Sunday, 8 January 2017

Prompt 8 - Nightmares and The Price of A Broken Dream

Free(ish) writing from the 8th writing prompt found at

8. Dream-catcher: Write something inspired by a recent dream you had.

Image taken from here.

This one is a challenge for me.  You see, I rarely dream in my sleep.  Or at least I rarely remember my dreams.  When I do remember there is usually nightmare rather than inspiration.  Perhaps that needs to change.  Perhaps I need to see nightmare as inspiration.  Perhaps I need to dream less in the day and to arrange things so I dream more in the night.  Perhaps even begin a dream diary and enter into the world of lucid dreaming, gaining some control over the images and creativity that goes on in the sleepworld.

I could ask, beyond an unpredictable screen of entertainment, fuelled by caffeine, what dreams may mean to me.  I could seek out the archetypal figures and stories within them as I did in a blog post last year.  Or go further into the realm of unlikelihood.  An event appeared on my Facebook feed a few days ago about nightmares.  It claimed that within nightmares are prophetic clues to your future.  I must admit to a healthy portion of skepticism and doubt that my nightmares map out any future fame and fortune or lack.  I think they're more a result of my present, my brain firing off random impulses combined with my subconscious and unconscious mind trying to make head or tail (or tale) of everything.

And yet ... there have been times.  Things happen unexpectedly and I know that I've dreamed them.  Not only that I know when I've dreamed them.  It's a feeling that goes deeper than deja vu, which is something I seem to go through in phases.  As with deja vu I know there's a psychological explanation for it and it wasn't my brain foretelling my future and telling me - in the most unclear and obscure and hidden manner it can - who I'm going to meet, where I'm going to be, and what I'm going to do.

As for a recent dream?  They are rare creatures of malcontent.  Several weeks ago I had nights filled with dreams of loss.  The same dream played out over and over as I fell asleep and woke and fell and woke throughout several nights.  The same loss.  Experienced in a new way each time.  Each pain adding to the previous.  I guess those dreams, which in my anxious state produced increased fear, could inspire sad stories.  They could be the unrequited love poem from the second prompt.  They could tell of bereavement and grief, of kidnapping, of murder, of women screaming hatred, of religious cults, of familial pressures.  Those dreams mixed realism with dramas so farfetched that even I would be ashamed to write them.

Each would be a sadness.  Though I changed the cast they would still be a sadness.  And today is not the day for a sadness.  Today is the day for heading to the library to work and discovering I'd left my glasses at home.  Today is the day for being told - at least for the present - that a women's group is not the place for me.  [That story is still being written and I believe it will have a happy ending but today I shed many tears.]  Today is the day for being fragile after my head melted down last night for reasons only it knows.  Today is not a day to create new sadness for myself.

So there's this:  [Which is currently unwritten.  That colon shows a great deal of faith because the "this" it refers to does not exist beyond a fragment of an idea.]

And there she was.  Sitting at the next table.
I looked several times before I was sure;
Trying to look as if I wasn't looking.
I could hardly believe it.  She was the one.

When certainty reached its crescendo
I couldn't help myself.  I wouldn't wait
In case this was the only opportunity there was.

So I turned to her, reached out to her, and said,
"Sorry to trouble you, I couldn't help noticing
That you are woman of my dreams."
She wasn't pleased.  Looking back I see
How much of a fool I was to force the hand of fate.

Eager to meet her, for her to be my adventure,
The observer stepped into the observed
And broke the free course of time's experiment.

She turned to me and glared and said
"Oy, fuck off you creep," and then
She threw her drink at me and walked out
Leaving me no time to apologise and explain that
She really was the woman of my dreams.

I'd seen her there several times, clear as the rain
That fell that day.  I'd even kept a diary of all
The times she and I had walked together
In my dreams; how we had worked,
How the two of us had held that refugee child
And kept it safe as soldiers searched above.
What would become of that innocent now
I had stepped into the future too soon?

What was the price of a broken dream?

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