Dreams as Portents

I’ve decided to start a new novel. Well actually, my dreams have decided that for me.

I’ve always been intrigued by dreams. By the environment, the security they provide. Plus, the chance they offer to start over.

When I first became ill, I began dreaming in indigo. What did it mean? I’d never really considered colour in dreams before that. The content was the important thing. Plus the way they made me feel. But a blue so vivid I could hardly breathe? Blue people, blue hills, a blue sky (of course), it was all a bit surreal. But beyond the surreal, it was comforting. In some small place in my life, I was cosseted. I was being rocked. Someone, something was lifting me up and away from the inexplicable fear, the meltdown of illness.

So when I started dreaming of being high up, looking down through what appeared to be an intricately crafted ball of spun sugar at the world below, I knew. And when my view through that sugar ball changed minutely so that I had a slightly different take on that world, I knew some more.

Something was shifting. That was the way it always began. I got to see the big picture first before the detail came flooding in.

The voice of a character came next. Persistent, volatile, more than a touch frenetic and I couldn’t shut it down. Then came another character’s dress down to the tiniest detail. These people, their lives, their hopes and dreams became a regular feature of my dream world.

Does that make me lucky? Probably, yes. But in some ways I consider it a balancing act. Everyday life with illness is tough. There are days when it’s a constant barrage of pain and irritants with only the odd smudge of half-light as comfort. So it seems only fair that to compensate there should be a certain calibre of richness to my dreams.

I have many questions, many concerns. The first being, just how am I going to write this novel with such limited energy and resources? For write it, I must at least try, if only to appease those beautiful people in my dreams.

I will just begin. That is my only answer. Each and every day, I will begin and begin all over again. Some days will inevitably have less beginnings than others. Some days I won’t even manage written beginnings, instead I will create a breathing cherishing space inside my head, something like a life pod where my story, my characters can sit back, take in some sun.

Ironically, I have more of the time in the world than many struggling to write, but much less of the energy. But isn’t it always about balance? About finding a way to walk the tightrope so you never look down, you just shuffle along, small, infinitesimally small steps? And if you do happen to fall off, you just dust yourself down and hop right back on again, if hopping is your thing. Or perhaps you glide, shimmy in from the west, turn a pirouette or two…..


2 thoughts on “Dreams as Portents

  1. I have just started looking at my dreams again. When I first got into ecopsychology and then the therapy course, I was actively working with my dreams but then as these stopped I started dismissing my dreams as just medication-induced. What I’m noticing now is the huge amount of anxiety, the making changes and not wanting to let go until the changes are made. None of this is so far novel material, but it’s feeding my reflections and maybe something will come from that.

    Definitely with writing the novel I just found a keep plodding on approach worked, even in very small chunks. Unfortunately I’ve realised this doesn’t seem to work so well with editing.

    Have fun with it!


  2. Thanks for responding, Alison.
    The idea of medication-induced dreams is an interesting one. My indigo dreaming days were pre-medication, early diagnosis stage. And perhaps now I need my dreams to be the result of something other/more than medication-induced? Why? Maybe I need them to be pure escapism and not in any way tinged by illness?
    I’ve always had a rich dream life, even as a child. Now I consider it a blessing. Back then it was confusing, exciting, and frightening all at once. I have often gone to the dream world for answers and always for inspiration.
    I know many people with ME have anxiety and nightmare-level dreams on a regular basis. So both the real and the dream world are tough as Hell which must be awful because there’s no way out. Maybe I’m blessed in that I do find a way out in my dreams? I get to dance and run down a hill and ride a bike, none of which I am well enough to do in my day to day living.
    Yes, the editing is a whole different ball game! I find it much more clinical and precise. It calls for an energy level and focus I don’t really have. All I do to get around that is to edit in very small chunks for very short periods. How I wish I could get someone to edit for me though!

    Liked by 1 person

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