Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moving is a Lot of Work!

The Dream: We've moved to a new house: it's an old new house and needs a lot of work. It was expensive, but I'm afraid it doesn't look it. My cousin is coming to visit, and I wonder how she will react. I'm concerned that she won't realize how much the house cost. I also think about my old town, that it was dull and that this is a better place. I wonder if my cousin will prefer our other house, the one we left behind. And where will I put her? The family reminds me we have moved the guest room furniture into a new guest room, and it is ready for her visit.

The rest of the place is a mess. The previous owners didn't clear out their things. The family room is full of pictures and articles pasted on the wall in a haphazard way. There's a raised work stand for chopping and cutting that should be part of the kitchen but instead is apart, on its own, in a corner.

The back garden is organized into areas but also needs attention. One section is a raised cement herb garden. As I look at what's left of the plants a small animal appears at my feet: a reptile with a long tail, plump in the middle. At first I think it's cute and point it out to Clark. It has curled, like a possum, into a pretty colored ball. It's joined by others, and six or seven or so run about our feet. They now appear to be furry and somewhat rodent like. They've started to annoy me, and I do my best to shoo them away.

Going through the garden we come to other undiscovered parts of the house. I think one area will be a good place for my studio, but then find another spot that will be even better. It's a long, large room, looking like a basement with a cement floor and cinder block walls. Like the rest of the house, this area is full of debris and will need to be sorted out. There's a large refrigerator, in good repair and not looking too old. I confer with Clark as to whether it could be useful. A woman tells us the food inside is good; we should try it. There are some health food-type drinks, white like milk, that she particularly recommends. She seems concerned that we might chuck out everything in there, and it's likely we would.

As I think about the studio, I see that preparing this place will be a lot of work: first I'll have to clear out someone else's debris. But I am excited about having this expansive studio with high ceilings and fluorescent well as incandescent light. I say to Clark, “Now I'll be able to work on large pieces.

The new house is a mess, but also full of interesting possibilities. The first thing that needs to be sorted is the family room, and the clue as to what about family I need to sort is given by my reaction to my cousin's visit. I am very concerned that she will be critical, that she won't like where I am, that I'm not ready for her, and that she won't appreciate how much I've “paid” for the place where I live, in other words, that she won't appreciate the value of my life choices. The dream tells me that I am ready to accept this, my inner critic, even if I don't feel ready. I have prepared a room for her.

The herbs and odd animals in the garden and the food in the refrigerator all point to new, if uncomfortable, possibilities. The scurrying animals represent challenges that go way back-- to the lizard and rat parts of my brain, the parts that respond instinctively and without reflection or awareness. Here dwell the beautiful and the ugly, the appealing and the off-putting, all at the same time. The new studio, with its two sources of light and it's deep (basement) location, offers me a space where I can work on these “large” issues. Perhaps my cement, the things that have been written in stone in my psyche, is being transformed into something more enlightened—if I can avoid being overwhelmed by all the work that needs to be done.

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