Dreams fascinate me. In the Bible, God sometimes spoke through dreams, and I believe He still does on occasion. Dreams can also be symbolic. Just ask Freud. (Or, better yet, don’t. I have a traumatic memory from when I was thirteen and I made the mistake of telling my mom about a frightening dream I couldn’t seem to shake off. She proceeded to give me the “a knife may not represent a knife” speech. The only positive outcome from our conversation was that my early-adolescent horror over her interpretation banished any lingering fears from the dream.)
Some people’s dreams are vivid and deep and complicated. When our daughter, Grace, lived at home she sometimes told me her dreams, and it was like hearing the entire plot line of an epic movie. I marveled that she could remember all those details. Most of my dreams vanish into the ether shortly after I awaken, unless I tell someone right away, and then they’re still pretty simple if not completely ridiculous.
Case in point. This morning I awoke and realized I’d had a somewhat “literary” dream. (I use the term loosely. Very.) The main character of my dream was an author and playwright who was locked in conflict with her publisher. It seems she’d promised her daughter that she would name a character after her in all her books and plays. This might not have been such a big deal had the daughter’s name been Ann or Mary. But her name was Utopia. The publisher argued that Utopia was too unusual a name to reappear in multiple books and plays, but the author wasn’t backing down. She’d made a promise, and even if it meant losing some contracts, she meant to keep it.
In the dream I was inclined to side with the author, but as I recall, I suggested perhaps she might call her daughter by a nickname and then use that name in her works. The obvious nickname I suggested was “Bob.”
I woke up about this time, shuffled into the kitchen, and shared the dream with George. He was no doubt duly impressed, but he was on his way out the door, so we didn’t have a chance to explore the potential nuances of the dream’s meaning. Too bad. I suppose I could call my mom, but I’m still a bit scarred from that conversation almost forty years ago. I don’t think I want to know what “Utopia” (or, for that matter, even “Bob”) would mean to her.
Guess the dream will remain an unsolved mystery. Unless you know . . .