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Dreaming

I’ve been dreaming in threes, a trilogy of dreams every night for the past month or so. Dream 1 is a wishful dream, something I need or covet. Dream 2 is an anxiety dream that threatens my very being. Dream 3 is quotidian, a resolution of disparate destabilizing forces during which daily routines are re-established: chopping mushrooms for an omelet, scouring the tub, adding an item to my shopping list. After Dream 3, I open my eyes. The play of geometric shapes on the ceiling, reflections of the cityscape through the blinds, has vanished. It is morning. Sentences surface as I awake to light. I reach for my journal hoping to collect the dreams without being disturbed by my husband’s stirring. He may already be in the kitchen preparing coffee. I shut out the sound and all thoughts of obligations awaiting me. I begin to write.

Dreams are both the raw material for stories and information about my psychic and everyday life. It is part of my writing routine to record them whenever they are remembered, which can be rare, or often. I prefer to begin my day with a dream story in my head and sentences that recall the dream. I aim for precision as I evoke the sensation of the dream’s morphing elusive shape. This is a pleasurable discipline.

I know that many people do not believe that the unconscious exists, but I do. What else is a dream but evidence of it?

In her new memoir, “M Train,” Patti Smith says, “I lived in my own book.” A continuation of that thought might be: I lived in my own dream, or my book is my dream, or my dream became my book.  Read More 
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