Sunday, 2 November 2014


I’ve got the bloody Gabrielle tune going round in my head right now, and I’m trying to push it away with Ella Fitzgerald singing Dream instead. The songs are fighting and it’s not conducive to writing.

I’m a vivid dreamer. Not a lucid one. Years ago, my uncle taught me the difference, saying that lucid dreamers were aware they were dreaming and could change details, plot etc while still in a dreaming state, so that a monster chasing you down a wet gas-lit alley could become a cute puppy dog or whatever. Vivid dreamers, on the other hand, are totally passive and just have to carry on the ride until it’s finished. That’s me. It’s not all bad though. My uncle knew a bloke once who was a lucid dreamer and in every dream (which were of mundane things like getting out of bed) he’d realise he was dreaming and wake up...into another dream. Eventually he went completely mad, living whole days of dreams then waking up to find it had been a dream. He never rested, even while he slept. Now that’s terrifying.

I remember a lot of my dreams, I have strange ones (don’t we all think our dreams are odd?) and while I suspect that mine do a really thorough job of sifting through my emotional detritus, I distrust dream analysis in the traditional sense, ‘Oh, you dreamt about a cow. If it was brown, you’ll come into some money, but if it was white, it signifies an upcoming wedding....’ Bull dust!
I can sometimes make sense of my own because they aren’t the most subtle users of metaphor in the world are they? But occasionally a dream will leave me bewildered.
I once had a prophetic dream. It was dead-on. I even had the luxury of being able to talk to a group of people about it who then witnessed it coming true, exactly as I’d said it would. That was pretty cool. The people treated me with a lovely mixture of suspicion and fear afterwards - it lasted for about a week. I enjoyed the glamour and difference while it lasted.
I also dream regularly about a house. I could describe it to you in huge detail; the dreams are always very frightening. I wake from them gasping and shaking and drenched with sweat. If I ever saw the house in real life (which I deep down believe one day I might) ,I would stop the car and knock on the door, and possibly discover a familial link and the dream would be broken once and for all. During a late night slightly drunk conversation a few years ago I discovered that my older sister dreams about the exact same house. We’ve shared drawings of it. My eldest son saw one of the drawings and turned pale and gulped and admitted that he too dreams about it. All the dreams are bad ones.
I searched and searched my hard drive for a poem about dreaming. There were a few, all dark and twisty, far-too-revealing to post publically - but there’s one that mentions dreaming, in passing, and it’s a sweet, warm, affectionate poem, which hopefully will take away the dark cloy of the majority of this blog post. Thank you.
For Lucy
When you,
my darling of three spring times
climb in with me, in the morning early
when woke from dreaming or from birdies chorus
And I fold you into me.
The coldest parts of you,
though torture to my sleep warm flesh,
I suffer gladly
to make you warm again.
Your frozen feet allowed to
kick into my doughy tum
your hands, reach for my armpits
this I allow.
Your face so close to mine I cannot see you
but for furry colours
a wide line of pink for mouth
set in a peachy frame
I breathe your breath
you mine
it clogs my lungs and makes
me roll my eyes in panic
but then,
as I open my lids and look and you, hearing the ungluing too
open yours,
little slits, showing sleepy sloes
the pink spreads slowly o’er your face
you smile.
Rachel McGladdery 


Adele said...

Lovely post. made me feel all maternal. Miss them why they fly the nest.

Christo said...

Thanks, Rachel - as delightfully warm and cuddly as you.
The dream thing is explained very clearly and you are right.
It amazes me how often I dream of smoking even though I quit in 2007, and the constant fear of every one of us getting sacked (Karl Oyston's favourite hobby) when I worked for the Youth Department of the football club recurs more often than I would like.

The dream I like most features Catherine Deneuve, but we will not go into that.