Art by Giovani Zanolino, Curaçao
Kezia Kamenetz
I was put on this earth to help dreams become a thing!
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Feelings and Dreams

By Kezia Kamenetz

The dreams that come to you at night provide you with a taste of what it is like to be you


After seven years of intently studying my dreams, I have come back to this question again and again – if a dream is a thing, what kind of a thing is it? It is not an animal, a vegetable, or mineral. Is it more like an idea, like love?


In one sense, a dream is the vision that each of us carries, an image of our life as it could be. A dream can be strong enough to guide us through the darkest passages, it can burn the fire of passion in our bellies and put our flimsy little lives in precarious situations.


Dreams that come at night can seem a million miles away from our dreams of fame or fortune.  More often than not we find our sleep interrupted by horrifying spurts of the mundane – feeling stressed out at work, missing the train, nervously fumbling through bags to locate cell phones. Does Dr. King’s sense of a dream have something to do with these frustrating glimpses into our everyday lives?


Often dreams like this are tossed to the side like garbage, assumed to be some kind of strange side effect of having a brain. We objectify them in this way so that we can feel justified in ignoring or forgetting dreams. And still dreams manage to penetrate, waking us with a burning question or damp eyes. But if a dream is neither wholly an idea nor wholly an object – then what is it?


A dream can be a fleeting moment, quiet as a passing memory or a falling leaf. A dream can be an enormous and completely breathtaking production, transporting us to an alternate planet. A dream can be so many things, but there is one thing that it always is: a felt experience.


Dreams are pure felt experiences minus the incessant input of the outside world. Because of this, I contend they are a very precious type of felt experience, and one that should be honored and treasured. Dreams are our only opportunity to feel, and feel deeply. Dreams transpose us entirely within the world of ourselves and ourselves alone. This is precious because each of us, right in this moment, is experiencing the world in a particular way that no one else on this planet can.


The dreams that come to you at night provide you with a taste of what it is like to be you. I contend they occur for their own sake – simply to be felt. Dreams give us a glimpse of ourselves, with no regard for how we may react or judge our own felt experience. Our wounds, our fears, our mean reactions are all on full display along with our most creative visions, thoughts and memories. In their graceful and wise way, dreams patiently reveal our inner life back to us, asking us, over and again, to have the courage to be our whole selves.



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