In which I annoy everyone by describing my dreams.
Thornton Wilder said ‘The dreaming soul of the human race believes life will come out right.’ I think it has; I think it always has and always does. You can’t be a stupid dreamer. You don’t have to face the facts that you look odd or that you’re voice isn’t right: Make them like the face you’ve got and improve your voice. … Here are the facts you have to face: If you don’t show up and do the work well; if you lack concentration; if you lack kindness and patience; if you don’t keep believing in the dreaming soul of the human race. Those are facts you have to face, and you may have to get out of the scene and fix yourself, or find a new scene. –Ruth Gordon. Ruth motherflippin’ Gordon.
When you don’t do things you believe you need to do in waking life, you do them in your dreams. This might manifest itself as an anxiety dream (my mom has a recurring dream that she has a stable full of neglected starving horses when she doesn’t practice her cello enough).
Or, delightfully, it might manifest itself as a dream where you do the thing you need to do, but with the beautiful lack of logic and wealth of possibilities that dreamworld provides. I need to write and make movies, and I rarely do one and never do the other. But in my dreams (which are after all so closely connected to films) I do make movies. I make beautiful movies, and I have all the footage (beautiful footage) shot, just waiting for me to edit it together. Such a dream leaves you with a pang of regret upon waking.
Here’s one in particular I think about all the time lately. Every day. I can see it. I want to make this film, but with my Malcolm as the star: “In my dream I was watching a movie from the late 60s starring Lawrence Harvey. It was a beautiful movie – all chrome and green. I wrote a review of it that said, ‘I liked the scene with the crows and the scene with the owls – all the bird scenes, in fact. I liked the humor and warm human heart beneath the stylish chilliness.’ “
And here are some others that are just funny or weird, but I love them all. If you don’t like having dreams described to you, stop here!
I had a dream that David and I were hanging out with Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner. It was March, but they had a fresh Christmas tree with beautiful metal-vine-pinecorns on it. Jackson Pollack was making everybody write letters about horses.
In my dream I was in my childhood bedroom, and The Best Soccer Player in the World was doing that thing where they kick the ball into the air over and over. And there was an older couple, and someone said the phrase, “The time between them is not greater than the time before them.” And it seemed sad, because I knew they didn’t have much time before them, but they were happy anyway.
In my dream they’d just found Henry IV’s grave. And (in my dream) at the end of his life he’d gone through a horrible existential crisis: is there a God or not? Finally, he’d carved into his huge stone casket, “After all, it is better not to lead a life of sin.”
I had a dream that I found an old movie camera, and I could use it to shoot film or FLY ABOVE THE ROOFTOPS!!
Had a dream that my novel was printed out…a giant pile of paper, and someone who had rejected it had also written all over it in green ink. I’d written, “…rain-slick street” and they crossed it out, in green ink, and wrote, just say “It was raining.”
I had a dream about a donut shop called House of the Holey. (This is one I would like to realize, with a coffee shop that just serves donuts and bagels. But I’m not an early riser)
I had a vivid dream that EM Forster and a German Philosopher named Schille had both written treatises about the rights of animals and men. They aren’t real, which means that I wrote them, I wrote the treatises! They were good, too. If only I could remember them.
In my dream we had a restaurant. It was a nice space, and it was ours, but this really was a waitressing anxiety dream in all the usual ways. And then Hulk Hogan was sprawled out on his back, in some space between the bathroom and the kitchen, repeating over and over again, “I kick ass for a living.”
Here’s Manoir de mes Reves by Django Reinhardt