We think dreams are important because of their content, i.e., 'what it was like to be in the dream.' You might have been flying from planet to planet, embarrassing yourself by showing up naked to an interview or meeting your future soul mate: there's no shortage of religious, psychological and astrological interpretation of dreams.
But what about the mood of the dream, the trace it leaves after it exits your mind?
I had this long, vivid dream of visiting Paris yesterday night; landing in the airport and immediately being transported to a terribly boring lecture by a French academic who went on and on about politics and security. I can't remember a word of what he said, but I recall how his pants were too short and yet he had folded them at the bottom.
And then I went to this amazing black lives matter rally, except that it was a dance and music performance. I can't remember the words there either, but remember the power of one woman's singing in particular.
Soon it was time to go to our final destination. A cafe that was right next to another cafe – a Siamese twin cafe, so to speak. We never got there. I panicked when I couldn't see my daughter on the trip to the bus stop, she wasn't anywhere on the sidewalk. Then I saw her sitting in the front row of the bus we were going to take.
I wanted to climb the bus steps and sit next to my daughter but someone wasn't letting me in. They didn't prevent me from boarding but kept wanting to talk to me right there when all I wanted was to get inside and sit next to my daughter.
And then the dream ended.
I guess I remember more of its content than I thought I would when I started writing, but it's beginning to fade in my head. I still feel it vividly in my spine, where it's left me with a straight backed confidence that I have been drawing upon the whole day.
Dreams tell a story in the foreground, but what's as important is the mood and the posture in the background. I am going to try noticing those as carefully as the content.