Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

Last night I had a dream I helped a man and woman pass through a portal to another side of reality. (It beats the dream I had a few weeks ago that Ray Charles had put a dead horse under my bed.) To get to the other side they had to walk through a full length mirror. In the dream I told them they would be happy and I would clean up the broken glass.

I sat down to write this morning and couldn't get the faces of the man and woman off my mind (or the dream memory of picking up the shards of broken glass.) It didn't take long before I realized the couple in my dream were the characters in my second novel which I am rewriting.

Using a full length mirror as the portal is interesting (way to go subconscious!) as I would assume it means that in looking at my own reflection (or going inward) I can give birth to new realities. That reminds me a bit of the wicked queen in Snow White (or Sleeping Beauty?) that uses her mirror to tell her the truth -- who is the fairest of them all? "Not you," the mirror responds.

Passing through the mirror portal made my characters come alive but it also broke the glass - of which I had the job of "picking up the pieces." I think that accurately reflects the process of releasing your stories into the world. While it is liberating, it is also scary and leaves you with an intense vulnerability. Who wants the reflection to answer back in a negative way?

The dream ended with me tucking the man and woman into bed. It was my childhood bed complete with my old comforter and the backdrop of bright green apple tree wallpaper. What better way of showing me my responsibility to these characters than to have me safeguarding them like a mother does her children? What is more comforting than being tucked in?

In the end there is little that distinguishes the land of imagination from our dreamworld and even reality, in all those dimensions (including the spirit world if you are so inclined to believe) we are aching to tell our stories, to make something inside us real, to experience the transformation that comes from being known. Writing is a magic wand, a truthful mirror, a way in and a way out. As the Yogis say...all is one.

Now if I can just figure out how Ray Charles got that horse under my bed...

1 comment:

lisa :) said...

Fascinating images. I'm always awed by how many writers I know that draw inspirations from dreams. (But I'm fine with you forgoing Ray Charles or the dead horse popping into any of your future work...)