Daily Prompt Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.
Fellini used to write down his dreams and they informed his films; he brought his dreams into Cinecittá and made them into films for other people to enjoy.
During my lifetime of teaching writing, I looked through a lot of writing books — not just for teaching composition, but for “teaching” creative writing. One common bit of advice and/or exercise in those creative writing text books was just what this prompt is saying with the added bit of keeping a notebook beside your bed so when you have a dream you can write it down immediately.
Somehow our subconscious mind is supposed to be where our creative energy hides.
I think this is bullshit. A person might — as did Fellini — get some ideas from dreams, but I wonder how “sub and/or unconscious” a dream is in the first place? I have no problems identifying what events of a particular day have colored my dreams. It’s easy to see what problems I’m working out, too. Like other people, sometimes I go to bed with a problem I can’t figure out and awaken with the puzzle solved. Was this my unconscious mind in action? Or did I just need some rest?
I recall a class in university, 20th Century British Poetry. The professor was good; energetic, able to involve the students. We were talking about “The Hollow Men” by T. S. Eliot. The professor said, “What does this tell you about Eliot’s unconscious mind?” A student — an older student, maybe 25, a Viet Nam Vet — said (in a Flushing accent) “Yeah, listen professor. I don’t get this ‘unconscious’ mind, you mean like BAM! knock somebody’s block off passed out in the alley or WHAT?”
Still we analyze our dreams believing they’re keys to the unconscious mind. Even my down-to-earth French therapist sometimes did this, not so much for revelation but to help me see what I already knew (and wasn’t telling myself).
In Fellini’s case it told him to write a movie. In my case, dreams told me to edit my writing more ruthlessly (as I wrote last year when I responded to this prompt).Dreams are worth paying attention to but how mysterious are they, really? Only as mysterious as we are to ourselves, I think.
P.S. Sorry for not getting around to reading many posts for the last few days. I’ve had guests.