Guest post: The dream that sparked the poem

Bicycling in Brighton, by Pat Neill

As a child, I spent a lot of time day-dreaming and it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I woke up to my night dreams. They came fast and furious, and I diligently recorded as many as I remembered. Analysing them helped me to understand myself in more depth. Now I’m tired of all that self-analysis and I want to follow Jenny’s idea of using them creatively. Here’s a dream that did inspire me to use it creatively.

I was driving down a long, sloping, wide-open road in a town. In front of me, a lorry had stopped. I easily glided out to overtake it and then discovered a car manoeuvring – that was why the lorry had stopped! I felt embarrassed as I stopped to let the car finish. The car moved on, with me following, and the lorry behind me.

Now, I felt myself to be on a bicycle. The ride was smooth and the feeling exhilarating as I sped on down the hill. The street was like those in Brighton/Hove that lead down to the seafront. The weather was slightly grey and misty and the vehicles had their lights on.

I woke from this dream feeling happy, confident and optimistic. In my poem, I seem to have changed the weather. I think it was the feeling after I woke from the dream that carried forward into my writing. I have always set great store in the feeling a dream leaves you with – I reckon it has to be the most important feature of the dream.

Riding High

Georgian pillared terraces sloping to the sea,
I rode my bike between them feeling wild and free.
Swiftly leaning to the right, a stopped truck to miss,
I glided past, confident, riding high.
Oh what bliss!
Once, a sudden car appeared, half blocking my way.
No matter, I had pedal power and was lord of the highway!
Wind whistling, hair streaming, on and on I sped
With salt-sea horizon and cloudless blue skies, all beckoning ahead.

I love the joyful exuberance of this poem, and Pat makes an important point about the feeling a dream leaves you with when you awake. I’ll be blogging about emotions in dreaming and writing next week.  

Pat is an astrological life coach with a brand new blog She uses astrology as a tool for understanding the issues present in a person’s life and life coaching as a method for moving matters forward to effect positive change. For details email or phone 01566 779792

6 thoughts on “Guest post: The dream that sparked the poem”

    1. Me too. And the way the dream enabled Pat to experience skills she doesn’t have in waking life. It’s expansive, and exciting.

  1. As a regular and vivid dreamer I can completely relate to Pat’s vivid dreams and the mood that hangs around afterwards. It is so much better, as Pat says, to use these feelings and dream memories creatively. I had vivid dreams about a wolf-rabbit last night who tore into the palm of my hand… now there’s a dream I don’t want to analyse! Strangely though, it did make me realise something that I had never thought about before – I felt no pain at all. I wonder if pain can be felt in dreams – it’s made me think that it probably can’t!

    1. I’ve never thought about this, Abi. I don’t remember experiencing pain in a dream or upon waking, though I’ve certainly woken from frightening dreams with all the physical symptoms of terror – pulse racing, etc

  2. That cycling dream happened a few years ago but I was looking through my dream journal yesterday and spotted a similar dream I had in early December. This time the setting was Falmouth and the main street leading to the sea was now a river which I was riding on a surf board. I experienced those same feelings of perfect balance, speed, freedom and exhilaration. In my waking life I’m not very brave in a physical sense – a wobbly bike rider and I’ve never attempted to surf because I can’t swim – so it’s great to engage in these activities in my dreams!
    Incidentally Abi – I have experienced pain in dreams, and sometimes wake up with a physical pain in the affected part of my body, which mysteriously disappears by morning.

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