We interrupt this blog for a dream

The next post, more about the zoo, is half finished but so rarely do I remember my dreams past 8 am that I’m going to write this one down quickly because I want to hold on to it. I have to type fast before it disappears. Do you ever have one of those dreams where you seem to be reaching into some untapped potential in your brain in some way that you can’t in your waking life? I have, for as long as I can remember. While I’m rather mundane in my waking intellectual and creative life, I occasionally have dreams where I am playing a piano piece where I know every single complex chord and the precise fingering, far far beyond what I can really do. I see the sheet music in my dream and it’s all accurate and exact and I can play it like, well, a dream. Right. I used to dream that I was reading Voltaire, Balzac or Dumas in French- fluently and without pause- and in my heart of hearts I knew it was absolutely as written. I could see every accurate word on the page. These happened mostly when I was struggling with French lit in college.

So, I woke up early this morning, having spent some part of the night visualizing the most exquisite Inuit art…

I was walking across a neighbor’s lawn to get to my house, except that it was all unfamiliar and I wasn’t sure where I was going, just that the house I was walking towards was mine. The neighbor had left a small picnic blanket out on their lawn, apparently for days, but it had been rainy and cold so I was worried that the grass underneath was going to rot and die. I stopped to pick up the blanket and folded it and there was a small plastic tarp under that and I was about to pick that up, too, but then I noticed that someone had dropped a cellphone/PDR in a black leather belt case right there and I assumed it must belong to the neighbor so I hung that on the neighbor’s front door knob where they would find it and I continued on.

At my house, there was no furniture and the place was cold and almost entirely empty, sort of like a model home, with inexpensive, light colored new plush carpet throughout. There was a Coke can and a couple food wrappers and when I picked up the can to throw it away, although it felt empty, a bit of pop spilled out on the light colored carpet. Throughout the remainder of the dream, always in the background, I was concerned about mopping up that soda pop before it stained or soaked in, because I knew it would always attract dirt in the future.

But the core of the dream was this: There was somebody there- don’t have a clue who- showing me this interesting art project where you could mail in a piece of your child’s art, no matter how crude or childlike, and this artist would send it back to you, transformed into this most astonishing three dimensional interpretation that retained all the properties of the original but now it had layers upon layers of complex detail. In the dream the example was a piece of child’s art that was a simple line drawing of an animal, sitting, with just the outline of the body, curved back, up the neck and head, down the front with the chest and front legs. It was like a dog or cat and it had been all crayoned in black.

The returned work from the artist had this entire mosaic pattern with hundreds of squares that you could look down into, multi-dimensional, with the most incredibly beautiful detail imaginable. In the dream I thought each one of these hundreds of squares was like a simple drawing of a house transformed into blue prints transformed into an architectural model. The model, however, had every single miniature chair, painting, dish, plant, every detail of a beautiful home (as opposed to a house) everything, down inside it. That was in each mosaic square. I commented on this to whoever the person was and they said “yes, and see, it can be a work in progress. I can move this wall here if I want to reconfigure the room, I can put this counter here instead of here” and she used the tip of her index finger to nudge things around in this tiny model. The whole time I could still see the relationship to the original childlike flat drawing of an animal; it always felt connected to my child’s art work.

Then, even more amazing (this is the Inuit art part) I picked the piece up and noticed that at one end there was a small peep hole to look into- so now it was literally three dimensional and heavy- and I looked into it. Inside there was a beautiful and complete carving, Inuit style, in that black stone, of a mother and two children. It was simple in that way that those carvings are, almost totally lacking in detail but you still marvel at how evocative it is? Precisely like that. The entire work was some of the finest art I had ever seen.

In the background of all this beauty, I was continually worrying about soaking up the spreading soda pop puddle which had now grown from a few drops to a massive dark wet spot that went from the living area into the hallway. And for some reason I was having to hide from some sinister people who were down the hall so I was trying to sneak out and put an extension pole onto a mop head type thing so I could clean it up but knowing that wouldn’t work and what I really needed was a carpet cleaning company that could come right away. In the middle of this concern, Rich (I assume) walked in and I related the story of the neighbor’s blanket and the lost cell phone and he said “What?? That was probably mine that I lost! I need to go get it.” The next thing I see is him sneaking up the porch steps of the neighbor’s house, disguised in a burqa (!?), trying to retrieve the phone. _________________________________________________

End of dream. I interpreted a lot of it for myself while writing it down here (this is MY journal, right) so if you’ve read this far (I can’t imagine why you would) don’t feel compelled to comment. I just think it is rich and wonderful to, every once in a while, have a dream that has something in it that is SO MUCH BETTER than anything my mind could achieve in waking life. These dreams have always puzzled me, though. When I wake up, I have a very solid recollection of the music or foreign language or, in this case, the fine art that I was seeing in the dream. Where does that come from? Is that all really in the recesses of my unconscious brain? Can’t be. Maybe it’s there but I’m so busily focused on the trivia of symbolically cleaning up cheap carpet in an empty house that I can’t access those things? I don’t know. It’s confusing. So, I’ll ask you again: Do you ever have one of those dreams where you seem to be reaching into some untapped potential in your brain in some way that you can’t in your waking life?

