Remembering dreams


My dreams are back, those stories I tell myself at night. I don’t believe the stories ever left, but for most of the last four or five years, I have woken up with no remembrance of my dreams.


For years I wrote down my dreams in the back of my journals. My day-time thoughts began on the first page, my night-time thoughts began on the last page, and each moved toward the other, claiming pages until the book was full.  It seemed fitting that my dreams were hidden in the back, behind my more lucid thoughts.


On Tuesday night I dreamt about a good friend in Japan. I still carry some of the joy of seeing her again, if only in my brief dream. My emotions don’t seem too concerned with the fact that I didn’t actually meet her face to face. It must be like this when a mind is in decline. People are forgotten, the world grows strange, but the emotions are remembered, as familiar in this singular reality as they were in the shared reality of the former life.


Before the world spun me old, I lived as a young woman. That was decades ago. I remember dreaming that I was old and was riding a bus through an unfamiliar city. I sat next to a window and watched the world go by. When the bus stopped at a light, I saw a good friend standing on the street, still her young self. When our eyes met, we both smiled and, for a long moment, I couldn’t tell who I was or whose dream it was. Was I an old woman dreaming about her as a young woman, or was she a young woman dreaming about me as an old woman? When the bus stopped, the doors opened and I got off in the room of morning light where I lived life.


For the last three nights, I have remembered the stories I told myself in dreams. I stopped journaling three years ago when I lost my words. Writing this blog has helped me find them again. Maybe that’s why my dreams came back.

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Photo courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton Rice and Linda Adair Miller <;