I've just experienced the most compelling, inspiring and uplifting dream I've had in a while.
And while there were no extreme visual revelations, no immediately distinct creative representations, as I'm often used to having, that involve images of abstract art, or canvasses made from warehouses and so on, that cause me to wake up with a determination to create, there was a subtle and important theme which I feel is most necessary to my own development as a human being.
How far back the dream went I could not tell you, but I come to in the old kitchen of number five, my old house, and I have just been at the park where I had an opportunity to engage in some sports. The engagement itself, whilst it may have involved the swinging of a "hammer", like they have in the hammer-throw, was a short opportunity to kick a special type of rugby ball, that looked like a spinning top. The owner of the ball had kicked it my way, and I myself had tried to kick it back, by spinning it on the ground and kicking it that way. Whereas the act itself of kicking the ball was not a very successful one, I felt like I had a purpose - to kick a ball - and that gave me the confidence to go back home and proclaim a new devotion, that of kicking balls, to my father. He was in the vicinity of the kitchen, and so was my mother.
There we were in the kitchen of number five, and my mother somehow or other got onto the subject of my accolades. In fact, she was going through some old school reports, and one of them had said, "Daniel is a very creative person, but he spends most of his time making googly eyes with Sarah." I said to my mum, "Which Sarah?" and she said, "Sarah Heimann." The Sarah in question was a chubby Jewish girl, and I was indifferent.
Then we received a visit from a friend of my sister, another girl, whose presence in our lives I was not sure about. She herself was a smart young lady, and happened to be doing a maths course of some kind. She showed me her work; I was nonplussed, and recognised the equations, and was able to say something about it.
Then I was talking to my mother, who was really admonishing me in her own way, encouraging me to get on with my life, as mothers do, and she reminded me, that not only do I have a place to stay at her house, but I have my own apartment, and not only that, please don't forget, I also have that other apartment in Colindale. Of course!! I have another apartment, and effectively three places to be.
We went, mother and I, to the spare apartment, which was the one in Grace Close, Edgware now, and we sat and had tea, and watched television, and I checked through the mail.
And then, as we had tea and watched television, the phone rang. The person on the other line was my one-time care-coordinator Mark, and he had some good news. "Daniel," he began, "You have been with us a number of years, and we're very impressed with your progress." He was referring to my mental illness.
And I guess that there are a good many reasons why such a representative would be impressed with my progress: I haven't got in trouble for some time, I haven't been hospitalised for ages, I haven't hurt anybody for fifteen years, and I've quit recreational drugs for some two and a half years.
The care-coordinator, now a black man, referred me to the literature that was on the hallway table, that had come through the post. Mother was keen and interested as I opened the pages of a prospectus and read, 'Now that you have come to the end of your mental illness...'
And there were a great many opportunities now open to me! Now that I was clear of mental illness, why, I could get a job in a library! I could get a job anywhere I liked! I had graduated my mental illness.
I had graduated my mental illness!
I must say, this was a very life-affirming dream. It caused me to wake up early and positively, and I looked at all my achievements: my certificate of higher education, my diploma of higher education. And it caused me to reflect that I am less than a year away from graduating university. That's no mean feat. It's quite impressive. And while there's no reality to the idea of graduating mental illness, there's depth and meaning in the achievements I have made, and am yet to make, and the future is looking good.