There are so many different kinds of dreams. The obvious ones: the dreams when you are sleeping and the dreams when you are awake. Daydreaming gets a bad reputation ("Don't be such a dreamer" / "Get your head out of the clouds..."). Yet, if you never dream, how do you create? There are the dreams of the impossible and the dreams of the not-quite-possible-yet. Not every dream is meant to morph into reality. Some, though...some can. The process of turning creative vision (or waking dreams) into tangible reality is one of the most satisfying experiences I know.
Winter is for the dreaming, as far as I am concerned. As the darkness sets in I begin to long for storytelling, for deep talk by candlelight, for open fire to stoke my spirit, for dreaming deeply. Beyond the cycles of the seasons around me, I try to meet the rhythms of my own body and energy and to follow my longings. In English Winter my health often tends towards the imperfect. So I turn inward. I dream and I create and somewhere within these things I find the maps I need to guide me forward.
Does this sound mysterious? I'm a closet pragmatist, really. Once upon a time, I believed in certainties, in knowability. Somewhere along the route, in long term illness, I learnt to get comfortable with uncertainty. It is a kind of surrender; something that can occasionally be blissful if you allow it. Sometimes that not-knowing can be dreamt into, sunk into, befriended. I don't mean that it's easy, but 'easy' isn't always the point.
In his "Letters to a Young Poet" Rilke once wrote:
Live the questions now.
Sometimes there is no other option.
This long Winter, my health uncertain, grieving my grandmother's death, I tried - mostly - to honour that not-knowing. From Devon I headed to Bristol each week to study, and, finally, I moved to Bristol; practicality and instinct mingling. In college each week (dance and movement psychotherapy college) I dropped down into my body, aiming for nothing more than to meet whatever feelings were there. There are so many different kinds of dreaming.
Since moving up to Bristol, I seem to be healing, my health beginning to weave itself back together. I'd been dreaming of cities again. I needed a city. I completed my college course this week. Some days here in Bristol it is already Spring: cold sunshine, newly emerged flowers. This Friday I head to Barcelona for a housesit. On Saturday (Equinox) we officially roll into Spring. Still caught between Winter and Spring, I am uncertain about so many things in my life right now. What to do with that uncertainty but honour it until it's replaced by clarity? And when all else fails, I believe in the act of journey and I believe in fresh horizons. So, here I am, poised for a new season, waiting to see which of my dreams grow wings.
How about you? What do you dream about? What dreams have you been incubating this Winter?