Seven years ago, I taught my first four-week dream interpretation workshop. It was a dream come true—literally. Here’s the story of the dream behind the dream.
In 2013, I enrolled in the Advanced Writing Program for Creative Non-fiction at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. My favorite course was Experimental Essay. Each week we were tasked to write a paper using a creative format.
When I was stumped for a topic, I often turned to my dreams for suggestions. They never let me down. One essay I called “My Muse.” In it, I explained how twice Tom Hanks had appeared in my dreams. The dreams were quite memorable, lavish in vivid details. By working with the dream symbols, I discovered my topic.
Many times, we were asked to share essays with our peers to solicit comments. When my classmates read my essay inspired by Tom Hanks, they protested. They argued I’d breached the wall of creative non-fiction; clearly, my essay was fiction. They wondered; how could anyone get answers from their dreams? Nothing I said could convince them of the power of dreams. That’s when I knew I would someday teach dream interpretation.
I received an “A” for my essay which was written using only one sentence. Please enjoy the essay!
My nighttime dreams often deliver the answers to my daytime puzzles, so several weeks ago, before falling asleep, I set an intention for the topic of my next essay to be born within my dream, which resulted in two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks staging nocturnal appearances for a series of nights, and I accepted him as my muse, processing the sign from different perspectives, including reviewing his filmography ending with his recent movie “Captain Phillips,” a story in which Somalian pirates hijack an unarmed, merchant ship captained by Richard Phillips (Hanks), which led me to imagine stereotypical pirate traits: a squawking parrot perched on the shoulder of a rum-soaked, whiskery buccaneer with a peg leg and a black leather patch over one eye, then — voilà —I had my essay topic: the yin and yang of my odd eyeball that required me to wear an eye patch as a child; I earned an “A” on the paper, so I asked myself why not dip my cup back into the same creative bucket, therefore, I again set the intention of dreaming another essay topic and once more Tom Hanks emerged, insisting I consider him a close friend while he accompanied me to a swanky gift shop onboard our cruise ship, and I awoke with a strong desire to heed his advice by shortening his moniker to first initial and last name: T. Hanks…THanks…thanks—and I passed the day reckoning life’s miracles with the infinite forms of eternal bliss.