Posted by: Viola | February 9, 2015

Transforming dream into a story, vision into reality

Last night I had a dream. It was so vivid and overpowering that I don’t think I shall soon forget it. I am writing it down, but not exactly as I dreamed it. I am transforming it into a short story.

I was in the dream. So I am making myself into a character for the story. The dream ends a bit sadly, so I have to decide whether to keep the ending as it was in the dream or make a new ending for the story. I see several fascinating possibilities, for the ending. I think I will try it in various versions and see what it feels like, where it leads.

One of the things that I think about, as far as dreams go, is the ways in which dreams are visions and visions are dreams. Is a dream merely a dream? Or a vision, too? Is a vision merely a vision, or is it a dream, too?

Sometimes, my dreams are prophetic. I see something in a dream, then some days later, it happens in real life. It freaks me out a little bit. It’s made me become more attentive to my dreams, the ones that resonate deeply with me, the ones I wake up shaken by. I once talked with my father about this, and he said he gets dreams that can be quite prophetic, too. He keeps a record of those dreams and tells others what he dreamed of, especially if they happened to be in the dream and were affected by certain events in the dream.

Recently, I read a short journal entry by Sandra Cisneros, a letter to her readers as she celebrated her sixtieth birthday in Mexico in December 2014. In it, she mentions the “porous border” between the living and the dead. I sometimes wonder if, during sleep, we cross that border more freely. Walk back and forth and converse with those who do not inhabit physical forms.

I love and value my sleep. And I appreciate a dream that comes to me clearly, with words and meanings that resonate with my life and what I love to do. Dreams of writers and words and books. Dreams of imagery and lines of poetry. Dreams of me doing yoga postures and attaining great yogic abilities.

I also enjoy dreams of animals, as long as they aren’t chasing me. 🙂 One of my favorite dreams is a dream in which I traveled the world on the back of an immense African giant, an African elephant. This dream was so powerful and experience for me that I knew, as soon as I woke up, that this magnificent creature is one of my totems. One of my guides.

What do I believe about dreams? It’s hard to say. I am not adamant about dreams being visions, visions being dreams, or dreams and visions being reality, or reality being a dream.

I think it’s a matter of paying attention, staying open to what is within us, and if we pay attention, then what is within will emerge and make itself known, and sometimes it will come in the form of a dream. Or a vision. Or reality.

Ultimately, it’s all about choosing what to pay attention to and how to be attuned to things happening around us.

Not every dream has to have meaning. But not every dream should be discarded as meaningless.

Everything–on some level–is a story. Is full of story. Even our sleep, our deepest slumber, our place/time of unconsciousness and dimmed mental awareness, even that strange dark place is itself rich with story, alive with characters and events and dialogue.

When you fall into sleep, know this: You are falling into stories. They await you there, under your eyelashes, behind your eyes. Inside of your steady breathing.

And so it is okay, it should be okay, to wake up every day with a new story–complete or rough–ready to be written down.

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