I like the word “dreamer” it conjures up images of a Victorian romantic clad in silk and lace, who glides instead of walks, whispers instead of talks, and is easy on the eyes. However, for many a dreamer denotes another image altogether- not solely an adventurer who nightly checks into the land of dreams but as someone with a weak mental alignment. They are incorrectly labeled as escapists, immature, irresponsible, seekers of unobtainable wishes. The assumption is that today’s dreamers can be cured from fantasies by returning to the mundane reality of life.
In the past, the dreamer had an entirely different status, they had a gift and were encouraged to investigate the hidden meaning and significance of their dreams, as opposed to rid themselves from them. They received approval and credibility of their dreams as a hidden panacea through a dream interpreter. The role of the interpreter was to decipher the symbols and facilitate their understanding.
Unfortunately, the dream interpreter is now extinct and our appetite for dreaming has been curtailed.
In my dreams, I encounter the collective consciousness of yesteryear and venture into the magnificence of tomorrow land. They are ever so powerful that in my waking state I have to ask myself, is this happening now or did I dream it into being?
One of my earliest dream memories took place at the age of four. Realizing I was a child with limitations, I became terrified, so petrified I could not cry. The shocking dream made me feel that I had uncovered a secret, and the mystery shook my foundation. My small body immobilized; my eyes wide open. With my imagination playing tricks on me, I saw configurations emanating from the knotty pine wood closet doors. They tore at my being. My world in jeopardy; I was numb by keeping the dream to myself, but was jolted each time the dream returned. And for years, it recurred without an explanation.
During my years in Berlin, I was drawn to paint a part of me that intentionally lay dormant from the criticisms I had received as a student in art classes. After years of absence from the canvas, between states of consciousness, I would view joyful symmetrical compositions. I took out my oils and a 4×5 canvas not knowing what to paint. When I finished my work my painting was a depiction of physical torture, bodies flying into ditches, while fire blazes culminating in a zenith of destruction. One central figure kneels with arms out-stretched to the heavens asking “why.”
Unconsciously, I had unraveled the mystery and painted what I had been shown for decades, in doing so I concluded my haunting dream. By tapping into the inherent wisdom and power of dreaming I laid my turmoil to rest.