Tag Archives | dreams

A metaphor

You don’t need to be a specialist to decode dreams, but maybe being a student of literature helps. One of my recurring dreams (common, apparently) is that of  searching for a disused room I know I have in my house. In the dream I know it’s a beautiful room, containing lovely furniture and art, and sometimes I discover it, not having known it was there. Sometimes I’m searching alone, sometimes I’m trying to take guests there, and I turn down countless corridors, up and down countless flights of stairs.

But last night I found the room. I had been trying to regroup my children. There were four, maybe five of them. Maybe someone else had been looking after some of them. There were several rooms, all dusty, with faded curtains and antique furniture, and all were bedrooms, and the disused room was at the end of the corridor. I opened the door. It was a big room with several beds, and the children, who were excited, bouncing on the beds, said they wanted to share the room, so I started to rearrange the furniture and shake the thick quilted satin eiderdowns.

I had a distinct feeling of relief and well-being that I had these children safe together, and that I found the room, which had perhaps been waiting.





January 30

All night the wind harassed the roofs and treetops, rearranging anything it could. Ferries in the Channel hastened to safe-harbour; lifeboatmen and coastguards balanced on the edge of high-alert.  I dreamt of being lost in concrete stairwells – a university perhaps – looking for dorms, but finding doors to shopping malls, car-parks, or hospital wards – or locked. We oversleep, woken by the gentle insistence of the dog.  Downstairs, I open the curtains. The sharp white sun, low in its streaked sky, reveals dusty windows and other evidence of neglect.



January 7

I sleep until after 11am. My dreams are confused, as if memories had been thrown into a tombola, mixed and drawn with no prizes. Ex-lovers, family members, old homes, tumble like an over-dramatised soap opera.  I wake and draw the curtains to the dullest day. Every detail is flattened and matte. It’s difficult to see beauty anywhere, but above the rooftops opposite is the fan-shaped top of a tree, its small branches seem neatly trimmed like a crest against the grey, and in them sit five jackdaws, waiting.