Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Life in the Swamp

The Dream: Clark and I are in a wasteland, trying to get back. At one point the ground becomes muddy. The swampy earth clings to Clark’s shoes. He is wearing his “good” shoes, so this is distressing. My shoes are more appropriate to the hike, so I am not bothered. The damp and sticky ground begins to give way to streams of varying widths, and I am concerned that Clark will not be able to wade across. However, he manages easily by jumping. We return to a modern maze-like structure.

Interpretation: Clark, my other half, represents my animus. Delving into unconscious material (the swamp) finds him at a disadvantage. As the unconscious material begins to take shape (changes into streams) I realize he could be in trouble. But since he is the part of me that ignores this sort of thing, he manages by jumping over it. We leave the deeper, swampy material behind in order to attend to a current conundrum (the modern maze-like structure).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Guest Dreamer: Fall and Recovery

An anonymous dreamer has given us today’s dream and has generously provided the beautiful illustration as well. In her interpretation she highlights her experience of presenting this dream to her dream group.

The Dream:
My sister and I are walking in an unfamiliar city.  As usual we are chatting; I’m not paying attention to where we are going.  Suddenly there is nothing under my feet; I have stepped over the edge.  I am falling from a very high place into the ocean.  The fall takes a long time.  The distance to the water is so great that I know unless I land perfectly straight into the water like a bullet, I will be killed or crippled when I hit the surface.  My heart is pounding as I fall through the air.  Next, I am treading water and looking around.  I look back at the cliff and the city.  I am far from land.  I see a pleasure boat in the distance but it’s too far away to help me.  I look back at the spot where I fell and realize I am a mile or two from it.  I look for my sister and finally spot her.  She's a tiny spec.  She is looking at the sea but her gaze is not anywhere near me.  Even so, I wave my arms and hope she will see me.  She doesn’t.  I start to swim back.  It is an easy swim and I know I will make it.  I have flippers on my feet and I glide swiftly through the water.

The Dreamer’s Interpretation:
I took this to my Dream Group even though I was pretty sure the dream acknowledged a positive change, my survival of a very difficult time. In going over it with the group I realized that the dream not only acknowledged my survival in this particular situation, but told me that I have everything I need to take care of myself and to flourish.

As the members responded to the dream as if it were their own, they pointed out what the words and situation mean to them. Each person, of course, saw the dream a little differently. One suggested I ponder what the word “city” means to me. I hadn’t thought about that before, but when I did I realized that for me it represents an exciting place where endless inspiration and creative activities intermingle and communicate. For a while, having been on edge due to an upheaval with an elderly parent, I had dropped away from “the city.”

 Another member pointed out that in the dream my sister is the part of me that doesn’t always recognize my own capability (She doesn’t see me). And it’s true that at times in waking life my insecurities do cripple me.  Someone else showed me that the dream says I have everything I need (those flippers that magically appear) to face tough times and that I can glide well through life (the sea) and easily get to where I want to go (it’s an easy swim and I know I will make it).

I have found dream work to be tremendously beneficial.  Thank you, Carla, for producing The Daily Dreamer.  There is always something new for me to learn.

Carla: Thank you so much for sharing your dream and art, and for pointing out the joy and value of being a member of a dream group. There's one more image I'd like the dreamer to think about: the pleasure boat in the distance. Another word for boat is craft. In what way does the dreamer's pleasure in her craft (making art) come in to play here? At the moment it's too far away to be helpful, but we know that boats can move, and I bet it's about to come closer.

