Figuring out who’s who is this dream’s puzzle.
The Dream: Mary tells me her friend is interested in dreams and shows me her dream journal. When I see it I feel inadequate. The woman has illustrated every scene of a dream that goes on for seven pages. The illustrations are creative and clever. She has made an illustration of little iced cookies in the shape of animals that represents Mary: Mary doesn’t care for it; she thinks it’s “too sweet,” but I think it’s charming. The illustrations are colorful, playful, and chic at the same time.
Interpretation: The Mary in this dream is a waking life friend. I am the only friend she has who keeps a dream journal. So—does this make me the friend whose dream journal she is showing me? Is she, in fact, showing me my own dream journal? And if she is, why do I feel inadequate when I see it? This leads to the next identity puzzle: is Mary actually Mary, or is she standing in for someone else? As an old friend she stands in for someone from my past. Who, I have to ask myself, in my past reacted to my work in a judgmental way? This leads me to the inevitable conclusion that the Mary in my dream stands in for my inner “mother.” The seven pages and the iced cookies hint at the era the dream evokes: when I was seven years old. A hopeful sign: I stand up for myself, disagreeing with Mary’s (mother’s) assessment of my artwork.