“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” Marsha Norman
This statement is a philosopher’s dream! And not just because one could be picky about the words of the quote (ie. What is a dream? What is the soul?).
Appearing occasionally as that quote when one posts a WordPress post, I find Marsha Norman’s words inspiring for a number of reasons. The first is because it is deep in showing the positive side of writing and how it penetrates into one’s life. As with everything, practise makes perfect; here, this practise is shown through the metaphysical idea of writing coming straight from the soul.
That’s something I certainly believe in. I suspect that many of us writers have had the experience where we managed to write sentences, paragraphs even, without really knowing the words that are coming next. Indeed, it’s certainly important (at least, it was for the Roman writers I’m reading and analysing) to watch our words once they come and to make sure that they are significant to the tale – for instance, using ‘never’ rather than ‘not’ to stress the strength of a particular opinion or statement – but in that first draft or first design, we just let the ideas pour through our fingers onto the page.
It’s not like we plan ahead for everything – it’s human nature to go along with the ride sometimes. My internal monologue is narrating it as I go along, but, for most posts on my blog, it’s rare that I think about the words I’m going to type at least ten minutes beforehand. And, in those moments, it’s normally because I have no way of writing down whatever is buzzing around in my head.
Thus, we get characters who turn out to be people we never set out for them to be. I just recently found out that my MC’s fiancé is an arrogant snob. Figures. (Though I can’t say I wasn’t warned!)
All these things show that our ability to write is being led by something more – perhaps an internal sense of story that we all possess inside ourselves. I like to think that emotion and empathy come from this same existence, too. Dreams are amazing to experience, in my opinion, even those we hate during or after we are processing through them. They certainly have a sense of motion, of moving through times and places, even if those such things are hazy. I find it fascinating, from a perceptual-science point of view, that our mind can convince us to believe the madness of a dream we are going through is more or less reality. This needs some kind of reason, in my opinion. And what better a reason than that the soul wants to reveal part of this book it is writing, like a cover-artist passing along drafts of their illustrations.
Finally, I just want to add that dreams could well be illustrations from the soul. As you might know, it is my belief that the soul is a metaphysical entity, from that comes ‘heart’ in the emotional sense – and the mind is metaphysical, too. Thus, if dreams come from our minds, it makes logical sense that our dreams are pictorially connected to our souls.
Overall, the quote is really a very beautiful idea (I always find the concept of internal metaphysics a very poetic and silky topic), that we are all characters of ourselves, we all have a story to tell, even if it’s one we only subconsciously know, through our souls.