Occasionally we all have wonderful dreams. Upon waking remaining with us for a few hours; occupying thoughts on the way to work, even persisting through the day. Then there are the very rare dreams that strike with a strength that can not be forgotten, seeming to arrive from a place beyond the manifestations of a resting imagination.
During the last few months living abroad, I felt lost. I couldn’t see the way forward. My head hurt and knew in the core of my being I had reached a very dark place, where for the first time in years, the way on seemed unpassable.
I remember going to sleep next to my partner as the emotional helplessness reached a fever pitch and saying in my head –
“please help me find a way forward.”
I fell asleep as usual shortly after, my arm around her waist as it was every night. A few hours later, I was awoken, by what I recall to be a bright light in our bedroom. My eyes remained shut, but I could see the light illuminating my vision. I assumed the glaring bedroom bulb was on. Perhaps she had got up for a glass of water? I opened my eyes ready to lean over and turn it off. To my surprise I saw nothing, the room remained pitch black. I closed my eyes once more and again saw a light, at what seemed to be either side of my vision. I repeated this action a couple of times. It seemed strange of course, but I was still half asleep. I logged the peculiar occurrence and being in no state to consider it rationally, I succumbed once more to sleep.
There followed in the hours after, an incredibly lucid dream, imprinted to this day, as if a lived memory, not a mental construct. I was alone, by a grey-green river, like that you see in northern Europe. It was running through a scenic city. There were bridges nearby spanning the flowing water, and spires heading away over the rooftops, pointing to far off streets. It was winter, and the sky was overcast. I wore a black coat, and I was writing, I was in the historic district to write. I felt alive in my heart, where hours earlier had been a void. I knew that the man I was in the dream was travelled and wrote for his living. He was complete; he had the peace I lacked.
The dream went on. I found myself inside someones home, an apartment. I saw the fresh cut flowers, carefully arranged and placed in a vase by the window. People walked below, and I turned to see her. She sat on a dark coloured sofa, with cushions and covers, she smiled and reached out a hand to pull me closer. The day turned to night, and I spent the evening with this mysterious lady. I hardly knew her in the dream, I think we had only just met, but she and I felt as if our meeting was the reason in large part that I had come to the unknown place.
She would feature in the story, every bit as would the wide waterway or the cold granite arches, reaching from bank to bank. She was half of the city, her body as beautiful as the silhouette of the cathedral, held up to the dusk sky seen through her apartments high windows. I knew I would leave her and I knew in my gut that others would follow after her, rightly or wrongly, they would, perhaps to return another day, perhaps never to touch again.
I awoke at dawn and every second of the dream sculpted into my attention like a memory lived, not imagined. I felt guilty to have dreamt it while lying beside her. After that day I never questioned where my heart should be. I never neglected my writing again and I have written more in the last six months than I have in years. I did not see where I was meant to be, but where I am going; it pointed me to the future with a bright resolve and self-belief.
The dream came to me when most in need. Perhaps my subconscious dictated it? But its vivid and peculiar nature permits me to accept it was a helping hand, my future self flinging back an outstretched arm, saying –
“I know the way, follow me.”
Whatever it is that brings you happiness, sanity, peace, never neglect it, for there are some things in this life your spirit needs every bit as much as your body needs breath and sustenance.
The dream remains with me, the feelings vivid and compelling, the light I saw in the room as I started to sleep inexplicable, but it guides me on all the same.
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