Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Remodel

The Dream: I am remodeling my very large apartment in the city. One room looks quite spectacular. It is the dining room. A large wooden table sits in its center. The walls are covered in a velvet-like pattern, a simplified medieval design in rich shades of green and golden brown with black accents. Brown wood molding surrounds the windows. I think it looks wonderful, but I am concerned this decoration has been slapped on to a base that can’t support it. On the other hand,  perhaps it really is okay.

Interpretation: This dream seems to be a continuation of Not A Black Hole. My psyche is attempting to shift its center; in other words, the Self that Jung talks about is trying to expand in order to include some previously unconscious material. The dining room, being a place where we come together for nourishment, symbolizes this process. But at the center of the room is the large wooden (not pliable, rigid) table (in a meeting to table the motion stops forward progress). I can see there is richness here: the velvet, the warm colors—but I’m not sure I’m strong enough to support it. The jury is still out on this one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not A Black Hole

The Dream: I’m cleaning the kitchen floor. I notice how much cleaner it is where I’ve mopped so I keep going, even though we have company. As I work across the floor a hole opens up in the middle of the room: a dark, earth-colored, earth-sided hole which descends to depths unknown.

I am alarmed and point this out to Clark. He reassures me that this is nothing to worry about, but I’m concerned that I could have fallen in at any time. He knew the hole was there all along but was not alarmed. He says that it wouldn’t be so disastrous if I did fall in, that it really isn’t so deep. “There’s a spiral staircase and an area with light,” he says. “It’s not a black hole.” I don’t buy it, although I do have a glimpse of what he’s talking about for a moment. Later I notice he’s put a table over the area.

Interpretation: Kitchens in dreams are often places where transformation takes place. I’m busy with a mundane task, cleaning the floor, when it seems I ought to be enjoying my guests. My task is interrupted by an unexpected event: a hole in the floor. On the one hand, this hole smacks of the grave, with its earth color and its scary descent to the unknown. On the other hand, Clark, who represents my other half, is very comfortable with what seems to me a major problem. Clark tells me there is something to be gained from descending into this unknown world; he tells me this is where I’ll find light (spiritual illumination). The spiral staircase he mentions evokes our nightly descent into the unconscious.
Something about this realm frightens me, although I have an inkling that what he says might be true. He does not insist, but “tables” the discussion. The hole (whole) remains, even if covered, awaiting the moment I’m brave enough to explore it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Old Man and the Sea

The Dream: On a cliff overlooking the sea an old man, who doesn’t walk well, is trying to catch a young girl of about seven. It looks as if he will: she is running in his direction, and he’s ready to catch her, running toward her in his wobbly way. All at once she veers inland. Happily, without a care in the world--running for the pure joy of it--she evades him completely.

Interpretation: Old age and infirmity is out to get me. I manage to elude it, at least for the time being.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dead Babies in Boxes

Ever had an awful dream and wondered how truly disturbed you must be? Sometimes, when you stop and think about it, you realize its actual meaning is pretty mundane.

The Dream: Another dead baby dream. This time the “baby” was a little older, maybe a toddler. Three dead babies are in square boxes.

Interpretation: Many dream workers suggest that a “baby” is a new idea or project. Since this one is a toddler (2 to 3 years old) it must be a project I’ve had for a while. Since it’s “dead” it seems pretty clear that it isn’t going well. (I can think of a few projects in that category.) My dream tells me I’m feeling boxed in by these fruitless projects.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Path to Enlightenment

Dreams are said to come to us to tell us what we don’t consciously know. If you ever wonder whether or not you are doing the right thing, look to your dreams for guidance.

Dream Image: A desk that looks like the sun.

Interpretation: I’m getting thumbs up from my unconscious with this one. The sun is our source of light (enlightenment). This dream tells me that my unconscious thinks I’m on the right track with the work I do at my desk, where I write in my dream journal, do many illustrations, post this blog, and so on.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Into the Vortex

Some dreams are mere snippets. Even so, they can give us a lot to think about.

The dream made this pronouncement: "Each dreamer has several dreams which replay, in different guises, over and over again."

I need to look at recurring themes in my dreams. Until I get the message I’ll probably be treated to a lot of reruns!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wheel of Fortune

Dreams are a way of processing and coming to terms with our day-to-day concerns, often commenting on our work-day frustrations.

Dream Image: A wheel-like device made of slats, something like a waterwheel. A turquoise finger-like projection is inserted between the slats.

Interpretation: A client presentation didn’t work out as planned; someone stuck her nose (finger) in, creating a disruption and stopping progress on the project.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baby Under Water

As you work on your dreams, you may become aware of recurring themes that reflect your psychic progress.

The Dream: A baby is in a pool, face up under the water. It takes me a while to realize that she is having a problem: I am distracted; my attention is not on her. I’m reading the newspaper. When I perceive the danger she is in I rescue her, managing to resuscitate her. This happens again, only I’m not sure I am able to breathe life into her tiny body this time. I hold her nose and breathe into her mouth. At one point I think perhaps I see her eyes flutter. I am afraid she’s dead.

