Friday, March 17, 2017


I’ve heard people say that they never dream. Nonsense. Everybody dreams. Even my cat dreams - just watch her twitch in her sleep. She probably dreams of chasing mice, just as I dream of people and places. I started keeping a Dream Book a few years ago, putting a pencil and pad next to my pillow. Even so, I rarely manage to get something down on paper before it vanishes. When I do succeed and can go back and look at some of the dreams I was able to recall, I am amazed at their complexity and originality. I can see why surrealists and psychoanalysts were so intrigued by them. Some of my dreams make sense, have some tangible connection to what is going on in my life, while others are totally unexplainable.

 6'x4'  oil on canvas, 2015-16
I’ve seen a couple of articles lately on how to remember your dreams. It’s not easy and from what I’ve read takes considerable effort and practice. You need to have pencil and pad by your bed and you have to tell yourself, (just as you are about to fall asleep), that you must remember your dreams. This apparently works like an internal alarm clock – the kind that wakes you up when you have an earlier than usual appointment.  One researcher I read suggested looking through your Dream Book, if you have one, before you go to sleep to activate your dream center. The best, the longest, most complex dreams appear to come from deep, early morning sleep, however, we humans seem to have built in ‘dream erasers’  that start to work the second we wake up. If you don’t put the dream down immediately, it will disappear. Stay in bed. Don’t move. Review the dream in your mind first and then start writing….(and, let me know what happens.)

 6'x4'  oil on canvas, 2015-16
I rarely succeed in recording my dreams but when I do, it is always interesting to go back and read what I have written. If I hadn’t put them down the second I woke up, I would never have remembered them. Some are ‘place’ dreams where I find myself in an unfamiliar location. Others are anxiety dreams, related to actual problems in my life, i.e. the house falling down. And some are total puzzles that only a Jungian analyst could figure out. Those that intrigue me the most are like surrealist paintings such as the one I dreamt about eight years ago that took place in a decrepit old house, so cluttered that I could barely walk from one room to the other. In the dream, I went into the back bedroom and found a monster sized bare mattress on the floor. Under the coverlet lay an ancient hag dressed in rags. I pulled back the blanket and saw her lying there, asleep, knees up in a fetal position. She woke up and looked at me without lifting her head.  I pulled the cover back further and found a second old woman, identical to the first, lying at her feet, also unmoving, also bent into the same fetal position. Beneath her feet lay a third clone. To this day, I have no idea what it meant, if anything, but that puzzling trio might haunt me forever.