Saturday, March 13, 2010

Your Money or Your Life

Many who are interested in dreams are artists. If you are, I think you’ll find this dream relevant to the age-old artist’s conundrum: make art or make money.

The Dream: I go to an art supply outlet. It is an old-fashioned office in an industrial firm. The room is not at all glamorous, with beige file cabinets, clutter and a utilitarian wooden desk. Behind this desk sits a younger middle-aged woman (about 40). She is thick-set, has dark brown hair and wears horn-rimmed glasses. She is a little chubby, with a round face and in a very dull dark blue dress.

I give her a list of pigments and other art supplies that I would like to purchase. I realize I don’t have the money to pay for my supplies, which have amounted to $200.00. I ask if it is okay if I write her a check, and then ask my mother if the money is in the account: she might have to transfer some money.

I can see the woman is disapproving. She is wondering why I don’t earn my own money. I arrange that I will call her after I get my mother’s approval, and then she will send me the supplies. Since I have been a long-time customer I am annoyed that she didn’t trust me enough to let me take the art supplies home with me.

Interpretation: The short one: I’m not getting any credit! To elaborate: Some part of me is unsure if I have the right to color (the pigments). In this dream color represents an expressive outlet. My color is controlled by the rigid forces of practicality: industry, busy-ness, clutter (old unresolved stuff lying about). I can’t give myself any credit for the choice I’ve made or the work I do. As Oscar Wilde said, “All art is utterly useless.” I am dependent on my internalized “mother” for approval. Another part of me is disgusted with this dependence and thinks I should “earn my own money;” in other words, be my own source of affirmation.

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