Language

On metaphors: an invitation to play

On metaphors: an invitation to play

Earlier in the month, when I wrote about fear, I also wrote about fire — the nurturing of an idea from an ember into full flame.

I’ve been carrying that image with me for several weeks, a metaphor that has felt significant because it’s a shift from the ones I’ve been working with in dreams. Last year, my dreams were full of water. Lakes, rain showers, dunk tanks, even flooded basements. Fire is a new presence I’ve been happy to welcome into this chilly season. When a metaphor shows up in a dream or on the page without my conscious intent to create it or look for it, I know my intuition is at work, asking me to notice what wants to be seen.

On drawing creative guidance from our dreams

On drawing creative guidance from our dreams

Some dreams over the years have repeatedly shown me specific places, people, or objects at significant moments in my life, and I wanted to explore what they might represent to me in the waking world. So in February, I started making the effort to write down my dreams — segments of the story, fragments of dialogue, even a single freeze-frame if that was all that remained when my alarm went off.

To my surprise, within a few weeks, an intricate image-driven language began to emerge, one I could use in conversation with my own creativity.