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.


Anonymous said...

Kieran had a dream last night that we had a home invasion. He woke up and called out "We're buying a home defence shot gun." It took me a while to figure out what on earth he meant. A home fence? what? :)

Angela said...

After discovering your blog and reading a few of the most recent posts, I decided to go back to the beginning and read forward. Would it be worth tagging/labeling "bossy", since it comes up later on also?

Carla Young said...

Thanks, Angela. Good catch. I've tagged it.

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