Sunday, December 14, 2014

3 Murdered in the Next Room

The Dream:
Three people have been murdered in the next room. Hiro is one of them. I don't know whether or not the murderers want to kill us—us being me, another adult, and two young children. I am trying to dress the 4-year old in order to get them both out to safety. She is defiant and won't listen to me. I don't know how to make her behave; she doesn't grasp the situation and refuses to put a shirt on. I am planning to call the police, but don't want to until I've gotten us all away from the house.

I can't find my net book computer. I've gathered together all my electronic devices, but that one must be in the room with the murdered people. I can't go in there, especially once I hear that Hiro is among the murdered.

Interpretation: There are two things that tip me off as to the meaning of this dream. First, there is the fact that Hiro is among the murdered. Hiro is a close friend of my husband who has behaved like a brother. Then there are the numbers: 3 murdered people and a 4 year old. I was four when my younger brother was born, and I have lost 3 close family members: my father, my mother, and this same younger brother. The defiant child who refuses to grasp the situation is the part of me that doesn't want to accept these deaths. When people lose emotional control, especially if they get angry, we say, "Keep your shirt on!" This part of me refuses to do it. I'd like to get some help from an authority (the police), but I don't think they can help yet.

The family I want to save from danger, the danger of mortality, reflects my current family: two adults and two children. The net book computer that I can't find is the thinking part of me that's missing here. I must accept the reality of these losses, and the inevitability of death, before I'll be able to think clearly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Searching for the Perfect Solution

The Dream: I'm in a costume shop working on a plaid fabric. After working for a while I feel what I've done isn't right so I redo it. Later I've completed the project but feel the colors aren't quite right—they're too intense—so I destroy the work and start over. I work a while longer then start to leave to run some errands at the mall. The shop foreman runs after me, followed by most of the workers, to tell me I'm still wearing my soiled apron. I'm aware that I've done this several times.

Back at work I'm very frustrated with the lack of progress on my project. As I work on it I say to the boss, “I'm going to quit; this is too hard!” But I'm not sure I mean it; I'm sorry I said it. Nevertheless, I'm not getting anywhere with my work.

Interpretation: This is one of those typical, mundane sort of dreams that, like most, are rooted in day-to-day frustrations. I have too many irons in the fire, and I'm having a difficult time focusing on any one thing, so nothing seems to “work.” The fabric of my life is not working for me. The interwoven colors of the plaid just don't seem to go together, in the same way that my many projects are pulling me in different directions. Time to take a break. Maybe going shopping isn't such a bad idea, as long as I shop for a different approach to my frustration. Perhaps I need to learn that the solution doesn't always have to be “perfect,” just good enough.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Dream Image:
When placed in water a paper like shape expands at the bottom, leafing out.

Interpretation: The part of me that is dry and brittle (like paper), when immersed in the right environment, will expand and grow. The expansion doesn't come from the top (the intellect) but from the bottom (feelings and earthiness). The water represents the unconscious, and the dream tells me to be guided by this mysterious part of myself.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Inferior Function

The Dream: A young man, an aspiring artist, is friends with an older woman. I want to be part of their group but am concerned that I might be intruding, and I do get a bit of the cold shoulder. Nevertheless, the young man and I engage in a serious chat about art. I am aware that he wants to take courses at the Art Students League. I go off in several directions with this information. I tell him that every artist must teach himself, ultimately, and not rely on the judgments or opinions of others. Each must develop a personal style, unique to herself. “For example,” I say, “when you see a Picasso you know it is a Picasso.” He mentions the many changes in style as Picasso evolved. “Yes,” I say, “because art is the working out of our inner selves, and as we change the art changes.” The conversation gets heated since he wants to pursue study, and he feels I'm negating that choice. But I'm not—at least not entirely. “It's important to study to develop the necessary skills,” I say. “If it hadn't been for Anthony Palumbo at the Art Students League I would never have learned to draw.”

I get back to the idea of art as a reflection of the artist's deepest self. I say, “My work, for example, is pretty and superficial, just like me.” A pause. “Well, I might not be pretty anymore, but I'm still superficial.” After this tongue-in-cheek statement a cloud descends on my spirit. I become aware that, while I might appear self-confident and even tough, I actually feel inferior. The outward aspect is a defensive shell.

