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The difficulty one encounters in trying to paint dreams is that often you cannot remember them.  Dream memory is exceptionally fugitive. That feature of itself draws in a certain scientific interest (for those who study dreams) because it’s so startlingly different from ordinary perception.  While you will most probably forget what you did this morning over the course of a few days, you are most unlikely to forget it seconds after it happens. But how often has one awakened from a dream only to see it seem to disintegrate even as one watches?

Some dreams last in memory and others don’t.  Even what distinguishes the one sort of dream from the other is unknown.  But while dreams cannot be counted on to furnish stable material for art, the process that one’s mind uses to dream is most probably accessible — to some extent — in a waking state.

I’m searching for some random things to include in certain pictures that are in the works. I say the things are random, but I only mean that they’re random in the way that dream elements often seem to come in bizarre forms.  And one thing clearly connects to another as though by some great law of causality.  But when you tell the dream to someone, it seems to make no sense at all. I am putting things into pictures just because, and wondering afterwards if the stream of consciousness leads somewhere.

Your dreams, O years, how they penetrate through me! (I know not whether I sleep or wake.)  — Walt Whitman, Years of the Modern

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5 thoughts on “morning thoughts

  1. So many times I had a dream and swore to write something based on it(a story, a novel, anything) but it seems almost impossible. Even If I start typing on my computer as soon as I wake up, I still somehow forget what it was about. Not only that, but I also forget how it felt… how it made me feel. So I can’t even write with that sensation in mind.

  2. Dreams are truly a puzzle. It’s possible, though, that in writing you may recover some je ne sais quoi of dream content though — however, it’s also possible that you might not realize that the source comes from a dream — since it’s a question of memory. I suspect that there’s a connection between the kind of imagination that we’re aware of and dream cognition — but the connection may be parallel.

    All that being said, if you want to recall dreams, you are wise to write them down as quickly as you can!

  3. I know of some habits I want to form, and you touch on it here. I want to keep a dream journal – and people have reported a lot of success with it. For example – some people will wake up and the first thing they do before all else, is write down everything they can remember from their dreams in the bedside journal they propped open the night before. I think that will be interesting to see what all happens in your head over the course of a month.

  4. I suspect that the dream journal is a good way to begin creating better memory for dreams, Louis Zmich. If one does it regularly, you are in effect telling yourself that you want to remember … it’s a way of creating a powerful mental suggestion to hang onto the narratives a little longer. I’d be curious to know what success you find keeping a dream journal. Good luck!

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