Though I’m not claiming any special power that deserves my own reality TV show (for we all know you must have some special power to get on TV, especially if that power involves being an asshole), but sometimes the things I dream come to pass. I’m not talking about the time I once dreamt my sister’s dog died and the next day it was hit by a car and killed. Nor the other time I dreamt of a woman I hadn’t thought of in over a decade who showed up at my door the next day. Most of us have had these types of inexplicable dream events occur at least once in our lives. They are great fodder for the occasional campfire discussions of the paranormal, but can be as credibly explained away by synchronicity and coincidence.
I’m talking about dreaming of something that hasn’t been created yet and bringing it to reality while awake. I often dream of music, but don’t know how to write it down when I wake. Even if I did know how to write music, it wouldn’t do me any good, because I don’t know how to play any musical instrument (unless you count “Streets of Laredo” on the harmonica). I usually just wake up with a cool tune in my head that quickly vaporizes into nothingness as I become more alert. However, I have had some success in writing down sayings or words that came to me while I slept that I later incorporated into my poetry or my fiction.
Scientists may say that while my brain is going through its daily electrical storm of alpha, beta, and delta waves; I am triggering neural areas responsible for creativity, patterns, or memory. This could be true. But I like to think it’s something more magical, something more interesting to discuss while sitting around those campfires. I like to think of it as an idea that has always existed floating around out there in the ether, beyond and over understanding, until one day it finally chose me as a vehicle to manifest it in this physical world. Biological beta wave or being chosen by a creative ethereal entity — you pick the one you like best.
Taking up painting a few weeks ago has given me a new language to express those “floating” ideas of the ether. It has allowed me to give them life in this world. And like any proud parent, I find them beautiful even if they are ugly.
The picture below is an idea that came to me in my sleep a week or so ago. The idea was simple — a frantic fluttering of black inclusions on a field of metallic gold. I do not pretend it is a masterpiece. It is nothing you will find on the wall at the Louvre.
But I will claim it as my own dream — my own creative offspring — which is more than Da Vinci could say about the Mona Lisa.
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
T. E. Lawrence