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.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Edge


The Dream: I am attempting to attach a long strand of crotcheted or knitted edging to a piece of fabric. I can't make it lay flat, and its width doesn't look consistent.

Interpretation: I am on edge. I can't integrate something into the fabric of my life. There's some sort of inconsistency that's bothering me: something isn't behaving properly.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Intertwined Lives


The Dream: A long line of Hasidic Jews snakes through scenic venues such as the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Interpretation: As a child I first noticed Hasidic Jews on a trip to my parents' hometown, so my personal associations for them are childhood and Brooklyn. They looked strange to a six-year-old, so in the dream they represent something alien, the “other.” Am I confronting my own alienation, or sense of being the “other,” in this dream?

Wikipedia describes Hasidic Jews as “a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality through the popularization and internalization of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspect of the faith.” The dream is pointing out that I feel alienated from my own mystical, or spiritual, side. The fact that the dream has brought the group to my current Bay Area environment suggests I'm revisiting old ideas about my self, my otherness, and beginning to integrate them into the present.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Green Bug


The Dream: I'm chasing a green bug in the bathroom. It looks more like a flat, round green flower than like a bug—but it's mobile and runs from me. I try to catch it to take it outside as it scurries around the base of the toilet. As it evades my attempt yet again I lose patience and decide to squash it. Then I take pity on it, seeing it wants to live, and I let it go.

Interpretation: Something is bugging me, something that I'd like to get out of my system (it's near the toilet). I want to be rid of it, to let it go, but it evades me. My solution is to put it outside (air my feelings), but, by refusing to be caught, my difficulty refuses to be handled in this way. I lose patience and decide to suppress it (I want to kill the bug). I relent, however, when I become aware that it is a carrier of the life force (it wants to live): The color green is indicative of new life, and, besides, there's something playful about the way this creature teases me. I think it's probably a good thing that I let it live, and I hope it lets me take it outside, into the open, soon. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Broken Engagement


The Dream: I am engaged to the fiancĂ© of a gay friend. He and I are dancing together in preparation for our wedding. He is very small, but very self-confident, and to me this comes across as his being full of himself. He does one surprising dance move, a head to toe shimmy. I'm impressed, but—try as I might—I can't get him to catch on to the grapevine.

I become aware that I have no feeling for him. This makes me a little sad. At one point I hold him as if he were a child, across my lap. I don't know why we're engaged. I say to him, “Don't you think we should get to know one another better?” He is hurt, I can see that in his eyes, but as far as I'm concerned we've only met 3 times. He says, “You know it's right when it's right.”

It doesn't feel right to me, and I want to break it off. At first I don't think I can because people have been invited, all sorts of arrangements have been made. How many people go through with a marriage, I wonder, only because they don't know how to get out of it? Then I remember that it's the planning for my daughter's marriage that has been finalized, not mine. I call it off.

Interpretation: What is the engagement I've broken? Clearly it's to something I find inappropriate, to another's fiancé, and a gay man at that. This dream character represents a small part of myself that excels in spontaneity (the shimmy) and refuses to be trained (I can't teach him the grapevine). The dream points out that I've broken off my engagement to the emotional, intuitive side of myself, that part that knows without analysis when something is right. It's the egotistical small child side, the 3 year old who is full of himself.

I come to realize through the dream that I don't feel I know this part: despite the fact that we're engaged I don't think we know each other. He embarrasses me, and I want to be free of him. The dream points out my discomfort, giving me the first step in possibly reintegrating this alien aspect.