Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Not an I (Eye) Surgeon

The Dream:
There is an eye surgery nearby. The head doctor, who does laser surgery, is an affable phony. He's been friendly, so I go back to see him. He's in the middle of an operation. To get to him I have to walk all the way to the end of his facility, a long, narrow room. I see him working next to a large rectangular surgical table covered by a tray filled with blood. The smell puts me off, plus I can see he's busy, so I leave.

As I get to the front door one of his assistants, an officious nurse, points to a flimsy sign, folded over in a way that makes it unreadable, handwritten on lined school paper. The sign says, “Stay Out!” or “No Admittance.” She is judgmental in that quiet, huffy, offended way that some women have perfected. She says something like, “Didn't you see the sign?” as she slams and locks the door after me.

I feel guilty and ill at ease about having trespassed, even though I hadn't seen the sign. I worry that I will be the cause, or be blamed, if there's a difficulty with the eye operation.

Interpretation: This dream was triggered by a guest dreamer post:  The Dream. I saw the dream as sexual, in some way connected to the dreamer's menses, related either to her actual father's reaction to her coming to womanhood or to the father as symbolic of the culture's values. I was concerned that the woman who offered the dream might be offended by my interpretation. My own dream tells me that I shouldn't go near the blood, that I am trespassing. Perhaps with this particular dream, I was “at the end of [my] facility;” in other words, either my comments were facile or I was out of my depth. And this could be true because, to avoid upsetting the dreamer, I did feel the need to soften my reaction to her dream. I see the doctor in my dream as a phony, but affable.

If I make a mistake with someone's “I” (eye) I leave myself open to a huffy, offended judgment. At least as far as that particular guest dream goes, my own psyche thinks it might have been better to see the writing on the wall (the sign) and “Stay out!”

Friday, May 23, 2014

Edged Out

The Dream:
A bus passes; it's attractive, looking like a large one story suburban house. I wonder how it will make the turns. I get on another bus, knowing it's going in the wrong direction but thinking I can take it to a place where I can get the right one. I put a notebook down on a seat about three-quarters down the aisle to save it for myself, then go toward the front to ask the driver for directions. When I return a man has taken the seat. I'm surprised at this rudeness, but am mostly concerned with getting back my notebook.

Interpretation: The life I am accustomed to living is attractive--if circumscribed (single story); it leaves me outside my own center (it's suburban). Into the bargain, it's passing me by. I don't think this way of life will allow me to evolve (I don't think it can make the turns). Since a bus is a public conveyance, it symbolizes the direction of the society and my role as a member of that society. When I do get on a bus, I think it's going in the wrong direction. Nevertheless, I'm still hoping I can get to where I want to go, even though I've made a commitment to stay in one spot (the seat I've chosen). I realize I need some help in charting my path, so I go to the driver (the part of me that is setting my course) for some advice. When I return my fixed spot has been taken—this is a rude awakening, but my main concern is to get back a notebook. Since I use one to record my dreams I think the unconscious is trying to tell me this is an important step in the process of understanding my true path. Perhaps the unique look of the first bus I saw is a hint that even though we travel with the larger society, we might not see things the way it does.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Friendly Oppressor

The Dream: I'm at a large dinner party. My older brother is sitting at the table, about three-quarters of the way down from me. I'm near, or at, one of the heads. I am crying because my other brother has died. A young woman, a friend, sits on my lap. At first I think this is a joke, but after a while I realize there are no other seats and she means to stay. This begins to feel oppressive.

Interpretation: I don't have the inner resources to take care of a need (there are not enough seats for all at the table). I only have my head (logic). Yet feeling cannot be denied, and I am crying. My brother's death, and the realization that I am three-quarters through my own life, is the oppressive thing that sits on me and won't go away. It's no joke. Yet my oppressor is friendly, why is that? Because she is there to teach me an important lesson, to make me aware that death is a reality I shouldn't run from, but must accept.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Am I Shutting Out?

