Tuesday, March 29, 2011


If you’ve read The Transformation of Things, then you’ve probably guessed that I’ve always been interested in dreams, in what they mean, where they come from, how they affect us. Yes, the book takes a bit of a fantasy spin on all this, but it’s rooted in the fact that dreams have always interested me. As a kid, I had a dream dictionary that I used to use religiously, every morning, looking up what my dreams from the night before meant. As an adult, I hang on to dreams, sometimes write them down, often think about them, analyze them, try to seek some sort of meaning from them.

In almost all my memorable dreams, I’m in the house I grew up in. We moved from this house before I started high school, but I hardly ever dream about that later house, or even the one I live in now, or anything in between. Often my dreams also involve my best friend (who I’ve been friends with since kindergarten), and maybe it’s because I have so many memories of the two of us spending summer days in that old house. I’m not sure. But a large part of my dreams are very rooted in these aspects from my childhood, even when that makes absolutely no sense with what’s going on in the dream.

Lately I’ve been dreaming about my dead grandfather. A lot. He died over three years ago, but the dreams have only begun lately, a month or two ago. In the first dream, he was with me and my best friend at a historical landmark pulled directly from the book I’m working on. (Okay, it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out how that wormed its way into my subconscious!) Anyway, he was our tour guide in the dream, and he showed my friend and me around, in the process telling us that everything was going to be okay and that we needed to stop worrying so much. I hung onto that dream for weeks, because it felt so real – not the tour guide at the historical landmark part, but his words. When he was alive, he’d always ask me about my writing, and at the time, the submission process for my first book. I talked to him every Sunday, and every Sunday he’d ask. At first about getting an agent, then whether the book had sold to a publisher. Every Sunday for probably two or three years, I’d say something like, “I don’t know if this book is ever going to get published.” And he’d say. “Don’t worry about it. Everything is going to be beautiful, Babydoll!” That’s also what he told me, in the midst of his tour, in my dream.

This past week, I've dreamt about him almost every night. Wherever I am, whomever I’m with, he’s been there. Sometimes tagging along with my family; sometimes he works at whatever place we’re at and appears later. It’s been bizarre and creepy and lovely -- waking up every morning, feeling as if I’ve just seen him and talked with him.

I mentioned these dreams to my mom the other day, and she said maybe the dreams mean he’s somewhere, watching over me right now. I laughed and said, if he was somewhere, watching anything this past week, I was sure it would’ve be the March Madness Tournament instead, which he used to LOVE beyond almost anything else.

The rational side of me could list off various reasons why he’s tumbled into my subconscious lately, and thus, why he's probably been so present in my dreams. But then there's this other part of me, the part that believes that every dream must mean something. That part wonders, if maybe my mom's (joking) words are right, and maybe he's been sneaking in to check on me, even if just for a few minutes, during half-time!