Everything I create has deep personal meaning for me, springing from real life experiences, relationships past and present, and my environment. And, sometimes, from my dreams.
I keep a dream journal, and I’ve been doing so for quite a few years now. I’ve been part of several dream circles, where we share and comment on each other’s dreams. I’ve read and re-read my dreams over the years, finding new insights and meanings as time unfolded. My husband, and best friend, Greg, is my ultimate dream reader—he always finds some ‘aha’, a thought-provoking question, or a fresh aspect to consider when I share my dream journal.
When you dive into ancient spiritual traditions, including the Judeo-Christian traditions, it doesn’t take long to realize that dreams were once taken very seriously. Dreams charted new and unexpected paths. They unrolled visions, possibilities, and hidden truths. Dreams beckoned you to climb heavenly ladders and urgently communicated the most expeditious route to Egypt. They warned you that the king was about to go completely off his rocker for the foreseeable future. People once paid attention to these celestial spoilers, and responded accordingly.
We’ve lost that connection over time, and I often wonder why. Perhaps it has something to do with the interest of the scientific/psychological world with dreams (think Freud and Jung) and the notion that the realms of science and religion are somehow parallel, and therefore, incompatible universes. I don’t know. But I do believe that dreams benefit us and are worth consideration.
I am an active and vivid dreamer. Occasionally, my dreams take me to very new places. There have been times when they merged my past and present. Sometimes, they reunite me with those who have gone before. And sometimes, they provide clarity to a girl who tends to live each day in fine focus.
I had such a dream not too long ago—that sort of “here’s the big picture” dream. I’m not entirely sure the significance of the dream, but it was characterized by beautiful light and an interesting array of symbols. Sure enough, I was up at 5 a.m., at work in my studio, in pajamas, that, I am ashamed to admit, were already paint splattered, trying to capture what I saw in my dream.
And that’s how As If with New Eyes came to be.
This was so different from my previous works that I tried the technique and the symbol set in a much more Piscean series, which ended up referencing both a rich tapestry and a Lilly Pulitzer dress I once loved. Hence, When Lilly’s Imagination Turns to Brocade.
Consider the possibility that dreams may be here to help you through your journey. Try remembering and recording your dreams, and using them to inspire your art, your writing, and your everyday life. See what happens!
For those interested, I transcribed notes from my dream below:
The best way to picture this dream is imagine a series of tall, well-spaced clotheslines stretching over an open, grassy meadow. Each “clothesline” was hung with a beautiful, diaphanous, tapestry-like hanging. Each hanging was different; each very intricate. The light was low, as in morning or afternoon, so that the light shone through the tapestries, and revealed new patterns as I saw through one tapestry to the next. A light breeze was blowing, causing the tapestries to move softly and constantly shift colors and patterns.
I was completely captivated by these tapestries—the shifting patterns, the way the light shone through them—and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I began to walk through the layers of tapestries. As I walked through, I realized that there were people and events unfolding on the ground between the tapestries. Some of them—a group of people engaged in deep conversation—seemed unaware of me. Another, a young woman sitting on the grass with a baby in her arms, looked up at me as if seeking my attention. But I did not engage with anyone. I was too mesmerized in the beauty and depth of these tapestries, and continued to walk slowly through them. They captured my complete attention.
Additional note: There were a variety of symbols in the tapestries, of which I made sketches in my dream journal. None of them are familiar to me, but I did notice that they were all symmetrical.