To those who dream at night (ISAK DINESEN)

To those who dream at night (ISAK DINESEN)

People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue.  They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom.  It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control.  Great landscapes create themselves, long splendid views, rich and delicate colours, roads, houses, which he has never seen or heard of.  Strangers appear and are friends or enemies, although the person who dreams has never done anything about them.  The ideas of flights and pursuit are recurrent in dreams and are equally enrapturing.  Excellent witty things are said by everybody.  It is true that if remembered in the daytime they will fade and lose their sense, because they belong to a different plane, but as soon as the one who dreams lies down at night, the current is again closed and he remembers their excellence.  All the time the feeling of immense freedom is surrounding him and running through him like air and light, an unearthly bliss.  He is a privileged person, the one who has got nothing to do, but for whose enrichment and pleasure all things are brought together; the Kings of Tarshish shall bring gifts.  He takes part in a great battle or ball, and wonders the while that he should be, in the midst of those events, so far privileged as to be lying down.  It is when one begins to lose the consciousness of freedom, and when the idea of necessity enters the world at all, when there is any hurry or strain anywhere, a letter to be written or a train to catch, when you have got to work, to make the horses of the dream gallop, or to make the rifles go off, that the dream is declining, and turning into the nightmare, which belongs to the poorest and most vulgar class of dreams

 

 

 

OUT OF AFRICA

ISAK DINESEN



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