I was walking along the shady path that led up to the house. It was a huge rambling mansion that had seen better days, but despite the peeling paint and the washed out appearance, it was still imposing. The rain lashed out harder and as I neared the entrance…..I could remember in flashes the memories that belonged to this house – the lovely, intelligent lady of the manor, her tall brilliant husband, how she took care of all the dependents of the house and its lands, her unwavering kindness and care with she had brought up her husband’s sister, like her own daughter and then that horrid night…..what happened? Where had those wonderful days of sunshine and laughter gone? I wondered about this brutal stillness in the surroundings? Where were all the people of the house? As I approached the main door, I knew there was no turning back….I had to knock and enter the threshold to fathom its secret. I gritted my teeth and rapped loudly and the heard somebody calling my name….the sound became clearer and closer and then I heard clearly “The laundry guy is here! Can you please settle the bill, I am out of change!”
Yup! It was a dream and just as I was about to unravel the great mystery, my flatmate decided to wake me up for something as mundane as a laundry bill!! Grrrrrrrrrr…….don’t you want to just strangle these so called best friends at times??? I so wanted to go back to sleep and pick up where I had left off. I wished it was like a movie on the DVD player where you pause and then start again. When I complained to what I felt at that point my very unsympathetic best friend, she scoffed and said “Well! It was just a dream! Why don’t you just write a tale and put in a finish that you want! That’s how you get most of your ideas anyway!”
That kinda got me thinking and I must confess that’s true. Every story/novel idea that I have written has had its germination in my dreams. A lot of successful creative people say that they the get their best ideas from what they see in their everyday lives. The courage of the common man is what makes their stories a success. Q.E.D. I do not find inspiration from daily life…oh! no! I have to dream them up…no wonder I am still trying to get published.
Anyhow so the piece around the dream and its lexis nexus with my creativity made me Google to my favourite research site – (no more brownie points for guessing, I have ranted about it enough several times) Wikipedia. I remembered reading Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams during my grad years and coming to the conclusion that it was a bit of hogwash, though most of my brilliant friends tell me I do not understand basic science let alone a complex phenomenon like psychology….they are I am sure right! But I still think Freud is hogwash. Back to Wikipedia, I read and read to better understand my condition, so that I could stop dreaming ideas (literally) and start getting inspired by daily life as a stepping stone to my success as a published author.
Per my trusted source, dreams are connected with our subconscious and are often outside the control of the dreamer. Per good ol’ Freud, dreams are manifestations of wish fulfilment. Jung, his most famous student, of course disagreed and said that dreams have messages and the dreamer should pay attention to them to better understand his/her own psychology. ( He did not account for inconsiderate flatmates who interrupt one’s concentration) Fritiz Perls argued that dreams are projections of desires that have been ignored, rejected or suppressed and even an inanimate object may represent may present aspect of the dreamer. (What is the house supposed to represent?) Eugen Tarnow says that dreams are ever-present excitations of long-term memory. (No long-term memory of rambling house with a loving owner!)The closest I got to some understanding was Finnish psychologist Antti Revonsuo’s theory of dreaming – dreaming as an evolutionary phenomenon where the dreamer replicates the threats and continually practices dealing with them and this is proved by the fact that dreams include much more threatening events than people meet in daily non-dream life, and the dreamer usually engages appropriately with them. It made sense that as human’s we would be scared of losing what we value and this might impact our dreams! So I plodded on and read more, but the more I read, and the more I read, the more I got confused and finally after ,making relations to all objects in my dreams, ended up with couple of startling conclusions –
- I am suffering from trauma
- I have repressed childhood memories
- I have faced rejections
- I need help! Sob! Sob! Bewail!
At this point, my uncaring flatmate decided to take charge and marched me out of the house with a dinner and movie treat.
Now that I have regained my mental composure (some of my friends are convinced I did not have any to begin with!!!) I have decided not to delve in medical matters or become a caricature of Jerome K Jerome’s J who realized while reading a medical journal that he suffered from every single disease in the world and was destined to die in a couple of months!! Instead I shall use my dreams like I have done so far – to find good stories, whether I get published or not! So there!
P.S. The title is borrowed shamelessly from Edgar Allan Poe’s A Dream Within a Dream.