Dream, Fiction, Novel, Writing

Speak louder, please

I dreamed about Sean Penn last night. I stood at the doors to a huge auditorium or theater and someone tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned around, he was standing behind me. He said, “Thank you.” Then he walked in the theater with his entourage. After I recovered from surprise, I realized I had no idea what he was thanking me for and called after him. He had moved too far away to hear, so I stepped through the doors, fully expecting the security guards to stop me. Lo and behold, they let me go.

Why so troubled?

I caught up with Mr. Penn and asked him why he had thanked me. Because this was a dream, he walked back up the aisle with me and out the doors. He talked the whole time, but so quietly, I couldn’t make out what he said. At one point, I realized that he was only a head … on the floor … and I figured that was why I couldn’t hear him. I got down on my knees, but still couldn’t make out what he said.

This was not the Jeff Spicoli Penn, nor the Willie Stark Penn. This was the I’ll-settle-it-with-my-fists Penn—smart, but troubled. I felt desperate to hear what he said because I knew I had helped him before and needed to help him again.

Suddenly, his head was back on his body, and as we walked, I glanced over and realized his scalp had a large gash. Blood ran down his face and neck, and I convinced him to let me take him to the hospital for stitches. From the hospital, I took him to my home (not any place I’ve ever actually lived) still feeling the anxiety that it was imperative I keep him with me and talking.

Inexplicably, I was searching for a needle with the right-sized eye for the piece of black thread in my hand … when the alarm sounded!

Despite the abrupt ending, I think there is plenty here to interpret. I’m sure this pertains to my writing. I rarely think of Sean Penn and haven’t heard him mentioned recently, so I think Penn showing up in my dream is meant as a pun. Now, what I have to decide is whether pen represents me as the writer … or my writing in general … or some part of the novel I just finished writing (or didn’t.)

I wish he’d spoken louder. Any lip readers out there?


22 thoughts on “Speak louder, please”

  1. Linda, your brain is like my brain. I have very complex dreams involving a lot of symbols too. I don’t believe in interpreting other people’s dreams so i can’t help you with that. Only you can know what Sean Penn, talking heads and gashes mean. I did enjoy reading about it very much though. Good luck figuring it out.


    1. I agree, Sharon, it’s best we inteprete our own dreams, though sometimes another person can point out a pun or archetype. But, except for archetypes, I believe the symbols are uniquely yours. I always use the example of roses. In my dreams they would be a positive symbol: love, beauty, sex, etc., but in my mother-in-law’s dream they would be a negative symbol because she always associates roses with her mother’s funeral.


  2. Wow, Linda that is one heck of a dream. It sounds like something out of The Twilight Zone.

    I agree with the comments above. The best thing about our attempts to analyze our dreams is that is forces us to dive deep into our own heads and hearts and sometimes, find those hidden monsters that need to be extricated before they take over. In that case, there is no right or wrong interpretation, only self-discovery.

    I’d love to know if you dream Part II!


    1. Yes, Danielle, it is self-discovery, that’s why I’m always excited when I have a dream that I can remember for longer than two seconds after I wake up. I know it’s one that has a message for me.

      If I have another memorable dream, I’m sure you’ll read about it here. 🙂


  3. I’m not sure I have much to add to all the insightful comments here. It’s clearly a dream with a lot of meaning, and I think the fact you couldn’t hear the words being spoken is key.

    Have fun analyzing, it sounds like you’re poised for some type of breakthrough!


    1. I, too, think that’s an important element of this dream. And Tricia might have been right that it was my way of telling me not to use my head, but my heart.


  4. “I knew I had helped him before and needed to help him again.”

    The needle and black thread could have been part of your preparation for the next time. Or, maybe you sensed an unseen wound.


    1. Both those are good possibilities, Ann. There’s also a third that occured to me: I may be wasting time trying to fix something that’s already fixed.


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