Sunday, July 31, 2011

Putting My Garbage Out Front

The Dream: I live in a contemporary style house, which suits me since it will accommodate my contemporary furniture. The house is very plain in front, set into a low spot: the curb is higher than the entry. In the front a recessed section strikes me as a good spot for the garbage cans, and I remark that no one will see them because of the way the house is situated.

Interpretation: I've come to a point where my world (my house) and what's valuable to me (my furniture) are harmonious: they are the same style. But I have created something of a fortress for myself; there are no windows looking out onto the street (the larger world) and the curb (symbolizing a limitation) is high. What do I offer the world? My garbage. Even here I waffle about being open and honest (coming clean): while I put my garbage out front, I hope like hell nobody will notice it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


The Dream:
I’m part of a group that performs, and some of us die during the course of my dream. The man I am engaged to spends a lot of time with the leading lady, who is very pretty and well aware of it: arrogant and exclusive. I am wandering about in the morning among sleeping bags looking for my fiancĂ©. He is with this other woman; they have slept side-by-side. Later I see them holding hands and I think, “He doesn’t hold my hand.” I go up to them. I place my hand on his arm and say, “It’s over.”

During the course of my life I’ve performed many roles, and some of these are no longer desirable. In that sense, they’re dead. In my psyche, an important part of me (my fiancĂ©) is very attracted (she’s pretty) to some negative qualities: exclusivity and arrogance. These two live beneath my conscious comprehension (in sleeping bags), but as I wander close to them, daylight (morning) signals a dawning awareness. I begin to see I’ve cheated myself by my engagement with these traits, and that I can reject them. (It’s over.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

She's Trying to Tell Me Something

The Dream:
I’m in a field. I see a head in a circle. I know the person has died and that this vision is very unusual. Even more unusual, the head—a youngish woman with brown hair—speaks to me. Something about this seems shamanistic or prophetic.

Interpretation: This dream points out that I am on my way toward resolving the conflict that the last several dreams have emphasized: social demands versus private needs. Tony Crisp says that a field (the place I see my dream vision) represents natural feelings or inclinations, or as he puts it: “freedom from social pressure, and the feeling you have about yourself when away from other people.”  The head that speaks to me is the part of me that I have enclosed in a protective circle and that has been quiet for so long I think she’s dead. Her speaking to me feels like a prophecy, a hopeful sign that I will begin to listen more closely to my awakened inner voice.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The Dream:
I want to buy some chickadees, some pretty little birds. A woman sells me five decorated eggs that she says will hatch out into the birds. Later I see her and she tells me that if the birds do hatch I must tell her how I did it and, what’s more, she wants them back. I feel angry, cheated, and annoyed that she is oblivious.

I want something that will fly, but instead am given potential flight. I have to pay for the thing I don’t want: the thing that I now realize has almost no chance of turning into what I do want. But—should the eggs hatch—I must return them. The number five is significant here; it’s when I started school. Does my psyche see this as the start of my confusing the gloss society puts on a thing (the decorated, infertile egg) with the thing itself (flying bird)? Am I only now realizing I’ve been conned?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

An Unusual Horse

This short dream is about the resolution of two opposing inner forces: one favors instinct, the other reason.

The Dream: I see a pony-sized horse with a very long body and a tiny head. It has a beautiful, shiny, black and white coat. Clark is brushing him. I think the animal is so homely that he’s cute.

Interpretation: In the telescoping way of dreams, this one tells us that it is about duality by juxtaposing three different qualities in the image of the horse: size (body, head); color (black, white); and attractiveness (homely, cute). The opposites I’m working to resolve are the instinctual (the horse) with reason (the head). The small size of the head signals a new direction for me, since I tend to over-intellectualize. The black and white of the pony’s coat echoes the Chinese yin yang, in other words, the coming together of opposites. My husband Clark (my other half) lovingly cares for the animal. My admiration for the pony in its imperfection (he’s so homely that he’s cute) symbolizes a new acceptance of my instinctive nature.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Need to Focus

The Dream: I have purchased a very large telescope, and I have a special observation room on the second floor. In the daytime I can see small aspects of life, as if I were looking through a microscope. I’m looking forward to what I’ll see at night.

I become aware that there are other “princesses” like me who have telescopes, only theirs come with harnesses for their heads that enable the device to track automatically. There’s no need for these users to refocus. I wish I had spent more money and gotten myself a telescope like theirs.

