In my dreams, I find motifs from the day that follows just as frequently as those from the days that have passed. It keeps me remembering that time is not quite the straight line we want it to be.
I use the word motif because to me it’s the theme, the inference, of dream events that gives us insight. Although there are undoubtedly visual elements to my dreams, I have always maintained that they are to be felt primarily. For me it’s the mood, the emotions, the associations—the things I just know despite not being told—that make them so powerful, just like intuition when awake. Never are prophetic dreams so clear as to be an exact copy of events like a video recording; they’re far subtler than that.
As such, I don’t realise at the time, or even upon waking, which elements are prophetic. I only know when I’m presented with those same things over the course of my day. It might be a person I haven’t thought about in ages suddenly getting in touch, a Tweet using the same language, a matching image on a flyer. It might be an attitude change in someone I see daily or a mild ailment that had no apparent warning signs. Similar to reading tarot or experiencing a bout of synchronicities, there’s just a ‘click’ and a snuggly warm sensation in the mind at the idea the universe is way more connected beneath the surface than we can grasp.
I recreate these moments in my writing through foreshadowing and subtle repetition; sometimes spotting it is even a surprise to me. A character will notice something in passing that will later become central, either symbolically or literally. I’ll select phrases that seem out of place only to become clear as the plot progresses. I’ll create little hidden loops of cause and effect. It all builds into my multi-layered approach, which perhaps the more intuitive among my readers will pick up on.
I want to present narratives that play with epiphany and underlying connection, that defy the rules of space and time in such a way that it seems like the only obvious progression. I want to demonstrate the power of the motif.
I want to present dreams you believe.