Creativity and dreams


I’ve been dreaming like crazy lately, well, I always did, but sometimes it gets really active in there at night. Last night I was also dreaming about images, not just the usual surreal “movies” where I’m not even Pia and the places I visit don’t exist IRL. I’ve often complained that if I had half the imagination when I’m awake I’d have 20 books worth of material as well as a dozen movies.

Unfortunately I can’t remember the images, but it was definitely about art/painting. Lots of white with little bright splashes of colour. I’ve dreamt about art before, but not all that often, once I did an exhibition of paintings that MOVED – and no, not computer screens. So, usually it’s stuff I would not be able to recreate when I’m awake.

But…. when you think of it – it’s still MY imagination that is creating these dreams, both the stories and the images. So not all of it is rational, but the degree of creativity surely exists in there in my subconscious. If only I could open the door wider.

Maybe it’s just a matter of my excessive brain chatter getting in the way. Maybe something else is holding me back, I haven’t been able to figure this out yet. I really, really would like to. Just give me access to the raw data and I’ll know how to shape and organize it into coherent form I’m sure! Wow, then I’d be on a roll….

Meditation hasn’t yielded anything yet. Nor dream journaling, it’s too hard to explain in ordinary language. As I said, surreal. I know how it feels to be “in the flow”, but I can’t seem to call it forth, I have to wait for it to happen, which is very frustrating. And once you’re frustrated, nothing is dead sure to be happening!

And before you say anything, yes, I did try to capture those fading colour impressions from the dream on paper. But – meh. I think too much. Thinking is great if you have your motif all planned out. With abstracts? Not so much. Even tried lefthanded. Maybe I should start drinking – I wonder what my abstracts would look like after a bottle of bubbles? 😉 (Most likely I’ll fall asleep. I’m such a partygirl. Not.)

Sometimes dreams do have answers though, or so it seems. The night after I wrote last Tuesday’s post I dreamt the solution to some of my questions – however, as soon as I became aware enough to get up and write, it was gone, I only remembered that is was a two step process. That is another problem with too detailed and long dreams, important stuff happens in the middle of them but only the last one is clear (if you’re lucky) when you wake up. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to take up horse archery… (it would be fun, but needs, wants, number of holes in my head etc.)

It appears I have to develop a habit of waking up faster. 😉 Ack, old age calling…

So, do any of you use dreams in painting or writing, or is it all just nonsense? All the absurd stuff clearly belongs in the shadows I think, but surely the richness of imagination belongs on the other side too?

I had a version of this with a woman in it – but can’t seem to find it in my archives.

I think I’d particularly be interested in the writing aspect myself, because visually I respond more to other things. I’m playing with another “right-brain” technique at the moment, which I read about a while ago, but more on that later. The answer it gave me to this particular question was, however, just as surreal as my actual dreams (literally: “you can try fetch milk daydream on every summer”) So maybe it is so – dreams are dreams and awake is awake, and perhaps they meet at dawn, but only to catch a glimpse of each other.

At least I rarely suffer from sleep paralysis these days, because THAT is just seriously annoying! All the articles say it lasts a few seconds or minutes, but what it feels like is sometimes hours. And yes, I can remember everything, and no, it’s not interesting to write about. Just plain spooky and repetitive.

And I know many of my posts at the moment are about thinking, not doing. I am in fact also doing, I just don’t have anything I’d like to show just yet. Will I ever? No promises… I enjoy the actual process of writing and I want more of that, whether anybody ends up reading it is actually secondary. But it still has to be interesting enough to keep at least my own attention. 😉 (let’s see how many are with me this far)

It seems nature also has a hard time waking up this year, cold, brown, shabby, miserable. No real signs that juices are rising or buds ready to explode, everything  on hold. Hares not playing, no birdies singing to each other, just chirping their heads off for food whenever somebody opens a door or window. It might be wise to just go with it, stay dormant and slow while it lasts, not push ahead and get burnt by the late frost as a result….

Just sit and wait

12 thoughts on “Creativity and dreams

  1. Actually I’m not really short on ideas or things to work on, apart from the writing. I’m just really fed up after a week of headache and severe muscle tension in my back, making it impossible to focus on anything for more than 3 minutes, but not bad enough to take away my urge to make things…..

  2. I have written a couple of (actually 3) novels based on dreams. They have turned out well. The only irritating thing about using dream stuff for storylines is that in order to remember the dream clearly enough to write it, you have to be awakened from that dream – and then of course the ending is missing.
    … and now I did it again.
    Bare fordi du skriver en engelsk blogpost, glemmer jeg at du er dansker og svarer på engelsk. Nu gider jeg ikke skrive det om på dansk. Men de drømme var, og er stadig, så klare i min hjerne, både i handling og tekstur, at jeg hver gang jeg kikker på dem, begræder mine manglende evner til at omsætte dem til tekst.

    1. Jeg tror jeg har max. 5 danske læsere, så det med at svare på engelsk er måske ikke så dumt alligevel? Jeg kunne godt tænke mig lidt mere pingpong og diskussion herinde.

      Ja, det er jo ikke nok at kunne huske og derefter skrive drømmen ned, man skal også kunne omformulere den til læsning bagefter hvis man vil noget mere med det!

      1. Ok, jeg er ikke så skrap til WordPress, at jeg kan se dine læsere, men jeg tror gerne på dig. Jeg holder mig gerne til engelsk for fremtiden – promise 😉

        1. Hvis der er flere som læser med er det i hvert fald uden nogensinde at give respons, så jeg overvejer stadig om jeg gider oversætte mine indlæg til dansk. Men du svarer blot som du lyster, svensk og tysk kan vi også klare!

          1. Hehe, jeg staver som en brækket arm på svensk, så det har du ikke lyst til a t læse. Tysk er bedre, jeg har trods alt boert der et år, og er uddannet som tysklærer, så kom bare an, jeg kan også et par mere eksotiske sprog, men måske ikke længere godt nok til offentlig skriftlighed. Nej lad os bare holde os til dans og engelsk.

  3. As I was replying to MotherOwl’s post just now, I remembered a writing excercise I read about. To take note of things. Maybe just a special look/clothes/attitude on a person in the supermarket, watching two people meet in the street and imagining their conversation and story, making a habit of describing the light in a rain puddle, a random feeling. Put it all into notebooks like clippings for a collage, just build an inventory of impression/expression to be used later.

    Maybe dreams could be used in that way, not an entire dream, but teeny snippets of many dreams put together? We tend to think perhaps that we want an idea served to us on a silver platter, all ready to go, but maybe there is treasure to be found in noticing the “useless” bits and pieces.

    1. I agree. I find that there are themes that recur and a pattern starts to emerge. I jot down a few words or sometimes draw a quick sketch (or both). I’m amazed, looking back at those notes, about how much I still remember. I’m still working on how to bring them into my work but I have no doubt they belong there. And I feel so grateful for my dream life – my husband rarely remembers a dream.

  4. What timing for this, as I’ve just dreamed the most exquisite plot for a novel ever. I’ve also dreamed such intense images I can only wish to capture in paper. I think dreams heighten colors for me. I don’t know if it’s even possible to recreate them! Sorry to hear about your aches and pains, hope they let up asap. Also hope the flowers bloom soon!

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