Interpretation: After the rapprochement of my warring aspects in Ménage a Trois, the dead and dumped baby of Death of the Attached Baby reappears: still in danger, but alive. The newspaper I read here (am I too concerned with worldly matters?) echoes the newspaper the baby was wrapped in before being unceremoniously thrown into the garbage. My attempts to revive the baby (my authentic artist self) are tenuous and not completely successful, but there is some small hope I have managed to breathe life into her.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ménage a Moi

The Dream: A woman is thinking, “It’s Saturday night; I should remind my husband this is the night we have sex.” As she thinks this, another woman goes to the man and says, “Remember it’s Saturday night and that’s when we have sex.” The first woman realizes that her husband has two wives. This doesn’t upset her; she has noticed the man’s annoyance when the other woman nagged him about having sex, and she thinks that because the other woman has said something she no longer needs to. She wonders how the night will play out: A ménage a trois?

Interpretation: Taken out of sequence I would have no idea what this dream means. Seen as the culmination of the last two dreams, however, it makes sense. I split into three in Death of the Attached Baby and into two in Both of Them Are Me. In this  potential ménage a trois my various selves try to come together. (Yes, I noticed the pun.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Both of Them Are Me

The Dream:
I have split into two people, who are in conflict. As the dream ego I watch the argument. The two look identical, and I am told that “they are both the same.”

This snippet underlines the realization I came to in my last dream: there’s a conflict between the part of me that gets along in the world by compromising and accepting limits and the part of me that thinks I should express myself—no holds barred--with great passion. Why did I unconsciously choose this turn of speech, no holds barred? I looked it up and found it comes from wrestling and means without rules or restrictions: how apropos! The phrase summarizes the dream's conundrum: wrestling with freedom.

But what to make of the dream message: "They are both the same?" Besides referring to my two minds over the conflict, is the dream telling me that freedom and responsibility are inexorably linked?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Death of the Attached Baby

The Dream:
I am in a dune-like area. The sea is implied, but not seen. There is a modern road through the dunes, with a sidewalk and the sort of empty bus stop often seen in the suburbs. I wander here for a while, waiting for one of my husband’s colleagues. He works at a nearby high-tech scientific installation which will soon be dismissing its employees for the day.

It’s 5:00 o’clock, and the lab workers file out of the simple, modern building, about seven stories tall. I am with a woman who has just had a baby. She resembles an artist friend. She is obviously thrilled with her baby, and at first all seems okay; but it soon becomes clear that the baby is still physically attached to her mother—through the mother’s hand. They share capillaries. Then the shocker: we realize the baby has died.

Some medical technicians come and take the baby away. They wrap the baby in newspaper secured with twine; they throw her off a dump truck into a garbage bin. I am appalled. Why wasn’t the baby returned to the family for a respectful and loving funeral?

Back to the mother: She is now attended by her sister, a plain-looking German woman with short cropped strawberry blond hair. The sister is very upset and doesn’t feel the mother is adequately distraught. I know the mother is upset, but in a less effusive way than her sister. I put my arm around the German woman and walk her a few steps away, trying both to comfort her and to keep her from making a bad situation worse.

In the beginning of the dream I am in an intuitive, unconscious state (the sea, the dunes). But progress soon asserts itself in the form of a road, sidewalk, bus stop, and high-tech laboratory. This symbolically plots my early life, my personal progress between the ages of five and seven, which are the two numbers in the dream. During this time I moved from the idyll of a happy 5-year-old child living in a beautiful rural setting to the challenge of starting school and being subjected to the discipline and socialization that entails. At this age we still hold our mother’s hand. That the baby is not completely detached from the mother reflects the wrench that I felt on starting this new phase of life.

Then the dream veers into the present. How do I know? The mother resembles one of my current artist friends: this tells me the issue here is not entirely in the past. The baby, representing my authentic artist self at a critical juncture of my life (between 5 and 7), is carted away by technicians (the school system) and dumped. The dead baby’s crude disposal reminds me of a scene from the movie Amadeus. When Mozart dies he is given a pauper’s burial. The reusable casket opens at one end like a dump truck and his unsheltered body thuds into an open pit, a common grave. How could my baby artist expect any better?

The mother (my adult artist, the compromiser) accepts the death of her own potential with an equanimity that baffles her sister, the German woman, whose geographical proximity to the home of the Austrian Mozart tells me her opinion is important. But in my role as Dream Ego, I try my best to shut her up and keep her from making waves.

Yet again, the voice that seems most difficult in my dream is the one I need to listen to.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Living at the Ritz

The Dream:
Clark has bought a ski condo at the Ritz building in Manhattan. It is on Central Park South, facing the Park. Our condo is on a top floor and can be accessed only by going up ladders and through openings which look like holes in the ceiling. I find this method of access scary and cumbersome. Once I get up there, I wonder, how frightening will it be to come down?

When we finally get to our condo it’s very large, but dirty—stuffed with old furniture from previous occupants. It’s in need of a paint job, cleaning, clearing out. I’m not sure how this can be done, since there is no elevator and only a small entrance.