Interpretation: This seems to be one of those dreams that interprets itself. It tells me to look at my vulnerabilities if I want to discover my true self. Pretty and superficial can only take a person so far.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Taking the Lid Off

Look at the language and the imagery of your dreams to figure out their meaning. Sometimes the real subject matter of a dream ends up being very different from its narrative.
The Dream: I'm in a convertible with my friend Polly. Although the car belongs to Clark and me, she is driving. She wants to take the roof down, and for a while we struggle to figure out how to get the mechanism to work. We are finally successful, as if by magic, and we're pleased and surprised. The car is an old-fashioned model from the 50s or 60s.

Polly is on her way, I become aware, to meet one of the other designers, Jean, from the time we worked for N.U.T.S. Jr. Sportswear in NYC. I think that if I tag along and we pick up Dona we can have a reunion. In some way I'm uncomfortable with this; I'm not sure that the others want me along.

Interpretation: I'm trying to get to something that's nuts (crazy). Polly, who went on to design children's clothes, represents my designing child. I was a child in the 50s and 60s, and the car's vintage reinforces the idea that I'm dealing with something from my childhood. This inner child wants some relationships, such as the one with the designer she's going to meet, kept to herself. However, the mechanism that opens things up (the convertible's roof) is working well, and we are pleased and somewhat surprised to see how easy it is when it finally happens.

That my inner child is going to meet Jean (something encoded in my genes), tells me that the dream is about getting closer to something that is very basic, or fundamental, for me. The month I had this dream was the same month that I lost two important people, my mother and my brother, to whom I am genetically linked. Of course those ties are very fundamental, particularly to a child. The lid is coming off my attempts to suppress the pain I feel at their loss. And yes, I feel left out, in a sense, because they are gone.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Can't Erase the Black Marks

The Dream: I'm in a contemporary style classroom, in a shopping mall, with Clark. I am looking for places to cover with black paint, and I find some along a wall that is organized for storage. Then I paint on the glass of some windows and an entrance door. I sling paint around and write some words that are inappropriate for the school age children who come to this place, like “damn.” I soon become aware that I've done something inappropriate and need to remove what I've written. I work at it but find the marks impossible to erase completely. Clark disapproves of my poor judgment in expressing myself in this uncensored way. When the marks I've made in the storage area prove impossible to remove, I move on to the glass door. I scrape with a single edge razor blade and can't understand why the paint won't neatly peel up as it does when I scape paint off my palette in the studio. Clark points to a window on the other side of the room and says I should have used that one instead of the door.

Interpretation: The black marks are things I've done that haunt me (stored in my unconscious), as well as my attempts at self-expression: in waking life I am a painter and the marks I'm making in the dream are with paint. I am unable to eradicate either these black marks or the content they express (damn!), even though I feel both are inappropriate. My laying down of paint in this self-expressive way makes a mess, and that's interesting because I find that's the result when I try to paint something without a plan in waking life. The dream has uncovered the genesis of my rigorous self-discipline, the strength that is also a weakness. Clark, my other half, tells me not that I shouldn't have done what I did, but that I should have found another place (a different way) to do it. He points out that the window (of opportunity) is still available.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Slippery Slope

The Dream: I'm at the top of a very large water slide, holding a razor in one hand. At the bottom of the slide is a mechanism that churns the water and will hurt me badly if I crash into it. I go down the slide cautiously, afraid to go too fast. Controlling my descent is hampered by the razor in my hand, leaving only one  free to grab the side of the slide. At the bottom Clark is milling around, and there is also a very strong man poised to help me. I make my way down with enough control to avoid a collision with the churning mechanism. At the bottom I take the man's kindly offered hand but don't rely on his strength. I'm aware that I've propelled myself out of danger by myself. Seeing him as I descended gave me the confidence to do what was necessary.

Interpretation: I go down a slide, something that should be carefree and fun, with great trepidation because I need to control the ride. Not controlling it is fraught with danger: I could run into rough water at the bottom. At the end, I have the satisfaction of rescuing myself; the strong man at the ready is not needed. He represents my core of inner strength; it's there, but I don't normally use it. My usual animus, represented by Clark, has been superseded by a stronger one that I was previously unaware of. This newly discovered part of myself keeps me safe from the churn, making it safe for me to deal with the murky depths of my scary unconscious. The dream tells me that knowing I have this inner strength will make it possible for me to start enjoying the ride.