The Dream: Clark and I and two friends, Tom and Joan, are sitting on the floor in a circle. Tom is being very sweet and congenial, but I feel angry and resentful toward him; I'm not ready to forgive his past bad behavior.
Clark doesn't seem bothered at all, in fact he quickly builds a wooden shutter for the guest room window. The morning sun is very bright in there, and he wants to screen it out so that the room is more comfortable. He builds a 4-panelled folding screen, but doesn't paint or finish it. He decides to put it in the guest room closet: when someone visits he'll finish it.

Interpretation: This unforgiven friend, Tom, is a screen for a part of myself that I find unacceptable. In the beginning of the dream the four dream actors are together; the circle they sit in emphasizes their unity and tells me they are all part of the same thing: me, in this case. Even the unacceptable one, the one I resent, is congenial.
My husband, who represents my animus, doesn't see—or admit—that there's a problem. Even as he denies the difficulty he works to shut out the light (awareness), making the excuse that the room is more comfortable this way. This tells me that I really don't want to see this—it's too uncomfortable. The screen has four panels, echoing the four dream actors and Jung's four aspects of the Self. It isn't finished, but closeted (hidden away). This difficulty will be worked on again when the next guest (insightful dream) arrives at my house.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Status (Quo?)

The Dream: A dream that featured one of  my mother's relatives, her brother's son. In some way I felt I had to prove myself, that I was seen as inferior.

Interpretation: At first I thought this dream was about an envy rooted in an old family rivalry that has refused to die. The older relative in the dream is wealthy and accomplished. My ridiculous and unworthy feeling, considering the ill health he has endured, springs from the poisonous soil of my youth and my poor mother's resentment that her husband was not as successful as this fellow. In the dream I feel inferior to his son who has screwed up in just about every way, and that's interesting because I don't—who could?

When I looked at the image I drew to illustrate the dream, I realized it gave me a different answer. The exotic flowers had their own kind of life force and beauty. The caption asked, “What grows from the poisoned soil?” and answered, “Everything.” The rivalries we have push us forward, compel us to do better, to be more, than we otherwise might. The confusion of our own worthy and unworthy feelings, if we can look at them honestly, makes us more empathetic. Our dark side gives us depth. So what springs from the poisonous soil of our earthly life? The things that make us human, for better and for worse.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In the Toilet

Sometimes we need to cooperate with parts of ourselves we don't particularly enjoy.
The Dream: A young woman, unmarried and pregnant, is receiving help from a nun. The young woman wonders what sort of obligation this might entail; she doesn't agree with the nun's religion or values. At the same time she is grateful for the aid and feels that she will, in the future, repay the organization that helped her.

The nun and the young woman are in a small, closet-like area with nothing but a toilet. The young woman decides to sit down and, to her surprise, ends up in the toilet. The nun lectures her about making this stupid move. It's somewhat difficult, but the two of them working together manage to get the young woman out of the toilet.

Interpretation: I'm feeling closed in and restricted (in the small closet-like area). I need a kind of help that is difficult for me to accept because I don't agree with its black and white (nun's colors) unnuanced point of view. Nevertheless, without some organization, however confining it may feel, I'm going to be in the toilet (not doing well at all) and my new baby (project) will not survive. The dream tells me I need to respect and support my helpers, those annoyingly demanding parts of myself, if I'm going to produce anything of value.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What's After Me?

The Dream: This dream features a good friend, Alex. I'm in an airport and I see her. I'm pregnant and I want to tell her. Meanwhile, she is being pursued by several political groups who want to kill her. As she tells me this, in her perky, irreverent way, I realize that there are also groups out to kill me. I want to wait for the right moment to tell her I'm pregnant, but since time is short as we elude our various pursuers I blurt it out. She seems happy about it, but distracted.

