Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Through the Looking Glass

The Dream: I'm in my apartment in NYC. I have plants growing in many of the windows that go around the corner of the large kitchen. I am pulling the window shades down to the tops of the plants and hoping that they will fill the gap between the shades and the window sill enough to provide the necessary privacy. Someone says they won't. I try to figure out whether or not others can see in and how to protect myself from their prying eyes while still doing what I want to do—that is, leaving the shades above the plants.

Interpretation: The dream was triggered by a suggestion that I bring some of my paintings to a meeting. Showing work represents both a kind of growth and a kind of exposure. The dream shows me that my desire to grow, to do what I want to do (represented by the plants), is coming up against my discomfort at feeling exposed. What is the right mix of privacy and exposure?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Scowler

The Dream: I'm in the backseat of a car. There's a very cute little boy sitting there as well. His mother doesn't have a child's safety seat for him so I wonder if I should hold him. There's also a little girl I hadn't noticed who, as I'm thinking about the boy, says, “Everyone thinks he's cute.” She protectively hands the boy forward to his mother.

Now that I've noticed the girl I take a better look at her. She's very unattractive: overweight, very white skin, hair pulled back tightly from a scowling face. She has short little bangs and is wearing a little princess tiara on her head. I suddenly realize that this unappealing little girl needs some attention. I ask to see her artwork. She brightens up and shows me what looks like some well done contour drawings. As I praise her she warms up and relaxes, telling me that she needs to “loosen up.” I think she's loose enough already.

Interpretation: As the dream begins it's clear I'm not in the driver's seat with whatever is going on right now. (I'm in the backseat.) One small part of me—the acceptable “cute” part—has been handed over to mother. This good child part belongs to her; in other words, he does what mother requires. Another part is not so attractive:she scowls and wants to rule (she wears a crown). But if I can recognize her for who she is and what she does (admire her work) she will be able to relax. When she says she wants to loosen up she is telling me that she wants to let go of her tendency to control things in ways that make her (me) tense. That I've recognized her in this dream enables this to happen: she's “loose enough already.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Polly's Gift

The Dream: A birthday gift from Polly has arrived. She made me a book with an unusual format, very long and narrow. The cover is turquoise with black ink splatters. Inside, the book reveals elegant and very accomplished drawings in shades of gray. It displays such sophisticated talent and skill that I am both surprised and envious. I ask Polly if she has been taking art lessons and she says yes. The drawings are not realistic, but the well-informed figures are beautifully drawn, and each page is beautifully, and apparently effortlessly, designed. I'm very impressed, and I envy her talent.

Polly calls to see if I've received the book and says she's surprised it arrived so quickly, although she grouses about the delivery cost. When I tell Polly the book has arrived she says she'll be right over, and suddenly appears, even though she lives on the other side of the country. We sit next to each other on a sofa looking through the book. Meanwhile, one of my children has vomited onto the rug in front of us. I don't remember exactly how we react; I think we try to ignore it while being aware I'm going to have to clean it up, although I make no move to do so.

That the book is given to me on my birthday tells me that this dream is about a transformation (birth). A book is something that imparts knowledge, and because it is long and narrow the dream might telling me that I need to expand my outlook. The color turquoise is associated with intuition; the splattered ink tells me that there are some limitations (blots) on mine. When I look inside, the book shows me some work on a level I don't feel capable of. Do I need to look inside myself to discover what my true capabilities are? When Polly complains about what it cost to deliver this book she acknowledges the sustained effort it takes to accomplish something worthwhile.

As Polly (my inner artist) and I look through this book, a small part of myself (my child) expels some very strong feelings (vomits). That she vomits onto a rug, something that is walked on and also something traditionally connected to status, gives me some hints about what those feelings are about. In this case, the fact that I make no move to clean it up (to suppress the strong feelings) is a good thing. That might, in fact, be the birthday gift that my unconscious has given me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

She's Blossoming

Today's guest dream comes from Nasrin Beyraghdar who created the lovely artwork that illustrates her dream.

The Dream: I was talking with some of my cohorts, and then I noticed that something that looked like green thorns were coming out of my index finger. I showed it to someone (I cannot remember who), and asked that person to see what it was. She said, “Go to dissertation teacher, she knows how to take it out.” Then suddenly many flowers began to sprout on the back of my hand, all were spontaneously bursting into bloom. The flowers were violets, they had a light and darker violet shade of color and there were clusters of them all over my hands and arms. Then I woke up.

Carla's thoughts: If this were my dream, I would feel that it had been triggered by something work-related. (I'm with my cohorts.) I'm uncomfortable; it's a prickly situation, perhaps caused by my inexperience (the green thorns). I ask for help and am sent to the person who directs dissertations. Since a dissertation is a document in which I put forth my original ideas and place them before others who will judge them, my discomfort might be caused by my concern that my true thoughts and beliefs will not be accepted. Once my dream puts its finger on what's bothering me and I go to the proper guide (my inner dissertation teacher, who can speak out with authority), my true self bursts into bloom. The flowers sprout from my hand, the part of my body that touches the world and represents my “feelings.” I am blossoming. The violet color suggests I've arrived at a new spiritual understanding, perhaps one that I can hand over to others.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wading Out of Being Stuck

The Dream: I'm on a train that isn't going anywhere, and I finally decide to get off. The train is stopped about 12 feet wide of the platform, and the gulf is filled with water. Clark has waded ashore: he has Wellies. I decide there's only one way to get there and begin to make the crossing, getting my trousers and shoes wet.

