Dreams and reality

For the first time in a long time I’ve been swimming in the sea. This desire for salt water came partly from walking with daughter, Hannah, of Slightly Salty Yoga fame. More though, it came as a desire to wash away a dream, a nightmare. Sleeping has always been something I am good at. Dreams can sometimes seem so real. As a child I had terrible scream myself awake nightmares, full on faces pushing themselves through wall, monsters, terror. I learned to cope by waking myself up, realising it’s only a dream, but this morning, well, trapped.


When war comes to greet you it never does so as a friend. In my dream, in my home I was barricading the windows against bombs, and then realised my children were both far away, the infrastructure had collapsed, no way to contact them, or my parents. Fear, fear, fear and hunger. But mostly fear. For my children, for my parents, for myself and Robin. I pushed myself hard for the surface of waking.

Only a dream. Only a dream. Deep breathing.

Walk. To the sea. Swim.

Small worlds of beetles basking in sunshine. A view to ease the mind. The sea, so clear, so blue.

I had taken a stone like a speckled egg. But first, into the water, and it wasn’t cold, but it did embrace and the play of the light on the waves, and the way the waves broke and spray lifted, blown back by a breeze, in rainbows, and the feel of the texture of water on my skin, and the chough that flew over, calling from the blue, and the sway and lift of the waves and the opening of the sea as I dove under waves. Bliss.

I walked the beach with the stone, then left it on the rock where the hare stone had been.

And I thought about how for some my life would seem like a dream come true. Working when I want, walking where I want, swimming in the sea. I’m lucky. And for others my dream, my nightmare, is their every day life and how, how, do they cope. To live with that fear,




To live with that fear.

And when they manage to escape it, to bring their family to safety, how will we welcome them? Please, not with closed doors, empty hands. Please, can we welcome them with love, help and try to understand.

I’ve just heard about this:Croeso Hwlffordd.

I need to get some of my books to the family who have been settled nearby. It’s a good way to learn English, through picture books. And I need to make sure I do more, to help. I’m told there’s a promises auction coming up in the autumn. It seems our council requires £9000 for each family resettled in the area. I promise now to think of something I can add to the promises auction.

Because if we don’t, then war will come to our door.

And when war comes it never comes as a friend.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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6 Responses to Dreams and reality

  1. Jane Johnson says:

    I will happily contribute to your refugee family if you locate them. x

    • Jackie says:

      I’m in touch with the people who know where they are Jane and am going to send them some of my books. They have primary school age children. Hoping to meet them so that I can ask them, is there anything they want or need. And hoping to help the people organising fund raising to raise more funds.xxx

  2. kat scanlan says:

    In the picture below that of your stone, I see a figure in the sand and the rocks, with an ancient face. I am sure there is wisdom there, and I am also sure it touched you as well. Thank you for your love for our earth and for her children. Wishing you more pleasant dreams for your immediate world, knowing that what you, and those surrounding you, do is making a difference.

  3. We talk of the war elsewhere all the time. I can not get it out of my consciousness, people running from horror and death all over the planet. I am aware I live in paradise just to not be running from crumbling worlds every minute of every day. Your dream/nightmare was terrible and your gratitude for emerging into the pleasure of your lovely surrounds, the bliss of the swim, the awareness of your impact and your pledges of help nearby was inspiring. Blessings upon you and all who respond with compassion and comfort.

  4. Bernie Bell says:

    May be helpful, re. frightening dreams – as always, Jackie, it’s with you whether you choose to post it on the blog, or not – It’s something I wrote to a friend some time ago, who had had a troubling dream.
    I had those dreams you describe, when I was a child, too – waking up, sitting straight up in bed, screaming and crying, terrified – these days, I would probably have been put on medication, and so, not have become me.
    Here it is………..

    “First of all, I very much agree about ‘Nightmares’, it’s a question of knowing what to be afraid of, and what not to be afraid of. Because something seems scary, or looks scary, doesn’t mean it is scary. Short example, without full story…..My friend D., had a dream which distressed her a great deal. Even telling us about it, had her in floods of tears, but I asked some questions, such as ” Did you actually see the little man being killed?”
    D. – “No, but I know he was”. Me – “How do you know he was?” D.- “Because the evil man was killing everyone that I care about”. Me – “But you didn’t see him kill the little man?” D. – “No”. Me -“And what was the little man doing last time you saw him?” D. “Smiling”. Me “He was smiling last time you saw him?” That is an enormous abbreviation of the whole process, but, seriously, I’m sure that what D. was seeing as a ‘Nightmare’, just wasn’t. It was a big, strong dream, to make her sit up and pay attention. That didn’t mean it was necessarily ‘frightening’. And even if they are well and truly frightening, there will be a reason for that too, but what a person has to do with Fear, is take a long hard look at it, at what it’s all about, otherwise it kills your brain and takes away your reasoning faculty. Take a good look at it, and, if necessary, tell it to go away! Indeed, as you say, nightmares are another matter. “

  5. WOL says:

    Just the other night I realized how truly terrible it would be not to have a safe place to sleep and how very lucky I am to have one. How we take such things for granted.

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