Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Sleeping Foreigner

Dreams can serve to nudge us along and attempt to get us back on the right path when we falter. It might seem contradictory, but this dream is issuing a wake-up call.
The Dream: An attractive young woman, someone close to me, is sleeping too much. She resembles the Polish cleaning woman in the PBS mystery Father Brown. I go into her bedroom and try to awaken her with a gentle hug and kiss, as my father would awaken me. She doesn't seem unhappy but doesn't want to get up, either. I'm concerned that all this day-time sleeping might mean she's depressed.

Interpretation: There's a part of myself that feels foreign. There are some family associations here: one of my grandmothers was from Austria Hungary, now in Poland. After her husband died in The Spanish flu epidemic, this brave woman who lived in Brooklyn and spoke little English worked as a cleaning woman to support her three children. She avoided remarriage; having experienced being a step-child in her own youth she didn't want her children to endure the kind of unequal treatment she associated with that situation.

In the dream I experience life from this point of view: as one who is foreign, poorly equipped to cope with the world, and saddled with responsibilities. How did my grandmother respond? She prevailed. How do I respond? I go to sleep. I don't want to engage with a difficult reality. I am comfortable hiding out in bed, happy in my retreat, and wary about confronting my difficulty.


  1. Thanks for sharing Carla...i'm currently conducting a research study on Dreams & Chronic illness. Each morning i send the participants an email with some topic related to dreaming for their perusal. Plan on doing a posting on Interpretation through Drawing. Will include a link to your site if that's ok as this is an excellent example of this technique. Cheers, Bhaskar

    P.S. Here's a link to the study's case you're interested.

  2. Hello Bhaskar--Good luck with your study! Feel free to include a link to this site. Carla