I’m in a restaurant and a waitress presents me with a plate with two plump tropical fish on it, one purple, the other yellow. Both are gasping for air and she hints that she’s going to pit them against each other, like a fight to the death. ‘No way!’ I say. Standing up with the plate, I go quickly to where there’s some water in a jar and splash the fish with it. They start to react and as they do, the strangest thing happens – for a moment they aren’t fish but babies and me stroking water around their mouths and necks brings them back to life. Then they’re fish again. I see an aquarium I can tip them into, and as they go into it I know that both of them will survive.
When I associated around this dream, I saw that it was about my two current creative ‘babies’; my third novel and my nonfiction book, which I’m trying to write simultaneously. For many weeks before this dream, I’d basically ignored the novel as I was working on the nonfiction book really intensively. And I kept hearing myself saying to friends, I’m not sure I can write two books at once and be a mother and teach my workshops and weekend courses! But this dream clarified for me that I’m not willing to let it become an either/or situation – a case of letting one book flourish while the other dies. No way!
The day after this dream, I sat down with my neglected novel and had a fabulous time getting back into it again. I felt fresh and revived, and the writing flew along. Novel scenes are so much faster to write than doing academic-style research and gathering sources! It was a breath of fresh air. So there you go – an example of how dreams can help us understand how we really feel about something, and galvanise our creativity. Just wanted to share it.