painting by Eaton Hamilton, 2022, oil stick on stretched canvas, 20×30″
ID: Non-binary yt person with short orange hair and black shirt and pants sitting in yellow chair. Green wall. Three-quarter view.
Do you have dreams of your mother or guardian?
Last night I dreamed a short story. I was writing it, but also characters were acting it out. The protagonists were a male and female aging couple, I recall, but what the story was is gone. At the end of the dream, my (long-dead) mother was sitting in a car with me. I was aware that I was editing my story, attempting to deepen it, and I introduced my mother to the characters, which regrettably woke me in such a way I forgot the short story.
I had a decades-long series of nightmares that I was responsible for the horses I grew up with, only no one had told me, and when I got back home, and back to the barn, they were all bone wracks on the brink of starvation. I’d run for water and food, but of course it was going to be too late. More recently, I dreamed of the same situation, that I was feeding starving horses, but this time they were inside the barn in stalls. I ran from empty stall to empty stall. There was one bale of hay and it was soon gone. I used the last of it to feed a mare and then I scrambled around again to find food for her filly. It never occurred to me in the dream that the filly could nurse. All I could find was a pen, one of those ones with four colours, black, blue, red and for some reason green. The pens were cheap and subject to breaking, and in the dream I remembered this, and I was worried about feeding the filly because the pen was likely to break into plastic shards.
It was easy to see when I woke up that the mother was the last horse I fed (true in life, too. I barely knew her in adulthood) and that I was feeding myself the gift of writing. A precarious gift, but a gift nevertheless.
As for last night’s dream? I have no idea. I just wish I could get back the short story and submit it.
Update: Another dream of my mother last night. We were in my childhood living room and I was urging her up out of her chair to dance with me outside under the birch tree. I was saying was a pity it was that the window between chairs was painted shut, and saying I should fix that. She reached out and opened it, when it had never been opened in all my childhood. My idea was that we could play music in the den and it would reach us outside. We both seemed happy. I have no idea what it means. I’m airing out our relationship? Things are magically fixing themselves? I just watched a Holly Near concert?
I have a lot of profound animal dreams. I often dream of seeing whales, though usually from either a beach or a ship. They are generally much larger than they are in reality. Last night I dreamed my ex-wife and I, still together, were swimming in what seemed like Deep Cove, at night, far far out. I turned around and looked back at the shoreline and saw it was far, and thought I should start swimming back regardless of what my ex wanted to do. At once I was surrounded by J-pod of orcas. One spy-hopped, facing me, and suddenly my body got hit with what I knew was her echolocation. I felt it on my right side, particularly in my torso. It was not a feeling I’ve ever actually felt in real life, but in the dream it was a cross between an adrenalin hit and electricity. Without words, the whale said, “Do you speak orca?” and I answered, also without words, “Only a little. A bit.” I said, “Well hello. You’re beautiful,” out loud. I wondered if I should be scared because they were so large and so many, but I was not. Being taken out by an orca, being slammed out of my skin–can’t imagine a better way to go. I could still see whale backs and blowhole breath as they surfaced around me. The spy-hopper submerged. I turned around and watched my ex treading water as the largest whale of the pod (I don’t actually know which one that is) spy-hopped all the way up to her tail flukes, an enormous tower of whale flesh. The next thing I knew my ex and I were swimming beside each other back to shore, and I asked her if she was scared. She said she was. I said her whale had reminded me of a croc that had stood upright on its hind legs once when we were in Namibia.