I had a strange dream last night.
I am walking along an unpaved lane. I think it’s the countryside. Hills and tall trees rise behind me. It is dusk. On my left, a low brick wall separates the lane from what looks like a village. The wall is old, the bricks worn and moss grows on top. The land gently slopes downward beyond the wall, and I see the upper floors and rooftops of houses. The houses are made of brick, with steeply pitched roofs of slate tiles. The houses look old, too, and they huddle together.
A procession of small animals swarm toward me. There is a male and female of each species. Some I recognize, some I don’t. My mum (suddenly with me) bends over to look at the animals as they pass us. Two of the creatures, like small, fat brown goats the size of cats, perhaps similar to tiny deer, fuss around my ankles. In the dream, I remember seeing them before. I tell them, “I know you, don’t I.”
I look down at a railway station. A teen boy and girl sit in a carriage. Another teen boy and girl stand on the platform. The train pulls out of the station.
I look down at the rooftops to see the teen boy and girl from the platform are now lying on a roof, but they are older now, and gray-haired. My gaze pans over the rooftops until I am looking down into a small courtyard. A woman comes into the courtyard from a covered doorway. She is middle-aged, plump, with long gray hair, and wears a cloak over a floor-length dress. She crosses the courtyard to an archway. As she walks beneath the arch, she turns to look back and bumps into a man. As they touch each other, a pair of filmy wings pops out and unfurl from the woman’s shoulders. The man is middle-ages with gray hair and a gray beard and he also has wings. I think, “Oh, isn’t that nice. Now she has someone, too.”
I remember there is two of everything in the dream. Two animals, two teens, two older people, and I think, “There is two of everything. I like that.”
I’ve read that we always dream but we don’t always remember dreaming. In that case, I only remember my dreams when I’ve been taxing my mind to the extreme, either obsessing over a problem or so deep into writing that when I don’t have my fingers on the keyboard, I’m thinking about the plot or characters every waking moment.
Sometimes I can look at aspects of a dream and identify them as being the result of something which happened, or was heard or seen, in real life. Other times, there doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation. A friend, a dream therapist, says the mind pulls things from our memories and uses them to send us a message, but even she admits that sometimes a dream is just a dream. I think this dream was that, only a dream.
Perhaps, one day, I will write a book based on that dream.
I wonder, is what I write dredged from the same place my dreams come from? Because, very often, I surely don’t know how I came up with an idea. When, years ago, I thought about a character who interacted with ghosts as if they were real people, I had not heard of Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (which a reviewer mentioned in an early review of Along Came a Demon) and still have not read the book. I don’t know where the Demons came from. I don’t know where Dark Cousins came from―actually, I do: a novella I wrote but never published ten years ago. But where did they come from ten years ago!?!?! With each novel, I start with a beginning, an end, and a few plot points in between, then have to figure out how to get from point A to B to C, etc. Sometimes it doesn’t come easy, but I know it WILL come eventually. When it does, it bursts into life, the ideas popping out of nowhere; but they have to come from somewhere, don’t they?
What is the mind? Wikipedia says it is “the aspect of intellect and consciousness experienced as combinations of thought, perception, memory, emotion, will and imagination, including all unconscious cognitive processes. The term is often used to refer, by implication, to the thought processes of reason. Mind manifests itself subjectively as a stream of consciousness.” Is the mind a product of the brain? Modern scientists believe it is, chiefly because damage to the brain compromises the functions of the mind.If my dreams, my ideas, my imagination, come from a mass of squishy jelly-like substance that physically resembles a large wrinkly walnut, so be it. All I can say is, bring it on.