Last night, I dreamed that it was raining in my room. I stumbled to find the switch, and as the overhead light flickered on, I found that I was back in Waterloo, in a basement room that I had rented in a dilapidated house along University Avenue, circa 1992. This house was so run down that when it rained hard, the carpet in my room would turn soggy.
So there’s a sprinkler overhead, spraying water everywhere, and all around me were these thin plants, so thin that they were about to fall over. And then I woke up.
I never analyze my dreams. But I’ve been reading Carl Jung’s synchronicity concept after that event two weeks ago, and I’ve learned that dreams are a big thing in his realm. Also, a few weeks ago, Steven Pressfield wrote about his dreams as he was beginning a new novel. So with this recent dream of mine, I was more open to questioning it. Specifically, what does the water imagery mean?
It’s very interesting to look at my work now after having this dream, and realize that 20 out of 40 images so far in A Million Suns have water in them. I counted it. That’s 50%! What’s with me and water?
A part of that can be explained by geography. I live in Baltimore, I live close to the water, so it’s no surprise that water would find its way into my work. But it’s more than that. Some of my happiest moments growing up apparently are associated with water. Back in the Philippines where I grew up, I remember climbing up these huge trucks that transported families and friends to the beach on a Sunday. There would be lots of barbecue, lots of exploring the streams that opened up to the sea, and lots of simply floating on water. And it’s not lost on me that my name is Jonah. That part is totally obvious.
So back to the dream, what could it mean?
I’m obviously not a dream expert, and I will be overlooking things in this dream image, but what I think it’s telling me is to get off my duff, and actually do some work. Ever since finishing Part II of A Million Suns this past December, I’ve been focused on other areas: there were shows to do, portfolio reviews, a couple of seminars and workshops, lots of story research and reading, and on top of that, there’s the increasing overtime at my day job. While all of these are important, I guess my unconscious is now telling me, enough is enough. Get to work. You need to water your plants (“art”) that are so thin right now that they’re almost dead. That’s how I’m reading this dream. Get back to work. Get back into the water.