Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not Ready to Go

The Dream: I am at the airport. The plane is at the gate. Its interior has only a few seats; it seems truncated, for example, only the first class section. Yet it feels spacious; the seats are white leather. No one is on the plane—no crew, no passengers, no gate keepers even. I decide to use the toilet but find I can’t go. After a while I must have produced a little something so I decide to flush. Immediately I feel this would be a mistake because the toilets are like train toilets and will flush directly onto the tarmac, which might not be too pleasant for those loading the plane. I stay on the toilet for a while, trying to produce more output and having very little success.

At last I leave the toilet and as I open the door I encounter a maintenance man who had been patiently waiting to clean the room. I’m embarrassed and apologize; he seems long suffering. Had I known he was there I would have cut short my visit.

As I leave the plane and enter the waiting area I realize I don’t have my ticket or my passport and there is no time to go home to get them. I’m surprised I could be so stupid as to leave home without them. I think the best course of action will be to go to the American Airlines counter and see if I can get the flight exchanged for another day.

I wander around looking for the counter and can’t find it. I go outside, walking on the sidewalk outside the terminal. It’s very dark. Someone grabs me from behind, attacking me. I struggle and scream, awakening.

Some interesting plays on words here give me hints as to what this dream is about. Toilet has the word toil embedded, so I can guess my dilemma has to do with my work. The carrier is American Airlines, in the context of this dream hinting I am not happy with our American insistence that our work is meaningless unless it leads to money and fame. So, this dream deals with my discomfort about my notions of success. In the dream I’m at a transition point in my life: at the gate. I have some achievements (I’m in the first class section). But I’m not at all ready to take off. I find I’m straining over my output (having difficulty going to the toilet). And even when I do produce some, I feel it’s not likely to be welcomed. It just seems to cause problems: Not only it will be distasteful to others (those loading the plane), but it’s inconvenient for them, too (the maintenance man, who has to clean up after me).

The second half of the dream reiterates its message that I’m not prepared to fly. I don’t have my ticket or my passport. And this isn’t something I can solve right now—there’s no time to go home to get them, and I can’t find the airline counter (But who's counting?) to change to the ticket for another day. I try to leave this end point (the terminal), but that doesn’t work either. I am attacked.

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