I Dreamed A Dream

Briar Rose Sleeping by Edward Burne-Jones

Last night I dreamed I’d written the perfect story.  I came half-awake, filled with a sense of contentment.  I even knew what the story was about.  It was about a man who was mediating between two warring tribes when it came to him he had the answer to their conflict, which involved both sides saying exactly the same thing, but using symbols so wildly different one side couldn’t understand the other.  My protagonist stood on a great wall and tossed a bowl to the people on one side.  He then tossed something to the people on the other.  I wish I could remember what it was, and I want to say a wand, crozier or scepter, but that seems so full of blatant Freudian symbolism I’d rather not.  Whatever it was, each side thought the item had come from their enemy, and yet when they saw it, they were stunned — contrary to what they’d believed, their enemy had given them exactly what they needed, and apparently understood them perfectly.  Peace is restored.

Well, clearly, this isn’t the perfect story.  It isn’t even a very good story, but it is a highly useful one, at least for me, because it points to a kind of detente between two antagonistic parts of my self.  And yes, possibly the female and male sides, given the whole (embarrassingly obvious) bowl and scepter thing. But also it might be other forms of chiaroscuro — active vs passive, introvert vs extravert, innocence vs experience, etc.

I’ll live with the images for a while. I won’t try and analysis them, but rather let them do whatever work, effect whatever change they were created for.

As a writer, I pay attention to my dreams since writing, like dreaming, is largely the work of the subconscious.  I also find it interesting that I am embarking on a new book these days, one in which a woman whose brother has died undertakes a journey into the land of the dead to try and rescue him.  This, of course, might also be seen as a quest to symbolically rescue the shadow side of the self, as wonderful old Jung might say.

Over the past weeks, I’ve grappled with the theme of this new book, with what symbols might work, and to try and define why I’m writing it.  I doubt I’ll get a clear answer, at least not until the first draft is finished, which may take a couple of years, but after this dream, I do feel I’m on the right path, since the questions seem to be stirring up the subconscious waters.

I advise all writers (and everyone else, too, for that matter) to keep a dream journal.  You just never know when something interesting will pop up.






  1. Rita woehlcke on September 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Love this dream, love the way you are being with it . . . love it’s implications for the divine is with us.

  2. Lauren B. Davis on September 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Hey Rita — lovely to see you here. Thanks for commenting. Spot on, as always.

  3. BeckyinNYC on September 4, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Lauren, It’s great that you can remember your dreams and see the nuggets of wisdom they present. Sounds to me like you’re on the right path! Keep on writing.
    By the way, love your blog! Becky

    • Lauren B. Davis on September 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Thanks, Becky — I appreciate your support. Do you remember your dreams? I certainly go through periods where I don’t, but remember more than I forget. Years ago, someone told me if I wanted to remember my dreams I should tell myself to do just that as I went to bed. Seems to work — that, and having a pencil and piece of paper on my beside table, so I can jot down notes as soon as I wake. I always think I’ll recall my dreams later in the day, since they seem so vivid on waking, but of course if I don’t write them down they evaporate with the morning mist . . .

  4. Lise Mayne on September 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Hi Lauren. I will have to catch up on your postings – I always enjoy them so much. However, this note is about your review of the Sawtell book on Goodreads. Wow, I couldn’t agree more! I didn’t understand how in the world that book became a bestseller. Goes to show you….I felt exactly the same way as you, and against my better judgement, I kept reading, hoping for more. At the end, I was just angry that I had spent so much time on it. I did love some of the descriptions and phrases, but what a tome! It needed serious editing, I agree.

    Hope all is well in your world!


  5. Lauren B. Davis on September 8, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Lise — Nice to hear from you again! And thanks for the kind words. Bizarre about the Sawtelle book, isn’t it? But, to be fair, I think the author has enormous potential. It will be interesting to see if his next book shows development.

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