by Valerie Ipson
I have a recurring dream that has baffled me for many years. No, it's not the one where I am in school and I'm lost and can't find my classes or realize I haven't been going to class at all and the semester is almost over. That was my previous recurring dream, and frankly, I'm a little concerned that I've stopped having that one because I think it was related to my desire to finish my college degree. Graduating is a real life awake dream that I still want to pursue, but is my subconscious saying the dream is dead? (I'll have to have a little talk with my subconscious, then, plus start figuring out financial aid to pay for the dream!)
Anyway, my current recurring dream has been 'curring over the last several years and it has become increasingly more disturbing. In it I have a baby. Always at least one baby, but sometimes two. So in the beginning, it was good...babies showing up in dreams is happy, fun, often delightful, but now in the dream where I have a baby, I see the baby or find the baby and realize with horror that I have not been feeding the baby. It is barely alive. I have been neglecting my baby. I immediately begin to feed it and hold it and thankfully, it is still alive.
Why? Why am I having this dream? I have eight children--a fair amount, and I also just turned 48--a fair amount. I simply am not having more children. Okay, grandkids? Well, no married kids yet, so that will have to wait. Am I neglecting my own children? I asked a few of them that and they said basically, yes, now leave us alone. Teenagers. They're so funny.
I was excited to come upon this in a book titled One Year to a Writing Life by Susan M. Tiberghien: after relating Maya Angelou's recurring dream, she writes, "I also have a recurring dream..." then she proceeds to describe MY exact dream about the baby and the not feeding and the rushing to feed and it's still alive. This is what she says, "The child is my creative self. I realize that, yes, I have been forgetting my own creativity, my inner child, but that now I am paying attention. The child is still there, still alive."
I was thrilled with this explanation. I've been neglecting my writing baby for too long. It needs my attention, it needs to be fed, and, yes, it's still alive.
I told my husband of the interpretation and he said, "Are you sure it's not that you're neglecting housework?" Husbands. They're so funny.
[NOTE: He may have a point...I was vacuuming Saturday and after vacc'ing up several shades of the always lovely Easter grass that grows in the carpet every spring, I reached down to run my finger along the corner of the entertainment center, and you guessed it, I pulled out Christmas tree pine needles. Eek!]