Tag Archives: dreamscape

Here’s a dream question for you

A few nights ago, I dreamt about a row of old shops which had been boarded up with huge sheets of brown cardboard. Along the top, there was a big bright Tesco banner.

In my dream, I realised that when my dreams are set in man-made environments, they are always up-to-date. I very rarely dream about my own personal past, let alone further back in history.

I reflected that I’m a person who isn’t drawn to the past – I don’t write on historical themes, and I’m not fired by antiques, or costume dramas, or classical novels or paintings. Only last week, I bought a limited edition print of the Lidl in Brixton. It felt fresh and different – mean, how much Lidl-related art do you see?

Lidl in Brixton

Even when I did a few past-life regressions, they didn’t go further back than wartime Europe, but that’s another story.

I wondered about other people – antiques collectors, historical novelists, family archivists. People my spiritualist friend used to call ‘old souls.’ Did they have more dreams set in the past?

At the end of the dream, I dreamt I was recording this as a blog-post rather than an entry in my dream diary – and that’s what I’ve just done!

So this is my dream question – if you love old things, if you read or write historical books, do you have dreams that are set in the past? Or if, like me, you love the new, is that reflected in your dreams and writing too?

Guest post: The worlds where dreams may take us

Flying with Fairies, by Bob Cherny

Bob Cherney

We can analyze our dreams for what they say about us, fear them for what they might mean, take them for more than they are, merely enjoy them or follow them into the worlds where they may take us.

My book “Flying with Fairies” is this last. Born of a single brilliant full-color image, the first chapter turned into a second and then into a novel and then into a series. This book was a departure from what I had written previously and is unlike anything I have written since. But then, the dream that inspired it stood out from the other dreams for its visual clarity and symbolic obscurity. It was an opportunity to be exploited and a challenge to be faced. It spoke of pleasure and of hard work at the same time.

“Gatorbait”, a short story published in a Florida based regional publication, was also based on a single image. Where “Fairies” was based on a mid-air collision between a fairy and a flying human, “Gatorbait” was based on a young rodeo competitor and her flying horse.

I have a first chapter of a spy thriller that was so completely formed in my mind when I woke up, I could wait two days before writing it down. I have no idea what I will do with that chapter, but it’s there in case of whatever.

Everyone dreams, but remembering and exploiting dreams takes a willingness to step into a place where few of us are comfortable going. If you wish to write, go there. Take the risk. Exorcise the demons by writing them down and capturing them on the printed page where they can no longer do you any harm.

Do not work for your dreams. Make them work for you.

http://stagewalker.embarqspace.com/

My thanks to Bob for this glimpse into a wonderful dreaming and writing life, and for his insightful comments about exorcising personal demons by capturing them on the printed page. 

How do you make your dreams work for you?

Landscapes of the soul

Years ago, I had a dream I called ‘Landscapes of the soul.’ It was one of those dreams which doesn’t have a story, but just a voice.

Moorland
Cornish moorland

The voice of the dream said, ‘The scenery your soul feels at home in never changes. The empty huge spaces of the highlands, always at the mercy of the elements, that is my soul scenery and will not change, but all the less important things have changed…’

Shetland
Burra Isle in Shetland

It was after this dream that I started to notice the consistency of my dream landscapes, which are most often moors and mountains. In the workshops I do now, I find other people’s dream landscapes also have a surprising consistency.

North of Scotland
The mountains of the far North West

I grew up in leafy Wimbledon, but immediately after university I went to Shetland for a holiday and simply couldn’t leave. It was love at first sight, for me, that wild windbeaten landscape of empty hills and wide horizons. I lived in Shetland for nearly ten years before moving to Cornwall, but I still go to the far North most years in the summer.

This week, I read a fascinating post by Abi Burlingham about her relationship with trees and woodland http://abiburlingham.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/21st-october/ It reminded me of my long-ago dream, and made me wonder if everyone is drawn so strongly to one kind of scenery, for pleasure, solace or inspiration.

Your dream animals

When you don’t remember many dreams, the ones you do remember can seem weird and random, but most people find that as soon as they start to recall and record dreams regularly their dreamlife settles.

It’s like when you first start writing. It feels as if you could write absolutely anything, but gradually you discover your own inner landscape with its particular themes, characters and environments.

Each person’s dream-world is surprisingly consistent. It is characterised by certain landscapes, flora and fauna. The open spaces in my dreams are invariably coastlines and mountains – I can’t remember ever dreaming about woods or jungles. The built environments are parks and gardens with ponds and statuary, old houses, churches and castles.

The flora fits with the dreamscapes so, for me, there are very few trees in my dreams but lots of cultivated flowers, open grassland, mosses and lichens. My animals are mostly fishes and birds, but I have occasional visits from lions and tigers, lizards and snakes. I have never once dreamt about sheep, goats, cows or elephants.

The animals you dream about are like companions, or daimons, to use Philip Pullman’s word in ‘Northern Lights.’ Your favourite animal is probably your life-long guide, but others may be with you for a season. You can find your dream animals without waiting for dreams.

Simply take a slow breath to centre yourself. Close your eyes or look down. Relax your mind, and enter your inner world. The first animal you see in there is the one that has something for you right now. Run with that one, whatever it is.

Draw your animal with your non-dominant hand. Consider its qualities. Collect some pictures of your animal, and possibly a model or ornament of it. Look up more information about it online. Have these things around, so that you are living alongside them for a while. Allow your animal to reveal itself to you.

This is what my guest Scotti did, after she dreamt about wolves, and out of that process came a beautiful children’s book.

Read Scotti’s story tomorrow