dream on

I’ve never been great at keeping dream journals. Journal-journals, yes, sort of, depending on the era of my life, but I’m terrible at keeping up with

tracking my dreams. Over the years, I’ve gotten excited about the creative potential of dreams. Whatever they are, portals to the unconscious, keys to our emotions, connecting to the spirit of creativity, jumbles of thoughts/feelings/emotions set to story, I find them inspiring and interesting. As a kid and adolescent, I’d wake up and want to tell someone about a particularly wacky or scary or intriguing dream. As we all know, however, dreams are rarely interesting for anyone else beyond the dreamer. Does someone have a quote about that? I guess Joan Didion kind of gets at it: “Quite often you want to tell somebody your dream, your nightmare. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else’s dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it.”

Still, when I have a good one, I’ll wake up, roll over, and tell Michael about my interesting-to-me dream. I’ve dreamt whole novels and movies in the span of a ten-minute snooze. Isn’t that unbearably attractive? The magic in such a tiny pocket of time? Whenever that happens, I wake up grasping at the wispy leftovers of the story, hoping to set it down on paper so it can stick with me.

So whenever the obsession with dreams starts anew, I put a notebook and pen right on my bedside, I set an intention before bed (“I will remember my dreams”), and I diligently scribble what I recall right when I wake up. All of this for a about four days, usually, and then I oversleep one day and the spell is broken and I promptly forget all about dream journals for at least the next six months. In fact, if you’ve been reading Sun Showers for a while, you’ll know that in December of last year , I was trying to dream journal and I did a newsletter about it. Would you believe that I haven’t even thought of that dream journal since then?

But I had a particularly wacky dream last night (hotels and conspiracies and people I haven’t thought of in forever and throwing a journal in a lake) that’s made me remember the allure of dreams. So, that’s where you’re getting this week’s prompt from. Hope you like it, love!

prompt #56:

For this week’s prompt, let’s reflect on a dream that’s stuck with you. Maybe it’s a theme or category of dreams (Teeth falling out? Driving out of control? Late for an event?), or a place (I used to return to the same Halloweentown-inspired village every year for a couple of years), or one that just can’t leave you (the time I thought I had a beautiful golden locket and then woke up bereft because it was all a dream). Take this time to explore it.

Why did it stick with you? What do you think about it? Retell the dream (although don’t forget that with every retelling, we’re always rewriting memories) or reflect on how you feel about it. Doesn’t matter what you write, just let this dream be your jumping-off point for a five-minute write (Or more! Who cares! It’s up to you!). Enjoy!

ashley’s piece:

I dreamt a town
a college
a school
and lived in it for years that, when I awoke,
turned out to be only
an hour or two.
Some claim that the dream is the reality
and our waking life
is merely the rest from an exhausting dimension.
Maybe this is how we time travel.
Maybe this is how we reach immortality.
Maybe I dream the secrets of existence every night
and then promptly forget them when the alarm calls.
Maybe I’m in the middle of a power nap.
But wouldn’t I be sorry to lose this all
when the alarm calls?

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