Dream-time Revelations

I had what felt like an enormously important dream last night. I had been reading a book called ‘Motherless Daughters’ before going to sleep, and I was clearly trying to resolve some of the issues it raised for me, but I am grateful for the gentle way my mind went about this process.

In the dream, I had flown to Cape Town, and walked into a house to find my mother waiting for me. I was not quite clear on which house this was – it is not one that I recognised, though it had some of the furniture of my childhood in it, and on waking reflection it seems immediately obvious that it was representative of my mind rather than a geographical place. I was at first taken aback but calm, telling her firmly that she was dead and shouldn’t be there. She smiled, and through slow conversation while she made us food I came to realise that there were two distinct beings – my mother before her death, and my mother after her death. I can’t quite distinguish particular words within the dream, though some of the images (her hands spreading butter; her sorrowful-warm-loving smile) and realisations are very sharp. I felt very sad when I learnt that she could not leave the house and others could not see her – I expressed concern for her loneliness, and that of her partner Dirk, but she explained that they had to travel separate roads now, and that was difficult but could not be changed, and must thus be accepted.

I gradually came to understand that she was now my internalised mother – she was the mother I was learning to be for myself. I woke feeling grateful for having had time with her again – having heard her voice, felt her touch, and being comforted by her continued existence, in whatever form. It felt like a gift I had given myself in the night.

7 thoughts on “Dream-time Revelations

  1. Laurel – a beautiful dream, if hard. I find Mom alive in my dreams too, although I also realize in my dreams that she is dead, and can’t come back. I love the way that dreams can hold those ambiguities, and provide a place where the impossible is possible, and as you comment, provide a place for us to process our subconscious.
    Love Elin

  2. How beautiful. So interesting that she was preparing food for you – symbolic, perhaps, of how she continues to nourish you in so many ways. I was also reminded of a very short, simple poem by Jeanne Willis I read a few weeks ago, and just found again to share with you (it’s childlike in style, but not childish in its meaning, I think):

    Where do people go to when they die?
    Somewhere down below or in the sky?
    I can’t be sure, said Grandad, but it seems
    They simply set up home inside our dreams.

  3. Laurel, what a beautiful dream and your reflection on it feels right too. I seem to remember that in some Jungian variants that houses represent the architecture of the self, so yes, in this view, dream Tessa is you as mother for yourself, and what a lovely nurturing and sensible mother that is. Now imagine how warmed real Tessa would have been had she heard that dream!

  4. What an incredibly beautiful dream, such a special connection.
    The way you tell it and how your writing draws me into the dream creates such a perfect picture of your mother and yourself. Caring, loving, heartfelt and such warm hearted people.
    I feel you are so so lucky to experience this, such a special gift. It has been a long time since I can remember my dreams. Wondering if I do still dream or do I just not remember them. But after reading this dream, I have become positive and hopeful that my dreams will once again flow.
    Thank you

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