I’m in the lobby of the very fancy building, with uniformed doormen scurrying about. At first I feel quite classy for being a resident of such a place, but when I go outside to look at the building I see a marked change between the lower floors and the floor our condo is on. Our floor looks shabby, and it occurs to me that it must have been the servants’ quarters, which explains why it must be accessed with ladders.

I discover, however, that I can take the main staircase up to all but the very top floor. To get to the top I must still use a ladder, made of rope and hanging from the attic. I discover some workmen in the hall who are dealing with the mess upstairs, or attempting to.

Clark is quite pleased with the purchase of this condo, which he made without consulting me. He was uncharacteristically quick to buy it. When I reenter the condo, armed with my insight that it must originally have been the servants' area, I notice that, nevertheless, the ceilings are very high.

In my previous dream I faced my desire for wealth and fame; this dream takes the process forward. The part of me that deals with the world, what Jung calls my animus, is represented by Clark who has bought a ski condo at the top of the Ritz in Manhattan. That’s a pretty clear image of success! But the fly in the ointment soon emerges, as I discover the practical difficulties inherent in this success: it’s difficult to attain (must climb up ropes and go through hoops (holes) to get there, and once I do it’s messy and dirty. And was attaining this sort of success even my idea? The dream hints it isn’t, since my place is crammed with things from the past, put there by others.

To top it off, this success is a sham. My marvelous condo at the top of the Ritz looks shabby when I stand back and look at it, and I discover it once housed servants. But the situation is being worked on. Once my inner workmen clear out the debris left by others and I stop running after a version of success that is not true for me I start to notice the good things about where I am. The ceilings are, after all, impressively high.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grace Kelly’s Pendant

The Dream:
I am in a large discount store with my daughter. We see a necklace pendant that is modeled on one worn by Grace Kelly. It costs $60,000. After we have left the store I realize that my daughter, who is about 3 or 4, has stolen the pendant. I feel I should return it, but I’m torn: after all, it appears we did get away with it. Nevertheless, I return the jewelry.

Interpretation:  There’s something from my past that I tend to ignore (discount), but that nevertheless is part of me (it’s stored). This thing that I have discounted is very valuable ($60,000.00). Its previous owner, Grace Kelly, gives me a clue as to what that might be: my desire for success, fame, fortune, and celebrity.  My child part is perfectly happy to take a short cut to get what I want: she steals it. I’m very tempted to acquiesce in this childish crime, but my adult intervenes in time, and I return the jewelry.

Here’s an example where Jane Teresa Anderson's dream alchemy might serve me well. (There’s a post in the April archive that describes her technique.) In this case, I'll imagine myself having an extra $60,000.00 as the result of my hard work and ability. I'll envision myself going into the store and using this money to buy the pendant (my success), saying, “I’ve earned this and I’m going to enjoy it.”

I’ll try it and let you know how it goes!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Naked at Walgreen’s

Jung tells us we can never bring all our unconscious material to consciousness. With dreams, it’s two steps forward, one step back.

The Dream: I’m going to Walgreen’s. There are showers at the back of the store to the right. I sit on the curb in front of the store and begin to remove my clothes in anticipation of showering. I begin to feel self-conscious and wonder why I didn’t wait until I got to the shower area to disrobe. I go into the store, which has turnstiles near the entrance, hoping no one will notice my nakedness.

Interpretation: Something significant to my psyche is on the cusp on consciousness, but doesn’t quite make it. What about this dream makes me think so? First, the name of the store: Walgreen’s. A wall is some sort of block or impediment. But this wall is green anticipating growth, or a breakthrough. This is emphasized by the showers (water indicates the unconscious) at the back (something from the past) but also to the right (hinting that this material may become conscious). A store, of course, is a place where we keep things, like a storehouse. I’m so ready for this immersion into previously unaccepted material that I throw off my clothes, and immediately regret it.

Self-consciousness intervenes. Jung’s term for the complete person, one who has integrated her unconscious material, is the Self. Self-consciousness here is one of those entertaining little paradoxes dreams throw at us: being conscious of myself prevents me from developing my Self.  I do get past a barrier (the turnstile) but I’m too concerned with my vulnerability (nakedness) to progress further — at least not in this dream.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blue Eyes

Dreams can acquaint us with thoughts we didn’t realize we had.

 Dream Image:
A middle-aged woman with a round face, very big blue eyes, and fair hair.  She seems a little simple. She is compassionate in a child-like way.

Interpretation: This dream was triggered by spending time with an acquaintance who could be described this way—although before the dream I doubt I would have thought of her in these terms. To go a little further with the dream I ask myself what part of me is a little simple? What is it I just don't get? Or, to put it another shade of meaning on it, is there something I'd like to have that I'm not getting? And am I "too simple" to realize it?

The woman's eyes are blue; the color hints that she's unhappy about something. Her hair is a reference to her thoughts: both come out of the head. Then there's the child aspect of the woman. Perhaps I'm not getting what I want because, like a child, I expect it to be given to me. My dream tells me to think about that. If I want something I need to go out and get it. There it is: "Get it?"