Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Rape

The Dream: A woman is friends with a man. We are living in a shared space. I leave them to go into another room. Soon I hear the woman screaming for me, horribly distressed. I find her in the bathroom. The toilet seat is up and she has immersed her bottom in the water, which is tinged with blood. It's clear to me that she has been raped by her “loving” friend. Shall I call 911?” I say. She doesn't answer. “I'll call 911,” I say, leaving her to look for a phone. This nightmare awakens me.

: At the time of this dream I belonged to a book club sponsored by a Christian church. The meeting devolved into a discussion of the participants' personal beliefs. As I listened to others talk about “faith” and “belief” and “Christianity” I realized how alien I find these ideas. While the dream was triggered by media stories about rape, and certainly reflects the vulnerability that women face, the underlying issue for me is the rape of the intellect that I feel as a participant in a Christian group. I feel I'm not allowed to express my honest thoughts. This leaves me feeling my intellect (logical mind) has been raped; who I am (my self) denied.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

All In It Together

The Dream
: A woman has been tasked with beating a man who lies face down, prone. He is covered with a blanket, and she must beat him with a whip until his blood runs black. She is appalled at this thing she is doing, but does it anyway. The power that set her to her dismal task is Christian.

I am an onlooker, also horrified. At some point his blood does run black, and she begins to rail against Christianity for having one set of rules for its followers while the hierarchy behaves quite differently. She is very angry, but never questions her own acquiescence, in other words, why she did as she was told rather than follow her conscience.

: First I'll look at some things that triggered this dream: At the time of the dream I was reading Eric Kandel's The Age of Insight, and was at the place where Freud analyzes one of his own dreams and feels it has pointed out that he has suppressed his own guilt, just as my dream beater does. This was around the time of the horrific terrorist shooting at a mall in Kenya, following close on the heels of a shooting by a mentally ill person of people at an American Navy installation.

I feel guilty when I hear about these, and other, world situations, as well as disappointment and anger that the country I was brought up to believe had some sort of moral superiority now appears as venal and self-serving as the rest of the world. In the dream, Christianity stands for bankrupt values and hypocrisy on a national scale, and I ponder my own guilt as a citizen, even though I, like the dream actor, go along with it and feel powerless to stop it. I feel forced, as she does, to participate in things I find morally reprehensible. The dream implies my guilt and asks me why I don't  stop.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In Memoriam

The Dream
: I had this dream the night of my brother Greg's birthday. My other brother Nick and I are at a memorial service for  Greg. We are sitting about four rows back, on the left side of the chapel. I call it a chapel: it is nonsectarian, like the place where Greg's actual memorial was held. We are separated by some others, not sitting next to each other. I hear Nick weep. I weep as well. We don't interact.

Interpretation: Nick and I, united in a grief we cannot talk about. We are separated, yet also together, in the same place. Kubler Ross's 4th stage of grief (we are 4 rows back) is depression, sadness. My unconscious is telling me where I am in the grieving process.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two Different Sides

The Dream: One boob is cute and perky; the other larger, saggy and floppy.

Interpretation: This reflects the two sides of my artistic life (the thing that nurtures me). One side is controlled and attractive; the other is not so acceptable and well-behaved. Yet the two are part of the same body (of work). This image represents a conjunctio or coming together, in the psyche, of two opposing inner forces.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Women and Children

Dream image: Three women in empire dresses and turbans hold two babies.

Interpretation: All babies are our babies, the children of our common humanity. All women are sisters. In this dream the women of the world unite to nurture the children of the world. I hope this image is precognitive!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Disappointing Holiday

The Dream: I'm not hosting the holiday this year; I'm at someone else's house. I wonder about the friend who has celebrated with us for so many years. Where has she gone this year? The food at this feast is perfunctory: a bare bones meal with grocery-store preparations. It's not the way I would have done it.

This might be an example of Freud's concept of wish fulfillment gone wrong. I might wish to be relieved of the responsibility for the holiday, but once that wish is fulfilled, as in the dream, the result is an unfulfilling event—with the play on the word “full” duly noted. The food is inadequate, and the friend who represents my inner wounded child has been neglected. To mother my wounded child I must be a mother, in other words, take on the responsibility of hosting the event. Only then will I be happy with the outcome.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Looking for a Florentine Cathedral

The Dream: I am wandering around in a vast underground space trying to find the entrance to a particular Florentine Church. Often I am misdirected. I ask people, and they send me to areas of a labyrinthine building that I have already fruitlessly explored. At one point a college friend is with me, very pleased because a man has given her an open bottle of wine with about a third remaining. She happily swills from the bottle. I suggest she's being foolish: who knows what contaminant it might contain?

At one point we're directed into a particular church, and it almost seems almost right, but not quite. The decoration is Florentine; there are very large flowers around the interior. We peek inside another church and see a performance taking place—that's not right either. I feel anxious. I'm going to be late. I hope to get to the right church before time runs out.

Interpretation: Florence is associated with the Renaissance, rebirth. I'm searching at an unconscious (underground) level for my spiritual rebirth. No one can direct me; their suggestions lead to dead ends. I'm running out of time to find my spiritual home, the place where I feel I am expected and have a role to play. The wine offered by a person who has no guidance to give might be dangerous. One part of me wants to enjoy its superficial pleasure, while another is cautious.