There is a surrealistic painting seen on t-shirts and mugs and posters from the late 80’s which shows a group of famous characters seated at a diner counter enjoying the lazy afternoon of a California day. James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and a varied mix of other characters populate ths cafe, hanging out as if it wee heaven’s waiting room. Some versions have all rock stars, another, movie stars; but you realize it’s a place in the artist’s imagaination where most everyone would like to drop in.
This is what a dream is to me, a surrealistic cafe where I never know whom I’ll run into, what I’ll say, or what profound lesson they may offer me. Surrealism itself comes from dreams; the disjointed stories, the many rooms within a scene, the odd characters, the fantastic abilities and the bending of time are all highlights of the art of surrealism which was initially inspired by the unreal quality of dreams.
Not all dreams have these fantastic characters from history or movies, most are populated by the people we live with, work with, know, love, hate, avoid or are drawn to; but when these fantasy figures do prevail in a dream, a very special attention should be paid to them.
When I was writing screenplays and deeply involved in movies, I used to dream of Robert Redford. I wanted to attend Sundance, learn film, write, direct, etc. from the Sundance Kid himself. In a dream, I was following him on a paper route in my childhood neighborhood and he’d turned to me, after 3 or 4 earlier encounters, and said to me, “just deliver the paper.” He meant, write the script, put it in print, and solicit it to as many customers as you can, again and again and again. I believe this was also telling me to stop my childish approach of staying close to my home, not venturing out, settling for the small change of everyday news. I never dreamt of him after that. His message was plain and blunt, “deliver the paper.”
I have had encounters with people that were so vivid and real that I almost felt I could call them that morning to discuss the scene we’d just shared. I’ve gotten workout moves from Arnold, music inspiration from Townshend, writing advice from Kerouac, and sexual encounters with Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Simpson and other starlets I’ve admired. Throughout the years I’ve had many famous meetings, from President Clinton to Madonna, who flashed me her pink panties as I ushered her out of a limo, telling me I “was in the pink,” of a particular issue at that time in my life.This is just one of the many reasons I watch my dreams every night – pure entertainment that often leaves a lasting impression, and more often than not, a lesson.
As much as I’ve worked on directing or “incubating” dreams to get specific answers to current issues, I’d never felt I got a direct response by asking specific questions, but rather, got specific answers to issues I hadn’t realized were dominant. I’ve learned that no matter how odd the answer seems, or how obtuse, it really is the answer you’re looking for, you just have to figure out the symbolism and associations as they apply to your own life.