Friday, August 22, 2014

Writing to Interpret Your Dreams

Some people believe that dreams are messages from God. In some cultures dreams are discussed or considered carefully. I also think dreams are important and pay attention to them. 

I don't remember all my dreams, but some are very vivid. On rare occasions, my conscious self is even aware that I'm in a dream, which is a strange sensation, but which indicates to me that the dream is important.

I also have recurring dreams that are very rich and seem to be saying something to me. Over time, the recurring dream can sometimes change, reflecting my own evolution.

I'm not a psychologist, but I've learned one way to gain some insight into dreams. It involves writing. You can take your dream and allow it to speak; for instance if you dreamt about water, you could give the water "voice", and you could write:  "I am the dark and blue water in your dream and ...."  and continue writing in a free form style. Don't think, just write with complete abandon. Don't correct yourself, don't edit yourself, let it rip.

You can also take aspects of your dream and let each part "speak." There is no right or wrong in this endeavor; you write as freely as you can, in any form, and almost always you'll find something significant in your writings.

What I find important in terms of interpreting my dreams is my emotional reaction to the dream. Was I happy? Was I frightened? From my dreams, I can learn what to avoid or what I ought to be pursuing in my waking life. I have the opportunity to know myself  better. 

Try writing to help you understand your dreams. Start a Dream Book and record your dreams and you can also do your interpretive writing in there. You will gain self-knowledge and some measure of peace. 

I'd also like to share the exercise that Dante O. Cuales, Jr did in response to an earlier writing exercise, which I posted. I had invited people to send their work to me. Dante O. Cuales, Jr. did. He said he the writing prompt and exercise helped him visualize the scene of his story. It encouraged him to sharpen his imagination and utilize his senses to create his fictive world.

Here's his bio in his own words:

"My name is Dante O, Cuales, Jr., from Cebu City, Philippines. I'm Catholic, a husband to a beautiful girl named Bel, a father to two beautiful babies named Luke and Lizzie, a son, a brother, a friend, an entrepreneur, a writer, a poet, a philosophy and theology buff, and a Christian apologist. I love to read and write."

Here is an excerpt from Dante Cuales' work, Emma":

By Dante O. Cuales, Jr.
Copyright 2014 by Dante Cuales, Jr.

Emma smiled. She was almost always smiling. I can't think of many instances in the past when I didn’t see her smiling. If not with her mouth, she smiled with her eyes. She always seemed to be overflowing with life.
The books and flowers I gave her only added to her joy. Her happiness brimmed on her face and spilled over her eyes.

"Oh, Frank, you've always been very thoughtful," she said. "You have outdone yourself this time. Flowers and books! How perfect a pair they are. No one can top those as presents to a lady."

I smiled.

"Please, have a seat," she said. I sat on the couch opposite her.

She straightened the fabric of her skirt. Her dress was long and silky. It stretched down to her ankles, covering her toes.

"Are you going to a ball?" I said.

She laughed. "No, I am merely trying this on. It belonged to my mother. Can you believe this is antique?"
"It looks new."

"Exactly. I love it. I love old dresses. I found this inside my mother's closet. She hasn't seen this in ages, she told me."

She lifted the bouquet from the table and held it above her lap.

"How do I look?" she said.

She laughed before I could answer her. Stunning, I thought.

"Monday, it was Malaysian mums. Tuesday, daisies. Wednesday, carnations. And today, roses. What's it going to be tomorrow? Are you planning on giving me a whole garden?"

We both laughed -- she, delicately; I, nervously.

"Are you free tomorrow night?" I said, out of the blue.

"Why do you ask?" she said.

"I want to take you to the city."

"Oh, you want to take me to the city? Do I have a say on the matter? Are you planning on asking for my consent first before taking me anywhere?" She was giggling.

"Sorry, I meant, if you are free, of course. I can take you there if you have no prior engagements. I would love to show you my club."

"Just playing with you."

I waited for her answer.

"Sorry, but I can’t." She looked pensive.

"Oh." I didn't quite expect her to say no. "How about Saturday night, then?"

"Uh no, I still can't."

"Oh, I see. Busy?"

"Not really. I just want to stay here. I want to savor every bit of my time here. I want to remember this house as best as I can. I'll be leaving in a week, you know. I still can't believe I'm here. It still feels surreal. Can you believe it's been ten years since I last saw this place? I spent many happy years here."

"I can't believe it's been a decade since I last saw you. We were only kids back then."

"Yes," she said. "And look at you. Look how well you turned out to be. Successful entrepreneur, popular model, product endorser. Are you also going into politics, like your dad?

Manang Linda, the house's caretaker, entered the sala with a tray of suman and sikwat*. The steam rose from the mugs and in an instant the air was filled with the smell of hot chocolate.

"You haven't mentioned your girlfriend, yet," Emma said. "When will you introduce her to me?"

"Frank has many girlfriends, 'day Em," Manang Linda said.

The blood rushed to my face. I felt the heat in my cheeks.

"What? No," I said. "I don't have a girlfriend."

"Sure you do," Manang Linda went on. "You have several." They both laughed.

"I don't. They're just my friends." In my mind, I was begging Manang Linda to leave us alone.

"Be careful with Frank here, 'day. He's something of a... what do you call that? A smooth operator. Yes, that's right. A player. He's broken the hearts of so many girls here in town, and beyond."

"Come on, Nang, you know that's not true." I was trying to laugh with them, but I was drowning in embarrassment. I wanted to leave the room, but Manang Linda soon left for the kitchen, so I stayed.
I felt Emma's eyes on me, studying me. She was no longer smiling.

"Sunday?" I said.

"What about Sunday?" she said.

"Are you free on Sunday?"

"No, I'm not free on Sunday."

"Oh, okay then. Maybe Monday? Or Tuesday? Or anytime next week?"

She picked one of the books up from the table and lifted the hardbound cover. She flipped through the first few pages. The pages made crisp, ruffling sounds. A smile broke from her lips.

"Have you read this?" she said.

"No," I said.

"Really? I'm surprised. Why did you give me a copy?"

"Because I know Austen's your favorite author."

"You should read her. Start with this." She handed me the novel. I felt its weight, its texture. I opened it and skimmed the pages. The smell of vanilla wafted in the air.

"Is this your favorite among all her works?" I said.

"I have no favorite. I love them all in equal measure," she said.

I tried to read the first few sentences, but they didn't make any sense to me.

"How about the week after next?" I persisted.

She rose from her seat, looking slightly annoyed. She went over to the open window. Her shoulders heaved as she took a deep breath. Outside, I could hear the soft crashing of the waves against the shore. A gentle breeze was streaming into the house now, carrying with it the smell of the sea.

She returned to her seat.

"I can go out with you," she said.

My heart leapt wildly inside my chest.

"But only as your friend," she said, smiling.
~End of Excerpt~

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