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  • Antony Wilder

Exploring the Wisdom of Your Dreams. Parnonas Artist Residency, Greece.

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Marc Chagall, 'The Concert', (1957).

Dreams are enigmatic and captivating, painting a vivid landscape of surreal narratives that often defy the logic of our waking world. Within dreams, our perceptions shift, boundaries blur, and a limitless universe of possibilities emerges. By embracing the act of recording and engaging with our dreams through writing, we can tap into the profound wisdom and creative power that lie within our nighttime visions.

A dream journal becomes a gateway to an inner journey, a vessel that transports us from the confines of our waking hours into the boundless expanses of our souls. Each dream is a tapestry woven from various elements, like scattered puzzle pieces waiting to be assembled. To truly comprehend the essence of our dreams, we must break them down into their fundamental building blocks.

Drawing inspiration from the legendary artist Marc Chagall, who often portrayed dreamlike scenes in his paintings, we can appreciate the transformative potential of dreams. Chagall understood that dreams have their reality and follow their unique logic. Like Chagall's artwork, dreams re-contextualise our limited, linear world into an elastic, expansive universe where imagination knows no bounds.

List your dream narrative's people, animals, objects, settings, actions, emotions, and sensations. Leave ample space in your journal to describe and define each element's characteristics, actions, functions, and memories.

Once you have deconstructed the dream and examined its components, select the most intriguing or puzzling image as a writing prompt for a five-minute writing sprint. Please take a moment to describe the image as it appears in the waking world and then delve into its alternate existence within your dream.

Imagine yourself as an observer from a foreign culture or an extraterrestrial realm devoid of preconceived notions about our world. Gaze deeply into the image, allowing yourself to touch, feel, and listen. Contemplate the idea with a beginner's mind, exploring the vast associations and memories it may evoke.

Release the constraints of conscious, rational thought and let a stream of consciousness flow freely. Allow your words to emerge spontaneously, without the interference of your logical mind. Riffs and ruminations become your guides, leading you through the uncharted terrain of your unconscious and enriching your reflective thinking.

Undertaking this journey requires tenacity and courage. It is an arduous path that may confront you with your vulnerabilities, flaws, and hidden aspects. Your journaling practice may expose the parts of yourself you tend to repress or deny. But it also calls you to open your heart, confront your fears, and dance with your demons. Through this process, you'll acknowledge not only your shadows but also your gifts, talents, and the radiant beauty and wisdom that reside within.

As you continue journaling, you will sail to the edges of your known world and venture beyond. The terrain may be unfamiliar and even harrowing at times. Yet, with each entry, you'll unveil new layers of self-awareness, unlocking the secrets and treasures of your inner being. Your dream journal becomes a sacred space where you engage with the saints and sinners within you, embracing the full spectrum of your humanity.

In this pursuit, you will create a portrait of your inner landscape that illuminates the depths of your soul and reveals the richness of your experiences. So, embark on this courageous exploration, traverse the mysterious realms of your dreams, and uncover the wisdom that awaits within. Your dreams hold the keys to self-discovery and self-expression, offering a profound connection to the mysterious dimensions of your existence.

Chagall once said, "If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing." Embrace the magic of your dreams, and let them guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery and creative expression.

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