Sunday, February 19, 2012

There is No Safe Way

The Dream: Clark and I go into a Safeway grocery store. Clark decides he will shoplift the day’s groceries. I’m very uncomfortable with this idea, but he’s determined. The next thing I know he’s disappeared, and I’m afraid he’s done the deed. I don’t see how he can possibly get away with it: there are security cameras everywhere.

The next time I see Clark he is in the hallway near the employee lounge area, using push pins to post clues about how he managed to shoplift right under the store’s surveillance cameras. He’s feeling very smug and clever but I explain that his prints will be all over the push-pins, and he’ll be caught. He finally agrees and removes the clues.

We leave the store and go to the parking lot. I drive. Police question us, and I explain that Clark is the most honest person I’ve ever met. They don’t pursue their inquiries, and I drive off after having a little difficulty starting the car. As I drive down a hill I notice flooding near the bottom, getting progressively deeper. Clark criticizes my driving, and I turn the car around and head for higher ground. There’s a round-about at the top of the hill, put in place to make the turn easier for boats.  A boat on a trailer goes down the hill as we go up.

In the next scene we are in a cave. The earthen walls are rich red sienna, and so is the calf-deep mud we are wading in. This is unpleasant, but soon gets much worse as I fall into a hole I hadn’t seen under the mud. Submerged up to my chin, I holler for Clark; I expect him to rescue me. He ignores me. I have an expensive camera with me, and I’m sure it’s been ruined. I extricate myself, unaided, from the hole, and my new concern is for the camera. I hear a story about a man whose camera suffered similar abuse: he gave it away, thinking it was broken. The new recipients were two young boys and, to my surprise, they were able to make good use of it.

Interpretation: In this dream my psyche is looking for safety (the Safeway) and is reduced to stealing to get it, clearly not feeling entitled to have what it so desperately wants (food, sustenance). And what is it facing that has caused such alarm? The recent death of two close friends has forced me to face my fears about my own death. I realize I can’t get away with cheating death, as I explain to Clark (my other half) who thinks he can. (He is  planning to steal food, that is, life).

The flooding is unconscious material forcing itself upon me. I head for high ground, trying to get away, but the dream tells me I’m going in circles (the round-about). I escape the flood, only to be submerged in mud: the red clay symbolizes my mortal flesh, my earthly existence. I call for help from my animus, the part of me that deals with life in a rational, practical way—this part can’t help here. The camera represents my eye (I); that it’s expensive says I value the self I have created, and I fear its ruin (death). The camera records my experience and might be a way of leaving, or bequeathing, something of myself. In the dream the camera evolves from something that watches and judges (the store’s surveillance camera) to something valuable to me that will inevitably be ruined (my camera in the muddy cavern) until it is given to two young boys who make good use of it. The dream tells me that the job of my life at this point is to prepare a gift for others and to believe they will find it useful, whatever my doubts.

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