succumb to sleep once more.
It is during those moments between the alarm sounding and my acceptance of the new day that the nightmares come and go: nightmares that are overpowered in an instant by a spiritual other. At first, I see a cliff and a figure walking perilously close to the edge. It’s twilight. I shout to warn that familiar shape of the impending danger. I am mute. I run towards the scene in front of me but the distance widens and I am powerless. I look away for a moment and when I refocus, both the figure and the cliff have disappeared. I pull myself to sit cross-legged and I look up at the emerging stars. Into infinity. And a serenity, a wave of inevitability, spreads magically from my toes to the crown of my head with a yogic force. I am alive.
And I love you.
By Dr Reba