When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself.
This is how the Shange poem in my last blog post felt to me. It "happened" to me. It touched me like cold water or a kiss.
Many of us who write have experienced blocks, where “nothing happens”, not to the writer let alone the reader. I had been feeling this while struggling to complete a play with my collaborator Evie Rappoport. My means of working through blocks is dream work.
This is a particular kind of dream work called Embodied Imagination, created and developed by Robert Bosnak, a Jungian psychoanalyst and writer. This work is done with a dream worker (a trained guide) who helps, to paraphrase Hemmingway, “something happen” to the dreamer. In a hypnogogic state, she is led to “enter” or embody significant images in her dream. From this, she develops what is called a composite, meaning the 3 or 4 significant images are practiced throughout the coming weeks. Creating new patterns and perspectives, this dream work helps me get a project underway or work through times when I feel inert.
A few days ago, in the midst of this block, I worked a dream using this method with my colleague, Kevin Connerton. And presto! The next morning I woke up with ideas for the final act of our play. I then wrote the final act. This type of dream work shakes up the unconscious in some way that allows new ideas to emerge. This dream work facilitates creation.