When I go to bed, I often try to think about a problem with a painting. Then my consciousness runs another stream in the background. Before I fall asleep, the solution to the problem occurs to me–‘ah ha!’ Sometimes the solution comes in the morning, and sometimes it doesn’t come.
However, as interesting as this is, it isn’t dreaming–not real dreaming. I have vivid dreams occasionally. Often these powerful dreams seem prophetic but, as I’ve learned time and again, they’re not.
Last night, I dreamed I was trying to get home and found myself in a labyrinth of various buildings. After many dead ends, I emerged in a large building in Spain filled with art and artists. I thought it was an art cooperative. Because it had an etching press, I agreed to join. But as I learned more, I realized it was a school, not a co-op. Because they were so nice and anxious for me to join, I didn’t have the heart to tell them I had no interest. A middle-aged woman took me aside and with her hand on my arm said, “I am ready to take another man.” (I’ve noticed this before. A woman decides a man is right for her and then assumes that her decision settles the matter. The man has no say.) I smiled and nodded and determined to get out of there. I still thought Spain was nice as I awoke.
My maternal grandmother, Bess Ramey Arnett, had prophetic dreams. Once, she dreamed she was standing on a bridge looking down into the water of a fast-running river. Beneath the surface of the water was a stampede of white horses all galloping in the same direction. The dream made a powerful impression on Bess.
That week, her brother-in-law was on a fishing trip in Tennessee and went missing. The boat capsized; his two companions made it to shore but her brother-law was missing.
Bess accompanied her sister to Tennessee to look for her husband. They met the authorities on a bridge over a river that fed the lake were the incident occurred. It was the bridge she stood on in her dream. She knew then that her brother-in-law was dead. They found his drowned body soon afterwards.