Sunday, August 7, 2011

Remembrance of Things Past

The key to this dream is sisterhood.

The Dream:
I see a stylish woman wearing a Kappa Kappa Gamma key as an ornament. I think this looks good, and I go to find my own sorority key. In looking for it I find information about the early Kappas, and I become interested in the history of the group and in the sorority itself, things I didn't care about as an active. I realize things have changed, but my own interest in the group, and my feeling of attachment for it, is greater than I remember its being.

A woman appears who is an official of Kappa Kappa Gamma. I tell her that I’ve written a biography of the founder. She asks to see it, and I realize—if I didn’t know it when I spoke—that I made that up. I say I’ve misplaced it, and in the meantime I plan to go to the library and see what I can discover. I tell myself not plagiarize; I hope to find more than one source of information.

I find records of my past Kappa Kappa Gamma activities. There’s a light yellow silk blouse with a v-neck and ruffled collar that seems important. I find an old play that I thought I’d written in New York, but it turns out I wrote it shortly after I was married. It has a large cast of just about everyone Clark and I knew at the time. I think it must not have been too embarrassing a venture, since I don’t remember anything about it.

I’m dealing with my past here, re-evaluating the worth of some of my activities. My participation in a college sorority seems more valuable in the dream than it did at the time. The dream tells me it’s time to look at things differently (I realize things have changed): the history I’ve say I’ve written (the woman’s biography) doesn’t exist. I need to do some research and find some new sources of information. And, what’s more, what I discover must be unique to me: I’m not to plagiarize someone else’s version of the woman’s (my) life.

“Sisterhood” represents my early family life, when I was the “sister.” Looking back, I see I wore a beautiful, well-made silk blouse; I see the experiences I had and the bonds I developed are more positive, and that the gifts of the organization (my family) are greater, than I realized at the time. 

The tie-in between sisterhood and my subsequent life (the play in New York) hints that my awkward feeling that everything I did as a young person was awful and embarrassing might not reflect reality. (Maybe it wasn’t too embarrassing a venture.)  The dream symbolically points out that the sinking feeling I get when thinking about my own past—partially feelings of loss, partially feelings of embarrassment—might not be accurate. It’s time to take a second look so I can find a more comfortable way to integrate the past with the present. 

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