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22 responses to “We interrupt this blog for a dream

  1. Even your dreams are above average!

  2. Well, I did read it. You wrote about the odd confusion but evocative nature of dreams very clearly. I rarely remember my dreams and when I do they are usually filled with stress.

    I had one dream that I’ve never forgotten. I was a runner and was running in a way that felt effortless and almost like one imagines flying would feel. Each step simply added power to my body and the movement and it felt like complete freedom. Need I say that I’ve never come even close to that feeling while actually running! 🙂

  3. I love it. A man of few word.

  4. Maybe FC is one of those rare few running on all cylinders while wide awake…?

  5. Vicki, I do dream interpretations and am itching to delve into this. Unfortunately I have to *ahem* get some work done, so I won’t be able to get to it until later. But if you don’t mind, I’d love to take this on.

  6. Heidi- Feel free as long as you leave out any commentary about the stain spreading from the living room to the hallway. 😉
    It is a particularly good dream, yes? The day residue triggers (Rich is off on business and hard to get a hold of, I’m reading Infidel for book group, etc.) even fit in well. I need to come by your place and see what you’re knitting…

  7. Are you enjoying “Infidel”? What a story.

    I don’t remember my dreams, if I do dream. I never wake up thinking I’ve dreamt. Wierd.

  8. I have come to believe that dreams are random images that we collect together to both create and impose a narrative. Your dream does this perfectly. Yes, I do think that dreams present us with images that we would normally not conjure in our waking lives. Between our subconscious and conscious lives, we see and sense a lot of things, and our dreams present them to us in unique and thrilling ways. This is a great dream, even with the soda pop stain.

  9. I read to the end, and if I told you what I think, you’d say I was crazy.

    That dream is indeed a rich tapestry!

  10. I can’t comment about me when you have produced such a lovely b**g.

    What I want to know is: Can you read French only when you’re asleep? If so, then you need more sleep. Or less. I haven’t figured this out yet.

  11. FC beat me to it.

    Don’t dream. And don’t tell me I do.

  12. I remember few of my dreams. But the ones I do are lush, and interesting–with me escaping, flying, and having all sorts of adventures. Maybe that’s because my normal life is usually quite mundane.

  13. Yes, I have. I remember a lot of my dreams. One of my favorites that I’ve had many many times is that I’m in a house that I know well – perhaps my mother’s or grandmother’s – it’s always an old house. All of a sudden, in a place where I’d noticed nothing before is a doorway into a whole other part of the house I’ve never seen before. Sometimes it’s like a secret passageway, and sometimes it’s all of a sudden obvious, yet I’d never noticed it before. It’s like discovering you’ve won the Lotto, the wonderful feeling I get from finding this new place. Usually there is beautiful wood furniture I can have filled with interesting mementos and letters I want to read – treasures upon treasures. But the best part of the dream is the discovery of the new part of the house with all it’s rooms – hey, Heidi, what does that mean???

  14. Oh – I also remember having a really life-like dream when I was a teenager about a classic artist from the 1500’s- I forget what his name was in my dream now – but I knew it then. I woke up knowing I had to look this person up because he seemed so real. Back then, with no internet, I had to rely on the World Book Encyclopedia we had – and I found, of course, that the person didn’t exist – but it sure seemed real to me.

  15. Erm, I’m a different Heidi, of the non-blogging, non-knitting, astrologizing variety, known to haunt Miz S’s blog.

    I’ll take a look at Suze’s first dream as a warm-up.

    Suze, this is a very cool and very healthy dream. The following information was taken from several sources. Very briefly:

    The house represent your self; that it is a house you know well means that you know yourself well.

    A doorway is an opportunity for self-discovery.

    The part of the house you’ve never seen before is unexplored or unknown areas of consciounsess, beliefs, understanding, abilities, hidden talents, hidden knowledge; unexplored areas of mind or ideas. It presents the opportunity to expand and explore unknown parts of your self.

    Furniture: Beliefs, ideas and attitudes that surround you; extension of self.

    Wood: Flexible, warm, nurturing, calming.

    Letters: News and information.

    It’s always exciting to expand your views and consciousness. Next time you have the dream, try to settle in and read the letters!

  16. Thanks Heidi!! And my apologies to amarkonmywall for hijacking your blog for a little bit – very interesting analysis!! This is fun!!

  17. Cool beans, Heidi. Now I want to know what the letters said. Suze- thanks for your comments (and dream work) Ya, I knew as soon as I wrote that that I was mixing you up with Cheryl but I am well acquainted with you from Mary’s place. 🙂 Further evidence that my conscious mind is muddled enough without delving into the unconscious.

  18. I’ve written entire intricately plotted novels in my dreams. Then as soon as I awake, they slip away…

  19. Vicki, I’m still pulling the dream together. The response will be quite long, too long to post in your comments. Would you send me your email address?

  20. Crap. That one dream of yours is more interesting than my whole entire life.
    : )

  21. Hmmmmm, funny you should ask. Sometime last night, or early this morning more likely, I was honored as the world’s greatest . . . something or another. Can’t remember exactly what, but it had something to do with a few speeches that I gave. (I don’t give speeches in real life.)

    Your dream sounds a lot more complex than something I would ever have.

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