Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sometimes, when I wake up, I'm surprised I don't have pictures to post of the vivid dreams I had the night before. They're right there in my head, but I couldn't show them to you without drawing them or using lots of words.

I'm not going to do that with the one I had last night because it left me, to steal a phrase from Caitlin R. Kiernan's blog, "dreamsick." I'm not sure I use that word in the same way she does, but for me it means that the dream made me more tired than less, that I slept longer than normal, had trouble waking up, and that the dream was vivid and disturbing.

It wasn't a nightmare, not a dream I'm sorry to have had, but powerful in that it felt like I'd entered another lucid world, in this case a dangerous one, that was hard to leave and is still hard to stop thinking of as I go about my day. Stories come out of dreams like this I think -- I had one years ago, about "aliens and gardening" I like to say, that led me to write hundreds of pages. I'd like to think that one might still become a novel, but it might never make its way out of the drawer.

Last night's dream involved, yes, a dystopian future; a draconian, ancient god the size of a building; and a stadium big enough to house what survived of humanity. It was also grotesquely violent, and for the moment at least, I don't want to write about it.

Reading this morning, something in this line from Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea caught me.
You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything. So I thought, once. So did we all. And the truth is that as a man's real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower: until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he must do. . . .

I like to think that's true of artists as well as mages, and maybe of all people who listen and follow.


taipalmgren said...

I dreamed last night that you had given me Parker to watch for the day, as well as a tiny orange kitten. I was panicking because I had lost them. But I went down to the beach and they were waiting for me there, sitting on the edge of Lake Michigan.

Also, Parker pooped in the lake.

Rachel Wilson said...

Nice one. The orange kitten would not have survived my dream, or reality for that matter.