“Lay completely still, on your side
or on your back. Never on your stomach;
you might breathe in another’s dreams.”
This is a single stanza from Andrea MacPherson’s longer poem,”Directions For Sleep (Variations From An Insomniac).” It opens the poem and sets the mood for the stanzas that follow. The poem is found in Grain, a Canadian poetry publication.
The idea of breathing in someone else’s dreams is a beautiful image. It reminds us of sharing earbuds with a friend, as you listen to your most recent download. You are both able to enjoy the moment inside your head without sharing a formal experience – fictitious intimacy.
It’s interesting that MacPherson chose the face-to-the-pillow pose, as the position that would most likely lead to dream-theft.
Maybe dreams, once realized, are discarded on our pillows as subconscious waste, left for another to inhale.
Without drawing obvious parallels to the film “Inception,” what if we were able to occupy the dreams of another? Would we be disgusted? Would we act on our voyeuristic instincts, attempting to take in as much information as possible before leaving? Or would we want to leave as soon as possible, returning to our own subconscious reality?
What matters, is that MacPherson has created an intriguing possibility out of a simple sleeping guide. So choose your position tonight wisely. You could be breathing in more than you hoped for.