Interpretation: My friend Alex died 10 years ago. I'm in an airport, in other words, something in my life is about to take off. My new direction is emphasized by the new baby I want to tell her about. But Alex and I are both being pursued: the dream is encouraging me to think about what comes after us, in other words, what legacy will I leave behind? I need to evaluate my new baby, that is, my new direction or interest, in the framework of what it leaves to others after I've passed on, as my friend has.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Guest Dreamer: Caged and Constricted

Guest Dreamer: Weird dream last night with a very strange man in it. He was taciturn, tall, of sallow complexion and said very little. I had apparently met him a couple of times but not got to know anything about him. Now he was coming to my house. He said, "I have a car but I don't like to take it anywhere". However, it appeared he was prepared to drive this to my house.

Then it seemed I was in his car and so was my daughter Diana, and she was grown up, not a little child as she so often is in dreams. We were driving to his house. I heard her saying, "Mum, there is a poster flapping about on the front of the car, about something that happened in 1931!" Then I opened my eyes, which I did not know were shut, and looked out along the bonnet, which was green and of a long, rectangular shape. I realized this was a vintage car, so I told Diana that the poster was meant to convey that the car was authentic. The bonnet was made of loose plates of metal that were not firmly attached, and were rattling and flapping about.

At the house it got even weirder. This house was built to his own design and we were walking down a narrow corridor which had cages built into the wall, floor to ceiling and stretching out either side. The cages were full of little animals, mice, hamsters, even some small cats, and there was mechanical apparatus - like toys and railways, connecting the cages and the animals were going on rides round and round. They were all silent, but had bright eyes and looked healthy. They were all dressed in exquisite small garments in bright colors - they even had hats and bonnets - all neat, clean and well washed. Since there were so many, I thought he must spend a great part of every day washing, ironing and dressing these creatures in clean clothes. I got the impression he was looking for a woman to do this for him, and then Diana told me, "He says he is into submissive sex, he wants a woman who will give up her free will and do whatever he says." I found this oddly fascinating - that was the end of the dream!

Carla's thoughts: This dream has some similar elements to a dream that Firequeen posted on this blog some time ago: Previous Dream  If it were my dream, I would first look at the similarities and differences between the two dreams. In the first dream I find the man very attractive; in this dream he's sallow and uncommunicative. In the first dream he has presented me with an exciting red car that he offers to teach me to drive, and in this one he doesn't even like to drive his own. If, as in the last dream, he represents the part of me that works and engages with the larger world (my animus), I'm fed up with that world at the moment! However, in this dream I think he represents something else.

My (inner) child and I leave the place where I live (my customary way of looking at things) and join this rather unattractive fellow en route to his house. The dream mentions the year 1931, so I need to puzzle out what that particular number means to me. Did something significant for my life happen that year? If not, I need to look at the number in a different way—for example, was my 1st, 9th, 3rd, or 19th year important in some way that influences me now? (The dreamer will have to mine her own associations to figure out what the number means to her.) Excavating its significance may be difficult for me, because it is something I have shut my eyes to without even realizing it. But they are open now.

The long rectangular shape of the bonnet makes me think of a coffin, but the fact that it is green, the color of new life, implies that the part of me that has died will be replaced with something new and vital. Vintage evokes something that has improved with age (my understanding, perhaps?), and once I become aware of this in the dream I know that my dream (the car, the vehicle) will take me to an authentic insight. The hard things I've had on my plate (the metal plates) are not firmly attached to my journey, and after they rattle and flap around for a while I expect they will shake loose.

Nevertheless, I still have this house—the one I don't inhabit—to contend with. My journey has lead me here, so what will I discover? The house was designed by someone else. The corridor is narrow, implying that the vision of my life as seen in this house not of my making is constricted. My animals, that is, my instincts and life force, have been caged. This confinement of the vital part of me goes back to childhood, to the time of toys and little trains. And trained I was: to be neat and tidy and clean. How much time have I spent since then trying to make my animal presentable (acceptable)? The rules of society are attached to the “father” archetype, and my inner child (my daughter) knows this. She points out that “the man” is looking for submission: Be a good little girl and don't make a mess! At this point in my life I am fascinated to discover the unconscious forces that have shaped my life and behavior.