The artist Simon Lewty makes art from his dreams. He writes them out in beautiful copperplate script. Gorgeous lines of ink. The writing out of them makes them memorable, encourages, stimulates a memory that would not have been, perhaps. My dreams over the last few days have been so lucid. Is it because I have started writing again? Both my parents have featured. We have spoken normally, always knocking me for six when I wake up and the realisation of their death hits home. Yesterday afternoon I dreamt of being with my father. We were abroad, in Italy, the light was right but the B&B was different, too twee, too frou-frou to be Italian. He needed to buy a ticket and the office, part of a coach firm called Fares was outside of the city. I remember walking upstairs in the B&B and watching the light coming in from a skylight. A hot, yellow light. And I thought with pleasure of my walk in the morning. I found him outside the ticket office sitting in the sun on the ground. I’d asked him the time and looked at my watch at the same time. Seven o’clock, he said. I looked at my watch and the hands were spinning wildly, madly backwards. The dream last night was of me needing to buy perfume and of being in a huge department store, the size of Harrods. I was accompanied by a lover (an amalgam of past and present loves) whom I lost. I unrolled a felt container full of phials and bottles of perfume, smelling each one. I can recall the odours of them. And then, all of sudden I didn’t have perfume but jewellery, with two rings on my fingers. They were wrong. The hands were wrong, the rings way too ornate for my taste.
Often in dreams I have looked in mirrors and not seen my face but that of a stranger’s. The ancient Greeks thought that dreams were visitations from the Gods. For me they seem to be a working through the concerns of the day. I can see all the connections. And yet, the complexity of the narrative is fascinating.
I’ve begun writing again. It is turgid, gloopy stuff. I need to get back into my stride. I talk it through with him. He is patient, happy to listen and offer up encouragement. Talking stops it festering. Festering that fear of not being good enough, of being foolish for trying. But surely if one writes everyday, keeps going, something worthy will come through.
I go to bed in the light and rise in the dark. Topsy-turvy. I could hear children’s voices in play last night as I lay in bed. The light on the tree was golden. The sky was azure. This morning is cold, nipping at fingers. My puffa gilet under my coat for extra layers. The town has emptied since the weekend. Day-trippers and holidaymakers for now subsided. He is happy. He hates such an invasion of his home-town. Work soon. I shall do what I can before. Drip, drip.
She came through the door heavy with grief. Grey around the eyes. Her country lost. A dictatorship. It is a dictatorship, she said. What could I say? What can I say? We spoke in clichés, I offered up hope, vague but sincere. She took it briefly. All I can do is write about it, she said. Yes, I said, write it out.