It feels like a dream vanishing before I can make full sense of it, not knowing what was true and what was created by imagination. It was so beautiful and real, emotionally intense; and surrounded in with a warm glow. One of the most beautiful times of my life, and a feeling of being about to discover something incredible…and then suddenly I was awake.
Recalling the Past
Reality presses me to get on with the day, as does Kulas waiting for her breakfast. Fragments of the vivid dream still spilling into the day and I focus intently on finding an answer—like Kula on the scent for a banana peel someone tossed into the woods.
The thing about memory is doesn’t bring us closer to the past but draws us farther away. Human memory is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to details. It’s also incredibly potent—you can be transported across time and space through the most subtle whiff of a particular smell. If you want to keep a memory pure, you shouldn’t revisit it too often, because each time it’s revisited, you risk creating a slightly altered narrative. And for all of these reasons, it seems life is not the sum of your experiences, but what you remember and how you remember it…
Sleep to dream
I retreat to bed early, hoping to fall back into the dream. Artists have a unique ability to dive so deep into, and hold on to the specific texture of past experiences—which can be a blessing and curse. With the tendency to be more porous in their makeup, they absorb and are affected deeply by things. In an artists imagination and dreams, creativity runs wild and they can be swept away if not careful.
An artists purpose is to allow their imagination to bring light into the minds and hearts of others. And creating art requires taking the risk of following curiosity and engaging in something, perhaps irrational, because you believe in it and feel an urge to break it open and see what’s inside. Artists curiosity is unruly. It doesn’t like rules, or, at least, it assumes that all rules are temporary and subject to a clever question nobody has thought of yet.
To be curious is to wonder; to wander off the well-trodden path and find things that may not be initially available or obvious. Dreams are like this, we go all-in and beyond our current reality to follow our hearts and explore a hunch that there is something deeply hidden. It’s not always black and white, and if you look closer you may uncover the extraordinary—available in plain sight—if you’re curious enough to look.
The meaning of dreams
Skeptical inquiry and curious open-mindedness are opposing ways of thinking, but equally important and essential for handling what life chucks your way.
If you are only skeptical then it’s really hard to accept new ideas, take a chance on the unusual, and explore the unknown—You might miss something incredible or be standing in the way of a profound experience. On the other hand, if you’re open to everything and tend towards gullibility, then you cannot distinguish the useful from fruitless pursuits—You might get manipulated and lack the ability to make critical decisions.
One must find the balance between the two. To be receptive to critically important insights, and to figure out not only what matters, but also why it matters. 1. To suspend our enthusiastic trust until you gain proper reflection; and 2. to explore the emotional undertones beneath our fixation on black and white facts and logic. In either case, a wise decision requires reflection, and reflection requires pause.
When the dream ends
Dreams are like the kiss that starts disappearing the moment the two mouths part. These moments are part of living life, and so we must learn to absorb each one fully as they come while not getting too attached. Like our waking life experiences, dreams can be so strange and poignant that we often struggle to understand them properly, but when the dream, the experience, the kiss ends; one thing remains — the path you choose forward. Instead of wishing to fall back into the dream, we must shift our mindset to become grateful, inspired, encourage growth and reflection, and learn something about yourself. To use the experience as a measure of your heartfelt participation with life, and your courage to make conscious the things you feel so deeply.
“Either one does not dream, or one does so interestingly. One should learn to spend one’s waking life in the same way: not at all, or interestingly.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche