Sunday, July 17, 2016

What to Wear?

The work we do in our dreams helps to establish our sense of self. In Janet's dream, clothes symbolize an identity in flux.
The Dream:  I am at a pre-wedding event for a Bride. I ask her what we should wear on the day. She says it will be casual; then she says there will be a range. I try to figure out what that means. “Sort of like dinner dress?” I suggest. “Like going to dinner in New York? Or Paris?” As I add the reference t o Paris I wonder if I sound cool or pretentious. I had surprised myself by saying it.

I become separated from the group and wander into what I think is the right party. I soon become aware that I don't recognize anyone, and I start to feel uncomfortable. This was not the wedding I was supposed to attend. Racks of used clothes appear, filling the room. What are we supposed to do with them?

I look in various rooms for the wedding I meant to attend. I look at the plaques on the doors, searching for the Bride's name. Then I realize I don't know her name. Maybe it's Carol. I have no idea what her last name is.

Carla's thoughts: A pattern company once had the slogan: “Make the clothes that make the woman.” Clothes here are a symbol of creating identity. Because the symbol is based on something that is external (clothing) we can see that the part of identity the dream deals with is the one that interacts with the outside world, or the persona. The dreamer wants to know how to interact with the milieu she's in, what is appropriate for her situation.

As the dream progresses she finds she is lost. In the dream world a wedding symbolizes a union, or a transformative reconciliation of opposites. Janet is having some difficulties with this on-going growth process. First she finds herself at the wrong wedding, where racks of old clothes (identities) appear. She looks for the proper wedding, (the union of the self she has been and the self she is becoming), but at this point she hasn't found it.
The bride's name (identity) is a mystery to her.

As Janet works on her dream, she should ask herself if she knows any Carols, and if so, how she feels about them. This might be a clue to the resolution of her conundrum. She will want to be on the look-out for future identity dreams; this one tells her that her quest is not over.