Block, Dream, Fiction, Novel, Writing

Dreaming the truth …

Saturday night I dreamed I had a beautiful house, in the woods, filled with happy children … until the bear appeared … inside the house. I was the only adult in the place. It was up to me to protect everyone. motherearth

Okay, you say, but what does this have to do with writing? This dream is absolutely about writing, so let me tell you the steps my subconscious took to produce it.

I’ve been thinking about where I need to be to write—both physically and metaphorically. I love the ocean; it inspires me. But I love the woods more. I picture myself living there; I think it’s ancestral memory.

So, there’s the house in the woods.

Many of us, or maybe it’s only the women writers, refer to our work as our baby. We certainly labor to bring it into this world. And it’s not easy bringing it to maturity, either.

So, there’s the children.

I’ve also been wondering how to get around this inner editor that’s giving me fits trying to finish this novel. It’s a problem. Bugabear is the old-fashioned word that popped into my mind yesterday.

So, there’s the bear.

Now put on your dream hat and follow along. In dream symbols, your house represents your true self—your mind, your heart, your soul—however you choose to refer to it. So, in my dream, I am in a lovely house, with large windows all around so I can have a 360° view of the woods around me. There are children in this house, my babies.

Suddenly, I realize there’s a huge bear in the house. It paces. It sniffs. It’s hungry. I don’t want anyone to bear panic. “Be calm, stand still, don’t run,” I tell them. No matter which way I turn, the bear is there, blocking the way.

I’m almost paralyzed with fear, but I know it’s up to me to do something. As it happens in dreams, a weapon, a rifle, appears in my hands. I don’t want to shoot the bear; but neither can I let it kill anyone. And then—

I am standing inside the house, my children clustered around me, and I’m watching out the window as the bear ambles away through the trees.

So, my friends, I ask myself—as a writer—what is the nature of my weapon?

Photos: (1)“Dreaming Girl” 4Head Garden of Dreams, Chelsea, UK; designer: Marney Hill; co-designer: Heather Yarrow  (2) Black bear; Bryan Harry – NPS Photo

25 thoughts on “Dreaming the truth …”

  1. Though you saw the bear, it did not leave. It left when you stopped turning away and faced it as a surmountable challenge. I figure your willingness to face the bear pushed it to a more comfortable distance.


  2. I think your dream is fascinating and your interpretation cannot be wrong. I agree with Ann that your willingness to face the bear is your weapon as a writer.

    Also, it’s interesting to note that writing about the bear on your own and others’ blogs allowed the bear to take shape, allowed him to separate from you–another positive to writing and to blogging. It gets the bear out (to paraphrase the Visine ad).


  3. Bonjour,

    As a writer, the best weapon will always be the words. Words of a dream that sound like reality into a story. Words simply bring dreams in our reality.

    To tell the truth, putting a word on a page is a good beginning for dreaming the truth.


    1. Thank you for your comment, Mireille. My first interpretation of the weapon was the same as yours: words.

      I believe there is a real connection between dreaming and writing. In fact, I’ve blogged about that before: Dreaming on paper.


  4. You might like the ‘Sandman’ fantasy series: the god of dreams is also the inspiration for all writers [and of all hope in everyone].


    1. That’s Neil Gaiman, right? I’ve heard about it for years. One of my fave musicians, Tori Amos, is a fan and gives him credit for inspiration. I’ll add it to the things to check out.


      1. Yep; he based a character on her, Delirium. It’s fitting — she comes off airy. Great performer though — saw her in a small club before she achieved any fame.
        Also saw Gaiman talk in a small hall — very good speaker.
        I can lend you a SM book if you’d like. Perhaps the story of the writer’s muse?


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