Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clearing Out

As I was drifting off to sleep last night I was bothered by the low level, but chronic, pain left over from a bout of sciatica years ago. I then remembered other muscular pain over the years: neck, shoulder, arm—and realized all of it was on the left side of my body. Since the left is a metaphor for the unconscious, I began to wonder if I had some psychic pain that was expressing itself physically. It seemed as if the pain lessened somewhat as soon as I had this thought. I requested a dream that would help me see the trigger.

The Dream: I have moved into a very large house that is jammed with things left by the previous occupant. I wonder why I haven’t cleared it out and put my own stamp on the place. Why am I living with these artifacts of another’s life? There is so much clutter that the task seems overwhelming. I wish my friend Stephen were here to help me figure out what is valuable so I can get rid of the rest.

I discover a plushly furnished living room leading to a dining room. I go through the sideboard and find it is full of beautifully made dresses from a previous era. One is encrusted with handmade lace; another, a lovely Claire McCardell plaid. I think I might be able to wear these lovely things until I notice each is flawed: either old sweat stains at the underarms or fabric faded in spots. My friend Alex and I look through folded garments, and I am pleased they have some value.

There is so much to throw away. I wonder if I am limited to one garbage can a week or if I can fill plastic bags with the excess and have it carted away.

The friends who appear in this dream have died, which is a strong clue that the dream deals with my reaction to loss—to my wanting to hold onto things from the past. Because these things are beautiful I don’t want to let them go, even though they stand in the way of my “putting my own stamp” on the life I’m now living (the house I’m in). As the dream progresses I have more energy to face the clearing out process, and by the end I’m filling garbage cans and looking for more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought this dream was very powerful, thanks for sharing xx

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