I started plotting my nighttime dreams when I was a child. Western dramas were popular on television then, so the dream setting was often a ranch in the Ponderosa pines or in a big valley. Action included plenty of horseback riding. I wore cowboy boots, a fringed gaucho skirt, and a felt hat with a wide brim.
Specific action details have long ago faded, but one aspect was constant—in the dream I often predicted the future that later came true in another dream scene. Even then, somehow I recognized the unlimited power of the mind.
In 2002, I set about writing my first novel—a mystery. The heroine was having recurring nightmares where she found herself in ever-increasing danger. To learn more about the dream messages, she conducted extensive library research and joined a dream interpretation group. As the author, I did the same. I learned about the many layers and multiple meanings of each dream.
In 2014, I entered a graduate school program to learn to write creative non-fiction. I began to call on the power of my dreams to help me with my work. This is one of those essays, written in one sentence, as my class assignment dictated.
My nighttime dreams often deliver the answers to my daytime puzzles, so several weeks ago, before falling asleep, I set an intention for the topic of my next essay to be born within my dream, which resulted in two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks staging nocturnal appearances for a series of nights, and I accepted him as my muse, processing the sign from different perspectives, including reviewing his filmography ending with his recent movie “Captain Phillips,” a story in which Somalian pirates hijack an unarmed, merchant ship captained by Richard Phillips (Hanks), which led me to imagine stereotypical pirate traits: a squawking parrot perched on the shoulder of a rum-soaked, whiskery buccaneer with a peg leg and a black leather patch over one eye, then — voilà —I had my essay topic: the yin and yang of my odd eyeball that required me to wear an eye patch as a child; I earned an “A” on the paper, so I asked myself why not dip my cup back into the same creative bucket, therefore, I again set the intention of dreaming another essay topic and once more Tom Hanks emerged, insisting I consider him a close friend while he accompanied me to a swanky gift shop onboard our cruise ship, and I awoke with a strong desire to heed his advice by shortening his moniker to first initial and last name: T. Hanks…THanks…thanks—and I passed the day reckoning life’s miracles with the infinite forms of eternal bliss.
Now I conduct dream interpretation workshops so people interested in connecting to these wiser messages can learn to understand their own dream symbols. Everyone can learn how to interpret a dream, and with practice, you can help others to understand their dreams also.