Yesterday, as I walked with my dog over to the grocery store, a memory came, unbidden, cutting sharply into my awareness like a knife. It was of my father, a pleasant memory, they all are. Although like all memories of him there is the bittersweet twinge of the sense of loss that accompanies most thoughts of him even these many years after his passing.
The memory was of him telling me of a dream he'd had the night before. We are in the kitchen of our home on Change Islands, Newfoundland and he's telling me how he dreamt he was reading a story in his dream. The dream was vivid and he said he could remember certain words, certain turns of phrases the author had written in the story. He told me it was good story, fiction, not what he usually read and that he enjoyed it. I can picture his face now as he looked off into the distance, his pleasant face alight with the pleasure the memory was giving him. I can't believe I'd forgotten that moment until yesterday and then it came back with such a force, that moment in the kitchen seemed as clear as if it happened yesterday rather than more than twenty years ago.
Since that moment I've been driven to write the story. I remember one particular phrase that he said he'd read in the story and I've felt propelled by something larger than me to centre the story around that phrase and to write it down on paper, to record my father's dream story as though it were my own, as though I were being moved along by some force of nature, beyond my control, to write it down. I felt driven to make his dream a prophesy in a way, to make real, something that was a thought, a series of thoughts in my father's subconscious mind so many years ago.
So today I sat and wrote it. It is finished for the most part, though stories are never really finished until they hit the typewritten page of a book and are always vulnerable to further editing by their author until that moment. But the story is there, the characters are there, they are familiar, like old friends I've known in a life gone by and I wonder where they've come from, how their names flew on to the page from my fingertips, their personalities as known to me as my family and how the story, which takes place over one brief morning, came to me as if a gift from some unknown source.
So now I sit here wondering what to do with it. It's too precious to keep to myself forever, too precious to share just anywhere, too long to post here to share, and I'm at a lost what to do with it. My thought is the solution to that problem will appear as quickly as the inspiration to write the story did.
All I know is I've written a story that came from my father's dream and regardless of the opinions of others as to how good it is, it's the most precious thing I've ever written. I've completed something that I didn't even know needed to be started less than 24 hours ago and it's left me bewildered and in awe of the power of inspiration. I feel like I've a precious new gift and I am completely filled with gratitude for it.
Thank you Dad.