February, 2008

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2/4/08 - Title: "Overcoming Communication Problems"

I'm at work. Here I have met two pretty, soft spoken, shy women, but with whom it is easy to talk in a mildly bantering, intimate, one-on-one way. On separate days, I ask first one and then the other for her phone number.

One is from Eastern Europe and the other from Latin America. The East European woman has very light skin. The Latin American lady is darker. Both speak with an accent and do not yet know our language well. I offer to help each of them with their English, but they know I am also interested in them. One even smiles in a slightly flirtatious way when I suggest helping with English. I expect in teaching them to also be learning some of their native tongues.

When I ask for the darker skinned lady's phone number, she slowly and deliberately dictates it to me as I write it down, saying one carefully pronounced number at a time, watching to see that I am recording it correctly. For some reason, this process seems especially sexy and intimate, and I notice the sheer, simple dress she is wearing, that her skin looks smooth and soft, and that she has delicate features and small feet and hands.

Later, when I ask for the fair skinned woman's phone number, she takes the paper I was going to write it on from me and, while I watch and she looks up at my face a few times to be sure I understand, slowly and carefully writes her full name, her phone number, and her address.

I thank her but she gives me a look. "What?" I ask her. She gets something to write on and, pointing to me and it, indicates for me to give her my information too, which I do. This exchange also seems a turn-on and to suggest more intimate times to come.

Another man where I work realizes I have been writing down a woman's name and number and tries to read them over my shoulder, but I put the paper away and tell him to get his own.

Meanwhile, the DG yesterday discussed, along with other folks' dreams, my 1/28/08 "What We've Got Here is a Failure to Communicate" dream. Highlights:

  • Through the dream work and meditation, or simply in the natural course of living, I am dredging up disturbing material from my remembered past as well as from long repressed memories and feelings. As the security conscious ego, I am afraid there is too much terrible, buried trauma and emotion down there to safely deal with. I believe it would be best to gain awareness of it in a relatively gradual, natural way, lest it be too distressing, perhaps even threaten my sanity or result in another suicide attempt, maybe this time a successful one. So, I advocate an approach of simply BEING with the hurt and healing.

  • However, there is an angry young boy inside me, my shadow, for whom I do not even take definite responsibility, saying the relationship is uncertain, implying it has almost been forced on me, rather than having any conviction that this is my child or nephew, etc.

  • And he is enduring great hurt of two kinds. First, he comes from a broken home. Since this shadow is part of me, I must own that my home (of my being or self or life) is in some ways broken. This may be reflected as well in the real home life that I share with Frances. Indeed, from prior dreams it is apparent there are gender identity issues, and that in some ways, at the psyche level at least, Fran has ironically taken on some aspects of the husband role, which in those areas only leaves either a gender neutral or the wife role for me!

  • And, at the same time, there are some ways I am more inclined toward or identified with (in our society) traditionally female interests, not with macho ones like cars, sports, or showing dominance. Fran is more a "T" on the Myers-Briggs, while I am more an "F" type, a reversal of the characteristic female vs. male orientations on the T-F scale. In other ways, she can come across at times as the more competent and confident partner. The "divorce" from what I would have expected for the male/female roles within an idealized marriage is certainly not sufficient that we need to actually get a divorce, but does imply significant issues yet to be worked out within and between ourselves, lest the dyad continue to be short of its satisfactory potential. It may come down to simply accepting things the way they are, in some ways, while changing others from within. But, one way or another, change is required, and just BEING with things as they are is not, as the young boy in the dream firmly suggests, going to be enough.

  • What I am hoping for is that things will just heal in a way that they are smoothed over, perhaps so I can be comfortable again. What is needed, instead, may be more radical, a tearing open and facing ("in my face") of the existing raw wounds of this "broken home."

  • In addition, there is then the gaping, bloody wound involving virtually the boy's entire right hand, representing his dominant doing energy, as opposed to the left hand (with which [he and?] I write, that can also "draw" more on my unconscious material).

  • And it is his impatient insistence that we DO something about it, not simply be, that causes him to angrily thrust that wounded hand in my face.

  • The doing in this case, considering both the dream content and the title, a quote from "Cool Hand Luke," involves much better communication between the inner selves, taking ownership or responsibility for this angry and hurting inner shadow youngster, and giving him my full attention, not just putting him off because I want to keep talking to an anima figure who is not really involved at this point and whose apparent neglect of his security and nurturing needs has partly led to the boy's current predicament anyway.

  • It may be significant, or possibly ironic, that the film from which the title quote was taken was a (Paul) "new man" movie. What is called for here is a new man, one who will own up to the need for far better communication and healing attention on the inner landscape.

  • The shadow boy is about 12. So, he would have gotten his start around 12-13 years ago. My dad, whom I saw as terribly oppressive and controlling, imposing his will regardless of my or others' wishes, and with whom till then I had always hoped to have a better relationship, died in October, 1995, a little over 12 years ago. The shadow child may represent a shift to greater stress on the secondary healing relationship, that with Frances, also seen as sometimes imposing her will despite others' wishes. After dad's death, there was no other relationship but that with her in which to work out issues of dominance vs. resistance of domination, or of a sought after deep sense of love and acceptance, from a family member whose whole orientation however is in another direction, not of the type I felt I needed, away from an intimate sharing of feelings. Lacking that, both Dad and Fran had seemed to me relatively cold, but in fact it may just have been that their ways of expressing things were quite other than what I had sought.

  • So, as starting points for dealing with the wounds the kid is shoving into my awareness, it may be possible to ask the dreams for a closer relationship than simply a foster child and then to truly attend to whatever is brought up to consciousness.

  • That attention alone can be very powerful. By my merely observing, it can burn away tons and tons of repressed, negative material.

  • The eagle is a totem, spirit, or power animal figure. It may not be the perfect spirit to aid me, but it is the one, for now at least, that I have, so I can make best use of it! It can accompany me on my own "spirit quest," for more wisdom, confidence, maturity, responsibility, healing, overcoming of the hurt, dealing with my worst demons, and perspective.

  • The eagle can soar above the fray of ordinary human dramas and see with a much more acute vision, attuned to the slightest movement. It can see for miles in all directions. But it is not tame. In its independence it may seem to cause further hurt, if only to expose the wounds that still need to be treated. And in its symbolic form, it also tends toward an imposition of its will. Thus it was and is the symbol of imperial power for ancient Rome, Nazi Germany, and the United States of America. Its this guise, it may take the form of imposed peace, as in Pax Romana or Pax Americana, or of imposed war.

  • Given my own hobbies or obsessions, it is interesting that it is on drug trip images I have had of the American dollar bill as well as in my visions from the 1960s of a coming Third World War.

  • In its imposition of either peace or war, but still in either case a forced circumstance, the eagle symbol is typical of a false dichotomy with which we are presented in much of our religions, politics, cultures, and archetypes. It is a phony, "Lady or the Tiger," either-or mandate, like that of appropriate husband vs. wife or male vs. female roles, "shallow vs. deep," etc. In all these cases and many more, there are, instead, multiple other creative syntheses or options. We each are variously male and female, for instance, and our particular adjustments to life need to take both aspects into account.

  • The imposition of a rigid framework of either this or that, and no other, upon the natural order of things cannot but be limiting to the full potentials of various situations, people, etc.

  • Fortunately, "Cool Hand Luke," the movie in which a man is killed because he refuses to fully conform to an arbitrary imposition of control, so that the only options are life with a broken will or death with defiance, need not be the reality. In most instances, there are many other ways of dealing with things, and of both being and doing.

  • The shadow kid within needs much more comfort and reassurance. I can see that he gets it.

  • That there are two levels to the loft where we live implies dawning awareness, but that the eagle also has access to the sky, a third level, suggests transformation.

  • The circular staircase is a symbol of health and life and reminiscent of the DNA spiral and the spirals of energy within, both those from the lower to the upper regions of the body and those by which, like the spiraling of cranes rising on updrafts before continuing their migrations, we may rise up and complete our healing journeys.

2/6/08 - Title: "An Ideal Teacher-Student Relationship"

I'm an instructor at a military school (which I assume since my students are all in uniforms). (Unlike every military class I've been in) I have the students' interest and enthusiasm. I am a good teacher. They, in turn, are all bright and motivated. It is a coed group of about 40 or more tall healthy young people, about equally men and women. There (they) are an amazingly happy, confident lot with natural, spontaneous senses of humor. They laugh easily at funny things I relate or that occur in our lively class discussions.

Title: "Still Relevant?"

I am recovering from a disabling condition (a stroke?) that leaves me both mentally and physically weaker. My former friends or colleagues, when they see me again afterward, are nice but patronizing. They are busy with their own stuff and really cannot be bothered with me except, out of politeness, respond briefly when I show up after an extended absence. But I am recuperating, if more slowly and incompletely than I could wish. I try to give an assessment of a situation to a former boss (a woman about 30-40 years old), something that would have been no trouble before, but now I struggle for the words and to wrap my mind around the necessary concepts. She thanks me, but in a slightly dismissive way. I worry that I can no longer be relevant or, if I am, convince others of it.

Title: "Hold Well, with Good Attention"

I am waiting with others for a train that will take us north. I am returning to my residential rehab. facility. The route there goes through a swampy area, teeming with primitive life but treacherous. Feeling it is urgent that I board the next train, as we are waiting I cut in line, crowding almost to the front. Then I feel badly about it, and once the train arrives I let several women and children behind me go first.

It is an odd, open air train that will go at fairly high speed. There is room for me and many others who were in the line. As it happens, everyone else gets on seats behind mine, which is close to but not right at the very front of the train. The seating is single-file (in a row) and about the width of one normal but narrow seat. There are no sides to the seats and no seat belts. One simply leans forward a little and holds the (2-3 inch) sides of an elevated bar (the bar shaped like a usual train rail, extending uniformly out a little to the sides from the central length of steel). The bar (whose sides we are to hold) is either part of the train or the train rests on or hangs from it.

There is a natural selection involved here. Once the train gets up to speed, it would be easy to lose one's grip or proper balance (stop holding on well at both sides at once of the rail or bar), either by losing focus or grip (especially due to weakness from a stroke). Then one would just fall off and likely never be seen or heard from again. I realize (in the dream) this is one way society deals with the disabled and wonder if I'll be able to sustain my hold and attention well enough to complete the journey safely.

2/7/08 - In the DG last night, along with others' nocturnal recollections, we discussed my 2/6 dreaming. Highlights:

  • Optimistically, the dreams taken together mean that my natural condition is now (and would have been generally but for various trauma, such as from abuse as a child) well integrated and balanced, bright, healthy, happy, confident, easily amused, able to make others laugh, and spontaneous, the ego identifying with a teacher role and good at it, able to generate enthusiasm, motivation, humor, and interest in others.

  • But this type natural state had in the past been obscured by a disability (as profound as if I had had a stroke), involving the initial traumas (child abuse), their reinforcement in repeated abusive incidents or settings with my parents, and their effects subsequently persisting as post traumatic stress syndrome. Altogether, I was left feeling irrelevant and inadequate, full of self-doubt, and questioning of my abilities.

  • However, as a young adult in therapy, as a meditator, through dream work, etc., I have been for quite some time in rehabilitation. It has paid off. I am doing much better.

  • I was well enough, in fact, that, rather than simply settling for an adjustment to life as a disabled person, the bar had been raised to a more ambitious goal, the realization of my full potential.

  • Toward this end, it was necessary not to again significantly lose my grip or balance. Thus, even though it has been a challenge, I have sustained my hold and attention and so completed the hazardous journey of recuperation successfully.

  • This, in turn, allows for the restoration of my well integrated, confident natural state as (from the ego's perspective) a good instructor.

  • A minority in the DG felt the above happy interpretation is incorrect and that, rather than the natural, integrated, balanced, confident teacher state being restored, I am instead, and have been most all my life, still fully in the grip of a disability, as a result of which I am now doomed to being irrelevant, feeling inadequate and insecure, in danger of being emotionally alone and, metaphorically or actually, of disappearing, never to be seen or heard from again, just another victim of both a dysfunctional family background and our alienating, mechanical, dehumanizing society.

  • It is interesting that my initial take on it was that the latter interpretation is the more valid, as if I am still seeing through a glass darkly and feel that the pessimistic view must be accurate. Others in the DG pointed out that, in fact, my depressed or as if in a mental fog outlook bespeaks the disability the dream is about, that it is the only disability that remains, but a false one. Were I to see things clearly, they contend, I would see them as in the first of this dream series (an ideal teacher-student relationship). The feelings of irrelevancy, insecurity, and inadequacy (manifest in the later parts of the dream series) are also consistent with this disabled view of things, or with post traumatic stress disorder.

  • 30-40 represent a highly emphasized (10 x) 3-4, or transformation and manifestation in reality.

  • Although I have no actual military school in my background, either as teacher or student, my Air Force officer father often treated our family like his personal students in a military finishing school. (I am reminded of the movie, "The Great Santini.") It did not endear us to him, but it did certainly have an impact and influence on the rest of our lives. That setting, however, hardly involved an ideal relationship.

  • The train, once it gets up to speed, is like a particularly harrowing roller-coaster ride, representing, in one DG member's view (a lady from a Latin American country), the worst aspects of our alienating western society. There is not even a driver or engineer for the train. It operates automatically, robotically.

  • The train may represent the train of thoughts. It also physically is like the spinal column, with the central rail similar to the spinal cord, surrounded by vertebrae that extend out to the sides.

  • From a Freudian standpoint, the rail, coming through from between our legs and extending forward, is phallus-like. And it is easy to lose one's grip due to weakness from a stroke, as in from stroking the penis (while gripping as or till it will go at fairly high speed, after which one may "get off").

  • The central bar of the train, which we are to hold by its sides, is like the top half of an I-beam. As such, it may represent the ego (I), on which the train rests or hangs.

  • The final paragraph of the last dream in the series (hold well, with good attention) may be about meditation, in which it is important to seek good balance while holding attention well, lest one lose track or one's train of thoughts or images.

  • In this fashion one may hopefully complete the inner journey safely.

2/8/08 - Title: "We Start a Scary Adventure"

My dog, Puff, and I are going on a walk or trip. I had asked her, back at the place I share with her and Frances, if she wanted to stay, where it was fairly safe and boring or go with me on an adventure that might be scary, and she promptly got up, ready to go, as of course I knew she would, heedless of consequences she could not really imagine.

There is something too, before we leave, about my paternal grandfather who puts in a brief appearance.

And about Puff having been thrown a great distance, as if with a giant sling (catapult), a hurling that should have killed her, but she gets out of the crook of a small tree, where she had landed, very sore but otherwise OK.

As we embark on our adventurous trip, Puff is not on a leash and we proceed down a dry ravine (in fact our small house is at one end of it), so long without a flood that shrubs and small trees are growing thickly here and there amid the limestone colored rocky debris. It is a medieval setting, the people wearing clothes and going about their business as they might have in Europe in the Middle Ages. I realize that anything could happen. We might have success, but Puff or I or both might be injured, lost, or killed. We proceed on foot.

2/9/08 - Title: "Lost Together in a Watery Landscape"

A woman (in her 40s, I think, and similar to Frances) and I are both lost and decide to stay together. We are on foot, walking along the shoulders of various roads or highways somewhere up north. There are plenty of big lakes around. It seems to be overcast or toward dusk. We have been walking and walking. The lush, watery landscape would be really pleasant except for our being so lost, all the nearby traffic, and the gray skies. We are anxious, tired, and somewhat depressed. Earlier it seemed we knew just where we were, where we wanted to be, and how to get there. Now nothing looks familiar, and it will soon be dark.

2/12/08 - Title: "Our Cartoon Car Trip Almost Ends Badly" or "Nobody Ever Gets (Permanently) Hurt in Our Cartoons"

Someone yells "Bon Journmo!" (or "Bonjourno!" or some such, which I assume is like "Have a great trip" in made-up "Italian" [added later: actually, the greeting is "Buongiorno!" and means "Good morning!"]), and then I'm in a cartoon car with at least one other person. I think I'm driving (the cartoon driver). My car as well as the cartoon car ahead are racing along down a cartoon road, everything in cartoon (unreal, puffy, inflated, or exaggerated) shapes and speeds as well as in cartoon (over-the-top, garish, bright) colors. My car is only feet behind the cartoon car ahead when it suddenly stops, a complete stop, at once, as only could be done in a cartoon. Impossibly, as also could only occur in a cartoon, my car stops too without hitting the first car, now just inches in front, but in stopping the back of my car dramatically shrinks into the front almost making a pancake disc before righting itself. Meanwhile, I and my passengers, one from originally the front right seat as well as a couple from the back, slide off the bubbled cartoon windshield onto the cartoon dashboard with cartoon exaggerated dazed looks on their faces and cartoon cheaping (chirping) birds flying around the tops of their (our) heads to signify cartoon concussions that then instantly go away as we are all just fine again and ready for the next cartoon adventure(s).

2/14/08 - Last night, the DG tackled my 2/12 cartoon dream (of which see latest prior entry). Highlights:

  • This is a dream about a trip I am embarked upon, perhaps the inner dream work and meditation quest or the life journey, as were at least two of the recent prior dreams, but in this case the mood is decidedly lighter than in any prior dreaming for quite some time. Indeed, on awakening, I felt light, joyful, playful, and curious about what such a bizarre, amusing dream could mean.

  • There is at the outset a farewell greeting, supposedly in Italian, but since I do not really know Italian my made up assumption of the greeting's meaning ("Have a great trip!") is likely more relevant than what the actual Italian meaning would have been ("Good morning!" or "Hello!").

  • The word "cartoon" is repeated in the title and dream description multiple times, showing great emphasis. But what is being emphasized? The DG (and now I) speculate it is to lighten up and be more playful, clown-like, and positive in my approach to this adventurous trip.

  • What is the car's "tune?" A picture emerges of a totally fun-filled scene in which the car is, with every part, smiling, puffing itself up, strutting its stuff, and making music or being rhythmically in tune with happy music as it races along through the exaggerated, over-the-top, vividly colored road and countryside.

  • Since there are two cars, there is dawning awareness.

  • Since I associate Italians with being passionate and genuine about feelings, it is also about spontaneously expressing joy, happiness, and lightness.

  • As in "Toon Town," in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," hardly anyone gets seriously or at least not permanently hurt here, so one can take risks and let it all hang out without really bad consequences.

  • It is speculation, but at a guess, the passenger in the front is my wife, Frances, while the occupants of the back seat might be our dog, Puff, and/or perhaps one or two of our children. If two, they would be a boy and a girl and still fairly young, maybe elementary school or pre-school aged.

  • Things come to an abrupt stop, indicating something pertinent in real life has also suddenly stopped or is about to. It is so abrupt that, if this were not a cartoon, serious damage and injury would have occurred. What is it that has stopped or is about to? Significant acrimony between me and Frances? Obsessing about the assumed deficiencies of my existence? Nightmares? An apparent lack of true progress in my meditation? Whatever. Something major has or will soon come to a stop; that much resonates.

  • The dream is out of character for me relative to the kinds of dreams I usually have and is also inconsistent with my normal, reticent or reserved demeanor. But it says something neat that I am nonetheless creative enough to express my holistic self in such a positive fashion.

  • I misspell or mis-hear the Italian greeting as "Bon Journmo!" Here too is emphasis, for it seems in the dream context to mean "Good journey, and more!" or "Have a great trip" with plenty of forward momentum!

  • When we receive a message from an unknown entity in a dream, it often has special emphasis. And since it is Italian, it is "with feeling," as noted already. So, it is as though I have actually received this message: "HAVE A GREAT LIFE JOURNEY!" said with gusto.

  • There is also here a sense of integration, balance, and overall good health and outlook, as in "we are all just fine again and ready for the next cartoon adventure(s)."

  • There is much irony in the dream, so that it is putting an extremely light, comic face on what in some ways is a crucial, "not to be taken lightly" matter, getting on with and making the most of the rest of my life.

  • There is a dichotomy or spectrum: some evident "dash," as in verve or guts or adventurousness, but also an aspect of being "bored" (based on our all being briefly on the dashboard). This may relate to Fran's and my relationship or to the meditation practice and how it seems to go, with a lot of not much happening followed by briefly exciting periods.

  • If we assume that I actually do, at some level, know what "Good morning" sounds like in Italian, there is maybe a more somber message at the outset: "Have a good mourning," as in the grieving I need to do, or the becoming of suffering that must occur, or some consciously unforeseen event that may soon shake me up.

  • In the course of analyzing this dream, it occurs to me that I am may not be far from a deeper understanding at a core level of some of the inner realm's insights, among which might be that in some ways the "unconscious" is actually the "super-conscious."

2/16/08 - Title: "If Janet Trusts You, You're OK with Us"

I'm staying at Janet's house. It is during the day, but I must have been taking a nap on her front sofa. I get up and see the wind-up alarm clock. It has almost run down, so I make sure the time is right, wind it back up, and set it back down, where it had been sitting in the front room. It is time for me to leave. I have my stuff and am ready to go. Looking out the front window, I see a group of her men and women neighbors. I assume they are community organizers meeting informally. They are outside on chairs between her place and her just west neighbors and are gathered there in the front, adjacent to the road, Janet's place, and that neighbor house. Of course, they'll notice it when I go out through Janet's front door and might be concerned what business I have being there. But then I realize it will be alright. Their attitude will be: "If Janet trusts you (to stay at her place when she's not there), you're OK with us."

[I stayed at Janet's for several days last spring, to look after her dog, Homer, while she needed to be out of town. She had given me a key and said I could keep it since I might later at times be opening for the evening dream group. I think she is both exceptionally intuitive and logically analytical, a superb facilitator (not just of dream groups but generally), and utterly genuine, a combination that, together with her family history, makes her strong but also vulnerable. Coupled with her extroverted nature and good will, it leads to her being particularly attractive to others. She tends to bring out the best in them. Trust is a quite important part of her way of relating to others.]

2/18/08 - Yesterday, the DG considered my 2/16/08 dream ("If Janet Trusts You, You're OK with Us"). Highlights:

  • It is basically a very positive affirmation in that, whether from the real or the anima Janet, there is the message that I am worthy and OK (as in I'm OK, You're OK), in fact that I am trust-worthy. (When I told the real Janet this interpretation, she said she had a small correction, that members of the DG think I am not just OK but "wonderful." I find this pretty hard to take and was embarrassed by her comment, but must acknowledge there is a sense in which what she says has to be correct. She is a completely genuine person and would not say something simply to flatter me.)

  • From the real Janet, this message of trust was conveyed last spring, in her giving me her house key and not asking for it back, which shows sincere, personal trust in me, even though she has also offered it to and has shown similar trust in several others. Genuine trust is not diminished by being widely distributed!

  • That trust was like a creative act, a sowing (in the spring). The "west" in my dream corresponds to the fall or the time of harvest, a season of bearing fruit. And, sure enough, it is coming to fruition about 9 months later, with a recognition in the dream realm of receiving my Janet anima's trust.

  • The community of neighbors or organizers are like a Greek chorus, echoing and emphasizing the fact of that trust and hence of my being worthy of it. And the dream group is yet again like a Greek chorus, further stressing that I am OK, worthy, a good person, someone on whom others can definitely rely, etc.

  • There was no indication why I am staying at Janet's place, except that this situation is the means the dream has of conveying its affirmation.

  • Now I have the key I need, presumably to unlock further insights, greater confidence, a sense of being trusted, being worthy of the trust, etc.

  • I also have internal selves that are integrated and there to help organize what may have been in relative disarray.

  • I have been asleep but now have awakened.

  • It is time to get up and go. And I am ready to go!

  • I have my stuff, everything I need.

  • The business about the clock being wound down, winding it up again, setting it back down where it belonged, etc., was mentioned. It may be relevant that I have not been getting enough sleep lately and often have been feeling wound down. Or that my life itself has been wound down, but that now in some ways I am winding it up again.

  • There is a sense that things that were set aside, for which it felt as though there had not been time in my life, may now be restored or taken up, after having been abandoned for what at the time seemed more practical considerations. It may be their time has come.

  • There may be aspects of the Janet anima's characteristics that can be acknowledged and owned within myself.

  • There may be a correct view (out Janet's front window) I am at least getting intellectually. As yet, this idea of my being worthy of trust, etc., is more an intellectual acknowledgment than an emotional reality for me. I was shy and uncomfortable with the dream group's attention to my positive dream, but did not yet feel an "Aha" or "grokking" of it in my heart.

  • The dream group leader said that, with my own family background, especially for instance the abuse from my father, or at least what I felt was abuse - and what others told me later had been physical and emotional abuse for quite awhile since I was about 2 years old - had helped set up an archetype of finding myself in situations in which I lacked an inner core of confidence, but instead might have been seeking out lesser or greater variations on that original abuse. To the extent that was or is the case, her hope for me would be to discover within myself a hard inner place or source of strength, powerful enough that I would be largely unfazed by others' relating to me in negative ways (perhaps in their eyes thereby to build themselves up, knowing no better ways to feel better about themselves and being as trapped in complementary archetypes as perhaps I was or am in mine).

  • Toward that end, of my finding such resources within, this dream could be (or express) a big step ahead.

  • The dream essentially is saying, wherever I am, I have a right to BE (there) and then do not need to do or be anything else to be worthy of my existence.

  • There is likely also significance in that an association to the dream is the time I was staying with Homer, a spiritual aspect.

2/21/08 - Title: "Where, Oh Where, Has Our Little Dog Gone?"

Frances and I are in a big co-ed (coed) campus dorm with odd and different levels. I have access from my chambers (or suite) to several levels. Somehow, Fran and I have lost our dog, Puff. We try to remember the last time we saw her and where we lost track of her, but then each of us gets distracted with other things.

A couple young women, it turns out, are enjoying watching me get ready for bed. Even from a distance of perhaps 30-40 feet and through a wall made of plate glass, they can see that for awhile I have had no pants or underwear on. Only when Fran, ready for bed and distractedly watching TV while waiting for me to finish changing and turn out the lights, points out to me that I do not have anything covering me below the waist and that women (on a second level) can look down and into our place and see me that way, do I become aware of the pair of enthusiastic young ogling women, themselves with almost nothing on and evidently eager to be penetrated. They are having a grand time together over my semi-nudity. So I then without embarrassment turn around, facing away from them and toward the TV program Fran has been watching, and pull on a pair of old dark blue shorts.

Before going to sleep, I check out another room on a higher level. Here there are bright lights, or it is sunny, as if a new day. I go to make myself a cheese sandwich, climbing up first to a place above a top shelf where big open cheese displays are warming in the sunlight (or some other bright light). I set my hardback book (that I've been carrying) aside carefully, so it will not get food on it or become greasy. Then, to get access to the cheeses, I lie on my stomach next to the top shelf with the open yellow and white cheeses. They are then very close to my head but a little below me and to my right. I press a knife or cheese cutter firmly into big soft open chunks of oily yellow and white cheeses to get off a thick piece and put it between or on some bread. As I do this, I realize these packages or displays of cheese out (ought) to be closed up and put away, for they are now too exposed and will melt more or go bad in the bright, warm sunlight.

And then again, as I am checking that the doors to Fran's and my flat (or suite or chambers) are properly closed, I remember our missing dog, Puff, and wonder what has happened to her, but by then it is night and people have gone to bed. I might disturb too many if I were to go looking for her in the other dorm suites where she might have gone in her unchecked wanderings or her walks with Fran or me during the day. I so hope she is alright and will turn up safely tomorrow, but am worried and feel badly (sad and guilty) that we were so distracted as not to notice when she was no longer with us!

2/24/08 (AM) - Title: "A Larger Family"

I am one of the millions-strong international brotherhood and sisterhood of survivors of parents who were both traumatized by and yet meaningfully united by participation in World War II. Our parents seemed heroic to us. Indeed, they were heroes. Yet, almost without exception, these heroes had been more or less victims of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), walking among us with invisible injuries that never fully healed, wounds they have taken with them to their graves. In many cases, they passed these unseen wounds to their sons and daughters who as a result are themselves depressed, anxious, or angry and still grieving the losses from that awful but grand military conflict.

2/24/08 (PM) - Title: "The Unconscious Winner"

It is Fran's and my wedding day (yet again!). People are gathering in fairly large numbers. She and I are arriving separately, and I have not seen her yet. I suppose someone must be in charge and organizing things, but it certainly is not either Fran or me, much less the two of us together.

The place is almost all white, an old southern mansion with several levels, lots of spacious, high ceiling rooms, and wide, long staircases. I have some vague confusion and concern, that I do not know what to do or where to go or when. There have been no rehearsals. Yet I seem fairly confident this will all work out alright.

As the last minutes are passing before the ceremony, I am wondering whom to ask for advice or where to be. I am on time, but a little later than I had intended being, because of the parking problem. I had to look around awhile for a space to park my car and feel lucky to have found one, because most of the usual parking places are occupied by plant entries in some kind of garden or nursery contest.

A lady with a clip-board and a few ribbons, from whom I thought I'd ask directions, turns out to be judging the plants contest. She puts a fancy white ribbon down next to what turns out (I learn later) to be my plant (in a pot), though I did not remember entering or even knowing of the contest in advance. My entry, though, is about 20 inches tall, bushy, well balanced, with delicate leaves in three clumped colors: pale green, pale brown, and white, with the green predominant.

It turns out I have won the first prize! (I realize blue is the usual first prize ribbon, but not in this dream!) People begin congratulating me (not on getting married but... ) on winning this plant contest. I am both pleased and surprised. I know I really had nothing (conscious) to do with it, but am nonetheless glad my contribution to a contest I was unaware of was somehow the winning entry.

2/25/08 - Title: "Our Ventriloquist Dog's Wake-Up Call"

Fran leans over Puff, who is sleeping between her and me, and asks her in a soft, high, crooning, running the words together voice: "Want-to-get-up!?" (It wakes me up, and I am disgruntled.)

[In fact, what occurred, clarified later by Frances (who had been awake but still just lying in bed) was that the dog was waking up, Fran had said nothing and she had not leaned over, but Puff had made a soft, high, short whine while yawning as she was getting up.]

2/28/08 - Title: "Harassed or Frustrated by Hornets and Floodwaters"

1. I have an accidental encounter with a wasp, hornet, or giant yellow jacket. He stings me badly and painfully, and later I learn he and the rest of his colony belong to a young woman.

