A beautiful project by German designer Maria Fischer captures the mystery and intangibility of our dreams and their fleeting connections. Weaving thread throughout the pages, she links the words of literary, philosophical, psychological, and scientific texts on dream theory.
Her book Traumgedanken (Thoughts on Dreams) ” is designed as a model of a dream about dreaming. Analogue to a dream, where pieces of reality are assembled to build a story, it brings different text excerpts together. They are connected by threads which tie in with certain key words. The threads visualise the confusion and fragileness of dreams.”
A wonderful description of the project is here, via TOM.
Lately, bits of German have begun to peek through my dreams. After several years of studying the language, to have a phrase, sentence, even a conversation appear in my dreams feels like I have passed a sacred milestone. Looking a bit more into the link between language learning and dreams, I found this New York Times article, which reads:
“…dreamtime fluency is a metaphor for becoming an insider, someone for whom the language isn’t foreign and whose own nativeness is neither feat nor achievement; it just is, as natural as breathing.”
I wish I could say German is no longer foreign, but that probably won’t be the case for many years. One curious thing, until the last six months I have never thought about language consciously while dreaming – in what I assume was English, my native language. Something about the appearance of German in my dreams causes me to actually register the change. It’s an “Aha, this is something different, but I know it” moment. Strange, isn’t it? Do you speak any other languages? Have they ever appeared in your dreams? (image via)
The English expression “to fall asleep” is apt because the transition between waking and sleeping is a gradual drop from one state of being into another, a giving up of full self-consciousness for unconsciousness or for the altered consciousness of dreams. Except in cases of exhaustion or with the aid of drugs, the movement from one world to another is not instantaneous; it takes a little time. Full waking self-consciousness begins to loosen and unravel.
— Siri Hustvedt, in the NYT article All-Nighters: Failing to Fall (via The Literary Piano)
The horrible ‘here’, the dark dungeon, in which a relentlessly howling heart is encarcerated, this ‘here’ holds and constricts me. But what gleams shine through at night, and what—. It exists, my dream world, it must exist, since, surely there must be an original of the clumsy copy. Dreamy, round, and blue, it turns slowly toward me. It is as if you are lying supine, with eyes closed, on an overcast day, and suddenly the gloom stirs under your eyelids, and slowly becomes first a langorous smile, then a warm feeling of contentment, and you know that the sun has come out from behind the clouds. With just such a feeling my world begins: the misty air gradually clears, and it is suffused with such radiant, tremulous kindness, and my soul expanses so freely in its native realm. —But then what, then what?
— Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
This video tells the story of an beautiful dream, to make a book that encouraged kids to dream amazing dream. It’s the story of An Awesome Book written, illustrated, and published by Dallas Clayton. See the whole book here.