Tim and I often tell our dreams to each other; sometimes it helps to understand a dream (I don't mean interpret the dream) to reflect on it with him because he knows me so well. He is also very aware of his own dreams, and has a rich dream life. But we both go through dream-droughts, when it seems we are not dreaming, or not remembering our dreams as well. I haven't had a dry spell in a long time. Anyway, the following poem fits us -- and our dream-telling, so perfectly, that I felt compelled to illustrate the way it makes me feel, the way it fits around our dreams and stories and emotional lives. It's a poem byMoniza Alvi, born in 1954 in Pakistan. She grew up in England and I think she lives there now.
I envied my wife her nightly visions.
She'd lay each one proudly on the bed
like a plump, iridescent fish,
and ask me to identify it.
Some nights I'd even manage to trap
my own by concentrating hard,
submerging the net into blue-black waters.
I'd place my catch on the rippling sheet.
So we'd have our own two fish, almost
indecent, nuzzling each other's mouths,
soul-fish, awkward in our hands,
hungry, as if our lives were a host
of crumbs to gulp in greedily.
They'd beat their tails very fast
until we could only see the one dream
moving between us, or feel stirring
one enormous fish, with our own lives
grieving, joyful, growing in its belly.
-- by Moniza Alvi