Sometimes in my dreams I meet him. The artist. My soul mate. My muse. The other part who completes me.
I went trawling through the notebooks I've kept over the past few years to copy out and put these very special dreams side by side. I found seven written down, but know there are even more I didn't record.
They are lucid dreams and I'm always aware at the time of dreaming of their significance. Colours are bright, and every small detail stands out. The characters, the he and she (who feels like me), are different each time. But so real that I could describe their physical appearance. Sometimes I can tell you their names. Sometimes I can remember whole conversations I've had with them.
There's always a deep, passionate love involved, stronger than almost anything I've ever felt for anyone who is really part of my world. (With those one or two exceptional moments of blinding gloriousness that burned themselves out as quickly as they happened..) Always there's a feeling of merging of souls, of completion.
In one dream, I see bright abstract paintings in a small gallery. The shapes are so bold, colours arrest the eye. I have a poster of his art at home. The artist is a young man with wild hair. He's amazed that someone can understand his art so completely. The love I feel for him is overpowering and immediate.
In another, he's a maker of sculptures which are at the same time soft toys. I stumble across his gallery by accident in the middle of nowhere. I do not meet him in the dream, but recognise him from his work.
In another, he makes red paper lanterns. I recognise the love I have for him but do not act on it. The important thing is that I can help him with his work.
In yet another, he’s an animator. He works with black and white stick figures. I’m an artist too and add colour to his work. Strong colours – vivid red, angry slashes. The combination of his work and mine together, overlapping, superimposed, is brilliant. In work, we energise, complete each other. But I come to wonder how it is that on a personal level we never get together, he makes no move. He isn’t a handsome man but he’s attractive and I know I’d welcome his advances. When I confront him, he says he was frightened of rejection, scared we wouldn’t be able to work together if something went wrong between us. His hesitation and humility make me want him even more.
Then he’s a Sitar player, called Anand. A sensual man to whom I make love with real passion.
Then he’s a film director to my actress. He’s Jewish - solid and big as a bear and older than her. They walk along a beach, she in a filmy turquoise dress – the colour I always said my muse would wear. They’ve been missing each other by miles. She’s always rejected him because she’s been hurt by her painful childhood and her insecurity. But in the end they make love and are good together.
And then he is a favourite writer, whose novel has touched my heart. I attend a party at his house. His hand is disfigured with thalidomide. (He himself says he was “born a historical artifact” and laughs it off). He’s slim, wiry, part Indian I think. Not good looking in a conventional sense. (The me in this dream, is stocky with long brown hair and a singer!) I’m shy of him, afraid to talk to him because I’ll make a fool of myself. I also feel ashamed that I have not yet read his autobiography unlike the clever chattering people at his party. He’s public property and they know more about him than I do. The only way to fill those gaps is to get him to tell me those stories. When the party is over I stay back to help him. While we wipe the glasses I begin talking about what I liked in his book. “Don’t worry. I didn’t ask you to stay to tell me how good I am – or to wash dishes.”
So where do these dreams come from? Encouragement and affirmation to the creative part of me? (Every person in a dream is an aspect of yourself.) This is how I’ve always read them.
I wonder if anything approaching this kind of love and affirmation is possible in “real life”.
Are there really soul-mates?
How many people find theirs and have a happy ending?
My heart is hungrier for this kind of connection than it has ever been in my life.