29/5/2020 0 Comments
On reading in dreams
Under lockdown I began following twitter accounts and even sometimes tweeting a cautious tweet. The divisiveness of the politics I encountered almost made me despair, and I withdrew from twitter for a few days, but the sheer oddness of some of the tweets and posts drew me back in, that and the discovery of new poetic forms (the Etherin!). One twitter poll I had to take part in was on the subject of reading and dreaming – can you read in your dreams? I have been interested in why you can’t read in dreams for a while, along with the way no one uses a cell phone in dreams, or can drive a car. There is something technology-shy about dreams which I find wonderfully mysterious. But oddly, when I took the poll, more than half the respondents claimed they could read in their dreams! I was so surprised I had to check with Simon that he couldn’t read in his dreams (he said he didn’t know!) and then, incredulous, had to check that for him, too, whenever he tried to drive a car it would turn into a pedal car, then a sort of shell of a car around his dreaming self as he ran in a kind of sitting form along the ground (and probably with bare feet). He said no, he drove cars in his dreams, just usually over a cliff, or down an impossibly steep hill without brakes. Which might make you wonder about our marriage. Then, that night, the night after the poll and after this conversation, I dreamed I was reading. I woke up and thought, indignantly, this is a whole new way for a dream to undermine me, almost impressed at the ingenuity of my dreaming self but disturbed too at the thought of a dreaming self so actively hostile to my waking mind, not using my unconsciousness to reveal things to me I might not have access to with my usual filtered attention even though I must somehow know them in some sort of capacity, but rather playing games with me to prove me wrong and undo any kind of narrative I might begin to embark on, sleeping or waking. Last night, I dreamed I was hiding under a desk in an empty school room. Obviously this was never going to save me from my eventual discovery, or from the pouring of acid over me before I woke up. That, I thought at first, on waking, was a dream about twitter, but perhaps it was a dream about dreaming itself, if consciousness is thought of as the desk under which we are hiding when we are awake.
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