I have started to dream again – vivid, memorable dreams that confuse and delight me in equal measure. Last night there was a bird in my garden. Not my garden you understand but some complicated composite of all the gardens that I have visited recently. And the bird was not one easily identified from a handy guide but huge and threatening with enormous dark plumage and quite unlike anything that I have ever seen. It was in my garden in a tree, menacing me from its perch every time I went outside and yet no one else seemed to see it or be concerned.
The night before that there was a flood on my lawn, my lawn this time. When I investigated it I discovered the body of a woman dressed in Victorian costume who was blocking a land drain that I didn’t know I had.
The night before that my children were invited to a party and when the hostess opened the door all the guests were dressed in purple satin robes that she had made for the occasion and the children all stood at the door in order of size and welcomed my children in like something from The Handmaid’s Tale.
I could go on and on. Each night something new, a little soupçon of reality twisted into something that I cannot pigeon hole. Parts remembered all day, others lost almost immediately upon waking. Some are slightly disturbing, others just plain peculiar but all distinguished by simple virtue of being dreamt.
You see, I say that I have started dreaming again because it was something that had almost entirely ceased. I had the usual stress induced dreams – turning up to events naked, not being to get to where I needed to be on time, losing my children – but those vivid, wake up and you can’t separate dream from reality dreams had become a thing of my past. I thought that dreaming was something that you grew out of, reserved for the young who don’t yet have the stresses and strains of quotidian life to suppress any imaginative thought.
And then I started to write, tentatively at first with a few gentle blog postings and then with a fervour that I had forgotten that I was capable of and with that came the dreams. It is as if I have flicked a switch in my mind. You want imagination during the day then I’ll give you something to really think about at night.
But can that be right? It might explain why children dream so vividly but I don’t know enough about adult dream patterns to know if I was alone in never remembering my dreams before I started to think creatively. Maybe everyone around me is having wild and interesting dreams and it’s so commonplace that no one has thought to mention it to me.
Either way I don’t really care. I am delighted to have my dreams back, even if they are disconcerting from time to time. I relish the way my subconscious is making me think and if nothing else, my newly rediscovered capacity to dream is keeping my family entertained at breakfast!