I've always been a dreamer. As a kid, I remember waking up in the middle of the night two or three times per week with nightmares. Some of them I still remember, after three decades.
As I've gotten older, I still have dreams - chases, allegories, blenders of gibberish, story ideas, nightmares.
Sometimes I am lucky and can relate them to writing or life. After over 200 brainstorm title ideas between me and my editor, the winning entry (TELL ME A SECRET!) came to me in a dream (truly at the eleventh hour...I must have a talk with my subconscious).
Not long ago, I had three dreams in a row, and they all seemed to mean something. I am still puzzling over them and wondering what exactly that meaning might be. My favorite was this:
I was in a huge warehouse-type green room, full of people getting ready for a play performance that evening. Everyone was getting into makeup, costume, rehearsing lines, building sets, laughing and talking and generally having a raucous time. I knew I had a part in the play, but I didn't have a script. I began to look for it.
Every once in a while, the director would stop me and bellow, "Are you ready?" And I'd say, "Uh...not yet." Then I'd redouble my efforts to find the script.
Finally, I found the program for the evening, the order of events. I knew what was supposed to happen, I just didn't know exactly what my role would be yet. Then I woke.
The dream that followed almost immediately was just as memorable, though not at all pleasant.
I was in my parents' house. I've had this dream before, and the last time we could see bombs exploding and people dropping out of the sky. This time, we were packing in a state of emergency. I woke up with a vivid sense of warning.
Writers and artists, do you have dreams? What do you make of them? How much of a role does your subconscious have in your conscious acts of creation? In your life?
(Art: Constantine's Dream,Piero Della Francesca)