Nighttime, dream time, promises to reveal a deeper, more insightful, vision of life. I’m having some difficulty focusing on what is being revealed. A deeper commitment to the process, symbolized by my spending more money (effort) on my equipment (what I need), might solve the problem.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Does the Coat Still Fit?

What is the price of social acceptance? Today’s dream, a variation on the theme of my last post, discovers the source of “social security.”

The Dream: I’ve left a beautiful coat that my mother made for me in a restaurant. She has embroidered my name into its lining. My Aunt Jenya—famous in the family for her mercurial artistic temperament--has died, and I’ve been given nothing of hers. I regret this, because I think some of her things represent treasures of old Russia and would be wonderful to have. I go back to the restaurant and retrieve the coat.

The coat is the protective warmth of a loving parent. I almost lose it by my association with the difficult aunt, who represents my unpleasant, out-spoken, aggressive side. But it turns out I have none of her qualities (I’ve been given nothing of hers). Because I have none of these (I’ve repressed my “difficult” personality traits) I can go back to the place of sustenance, the restaurant, and wrap myself once again in maternal approval. But—by repressing the negative qualities this aunt represents, am I also repressing her good qualities (her artistic talent)? Maybe I’ve outgrown the coat.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Sacrifice My Social Security

The Dream: My daughter has been working as a prostitute in order to pay off her school debt. At first my husband Clark and I don’t react to this; we think she’s a grown woman and can make her own decisions. However, I come to realize, and can see in her countenance, that this “work” is a threat to her very soul since it demands that she cut herself off from her true feelings. I want to help her get out of this situation, so I offer her money. I don’t have much, only my social security check, but I decide, after a little internal struggle, that I don’t need it.

Interpretation: In this dream I begin to realize that I’ve been prostituting my inner vision to satisfy outside demands. I’m paying off a debt (what I owe others) for my education--or what might be more accurately called my socialization. In the course of the dream I become willing to sacrifice approval (social security) to free myself from the necessity to do work I don’t love.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guest Dreamer: Goodbye Kiss

Our guest dreamer today is Hunky, whose father recently died.  She has asked me to interpret her dream. An important part of dream interpretation is that the dreamer is the final authority on the meaning of her dream. When I comment about her—or anyone’s—dream I am inevitably talking about what the dream would mean to me had I dreamt it. So I’ll discuss Hunky’s dream as if it were my dream.

The Dream: Dad lies on his bed, dead.  He is small and thin, half the size he used to be.  His skin stretches tightly over his forehead and cheekbones.  His gray hair is still course and thick.  His head tilts slightly backward and his mouth is wide open.

My brother Tom stands next to the bed and looks down at his father.  He goes to a faucet and turns it on.  He fills his mouth with water, swishes, then spits it out.  He fills his mouth again and walks back to Dad.  He leans down and puts his mouth on Dad’s mouth.  Tom is using his tongue to clean his father’s mouth.  He is thoroughly swabbing all surfaces of the inside of Dad’s mouth.  Then Tom sucks the foul water back into his own mouth, turns his back and spits it out.

Carla’s projection: In his lifetime my father was a difficult person. Now that he is gone I am reassessing the man who loomed so large in my psyche, and I see him differently. (He’s now half the size he used to be.) His death is not only literal, but also symbolic as his role in my life diminishes.

My brother Tom is an animus figure in this dream; in other words, he is the strong, active part of me. It is significant that I (in the guise of my brother) am the one that turns on the faucet, which represents the flow of emotions now under my control. As I take the water into my mouth I experience the full range of my feelings—love, hate, grief, release—I swish these all around and then I spit them out, signaling that I’m done with these.

Next I (through Tom) work to purify my father.  By cleaning father's mouth I wish to cleanse him of the words, actions, and non-actions that had caused much pain.  I cleanse him, and--like the Buddhists who breathe in evil and breathe out love and peace--I transform my father by taking his failings into my own mouth and spitting them out.  As I transform my father I transform myself: he becomes the father I want, I become the woman I want to be. I am free.

Hunky, the dreamer, says: Understanding my father’s severe personality disorder makes forgiveness easier.  I believe forgiveness is a part of the message.  Maybe one of these days I'll have a dream that acknowledges the positive ways he influenced me.