Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Challenging Fight


The Dream: I'm a man on a spaceship shaped like a long and narrow oval. I'm on the deck reestablishing its hexagon shapes; they've been covered with snow.

Even though I'm in outer space I am gliding over a dark sea. I wear no special outer space gear. I realize I've passed an island full of exotic beasts, but I'm so preoccupied with inscribing my hexagons, so narrowly focused, that I'm missing the marvelous sights of this amazing journey. I'm aware of the contradiction of being in space and on the sea; I don't understand it.

Later I'm in the lower portion of the ship when a fire breaks out. Someone's wife, perhaps mine, had left paper plates on deck. I wonder if these might have triggered the blaze. I'm the captain, so I rush upstairs to lead the crew in the effort to extinguish the blaze. We all realize we're fighting for our lives, and this is very energizing and motivating.

Interpretation: This dream was triggered by news about the birth of the cosmos, dark matter (the dark sea), and dark energy. Is my narrow focus causing me to miss the wonders of the universe? Domesticity (the wife's paper plates) create a blaze. Am I angry about its demands? The dream points out that I need a challenge that I feel is crucially important (leading others in a life or death struggle) to be energized and motivated. Yet it is the feminine that releases the captain from his narrow focus, if we assume that the wife's paper plates did indeed create the blaze. He won't be re-instating hexagons when he's fighting for his life. On the other hand, he won't be looking at the marvels of the universe either.

So--is there something that the life and death struggle distracts from? Is it not so important in and of itself, but rather as a way of not seeing something? What about the exotic beasts? In the dream they are something like gargoyles, ugly and fascinating at the same time. Why do gargoyles appeal? They have the undeniable intrigue of something atavistic, something scary that can't hurt us. Something that holds primitive antisocial tendencies, but also symbolically protects us, just as they protected medieval churches.

Interesting to note that it is when I (the captain) go "under" (into the unconscious) that the blaze breaks out.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

On Love


The Dream: I am walking with my friend/lover/soul mate. We stop to sit on the curb by the side of the road. I say, “It's hard to be in a sexual relationship with a good friend.” I think about this for a while. “I'm so afraid!”

I feel the fear. I wonder about the alternative: anonymous sex? He says, “I know.” He lifts me from the curb and enfolds me, gently and lovingly, in his arms.

Interpretation: The sexual relationship represents the vulnerability of giving myself, of being open. This leads to inevitable pain. Right before having the dream I had visited a very ill relative, and I was forcefully reminded of the separation that mortality entails. I saw the relative's spouse in unspeakable pain at her husband's inevitable succumbing to death, as we all must. Strong attachments, as the Buddhists say, are one source of pain in the world. But I don't agree that the solution is not to have them, that seems not only cowardly, but life-denying.

In this dream the stronger part of myself, the male friend/lover, knows what the curbed part doesn't. He lifts her to her feet, and they embrace: a symbolic acceptance of love with both its joys and sorrows. Love is shown to be a totality of communication and involvement, made up of both the spiritual (friendship) and the physical (sex), important here as the grounded, if mortal, part of us.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guest Dreamer: Raw Inside


The dreamer told me that her divorced daughter's ex-husband has recently remarried. The family became aware of this because the wedding was held at their local church. Lana's friend Jane had been abused as a child. Keeping those waking life facts in mind, I'll react to Lana's dream as if it were my own.

Lana's Dream: In this fragment of a dream, friends are bringing food to a gathering. I've assigned each person to bring the same thing: a filled loaf of bread. Jane and I meet, and we open hers. We're upset to realize that the filling, looking like eggs, is uncooked, raw; it might also contain some fish. Something needs to be fixed. I feel this is my responsibility.

Carla's thoughts: My friend Jane, having been abused as a child, is the symbol of my own injured child: my daughter, who feels wounded by her ex-husband's remarriage. Whether or not having the wedding in our local church was designed to be hurtful, seeing it there opened up something that still feels raw, and I thought there was something fishy about it. The uncooked eggs represent the potential of my daughter's marriage that went unfulfilled, and we are upset that things didn't go as anticipated. As the mother, I feel it's my responsibility to fix things for my injured child.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Did It My Way


The Dream: How many ways can you do a thing? Which one is right? Is there one right way?

Interpretation: This dream wants me to think about a philosophical, or perhaps an existential, problem; it's offering questions rather than answers. Is there one right way to do a thing? Are there many? Does it depend, perhaps, on what I'm doing? Some earlier dreams suggested I abandon a tendency toward rigidity that was inculcated in my childhood. This one gently nudges me in that direction.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Slow Down and Live


In our overstimulated world we sometimes need to be reminded to slow down.
The Dream: I'm on a train, going to visit an old friend. There's a red knitted fabric on my lap. I keep my gaze fixed on it, and I feel that time is passing very slowly. I want to get to my destination, and I'm not enjoying the trip. After a while I realize that I'm so excited about where I'm going, and so impatient to get there, that it's making the trip seem longer than it is. I think that I should have brought something to read to make the time go faster.

Interpretation:  I'm on a train, implying that I'm on a fixed track. What is the meaning of the knitted fabric on my lap? For me, red is the color of life, and the fabric (of life) is a complex of people, events, and interests knitted together. The dream tells me that I need to enjoy the process and not be so intent on achieving the outcome (the destination). It also points out that I tend to distract myself (I should have brought something to read) rather than immersing myself in the experience. If I heed the dream and refocus on the present and the process, rather than on the future and the outcome, I'll start enjoying the trip.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Fossil


The Dream:
I'm on a trip with some friends, in the mountains. We've just heard that a special and unusual geologic phenomenon is nearby, some sort of extruded fossil. The fossil is a stream of igneous rock. It's very rare and special. We've gone to the venue and are standing in line waiting to be admitted and very excited about it: it's something to see!

I get a phone call. I'm not sure who it is, I think it's Dona K. Since I'm not sure, I make conversation for a while hoping she'll say something that will confirm her identity. I ask how she's doing. She says something tragic has happened. When I try to figure out what, she says they've all gone back to college. This doesn't sound tragic to me; I try to figure out why she thinks so—does it cost too much? I don't know. She has some black sons.

Interpretation: Many of my interests, even my way of being in the world, is becoming outdated, fossilized. There are good things about these interests, they are rare and special, but the phone call I get suggests I need to look at some of their other aspects. My friend Dona, being very conservative, represents the part of me that is the same. I'm out of touch with this part of myself; I'm not even sure I can identify it (I'm not sure who's calling.) My inner conservative sees the quest for knowledge as “tragic.” The dream tells me that learning something new (getting a new insight or doing something in a new way) might be expensive (cost too much, be difficult), but it isn't tragic. Dona's black sons represent the part of me that is the opposite of conservative: my fertile imagination, the place where new growth can appear. The dream tells me to embrace the part of myself that loves the traditional, but to use what's old in new ways. This is where I will find my new growth.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our Lady of the Broom


The Dream: I'm in a house with two kitchens, both in need of cleaning. I'm feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start. It finally occurs to me that I could hire some cleaners to help, that I don't have to put this right by myself. I talk to Clark about it, feeling I must persuade him, although I don't think he put up any resistance.

Interpretation: This is a dream grounded in the day-to-day. I had a lot of major home improvement projects going on and was concerned about doing them well and keeping to a budget. I have to persuade my practical side (Clark, representing my animus) that getting some help is a good idea, but the dream points out that even that part of me thinks it's a good idea. As von Franz once said, “I am my own difficulty.”

The two kitchens hint at something more, a conflict between different areas of life that need to be “fed.” As soon as I can get some things cleaned up I will regain some serenity. On the other hand, all this activity is stimulating and the double kitchens also point out that there are some major transformations taking place.