Dream On

Tell your dream to someone before you eat your breakfast and it will come true.”  Y. told me this – it was a new one on me. “Obviously, only if it is something good. If it’s a ‘going-to-work-naked’ dream, or ‘teeth-falling-out’ dream, then keep that sort of thing to yourself.”  She continued to tell me that she’d had dream the night before, one where she had come into a lot of money. “Is that where the phrase, ‘dream on!’ comes from?”  I asked her, disbelieving the likelihood of the superstition. Maybe I was trying to debunk her idea because I am so poor at remembering my own dreams. On the very moment of waking, my dream is sharp and detailed, yet, for me, in those seconds when I come to open my eyes it all pours away from me like water in a draining bath. I find it to be just like Hamlet said: “A dream itself is like a shadow.”  At any rate, dreams are personal things, perhaps best not shared. You might be divulging more about your psyche than you care to, if you broadcast your dreams!

Daydreams, night dreams, pipe dreams, they can be equally useful and bothersome in keeping us from living in reality. Dreams can transport us to a better place if we are going through a hard time. They can provide us with a break and release from ruminating. In the past I had comforting dreams (that I somehow remembered) and then they stopped, despite me trying to conjure them back into my sleeping state. It seems our dreams control us, and not the other way around. Dreams can also transport us back to times that we think we have effectively buried and left in the well of our past, until the subconscious throws that time back at us, like a gardener’s wedding ring dug up years after it had fallen off the finger and into the clay. Like those people you haven’t seen or thought of for years, and suddenly they take a starring role in your dream theatre. What is all that about?

As for the ubiquitous phrase, ‘I’m living the dream’,  I’m not quite sure what it means. After all, what is a ‘dream’ for one person might be another’s nightmare. At the end of the day (or, in this case, at the start of the day) is there anything more boring than recounting your dream to someone else? What might seem fascinating to you can be quite a drag for others, feigning interest by politely nodding to you across the breakfast table. When they start reading the side of the cereal box surely it’s a sign to stop droning on. Maybe best to keep your dreams to yourself, then. Consider your dreams for a moment (if you can remember them), then drop them and get on with your day, mindful of the philosophical argument that perhaps all of life is a dream anyway!

And so back to Shakespeare, this time to ‘The Tempest’ when the wise old Prospero told us, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”  I’m off to live the dream.

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