The Gunner’s Dream by Pink Floyd
I think The Gunner’s Dream by Pink Floyd (or perhaps more accurately Roger Waters) could be my favourite song of all time. It has a beautifully augmented chord progression mixed with painful yet optimistic lyrics. In so many ways it represents something of the complex nature of life. Beauty and despair. Hope and reality. The balance of past, present and future.
Yet throughout the paradoxical representation which comes from Water’s commentary on the politics of war and the experience of returning veterans there is a clear message for wellbeing at the end of each verse of the song:
I had a dream … And hold on to the dream! … Take heed of the dream.
The dream was an alternative to the despair which provided the context for Walter’s anger and indignation relating to both the death of his father during World War 2 and the experience of the Falklands war in 1982. Yet we all have our own contexts for the frustrations and disillusionments we feel. In the song the dream was one of security, dignity, and respect. We will also have our own dreams which relate specifically to our own contexts. But what really fascinates me, and links this to our wellbeing, is the identification that we live what we could consider the space in between, the liminal space:
Floating down, through the clouds. Memories come rushing up to meet me now. But in the space between the heavens, and the corner of some foreign field, I had a dream.
The reason I think recognising we live in the liminal space, the time and place between then and what’s next, the past and the future, is that it helps us to acknowledge the fleeting nature of life. Life moves at a pace and our dreams of the future soon become the context of our past.
Recognising this can help us realise dreams don’t just have to be an alternative to reality, which is often messy and non-sensical. But dreams can be an inspiration for us to take ownership of our own direction and make lasting change whilst keeping us grounded in the present reality.
For that reason, let us never stop dreaming.
Need some help to find your inspiration? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?