For more information about dream groups see About Dream Groups.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Tree House

The Dream: I am with three people: a young dark-haired Frenchman, a girl of about 8 to 10, and Aunt Peggy. I know an English pub nearby that has a tree-house over a stream, and I want to show it to the young man who doubts it exists. I find the place. The tree-house has changed a lot since I last saw it. The structure looks far more planned and sturdy, as if lawyers had warned the owner about getting rid of potential hazards. It has lost a lot of its charm, but at least it's still there. It has an unusual staircase, very narrow at the bottom as if to make it impossible for an adult to gain access. I wonder if I can squeeze myself into the narrow stairwell and if I do, whether or not it will be possible to get down again. Then I notice there are some wider stairs on the other side that I could use. Nevertheless I squeeze myself into the narrow staircase and go up to the house over the stream. The four of us are at the top, wandering around. All enjoy it, but I feel it’s become too industrial, not like the more human and haphazard children’s structures of my youth. This place--too sturdy, over planned, mechanical—has lost its soul and poetry.

Interpretation: This dream reinforces what the previous dream was driving at: I’ve lost some valuable part of myself that is connected to childhood. I’ve become too rigid (the structure looks planned and sturdy).  This elevated trait of childhood (represented by the tree house) still brings pleasure, but is in danger of being changed to the point of its annihilation. The dream is pointing out the danger (losing soul and poetry) of being too careful.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Wall Flowers

The Dream: I’m in a car with some other people. At times I’m driving, at other times Clark. We come to an area surrounded by a wall covered with many beautiful flowers. The road is wooded and dense with vegetation, not like a forest, but like a suburban area that has been long established and become overgrown, yet beautiful. I ask what the wall surrounds, since something about the place seems familiar to me. I am told it’s a swimming pool; in fact it is the community pool near the house I lived in as a child. I am excited, saying, “I thought it looked familiar. I spent many hours here as a child.”  There are wide concrete steps, set at angles, going down from the pool to street level. The path meanders. I see it’s changed a lot. At some deep level I feel “activated,” but don’t stay to explore. I don’t go into the enclosed pool area.

Interpretation: The walled-off area and the pool represent the potential I had as a child, at the time of life when it seems all things are possible. But I am now like the suburban area, long established (overgrown) and changed from what I once was. The steps taking me down to reality (street level) are concrete, like the time that has past. Despite their concreteness, these steps meander. My path in life has meandered, and I can’t undo the (concrete) choices I’ve made.  Although the past can’t be changed, the way I perceive it has changed a lot. This subliminal realization is in some way exciting, but I don’t choose to explore it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The Dream: I’m in a school-like setting. I enter a classroom and see Stephen at the front of the room, conferring with 3 or 4 other people. I only glimpse him behind the others. I am dressed fashionably, in a mauve hooded cape over a slim skirt. I am aware of being glamorous. I walk through the room toward a back exit, hoping Stephen will notice me. I’m not sure whether or not he does.

I leave the room, wandering the hallway. Will Stephen follow me? Seek me out? “He was the love of my life,” I think. Then I realize that can’t be right. What about my husband? I think about my attachment to Stephen, feeling it’s ridiculous. In love with a gay man? How utterly futile. What is the attraction? I ask myself. We connected, I decide, on an artistic level.

The outfit I’m wearing in this dream was triggered by my watching children draw Little Red Riding Hood on a TV show. I had been reading about visitation dreams on-line, which no doubt inspired the visit from Stephen, a dear friend who died in 1991. As the dream puts these images together, the cape becomes mauve, the color of mourning, and I learn (I’m in a school setting) how to deal with loss by becoming very practical (the relationship was futile; I have another love) and by connecting the lost person to something that I still have, my interest in art.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Living In Hampshire

The Dream:
Clark and I own the rural and idyllic house we lived in when we were in England. I want to go back and stay for a long visit.  I wonder if I will be able to get groceries and whatever I need without having a car.  I think perhaps I can get some help from my neighbor, but then I remember she is probably elderly by now. I am also concerned with the fallout from the volcano. Is it affecting the country?

