Dreaming with Lidia Tremblay, Canada

Lidia, when did you start taking notice of your dreams and why?

My first memorable dream came to me in the winter off 1968. Yes, that was a long time ago wasn’t it? It was so clear and remarkable, I’ve never forgotten it, even though it was another couple of decades before I began to keep a journal.

Do you record your dreams every morning? Why do you find it important to keep a dream journal?

Yes, I record my dream every morning. It’s exciting to live through the dream adventures. It’s the other side of my life – why should it be ignored? Someone asked  me once why I keep a journal and here was my reply:

Dreams are intensely personal and unique experiences. What you dream only happens to you and then only once. By writing this down, I keep that experience alive forever.

Dreams that are shared, according to Native tradition, benefit others. I discovered that at times my dreams had more meaning to others than they did to me.

Over time, my dreams have shown me patterns my life has been undergoing. If I hadn't written them down I would have lost important life lessons.

Dreams take me on nightly journeys and vacations which I enjoy hugely even if I don't remember them all.

In writing these experiences down, I exercise my power of recall, which I hope will stand me in good stead in my later life.

I enjoy writing, and dreams provide me with unique material.

In learning how to interpret the landscape of dreams, I find myself more equipped to deal with "real" life.

I find that writing down what I can helps me remember more details, and subsequently, more dreams.

Finally, dreams are fun, and I like to remember that whenever I can. 

As a child you moved with your family from Europe to Venezuela to finally settle in Canada. How did these upheavals at such an early age affect your waking and dreaming life?

I’m not quite sure how to answer this question. I was a child, and went wherever my parents did, no questions asked. By the time I came to Canada in 1953, I was old enough to recognize how difficult this was on my parents, going from one culture to another, each one being so different from the one they were so accustomed to. As for my own views, I would say they were first coloured by my parents’ views, and as stability became more of a reality, I began to develop my own personality. I suppose that would have happened anyways as I grew up.

I don’t recall my parents talking much about dreams. My mother once mentioned that whenever she dreamed about losing a tooth, it signified a major move in her life. Her words didn’t mean anything to me at that time, because I didn’t really know what ‘dreams’ were. Only after I began paying attention to my own did I recall her sharing.

It was my daughter who got me interested in starting a dream journal. She shared some of her dreams with me and it was suddenly as though a lightbulb went off in my mind. Oh yes, of course! Why have I been ignoring this for so long!? And that’s when I began to write dreams down.

You now live in a mid-sized Canadian city of Hamilton. Is there a dreaming community in your city? Do you participate in it? In what ways? Do you think that people in Canada and in Hamilton are interested in dreams? 

Oh yes, there is a dreaming community here. We don’t meet in person all that often – my current medical issues make it difficult for me to get out. However, we often share our dreams through a Facebook Group, and share our comments there. Of course, the International Association for the Study of Dreams has a large contingent of followers in the area, and I do make an effort to attend the seminars, workshops and conventions whenever I can. I cannot speak for the rest of Canada, but I do know that in the region where I live, many people are deeply interested in dreams.

Do you think it is important to share dreams with others? Do you share dreams in your family? Why?

Absolutely, yes, it’s important to share dreams with others! Long before I learned the meaning of the words, ‘if it were my dream’ I shared and encouraged my friends and family to share dreams even as I shared mine with them. I still am surprised that when I share a dream, totally unconnected people would say that the dream speaks to them, that I had dreamed it for their benefit.

I would like to share one such experience here – a few years ago, I started sharing my dreams with my father. He was in his late 90’s then, and at first scoffed at my interest. Then, as the visits went on over time, he began to share his dreams with me. They were intensely personal, and always involved people, relatives that have passed on – his parents, my brother who has lost his life at age 18, and finally, only about a month or so ago, he told me a dream involving my mother. They led a very turbulent marriage, and this dream brought new-found peace to him. In this dream, they talked, and reconciled. It was beautiful to hear, beautiful to experience. I’ll never forget it.

I believe people have different dreaming styles: some have frequent lucid dreams, others have many precognitive dreams, I know a few who have very magical dreams. How would you describe your dreams? 

In a word, overwhelming! It’s a seldom day that I don’t recall a dream from the night before. I have had many lucid dreams where I fly, many magical dreams, but very few precognitive ones. With the dreams being there so often, it’s all I can do to record them, never mind analyze or work through them on individual basis.

However, I can detect patterns in the dreams, and they seem to be like a map. For instance, I would say that in 2012, it was The Year of Flight, with so many dreams introducing me to this wonderous freedom. 2015 was The Year of Festivals, and last year, The Year of Magic. 2017 so far is The Year of Children, since the majority of dreams involved me being with children. Lately, it’s been Children and Teachers where I’m either teaching or learning.

It’s only in retrospect that I can see these patterns.

Your dreams read like beautiful stories with lots of amazing details. Have your dreams always been like that or have they evolved over the years? Would you like to share one?

Thank you! I can see a slow development and evolution over the years. At first, I could remember little, but the more I wrote, the more details would become clear; the more I wrote, the more I became capable of remembering. I took this on as a discipline, setting intentions, doing dream incubations, and in doing so was able to bring back clearer memories of dreams. It’s almost as though I’m in two different places while dreaming – I’m interacting with the characters, but part of me is standing off to one side, observing all that is going on, taking note of the colours, the textures of emotions, etc. It’s that part of me that brings back the dreams to the morning, enabling me to write my adventures down.

