Effie: I’ve had many memorable dreams that had had a strong influence on my emotional state and invaded my thoughts during my waking hours. One of the most vivid ones happened quite recently and has left a deep mark on me; I think about it very often. I dreamt that I went to this choreographer’s studio in hopes of being healed through kinetic repetition – healed from what, I don’t know exactly. When I met the choreographer, I couldn’t articulate what I wanted to say and I started being a bit awkward and frigid, unable to structure my sentences. The choreographer told me that for the first session, she would move and lead my body herself; all I needed to do was let go.
So she started lifting my arms, bending my waist, pulling me from one side, dropping and catching me. She then helped me into a position where I was just kneeling on the floor, back curved bending forward, forehead hovering over the floor. She asked me to close my eyes and cupped my ears with her hands. Then, the most magical, strange thing happened. With her hands over my ears, she started tapping her middle fingers and all of a sudden, I could hear Debussy’s Clair de Lune playing through my ears. I started crying and felt an inexplicable vastness, a sweet melancholy. And the strangest thing is that I’ve associated this particular piece with certain milestone moments in my life. I’ll never forget this dream – I felt profoundly cleansed that day!
Charmaine: I’ve noticed the more I engage with my dreams – through writing them down, talking about them or painting the imagery –, the more I remember them, which is why there have been so many dreams that I remember vividly and that have left an impact on my waking life. One that I often go back to is the nightmare that seems to have been a catalyst for my move from Toronto to Berlin. It emerged during a period when I was incredibly anxious about my future and experiencing inner conflicts that I found difficult to articulate.
One night, I had a long, intense dream in which I got shot in the back of my neck by two women in combat uniforms and then saw my lifeless body floating in a bathtub of blood. I woke up with tears streaming down my face and tremors of fear pulsating through my body. That day, the weight of the dream followed me everywhere. I felt deeply unwell and it became clear that I needed to change something in my life. It’s a really long story, but basically, this was one of the crucial events that led to my move to Berlin. Looking back on it, the dream seems to have brought to consciousness an aspect of my own being that I had closed out of my waking experience.