Sunday, 30 June 2013

What's in a dream?

What do our dreams mean? What does it mean if we don't dream at all? What if we have a reoccurring dream? And what if our dreams are not dream-like at all? Many questions I'm sure most of us have asked ourselves at some point or another. I don't think we have any satisfactory answer of real substance. Dreams continue to be a land of mystery for me. However, particularly as I will soon be practicing as a trainee therapist, people occasionally ask for my thoughts on their dreams, perhaps hoping for the most part that I have some psychic power to offer an insightful and worldly interpretation of their minds most inner and subconscious musings. But usually my response is to ask that person if they can make any sense of it themselves - for the most part this will be far more accurate and personal than another person's independent interpretation. Perhaps it's the talking about it that helps; the vocalization of something that has previously been hidden, or the narrative aspect of re-telling their night-time tales. Or perhaps it's because I can never possibly understand another's world in the depths that they experience it, at least not through the telling of one dream. After all, what use is another person's meaning if it resonates only in their mind and not in our own? We only have one mind each and it is entirely our own.

I write about dreams because for the past two nights I have experienced two very different dreams. None were uncomfortable or displeasing. In fact, quite the opposite; both were very real and of course I was left wondering what on earth both of them meant and why now. The second one I am fairly certain is a fantasy scenario playing out in my mind so much so that even my subconscious cannot rest. I'm quite aware it's either unnecessary worrying or my positive thinking working severely overtime.

The first dream is a story which is significantly more unlikely to actually happen. Yet I understand the exact meaning of it's narrative. I was in an old place. Of course, old is familiar and safe and comfortable and the people are kind. Yet this is a very significant old place. I know it very, very well. It is a metaphorical safety net. But the kind of safety net that I never wish to be held in again. I yearn for it at times. But it is paradoxically associated with both comfort and pain. The only thing different in this dream is that someone new was there. Someone I care about greatly, and I have to wonder why I would sink back to this place and bring this person with me? Or alternatively why this person would allow me to sink back there? I'm yet to work this one out... Whether it's about the details or just the overall theme. I wonder.

Regardless of whether our dreams mean something or nothing at all, they still provide a platform for such insightful thinking. And for a Sunday evening whilst watching the Mumford & Sons Glastonbury performance, what more could I want... This Mumford & Sons performance, by the way, is absolutely beautiful. Such beautiful words and music. I'm not actually at Glastonbury, and haven't even been following this weekend's events. But it would be bordering on a crime if I was to miss the BBC's coverage of this finale. Contrary to what I wrote above about my second dream and my uncertainty about whether the meaning is in the detail or the theme, I am now listening to the detail of these songs and I always have my breath taken away by these guys and the words they sing. To string together music like this and sing about choosing life and recognizing triumphs despite the loneliness and struggle of being alive... It's without a doubt the detail that makes this music so beautiful.

So, this is a Sunday evening of dreams, meaning, and the final performances of Glastonbury

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