Here’s one of my recent dreams:

October 23, 2017

Last night’s dreams, I’m quite sure, were all over the place. They seemed rather fractured with bits here, and other parts there, so what I’m writing down here is the sum of all parts put into a somewhat coherent story-line:

I am attending a political campaign for Trump, no less. My stomach is clenched as I hear him, and I try to walk away. The campaign is held on a rooftop of a skyscraper, and I know I’ll have to walk the stairs down because the elevators are locked during his speech. Nor can I get away from his words by simply going into the stairwells, because loudspeakers are set up everywhere. No one can get away until he’s done. No one, not even him, knows when that will happen. I stand in the glaring sunlight, blinded by the blaze, deafened by the pomp of his words and am at the point of passing out. Ah, but that would be sweet relief! To simply fall into myself, see nothing but darkness and hear nothing but silence!

Instead, my blurred vision catches sight of a little girl. She is dressed all in pink and white, but no amount of dressing up can hide her illness eating away at her bones and flesh. She is forced to stand, even as we all are standing, and I can see that she’s tottering her feet. I rush to her and take her into my arms before either of us collapses, then I walk boldly up to Trump and raise an old-fashioned pen at him. He stares at me in amazement as I press the button on the pen and release the ink all over his face. He looks ridiculous with the dark blue streaks dripping along his florid face, features opened in perpetual rage, anger and hatred.

I should expect to be arrested now, but no one comes my way. I now see that everyone here is paralyzed with shock, indecision, so I simply walk away with the child in my arms. As I make my way to the staircase, I hear the people come to awareness. Shouts, scuffles, even laughter of derision – all these I hear, as well as the indignation of the Naked Emperor, The Man Who Would be King. I continue going down the stairs, the little child in my arms, knowing full well it won’t be long before I’ll be caught and arrested. She looks at me, and I suddenly feel as though I’m breathing in the sweet scent of the Lily of the Valley.

But I’m not arrested. No one catches up with me. The building changes with each step into an old majestic stone castle. Below me, the walls open into a large hall lit by candles and lanterns, a huge fireplace along one wall. The hall is full of people celebrating Yule. I recognize the Scadians there, my old friends and many new ones. Even before I reach the floor, arms are already reaching out to me, to take the little girl and place her on a comfortable small couch and give her a cool drink. A goblet is placed in my hands too, and it’s only then that I realize just how far I had come. My legs give out on me and I too am placed on a cushioned chair.

After a while, I begin to wander around, greet everyone, and nibble on some dainties set out on large trays. Thus I find a small room which are very much at odds with the Medieval flare of the hall. Here I find two flat-screen monitors that are emitting a soft tangerine glow. Computers? Of course, computers! What Medieval setting wold be complete without the magic crystals there? I smile and sit down in front of the screens.  Instantly, I’m drawn into a world of high magic. The story is like a blending of Berwolfe, Lord of the Rings, and The Land! Wizards and Elves, lords of light and dark, fae and other folk inhabit these worlds made up of words. I see the story unfolding as though the characters are like jewel-toned illuminations on parchment. And behind this high magic story is a different story – a subtle, plainly written prophecy that is directed only to me.

I move back in astonishment, then start reading the screens again. It’s as though the words find their way into the deepest part of my being and are etched there, without my conscious mind remembering the words. At the same time, every word that is read disappears from the screen.

In a way I am deeply disturbed. How will I remember this prophecy? How will I be able to work on fulfilling it? The soft tangerine glow fades and the screens go dark. I sit there for a few moments until I feel ready to join the merry-makers in the great hall again, but as I go in, things again change. I am now outside, walking toward my house (the same old house I dreamed about yesterday!). There is a nearby park full of children at play and I am happy to see the little girl there, engaged in games. They all freeze as if in stasis as I approach my garden, but my attention is riveted on a patch of flowers growing right on the corner of the house – a combination of daffodils, tiger-lilies and sunflowers, all entwining around each other.

That’s strange, I think, since the flowers all grow at different seasons. I look at the sunflowers and know that they will give me tons of seeds. I caress the other flowers gently, thanking them for their beauty. Already, the powerful sensation of the prophecies is settling into me, and are taking deep roots. I know I am to simply leave them there and all will come to fruition in its own time. A call from the neighbour’s house gets my attention now.  A middle-aged woman is on a third-floor balcony closed in only by an insect screen. She loves to sit there in the sun, and does so without any clothing. She gets up in her full nude glory to wave to me and says something about the campaign, feast, prophecy and the child. Her speech seems plain, but contains all these levels of meanings. This too confuses me, and I am about to question her when she adds, ‘it won’t be long now,’ before heading back to her chair.

My head is spinning with implications of all that’s happened. I need time to think about it all and so head into the house. Fate doesn’t let me off so easily, however. Just one more thing happens before I cross the threshold – I see a silver ring with an emerald inset right by the door. I recognize the ring – it’s one I have, and it’s not emerald, but colored glass to resemble the deep green gem. The glass is broken.  I pick it up, and wonder why it’s not coming apart out of the setting – yet another mystery to add to the list of mysteries I have experienced this night.

I carry the ring, finally going into my home, and gently waking up…