Sunday, May 31, 2015

All In It Together

The Dream
: A woman has been tasked with beating a man who lies face down, prone. He is covered with a blanket, and she must beat him with a whip until his blood runs black. She is appalled at this thing she is doing, but does it anyway. The power that set her to her dismal task is Christian.

I am an onlooker, also horrified. At some point his blood does run black, and she begins to rail against Christianity for having one set of rules for its followers while the hierarchy behaves quite differently. She is very angry, but never questions her own acquiescence, in other words, why she did as she was told rather than follow her conscience.

: First I'll look at some things that triggered this dream: At the time of the dream I was reading Eric Kandel's The Age of Insight, and was at the place where Freud analyzes one of his own dreams and feels it has pointed out that he has suppressed his own guilt, just as my dream beater does. This was around the time of the horrific terrorist shooting at a mall in Kenya, following close on the heels of a shooting by a mentally ill person of people at an American Navy installation.

I feel guilty when I hear about these, and other, world situations, as well as disappointment and anger that the country I was brought up to believe had some sort of moral superiority now appears as venal and self-serving as the rest of the world. In the dream, Christianity stands for bankrupt values and hypocrisy on a national scale, and I ponder my own guilt as a citizen, even though I, like the dream actor, go along with it and feel powerless to stop it. I feel forced, as she does, to participate in things I find morally reprehensible. The dream implies my guilt and asks me why I don't  stop.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In Memoriam

The Dream
: I had this dream the night of my brother Greg's birthday. My other brother Nick and I are at a memorial service for  Greg. We are sitting about four rows back, on the left side of the chapel. I call it a chapel: it is nonsectarian, like the place where Greg's actual memorial was held. We are separated by some others, not sitting next to each other. I hear Nick weep. I weep as well. We don't interact.

Interpretation: Nick and I, united in a grief we cannot talk about. We are separated, yet also together, in the same place. Kubler Ross's 4th stage of grief (we are 4 rows back) is depression, sadness. My unconscious is telling me where I am in the grieving process.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two Different Sides

The Dream: One boob is cute and perky; the other larger, saggy and floppy.

Interpretation: This reflects the two sides of my artistic life (the thing that nurtures me). One side is controlled and attractive; the other is not so acceptable and well-behaved. Yet the two are part of the same body (of work). This image represents a conjunctio or coming together, in the psyche, of two opposing inner forces.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Women and Children

Dream image: Three women in empire dresses and turbans hold two babies.

Interpretation: All babies are our babies, the children of our common humanity. All women are sisters. In this dream the women of the world unite to nurture the children of the world. I hope this image is precognitive!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Disappointing Holiday

The Dream: I'm not hosting the holiday this year; I'm at someone else's house. I wonder about the friend who has celebrated with us for so many years. Where has she gone this year? The food at this feast is perfunctory: a bare bones meal with grocery-store preparations. It's not the way I would have done it.

This might be an example of Freud's concept of wish fulfillment gone wrong. I might wish to be relieved of the responsibility for the holiday, but once that wish is fulfilled, as in the dream, the result is an unfulfilling event—with the play on the word “full” duly noted. The food is inadequate, and the friend who represents my inner wounded child has been neglected. To mother my wounded child I must be a mother, in other words, take on the responsibility of hosting the event. Only then will I be happy with the outcome.