: I'm going in a predetermined and unalterable direction (on a train) when I discover I'm not going anywhere. Since being on a train can represent my life's journey, the dream is telling me it's time for a change. In deciding to get off the train it's clear I'm ready to make the change, but I'm confronted with a difficulty: the train is not near the platform, and the space in between is filled with water. Water represents emotion, so for me to move on in my life's course I need to wade into some feelings that I've been avoiding. My animus, the part of me that forges forward in the world, has some protection in the form of Wellies—waterproof boots. But for the dream ego, my more vulnerable self, there's no other way except to plunge in and get my feet wet.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Embrace

The Dream:
A couple embrace, standing in a circular pool of water. They are dressed in ancient garb, like Roman togas. After a while I notice that a long tube is emerging from the man's garment. It blends so well with his toga that it's not very noticeable. He is peeing into this tube, and the pee is going into the pool as the two embrace.

Once they've separated their entwined bodies, the woman wants a drink. She picks up a shell and bends to get some water from the pool. The man watches, aghast, but says nothing.

Pools are reflective; the one in this dream invites me to self-reflection. If I look at the characters in this dream as aspects of myself that I've not recognized, I see the man as representing one of my transgressions that has not been confessed: he sees something that isn't right, but doesn't speak out. He pollutes a perfection (the circular pool) and in doing so represents the damage (shelling) of my self-image. Because of this misdeed I am contaminated: but perhaps I need to drink this in before I can make things right.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Dreamer: No Longer Caving In

How are we affected by the images of womanhood that are prevalent at the time we approach it?

Sunee's Dream: I had a very vivid, but strange dream last night. Seems I was going to a place for information about something. There was a beautiful old gambrel-roofed (sometimes called hipped-roof) barn which was kept up so nice--with freshly stained brown cedar siding (I remember thinking it would really have looked good if it had been painted the traditional barn red color), and the house had the same color siding, too. The place was a lovely old farmstead, with large shade trees and a beautiful well-kept yard--a place where mature adults would live (no sign of kids here). It was in the middle of summertime, and the air felt cool and slightly damp, but the sun was shining. The entire place set quite close to the gravel road, which is not unusual here for old farms. I went to the door and hanging on the door was a picture of my father and me, when I was little--taken years ago, but it did not look like a familiar picture to me. A man came to the door, his name was Mr. Huntley. I asked him about the barn, commented on my attraction to it, and could I go in it. He seemed a bit reserved, but did take me in the barn. Inside, was the entrance to 3 caves. They did not look very big. Each had mud paths going down, and each looked well used. Then, darned it, I woke up!
I do not know anyone by the name Huntley, and this place is unknown to me; also, there are no caves around here! This is probably just a goofy dream, but I remember it so well, and was wondering if it might mean something.

Carla's thoughts: In case Sunee is not familiar with the techniques of dream work I'd like to reiterate what I've said before about my commenting on another person's dream. I am working with a technique called projection, and that means that I treat Sunee's dream as if it were my own. Dreams speak to us in images and symbols, and these can have very specific meanings for a dreamer—so don't believe anyone who tells you that they can tell you what your dream means. Dreams come from our lives, and each dream has a meaning specific to the life and person who created it. What others can do is to give you ideas about what the dream might possibly mean. My hope is that this will get you started on your own exploration.

So—if this were my dream, I would think it had to do with my being at a stage in my life where I am ready to understand an event in my past in a new way. I would look back to the two or three days before I had the dream to see if there were something that brought to mind a person or situation from the past. In the dream, I am looking for information. The beautiful old barn gives me some hints about the topic. A barn is a place that houses animals, so the information I'm looking for might have to do with my physical self (my animal). This is a place of productivity; all is well cared for. The atmosphere is one of fertility, and several images in the dream make me think of myself coming into the fertility announced by my first menstrual period. First there is the hipped-roof building (my hips), and then there is the freshly stained brown siding (the red-brown of first menstrual blood). This is emphasized by my thinking it would be even better if it were red (blood). That this is a place for mature adults tells me that I might be on the right track here, because as of my first period I became mature, an adult.

Something about this time was difficult for me; the road was rough (the gravel). The picture of my father and me appears at this point. Fathers in dreams can stand for the traditional values of a culture, and, when I was a girl, periods were highly embarrassing things. I felt self-conscious about this natural and healthy occurrence, and this added to my adolescent angst. Mr Huntley appears just at this time; he's the person who will help me hunt for my own truth about how I feel about my body. Many things in the dream tell me that that truth is far more positive than the negative images of my youth: the loveliness of the well-kept farm and its garden, for example.

What's stopping me? Mr Huntley's reserve is my reserve. (All characters in a dream are the dreamer.) The caves are the entrance to my unconscious, and that's where the true information resides. But it's a slippery (muddy) slope getting down there, and there might be something that is muddying the issue. Nevertheless, I think the dream is telling me to go with my own feelings; I don't have to cave in to the opinions of others.