Tell Me Your Thoughts, Not Your Dreams

Are we meant to forget our dreams? Waking up this evening after a short nap (I got up at 6am and taught all day), having just read Saidiya Hartman’s beautiful and personal piece on the Slave Routes, I woke up from a dream that kept slipping away from me, and I thought: Thoughts don’t slip away the way dreams do. Do thoughts and dreams happen in different parts of the brain? Why’s it so much harder to articulate a dream? We can make thoughts happen, so why not dreams? I remember once, before going to sleep, it must have been around 1987, I asked the ancestors to visit me in a dream. They did. My grandfather and some other older family members who I didn’t recognise were all sitting around in our old garage in the house on Jenvey Road. I don’t remember what they said, but I remember the feeling of waking up and knowing that the ancestors had visited. Why are other people’s thoughts often more interesting to us than their dreams? I don’t appreciate people telling me their dreams – tell them to an analyst or a mystic. I feel responsible when people tell me their dreams, especially if they don’t want to interpret them. Anyway, that’s enough – my thoughts are beginning to lose my interest. Read more about dreams and where they happen here. To paraphrase Kurosawa, we’re all geniuses when we’re dreaming.

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