Freud called dreams “the royal road to the unconscious”. But there are other roads worth a drive…
I realized one of those roads again, while rewriting this stanza of a poem:
“then, in exhaustion
I sank down
to rest on a stump
by a dry brook…”
The last line brought to mind a dream from earlier this year. In the dream…
…I’m at a square plot of land, about an acre in size and filled with trees and dead Winter leaves.
A dry stream cuts diagonally through the plot.
I’m cutting the leaves into little bits with a lawnmower.
Though the scene felt bleak, I didn’t see the dream as negative…
New life comes from death. The dead leaves will eventually break down to fertilize the ground. By cutting the leaves into small pieces, I’m helping to speed the process. I working with nature, not against.
The stream is dry due to the season. Spring rains will come soon enough.
The poem also contains a dry stream. However, I had my doubts about the “dry brook” line and nearly cut it. It was saved when I remembered the dream.
Dreams don’t lie. So the line must be true.
Both dreams and poems are roads to the unconscious. But poems can become tainted by conscious thought, because we create them while awake. Even so, it’s still a good road—as is any other art form…
Nonetheless, I believe dreams are the purest road. The royal road.
© 2016, Michael R. Patton