Living the dream

Once again, I’m planning to write a series of blog posts around this year’s theme of “Dreams to Reality”. Writing ‘around the theme’ will mean that I touch on different aspects of dreams and reality.

I’m not sure that I’d want to live my sleeping dreams, of delving deeper and deeper into caves to the point of claustrophobia, or retaking my A’Levels or degree but neglecting to go to lectures or study (shudder). Being able to fly at the merest thought and hover with the omniscient view from above is more appealing, but unlikely to be realised during my lifetime.

Nevertheless, I’ll probably still touch on our sleeping dreams later in the series. I’m just fascinated by the different aspects of dreaming. Once upon a time, the Old English dream meant “joy, mirth, noisy merriment” or “music”. There may be two separate words that happened to be spelled the same, or the meaning of the word has changed dramatically. Dream in the sense of “sequence of sensations passing through a sleeping person’s mind” dates from the mid-13c. In the sense of “ideal or aspiration”, it dates only from 1931. 

Yeats in his poem “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”, which was published in 1899, would have been using dream in the sense of a sleeping vision. I am appropriating it in the sense of offering these writings in the hope that they spark something in my readers, while being aware how fragile and unformed they might be. And maybe it also applies to our speakers, offering their ideas in the hope that they touch their listeners.

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.