In Dreams

A digression from my doctoral thesis, which is suffering from the law of diminishing returns. Tonight, I am presenting a recording for KUSP Radio, Santa Cruz, so it is time to engage the imagination a little.

Meaningful Sunset, Bristol

Recently, I have found myself returning to long absent experiences. A particularly wholesome dream of mine, I thought, might just provide enough fulfilment to cover the swelling gaps of a vacant life for as long as the memories last.

Dreams have always intrigued me with their mystery, but my interest in them varies. We recall scrappy renditions of incomplete stories and then ask ourselves what it means.

Nevertheless, I’m always wondering why I have so few that are distinct or memorable. I cannot remember the last before this.

Freud would have it that our ‘superego’, the moral fragment of our sensory being, acts as a censor, shielding us from the furthest primal reaches of our desires [the id]. It not only curbs the most extreme barriers of our thought, but also, by seeking to protect the conscious mind, makes remembering dreams difficult.

Freud appears to be the psychoanalyst’s equivalent of T.S. Eliot as literary critic. I have a lot of time for both. Sometimes, the debts we owe for the foundations upon which knowledge is based are quickly forgotten. I like the comforting simplicity behind the idea that:

every dream reveals itself as a psychical structure which has meaning and which can be inserted at an assignable point in the mental activities of waking life.

The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)

There’s a comfort barrier to believing that what you are missing will eventually be found in the magical lands of the subconscious. The bittersweet compendium is that the world I found last night, I’d savour much more than the living, and that I won’t recall the details well enough to recreate it again.

Moments of closeness, yes, new company, and a beauteous relaxation that is alien to me during conscious hours. What I desired was feeling desirable, for just a few precious hours. Today, the world receives me heavy-hearted, but moved that my most coveted needs turn out not to be feral, but blissful.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

2 thoughts on “In Dreams

  1. in the richness of shadows there are many wishing dreams become reality – for you, for themselves, for others.
    many waiting in the wings.

    every day a new dream comes true.
    be careful with who you give your heart to.

    1. After several days, I’m still not sure what to say to this 🙂 The cynic in me would say that, with 6.8 billion people in the world, I’m 540 times as likely to win the National Lottery as to be the person whose dreams turn true. But it’s a call for optimism, and I appreciate that, as difficult as it can be. So I thank you for your wishes, and hope that your dreams are filled without relying on the minimality of chance to help you along.

      “be careful with who you give your heart to”. Too right; only I cannot give it away. I could be careful who I attempt to give it to, but I always punch so far above my standing that I couldn’t wish any different to those I admire in that way. It’s the enigmatic problem of fairness and righteous – that which none of us can impact and none of us can put right or wrong. At this juncture, I have probably said far too much already 🙂

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