As odd as any of that might sound, the oddest thing is that in the past four or five days, I've had two dreams where I've looked into a mirror. This is a rare thing for me. I can only recall a handful of such dreams ever, so two in one week is quite an experience.
There's nothing quite as jilting as catching your reflection and it's someone else staring back at you. There's a flickering moment of horror, when that happens. But it quickly fades. Instantly, it's as if you have indeed become that reflection and it's completely normal. You inhabit the role. The imagination is skipping the needle, feeding the plot, and changing the direction of the narrative.
If you've been following the past month or so, you know I've been dream obsessed lately as part of the book I'm working on. So naturally, I've been digesting this latest phenomenon and wondering how it could be used. The most obvious interpretation is that we are not who we appear to be . . nor who we think we are . . and of course, that others don't see us the way we see ourselves. There's tons of Freudian applications as well. I always love to think about Freudian applications. I've always believed them to be somewhat truth, though I've always doubted the strength of these buried feelings in driving our motivations or actions. It's good fun to think about, but that's all.
If you're still reading, I'm sure you're wondering what I saw. I will share:
Dream 1: I was at a huge party with strangers in this expansive house with a giant courtyard somewhere in Brooklyn that could only exist in a dream. There was a massive organized game of charades going on. We were all assigned into teams and had to perform a scene from some assigned movie. In typical dream logic, the game was being played across global lines as the performances were being televised to another group in China who were the ones guessing. My team of strangers and I were given "Meet Me In St. Louis" (where that came from, I have no idea). When I caught my reflection, I was no longer me. I was Margret O'Brien. (Talk about a Freudian field day)
Dream 2: This one I blame on video games, but in the dream I blew up a crowd of policeman standing outside a station in some pseudo-Manhattan. It was an accidental act of terror. I had been confused and regretted the action right away. The explosion was intense. I'm pretty sure I felt some sort of pain, or at least, felt like I should have. (Probably my cat pawing at my face, wanting her breakfast). In order to hide, I ditched my gear, and strolled right into the police station. Chaos reigned. I blended in and went to the Men's Room. When I looked in the mirror, my hand was bloody and there were deep cuts all over me. The oddest thing however, was that the person staring back WAS really me. I don't remember that happening before. I've been Margret O'Brien, I've been a Vietnamese soldier, I've even been a pregnant woman, but I can't recall ever seeing my own reflection before. It was in some ways more unsettling.
But alas, these are the great mysteries that surround dreams and why they've always fascinated me. A really epic dream in a way is like experiencing a great novel in that fictional events make lasting impressions. Dreams are fiction that stay with you, makes you think, and makes you consider things differently. Somehow this will all tie together in the new book, but for now...just something to think about.