Dreams. What are they for? A digestive process of the mind, as it seems, often including a conscious “chewing-over” of some part or other the next day or days. But what one can remember of the detail can be altogether bewitching and extraordinary. What kind of troglodytic artist is it in the cave of the skull that can sketch out a vignette with such attention to the minutiae of scene and story? Plot, colour, a kaleidoscopic journey on an ever-changing stage, a steady focus on the refinement of one’s inner feeling . . . and yet one’s asleep. Nothing’s ever quite tied up, nothing’s ever determined . . . except as it may be at a completely buried level. The strange cinematic adventure is not confined to humans, it would seem. Other animals too appear to experience some echo of the hunt and play of the waking round, in the unconscious artform of dream.

So much of what goes on in the brain is a mystery. And so one trusts it will remain: so that whatever further progress is made on the identity map, we will never find ourselves at the end. Meanwhile a certain strangeness is a part of the everyday, or everynight; and sometimes, unexpectedly, that is where we can in truth find ourselves.


Innocently she stands,
Quietly she stands.
Now she fades,
Walking through the hall.
All that see
Whisper the tales
They’ve heard.

This is another poem by Jacqueline Campbell (see entry Feb 12, 2021), a pre-teen at home in an equipoise of the opposites. Is her lady ghost or real, substantial or dream? But then – what is dream?

Maybe it is the pre-artist at work, a back-turn of the page from conscious thought, an evolutionary gate to the broader expanse of the human. Then before they catch us up – must machines learn to dream?

Share away: