Thursday, December 31, 2009

Costumed Women

When you look at the content of your dreams, you'll often notice they reveal feelings you’re unaware of.  That was the case for me with this one.

The Dream: I’m at a meeting of a women’s group. All the women are dressed in the same silly costume, something like a clown. I think it’s amusing and take a picture for the newsletter.

Interpretation: To belong to a group I have to merge my identity with others, symbolized here by our all being dressed the same. I don’t care for this: I think it’s silly—but also amusing. Even as I question the validity of the group I am furthering its aims—being a good group member—by taking a picture for the newsletter. This is a metaphor for the compromises we make to be members of society.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jumping into Shallow Water

As you work to understand dream messages, it’s important to learn to unravel their symbolic language. For example water, according to Carl Jung--a pioneer in the study of dream material--symbolizes the Unconscious.

The Dream: I’m on a high wooden walkway, on something that resembles scaffolding. It’s part of some new construction. There is water below. Voices urge me to jump. I am leery of doing so; I know the water is shallow. Nevertheless I do jump and am surprised to find I land on my feet in the water, unharmed.

Interpretation: Scaffolding is put around buildings that are under construction or being repaired. In the world of dream symbols, a building often represents the dreamer’s Psyche. In the real world being urged to jump into shallow water from a height would be a very bad thing, but in the dream world it might be a hint that the dreamer need not be afraid of exploring her Unconscious. She takes the plunge and emerges unharmed.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let Me Entertain You

If you're interested in looking at what your dreams are telling you, writing them down is the first step. Once they are on paper they begin to reveal their secrets. This dream, for example, is about roles--but until I wrote it down and looked at it closely I was unaware of the connection between my struggling with a social role in the first paragraph and the endless stream of role players in the last.

The Dream: At a very large meeting of women, in a living room so large it's almost like an open-air setting. I feel I have a job, or a responsibility, for this meeting but I'm not sure what it is. Was I supposed to time something? How can I do it without seeming overbearing on the one hand (too bossy) or, on the other, too timid and self-effacing to be effective? I wonder what sort of voice I should use to move things along. Loud and commanding? Or should I have a bell of some sort?

 We are now outside in a big open space. The group is going to be photographed. I am sitting next to a very tall woman; we're positioned on a block in the front row, with the rest of the group spread out behind us. We are located left of center. I'm wondering how the people in the back will all be seen in the photo, but soon realize the photographer will take the picture from the high vantage point of a stage that we're facing. He seems very grouchy, and I comment to one of the women that he'll never get us to smile with his attitude. She replies that he is probably having business worries in this bad economy. The photographer asks the tall woman sitting next to me to move because she is shielding me from view. I am left sitting alone and feel like a social pariah.

To my surprise, a large cast of costumed figures emerges from behind the photographer and begins to parade down curving staircases on either side of the stage. It resembles a Ziegfeld Follies revue. Women are costumed in circus-like sequined outfits; there are fantasy sultans, a whole panoply of show-figures. Of course we all smile and the photographer begins his shoot. There are many of these characters--an endless parade it seems--and I wonder how he can afford to pay them all if business is bad.

Interpretation: In the first paragraph I struggle to define my role in the group. The vast scale of the room implies that the issues here are large. Look at some of the plays on words in the second paragraph. I'm sitting on a block, a word often used to mean mentally stuck as in writer's block.  I am located off center (I need to integrate some aspect of myself). The picture (a record of a moment in time) is taken from the stage, a word describing where someone is in life. (It's just a stage!) At the end of this paragraph I am "facing" the stage I'm in by myself. And I don't like it. (He'll never get us to smile.)
The third paragraph offers a resolution. A surprising rush of creativity trumps the practical worries about how to perform that came up in the first part of the dream. All the conflicting aspects of my psyche come together in a smile. But I'm not completely ready to accept this rapprochement: the dream ego points out that someone is going to have to pay for this.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rats in the Raspberry Ice Cream

You probably won't want to eat dinner at my house after you read this one:

The Dream: There is some homemade raspberry ice cream in the freezer. Perhaps it is my older daughter's. Some rats have managed to pry the lid off the ice cream, and several are in the container. I am grossed out. My husband takes the container out to the back garden to dispose of the rats. I hope he will kill them rather than let them go, since I'm afraid they'll be back. I tell him not to throw all the ice cream away, just to scrape the bad part off the top.

Interpretation: (This dream is a continuation of the last dream I blogged.) I've created a special environment that I've given to my children (the raspberry ice cream), but it cannot remain unchangeable (frozen). Nature (the rats) will penetrate any barriers. I'd like to have them disposed of permanently, but I'm not sure that's possible. In asking my husband to preserve what he can of the ice cream I'm hoping everything I've built as a parent and homemaker will not be "thrown out."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

No Longer a Child

When you look at your dreams, be aware of the setting. In this dream the action takes place in the dining room,  where we usually relate to others. It's a family area and a place where we receive the most basic necessity of life: food.

The Dream: I am sitting at the dining room table. My younger daughter is studying, working very hard. I sit across from her and look at her. I say I'll be quiet. I feel as if I haven't seen much of her lately. At the same time I sense that my interest is annoying to her.

Interpretation: Parents and children connect and disconnect and reconnect, partners in an elaborate dance performed across time. At times the child needs the mother; at other times the mother needs the child. Sometimes these needs are in synch; more often they are not. The dream expresses the mother's sense of loss as she sees her child becoming independent. The wise part of the mother knows that she must "be quiet" and allow her daughter to develop in her own way, as she
"studies" life from her own perspective.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Making a Floor Out of Bananas

The Dream: A woman is making a floor out of bananas.

Interpretation: I, as a woman, am trying to make sense of male power, represented by the bananas. I am making it fit in my world by using the fruit as floor tiles. Is this force a good thing, something I use to build the foundation of my house? Or do I reject it, making of it something all will step on? In any case it's clear I am not on a safe substrata, and it's likely I'll slip and fall.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Exposed or Transcendence through Art

You might think the unconscious throws up a lot of irrelevant rubbish, night after night. If you do, you’re not alone. But when I had this dream the night after posting my first blog, I thought otherwise.

The Dream: I am in my childhood bedroom. The bed is pushed near the window, and I am lying on it dressed only in some sheer underwear. My rear end is near the window; the rest of my body curled away from it. A portico goes right past the window, with its blinds lifted just far enough so that someone can see in. A young man walks by, and I feel embarrassed (in bare assed) and wonder if he’s seen me. I go outside to see if people can actually see in. After all, I reason, it’s daytime; ordinarily outsiders can’t see in even if the blinds are up. I look in the window and see a nude woman, in a pose similar to those adopted by life-drawing models. She is comfortable with the exposure; when put in the context of “art” her nudity seems natural and nonthreatening. But I do conclude from this bit of sleuthing that indeed—those outside can see inside very clearly.

Interpretation: The figure in the drawing looks awkward and uncomfortable. That says it all: This blogging is scary!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Baby and the Spider

The Dream: A baby is sleeping. A giant spider with a large round black body sits next to her head. I try to ignore this, feeling squeamish. If I ignore it maybe it isn't there. After a short while I realize I must face the situation, take action, deal with it. First I try to move the spider without killing it, but it seems stuck to its spot. So I crush it. Then I realize the spider was stuck because it was laying eggs. I've never seen a spider of this size or type before, and I wonder if it has come from the tropics.

Interpretation: There is an important part of myself, represented by the black circular body of the spider, that I resist recognizing and integrating into my persona. This rejected and ignored part contains a lot of creative potential (its eggs) which it is depositing near a baby, symbolic of  a new life phase. The tropics, where the spider originates, represent a more primal part of myself. That the spider wants to deposit the eggs near the baby's head implies that an attempt is being made to infuse the intellect with something more basic and earthier.