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Sunday, 26 January 2014

The astonishing power of dreams

Astonishing the power of dreams, their narrative logic and coherence, and their vivid display rifling our memories as we winnow the air with our breath asleep in our warm beds. Our fears and our desires are illustrated and thrown in our teeth as we rest our bodies in preparation for a new day, as we 'recreate' our waking vitality. While this is going on we are more than entertained, we are challenged, our motives are questioned, and we experience things that we would never talk about during our waking hours. It is more like a trial than a diversion, more like a test than a mere recreation, more like a distilled and concertinaed struggle the individual elements of which might in real life play themselves out over weeks and months. Or years. Or never.

This is a piece of text I wrote after a dream some weeks back, and which was so strange and alive that I felt compelled to write it down. I have had kissing dreams before, but never this one. When I was young I used to have the same dream over and over again; in it there was a girl in our garden standing there. But this dream was far more precise and rich in detail.
And then after we had compared performances in philosophy essays – he said there had been 10 but I could only remember 3, and the essay I had on my lap, having been returned from the lecturer’s desk, was filled with red notations and had been given an OA minus – and after he had changed direction and driven me home to meet his family, and after we had parked his car in the garage on the steep slope overlooking the populated ravine, and after he had introduced my cat to his brother and sister and parents, and after he had brought me into his bedroom and asked me again about the riddle I had devised for a video game, and after moving close to me so that I could see clearly where his hair came away from his forehead, he tilted his head toward me. I looked down at his mouth situated right there only a swerve away from my own and noticed that it was completely saturated as though from a kiss or from rain – but only the mouth, the rest of his face was quite dry! – but I knew that we had not yet kissed. His mouth appeared to be firm and sculpted like that of an Italian statue and with my mouth I enfolded the entirety of his lips in mine and immediately woke up.
I wonder if I will ever have this dream again. Will I ever find out what happens after I kiss the young man? Will this dream become a leitmotiv of my life in my present age, and will it accompany me in life like the dream of the girl in the garden of my parents' house next to the park, with the flower beds and the stands of hydrangeas, the sloping lawn and the gate in the stone wall leading into the wilderness with its immense sandstone rocks, its paths, its stream, and its gum trees and caves? 

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