Monday, November 9, 2009


On my way home. On foot. On the wrong road. A sudden steep climb. Hands and knees. The road ends at the mouth of a cave. Inside the cave, a colorful framed painting on the wall. A button to press — an old brown coat button. The painting slides up. Behind it, a young man leaning over a narrow table. Test tubes. Board games. Dice. He looks up, says, “I will call him.” He goes. Returns, followed by another young man. Both are grinning. I think, “Oh, no, they want to sell me something.” Quickly, I press the button. The painting slides back into place just as they start their song and dance. Literally.

My thanks to Lynn Behrendt for including this dream in the Annandale Dream Gazette.

In the Forum: stovepipe hats and the Community of Others.


Joseph Hutchison said...

That "literally" really strikes my funny bone. Why? A divine mystery....

William Michaelian said...

Joe, I don’t know why either, but it tickles me that it does. Seriously.

Elisabeth said...

That's some dream, image after image after image.

To me the question remains: what did those singing, dancing men want to tell you?

And therefore what does your unconscious want to tell you?

I don't expect an answer. These things are often private.

William Michaelian said...

When writing out dreams, I’m often tempted to fill in the gaps as I imagine them. As I stated in one response to a question about dreams in my Open Interview — which remains open, by the way — “When I write them down, I do my best to record them just as they happened, or as I think they happened — because just the act of waking up and then trying to remember them, it seems, is enough to start in them a process of change.”

During the writing process, it’s as if the dreams continue. I do know that writing them helps me remember some of the details. In cases where initially I can remember only one or two highlights, the very act of writing them down coaxes other images into the light.

Generally speaking, I don’t try to interpret my dreams. Some are obvious, of course, or at least I think they are. But all in all, I really don’t feel the need. I love to write them down, partly because I love to write, and partly because they seem to come from another place in my brain. But it might well be that all of my writing stems from the unconscious. In any case, I’m not sure that knowing, or thinking I know, would change anything. Sometimes I even think the dreams are dreaming me.

Rachel said...

William, Träume sind gut, vor allem, wenn du sie so aufschreiben kannst wie hier. Bekommst du immer dann auch nach einiger Zeit die Bedeutung dazu heraus? Erkennst du den tiefen Sinn, der dich so träumen lässt?

herzlich, Rachel

William Michaelian said...

Rachel, going back to my childhood, I’ve had a vivid dream life. There are even a few dreams I remember from those early days that were so vivid that they seemed to take place when I was awake in my room. It was as if I had to decide later whether or not they were dreams.

In recent years, I sometimes know, or feel, before I fall asleep that I will have a dream that night. The dreams, whether they are peaceful or frightening, are welcome; maybe that’s why they feel free to show themselves.

Again, I’m more comfortable marveling at them than analyzing them. I feel the same way about poetry. For me, definitions are too often like closed doors; as soon as we are sure about a poem or a dream, there is a danger that we are missing out on other meanings and interpretations. In other words, I feel they are living, changing things, and I would rather treat them that way.