(It’s driving me nuts, not being able to illustrate a post except with video!)
Much of my fiction writing is brewed up in dreams. I have a gift for vivid dreaming. But I had one last night that I’ll be hard put to find a practical use for.
I dreamt that Father Brown came to visit, and Patty and I decided to entertain him by taking him to our favorite place for observing turtles, frogs, and salamanders. In real life this is a railroad cut converted to a kind of park, but in the dream it was much grander, with towering walls, winding streams, high stands of reeds, etc.
I went on ahead in our handy little rowboat while the others stayed to admire something. By and by I spied a turtle trap under the water, so I pulled it up on land to let the turtles out–a red-eared turtle, a painted turtle, and a really fine snapping turtle. “I’ve got to bring him back to Patty and Father Brown and show him off,” I thought: “he’s a real beauty!” And then I’d release him.
Well, the world-famous priest-detective was much impressed by the snapping turtle. Just as the turtle began to calm down, along came Father Brown’s bishop–in full bishop’s regalia, of course: dreams do things their own way–and started berating him for performing Mass for “just a bunch of turtles.” Father Brown had done no such thing, but none of us could get a word in edgewise–the bishop was hopping mad, and going on like gangbusters.
And then I woke up. Drat!
It was such a vivid dream, cobbled together out of familiar elements–a place I know now, a place I knew as a boy, characters from a TV show–cobbled together into something new and rich and strange. It’s similar to what I have to do when I write a fantasy novel. The elements are not new, but the combination is.
And, as we are made in God’s image, I can’t help wondering sometimes–what does God dream?