Sunday, March 30, 2014

Female Rituals

The Dream: I am at an elegant women's clothing shop, wearing an attractive black dress that I bought there. I tell the saleswoman that while I like this dress, it's too large. She looks for a smaller one, but not finding it comes back with a summery white and blue dress. I think this one will be too small, but I try it on and it fits, except that it's a little constricting in the underarm area. I think I might buy this dress as well as keep the one I had been planning to exchange.

Then I'm in my doctor's office. I'm asked to get my file. Do I remember how to retrieve these old-fashioned files—the ones stored in cabinets? I find I have no trouble and pull out a thick file with my name on it. I want to know what they've written about me. Am I allowed to look? I decide it is my right, and on top it says I'm pregnant. I'm surprised and mention it to the doctor. I tell him that I'm concerned because I've had no symptoms of pregnancy, no fatigue or morning sickness. Does this mean the baby won't be healthy, might not come to term? Then I remember I do have a slight upset stomach, but I'm not sure that qualifies as a sign of a healthy pregnancy.

Interpretation: I had been reading a book by Danica Anderson about the South Slavs and their ancient rituals and religion centered around women and birth. In the dream I perform the contemporary urban female rituals of shopping and going to the doctor. In my dream a potential birth is medicalized, no longer a woman-centered event. As a contemporary woman I go to an office and a doctor for childbirth and put my life story (the file) in the hands of impersonal medical technicians. No wonder one of the dresses I've bought is black and doesn't fit, and the other feels constricting. Can what is born of this situation possibly be healthy and survive?

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