THIS IS the dream catcher that hangs over the bed where I sleep. Last night it seemed to be faulty.
I woke in the early hours, tired after a long day, worried about work and another busy week.
Some native American tribes believed dream catchers filter dreams. Fashioned to look like a spider’s web, they were intended to catch any harm that might be in the air, as a spider’s web catches and holds whatever comes in contact with it. Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing in daylight, while the feathers served as a soft ladder for the good dreams to glide down and gently enter the dreamer’s mind.
I don’t actually believe the dream catcher is capable of this – it is just a beautiful, handmade decoration. But on nights like this it would be lovely to think so.
I was awake for quite a while, finally weary enough to sleep again, only to sleep through my alarm and rise much later than usual, so I had no time for the Morning Pages exercise of The Artist’s Way, for the first time in ten weeks. Though not always easy, I have found keeping the discipline of writing three A4 pages a day very helpful. Having missed it I felt more anxious and ungrounded, and I recognised that I felt that way more often before I began the twelve week creativity course.
Sometimes sleep can help with creativity, sometimes hinder it. Dreams can bring inspiration – I have experienced waking in the early hours to write a fully formed poem or realise a solution to a problem. Rest can promote more creative energy.
Yet I recognise that sometimes it can also be a block. Most Fridays I ‘work from home’ (sometimes literally, sometimes euphemistically). I run an LGBT youth group on Monday to Thursday, working between 7 and 12 hours a day. On Fridays I plan to work on other projects but the work of the week can catch up with me and leave me tired. I have at times been tempted to have a siesta for an hour or two when a walk around the nearby park might be more effective in re-energising me to continue. Sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s what my body really needs, or if it’s a subtle form of resistance or procrastination.