CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 21 . . . .June 24, 2005
In the introductory chapter, Kay Stone states that "this is a subjective, poetic quest and not a rhetorical exploration of the psychology of dreams and dreaming. My guiding thought throughout is that the dreamer is an artist." (p. 3) Kay, a folklorist and storyteller residing in Winnipeg, MB, dreams vivid dreams and images which she has contemplated, discussed and analyzed throughout her life time. She invites the reader into these discussions in an accessible, warm and confiding tone; making a convincing argument as the reader is taken into her dreams, and those of others, and into the deliberations and the folkloric connections with the dexterity of a well told tale.
The book is divided into three sections. She first explores biographical stories, both her own and others who have been active participants in Kay's journey to understand and appreciate the power of dreams. Folktales are the focus of the second section where she considers the dream-like qualities of many familiar, and not so familiar, tales. Kay pays particular attention to tales of beasts, frogs, tricksters, witches and transformations. The third section, "Dream Worlds," appraises the artistic values of the dreams and invokes these expressions, through lucid dreams, into waking life. Her journey, and that of the reader, is one of discovery, anticipation, and understanding. It is a journey that becomes even more introspective as the reader begins to contemplate the dreams (or lack of them) for him/her selves.
Kay firmly believes that dreams are an artistic creation that can be harnessed, but perhaps not tamed. She contends also that the images and messages contained within folktales are lessons for our subconscious to ponder and act upon. What is necessary is to comprehend these lessons and implement them in our daily lives. This can be done by remembering, recording and articulating the dreams. It also doesn't hurt to be familiar with the universe of folktales to aid in the articulation process.
While highly autobiographical, Kay's musings about her dreams and their relevance to both her life and various folktales brings awareness of the creative aspect of dreaming. She discusses, among other topics, unresolved dreams and the challenges they present in order to decode their meanings, the aptness of various and varied interpretations offered for dreams and folktales, as well as the work of Jung, Freud and Joseph Campbell. She presents her methodology, and its ongoing development, for contemplating the images in the dreams. Rounding out Kay's ponderings are poetic renderings of her dreams created by poet Tanis MacDonald.
This is a book for dreamers, storytellers, and artists. It is also a book recommended for repeat visits. Educators will find numerous possibilities for connections to language arts, creative arts and health awareness. While the book is placed in the "Professional Category," high school students (who discuss dreams all the time) would find it an interesting read.
Gail de Vos is a storyteller and author of seven books on storytelling and folklore. She teaches storytelling in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.