The BFG settled himself comfortably in his chair and crossed his legs. “Dreams,” he said, “is very mysterious things. They is floating around in the air like little wispy-misty bubbles. And all the time they is searching for sleeping people.”
from The BFG
by Roald Dahl
illustrated by Quentin Blake
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1982
We all know where dreams come from. Something happens during the day that we forget about, then at night, asleep, a dream comes. It can start out seeming ordinary, but usually takes a veer off toward weird. That’s imagination. One time my dream was a literal interpretation of a common expression I heard and thought about.
I took a class not too long ago called “LaShone HaRah,” Hebrew for Evil Speech. The object, of course, is to teach ourselves not to engage in that behavior. It hurts the person being talked about, the person telling the tale, and the person doing the listening, too. In my dream, I struggled to put out a fire in my ears. They were literally on fire! Maybe I felt like the object of a rumor. My ears were burning.
This explanation is pretty different from the BFG’s understanding. I like his way of explaining dreams (the night kind and maybe even the day kind) floating around looking for the right person to visit.
When I was young, I dreamed of being a famous writer. I made up lots of bad stories and wrote original, angsty poetry. When I signed my name on a homework paper or spelling test, I imagined myself autographing a best-selling novel. Always in front of a huge line of fans. In my imagination I was important. Someone once told me that a goal is a dream with a deadline. So my girl-dreams are becoming goals. I’m setting my own deadlines. Daydreams are important.
Night dreams are important, too. They say dreams help us work out problems and troubles. Trouble is, for me, at least, I often don’t remember my dreams so I have to trust that my dreaming self is taking care of things for me.
The BFG is coming to the big screen on Friday. It’s about dreams. The BFG is a dream-blowing giant. He is the vehicle our dreams use to find us. It’s also about trust and friendship, things that we can’t see, but know are there. It’s about having courage and smarts to make a plan and follow through.
Kinda like our Founding Fathers? Their and our best dreams will come true with a good plan, good people to carry it out, and trust in the forces of good that we can’t see. A deadline couldn’t hurt, either.