Was it Borges that said a writer looks to dreams for fiction?

Without writing down all the details of a dream last night–though it is still as sharp and clear to me even now–the basic action was this: My husband and I were out driving, pulled into a huge parking lot in front of some sprawling corporate building and we went in, he changing his clothes on the way, planning to go in for an interview.  While waiting, I wandered the offices, warehouses, met young women who befriended me (though in two groups, one of which warned me about the other).  These girls told me that I was a definite for the job of one of their much-loved bosses, and wouldn’t listen when I said I wasn’t here for a job (now here’s that odd twist that dreams can take), but that I was waiting for my father who was here for an interview.

We walked through an aisle between cubicles and just rounded a corner as my sister (the suddenly not-so-nice one) went into one of the offices and I heard her start to tell them that I’ve given her terrible grief in the last few years.  I became upset, told the women that I would now not likely get the position and didn’t want to explain it all, and asked them to help me find my father. Outside, I found him waiting for me, shirtless and in summer shorts, and he told me that he was made an offer.  He looked excited about it, proud.  Then he said, "But I don’t know.  I’m ninety years old."  I hugged him, and the all too familiar feeling of fragility, of bones without youth’s padding was as vivid as I remember the reality.  I can feel it now within my arms if I just think about it.  We went to look for the car and he stopped and took me over to desks and chairs and equipment all piled up and he wanted to show me something they’d told him to take.  It was a flattened out old style phone that acted like a computer.  He unhooked the wires and we left.

Now I don’t believe in dreams predicting the future.  Rather, I feel that they reflect perhaps past, perhaps current situations that are unresolved in reality.  Metaphors abound, however it is not difficult to see who or what represents particular ideas. Stress sometimes shuts down logical thinking and yet the subconscious mind manages to whip up a new wardrobe, a new setting, a thinly disguised plot, and fling the actors back onstage.

So do dreams provide resource for fiction, or does reality provide resource for dreams?   

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1 Response to WRITING & REALITY?: Vision

  1. creechman says:

    Your dreams are quiet waves lapping upon soft sand, compared to mine.

    Reading meaning into them is good, right until the shower – when reality hits you with spray.


    t.s. eliot

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