Dreaming with the Moon

by Elizabeth Cunningham

Last night was one of those nights full of vivid and varied dreams, coming and going between frequent waking. The moon was just past full, and I have noticed that nights of busy dreaming often occur when the moon is round and the internal tides run high.

I have always loved dreaming, even though I’ve had my share of nightmares, which often help to reveal and heal hidden wounds. In addition to dreams that re-hash and recycle daily events, I have had what Jung might call archetypal dreams that I have remembered for decades and will never forget. I have sometimes dreamed not of, but for, friends and family members, and they have confirmed that the dreams held messages for them. And I once woke sitting bolt upright after a dream pointed me to a revelation about the vinegar-soaked sponge pressed to Jesus’s lips during the crucifixion. I later incorporated this dream knowledge into my novel The Passion of Mary Magdalen.

Last night I woke from one dream knowing that my post today must be about dreams. When I went back to sleep I had one of my recurring landscape dreams (there are several). In this one a rundown neighborhood in New York City, where there is sometimes danger, opens onto moonlit hills and fields. There is no judgment of the city or relief at escape to the country, just a satisfaction that I know this secret way in and out of the city. In last night’s dream I say aloud to myself, “So this is the way I drive whenever I need to blog.”

In the final dream of dozens, I am wearing my (becoming famous) red bustier. I am part of a singing trio, but my solo is the opening number. I can’t remember one note. I ask my fellow singers to play a recording of the piece to jog my memory. I recognize my voice but not the song. I am flustered but I decide I will simply sing a song I do know (that I wrote in waking life) that includes the line, “River, river, river, the journey’s long, I might not always remember the words or tune of your song” which in the dream I find ironic and pleasing.

Dreams, however fascinating for the teller, can be tedious for the listener. When I have a dream of note, I like to distill it in poetry. For fine examples of this art visit Patricia Kelly’s dreamspoetry/blogspot She works in several poetic forms, one called Dreamku. She has inspired me to experiment. I will close with an example from a dream I dreamed for someone else.

dream message

I show her a shell
shining inside. Look, I say:
your soul can be safe.

I show her the sea
dark vast and wild. Look I say:
your soul is that big.

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Elizabeth Cunningham March 3, 2010 - 3:07 am

Maeve speaking. It is absolutely true that a dramatic plot twist came to Elizabeth in a dream. But I ask you, who sent it to her? Sometimes she is a bit slow on the uptake when she is awake.

It's late at night in whatever time I'm in. Maybe I will add more comments tomorrow.

faerian March 3, 2010 - 7:39 am

so wonderful to get prompts of a divine nature (not just trying to flatter Maeve here) during our sleep – i am sure, in my sleep, i visit people i am long disconnected from physically but linked to by heart cords…

and the moon just calls me awake… neighbours too close and inhibitions too big to do any naked dancing but i still feel the call..

thanks for the link to the dreampoetry…

sweet dreams

Anonymous March 3, 2010 - 12:49 pm

What a rich and wonderful blog this is! Glad I got to see the red bustier and hear the wearer sing that fabulous song–and the poem! Oh, that poem! Thank you, dear dear Elizabeth (and Maeve).

Unknown March 3, 2010 - 2:02 pm

Instructional dreams! And dreaming for others. My dreams seem so mundane by comparison!

Ah, Elizabeth, you are always opening up new worlds.

The red bustier is quite a scene, too!

Roswila March 4, 2010 - 2:16 am

Ditto from me on that wild red bustier! (My ex was always trying to get me to dress a bit like that, if only on special occasions. :-D)

Your dream/ku is beautiful, Elizabeth. Moving and so full of love. What a gift to whomever you dreamed it for.

Thank you for your link to my dreamku work. I am truly and deeply honored, having so much respect and awe for your poetry and writing as I do.



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