Dreams are almost always triggered by current events, including both those in our individual lives and those in the news. This one combines a conversation I had with my daughter about the ways Jamie Oliver has changed the British school lunch menu and the news—current at the time of this dream—of the powerful Icelandic volcano. The unconscious put these together with fond memories of four years in Hampshire and presented me with an idyllic home there. But the home is not without its dangers: I might not be able to get what I need (groceries) and an explosive force hovers. Looking at waking life, the difficult and demented aunt Clark and I are caring for might explode at any moment, and the ravages time has chiseled into her aged face make me aware of the precariousness of any sort of apparent stability. The neighbor who cannot help reflects the isolation we feel in dealing with this difficult situation.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Quiz Show

The Dream: Clark and I were on a quiz show that we only vaguely remember. He doesn’t remember being there, and I’m not sure which one it was. I think it might have been Jeopardy.  I suggest we watch the old video tape. I remember that we found our window installer as a result of our appearance. We won the 1st window he installed but had to pay for all the others, so I think it was more a marketing ploy than a prize.

Interpretation: There is some dangerous thing (Jeopardy) that I don’t remember. It happened in the past, and it influences my outlook (what I see through the window) in the present, like an old tape that is played and replayed. I feel cheated; the game is not what I thought it was.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Frog and the Baby

The Dream: An earlier dream about a frog morphed into one about an adorable baby, whose diaper I’m having a lot of trouble changing. I mention to no one in particular that it was not such a problem when I had to change my own children.  The baby is very patient. By the time I get her clean diaper on I think she’s already wet herself again, but I don’t want to investigate that too far because I’d have to go through the trouble of another change. Her parent is going to take her someplace in a convertible, so I place her on the back seat, propped up like a papoose. Then I think better of it, fearing she might go flying out and come to harm. I suggest to the parent that we put her on the floor of the backseat. He comes to look to make sure the spot is a good one and that she will fit into it, and then concurs.

Interpretation: This dream is about some part of me that I don’t like becoming acceptable. The appearance of the frog tips the dream’s hand: in the fairy tale the despised frog turns into a prince. The nascent part of myself (the baby) presents me with some difficulties (she is hard to change), and I underline the difficulty when I comment that my own children were “not such a problem.” After a struggle I am successful in changing the baby, but the effect doesn’t last: she immediately wets herself. This tells me she represents a persistent part of my unconscious, and one that I would rather not take a look at. (I don’t want to investigate that too far.)

But one way or another, change is going to take place. A parent (male) arrives in a convertible (a car that converts, i.e., changes). I hand the newly emergent part of myself (the baby) off to this animus figure (the part of me that deals with the outside world). Both my animus and I seek to protect this newly formed, or discovered, part. However, as we protect her we also put her in the backseat, on the floor, where she can’t be seen--or get into trouble.

For a dream featuring a baby and a spider see Baby and Spider
For other dreams featuring frogs see My Inner Frog and Pass It On

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Cup Runs Over

The Dream: I am at a church function, in a crowded hall filled with chairs and circular tables. The light level is dim; it is noisy and busy. I am in a long line of people waiting, cafeteria style, to get food. The person dispensing the food has the outgoing charm of a bartender. He is bright and shiny, with curly blond hair and angelic good looks. He is,in fact, the vicar. I’m aware that I think very highly of him.

When my turn comes I order a chicken sandwich. The vicar seems to work efficiently, but time goes by, and my food does not appear. After a while I see a tray near me and take it, soon realizing it’s not a chicken sandwich but has a small round quiche and some delicious looking salads. “Umm,” I think “this is clearly someone else’s, but it looks better than what I ordered so I’ll take it. I’m sure the other person will be able to sort it out.” I am feeling just that little bit uneasy about taking someone else’s food, which may have cost more than my chicken sandwich, but expediency wins the day, and I go on my way with my ill gotten gain, looking for a free table. I’m also looking forward to eating this delicious plate of food.

But wait! Now I notice that the lovely round quiche is half-eaten, with clear little bite marks where the rest of the quiche should be. I have someone’s half-eaten dinner. “Shall I eat it anyway?” I wonder. The thought of a stranger’s germs becomes too distasteful; I get back into the food line in order to exchange this meal for my chicken sandwich.