Every night I go there. It’s a place I’ve been several times in real life, it’s a place filled with memories, good and bad, but I’m surprised to find myself dreaming about it so often at the moment. Every night this week.
In my dreams, I know that that’s where I am, although the settings in my dreams have absolutely no salient features in common with that place in the real world. So far this week, I have been in the desert once, and in a variety of suburban and rural locations the other few nights. I have been with a whole selection of people, known and unknown, and to my knowledge not one of them has ever been to this place – either at all, or at least at the same time as me. I have been horseriding, once, which was odd, I’ve been horseriding about twice in my life. That was the night in the desert. I was appropriately fabulously dressed in yards of floaty linen, you’ll be glad to note.
The next time I appeared to be taking part in a concert in this place (which isn’t unheard-of – concerts here, that is, not my participation, which is). More oddly still I seemed to be with an outfit which gradually it transpired was not my old county youth orchestra, although some of the members of it were there. The orchestra I think was actually the university orchestra – or rather a subset thereof, although as is the way with dreams there was no-one there I recognised from Uni Town. And I was baffled when we were getting on stage because as per usual I was trying to cobble together an appropriately-coloured outfit (in this case, black bottoms, coloured tops) which looked elegant and smart and was also celloable. And just as I had comprehensively failed to look anything like an elegant, socially acceptable human being but had given up and was making my way towards the stage with my cello, a girl I knew from Hampshire days breezed past and told me that we were actually supposed to be wearing our Hampshire Youth Orchestra uniform dresses (if you really want to know, look here, and find no.184 for a fairly clear shot of the dresses I’m talking about), so then I spent a goodly while trawling through a pile of dresses to find mine (which was exactly as I remembered it, down to the biro marks, smudges, and numbers on the label). Other dreams have featured caravans, cakes, institutional china (you know, that pale green, heavy, thick glazed ware that they have in community centres and church fetes and WI meetings up and down the whole country), trees, bunting, old ladies, floods, lightning, jewellery, all manner of things.
I’m confused as to why I keep dreaming about this place though. All of these dreams are filled with a sense of something else about to happen, someone about to arrive, come round the corner, be exactly where I expect them to be. This is accompanied by an overarching sense of dread. And whatever and whoever I’m dreading has yet to appear in a single one of these dreams.
I can well understand why people attribute such significance to dreams. It’s very easy to think that dreams like this are more than simply a way my brain is using to present to me my current preoccupations in glorious technicolour. I know why I am dreaming these dreams, I know it’s not the place itself that I am dreaming about, that this place is simply a metaphor for certain aspects of myself and certain things in my life, it’s a symbol significant to me and only me, formed out of my memories and the way my thoughts run. But it would be so easy to see these repeated, reiterated visions, made all the more powerful by this cyclical, constant repetition – it would be so easy to think of them as an omen – harbinger of events, good or bad, a sign, a storm, an approaching event horizon. And they are nothing of the sort.