2. Fran and I have gotten separated, or are simply leading our separate lives while living together (much as we do in reality), and so are not with each other when a flood comes. I (we?) have bought a piece of residential property in a nice neighborhood, but one where the houses are of modest size and are too close together, the development near a seacoast or the bank of a big lake or large river. My (our) place is not right on the bank, being instead on a busy city thoroughfare. I have been trying to get somewhere but the floods and their residual high waters make car traffic impossible. Even on foot, it is difficult. My house is in the flooded area, and there is standing water all 'round the road, the yard, the sidewalks area, etc., but I have no sense that the house has serious damage. It is still, though, in a part of town most at risk, because the development is so close to the large body of water that tends to flood inland, besides what flooding comes from the heavy rains alone. Despite all the floodwaters, I've gone off on foot to get somewhere important. Since Fran and I lead independent lives and were not together when the floods came, she is not with me now and so will have to fend for herself. There are man-made as well as natural obstacles to progress. For instance, there is a fence that has 12-inch-square holes but is electrified so one cannot safely go through its mesh. It can be easily seen through and so is not noticed till almost upon it. It rises up very high, at least 40 feet. Once I come to it, blocking the entire roadway I was on and even access to side roads, I must retrace my steps and go a different way, which is frustrating and discouraging. My way in several other directions is also blocked or more difficult due to all the deep floodwaters I must skirt or go through.

3. I'm awakened by a swarm of pet wasps, hornets, or giant yellow jackets, one of whom at least knows me from before (as in #1) and attacks with such force as I am lying in bed that its hitting a chair or table nearby, after it dive bombs me but misses because I jerk the sheet and blanket up to protect my face, sounds as loud as if it were a large piece of hail smacking into it. In this dream there is an early teens girl who owns the wasps/hornets/giant yellow jackets, and just before this attack that wakes me up (in reality) she has said something like: "I hear you've already met ____?____ (name of her lead pet wasp/hornet/giant yellow jacket not remembered)!" "Yes," I say, and start to say something else when they make a beeline for me from above, and then 2 of them, including what's his name (definitely a male, though it would have been likely female in reality) drops rapidly to attack, so I jerk up the sheet and blanket to protect my face.

2/29/08 - In the DG night before last, along with others' dreams, we discussed my 2/24 dreaming ("The Unconscious Winner"). Highlights:

  • The dream is another highly positive affirmation, all of it leading up to the realization that I am a winner!

  • There is also much integration, represented in the imminent wedding as well as in the people congratulating me on being the first prize winner.

  • The plants in the contest represent growth and life.

  • The woman with the clipboard is wearing a business suit, as I associatively recall during the dream interpretation. She is a professional and does her job well. She is an expert in judging plants, i.e. growth. And she represents, as the impartial judge anima, unbiased right feeling. Her assessment is that there is a lot of good growth on display (entered in the contest), indeed that it includes my first-prize-winning-quality growth, which ought to be acknowledged!

  • The growth is first prize winning, but also this is the first prize winning growth acknowledgment, i.e. there will be more prizes to come.

  • I am the unconscious winner in that I had curiosity, or whatever motivations, in connection with dream work or meditation, but probably did not go into them with the primary intention to grow and change. Rather, it has seemed to just happen, not as something I as the ego can really take credit for.

  • At the same time, I have been persistent in the dream work and meditation efforts, so a certain amount of credit is due for staying with a healthy process.

  • Also, the dream is indicating not merely that I am a winner who achieved winning growth without consciously trying, but also that I am the unconscious winner, i.e. the realm of my achievement is in the sphere of the "unconscious," intuition, or the inner landscape.

  • Implied but not actually present in the dream is my other anima, Frances, who I see at the time of the dream as highly independent, humorous (and with a good sense of what is funny), critical, and very talented.

  • These qualities, along with those of the impartial judge anima, are of course parts of my larger self, aspects I can own.

  • The winning growth or plant is about 20 inches high, representing greatly emphasized dawning awareness (2 x 10).

  • There is also some feminine sexual or yin energy symbolized in the bushy plant and its pot.

  • The house or mansion is of several levels (transformation or manifestation in reality) and all in white. The color and the fact that there is to soon be a wedding could represent purity, lightness, spirituality, and integration, but also a death. There might be an actual death, but more likely there is or has been significant change, and it is the old self or ego which has died or must soon die.

  • Neither Fran nor I nor the two of us together are in charge. This is another emphasis on the situation or growth having been unconscious. Things are happening without the awareness, control, or intention of the ego.

  • The predominantly pale green hue of the plant further emphasizes growth, newness, health, life, the spring season, or creativity. Pale green is another way of saying "light green," which in dream language is also "green light." The first prize for my plant or growth is another way of giving me a green light affirmation for further growth, and a way of suggesting I am on the right track, full speed ahead: "All systems GO!"

  • The smaller amount of pale brown leaf coloration is earthy, mellow, and a recognition that death, impermanence, and decay are a real part of life.

  • There is a mild concern, confusion, or sense of inadequacy, that I do not know how or when to proceed or where, but I am also fairly confident this will work out OK. There are no rehearsals (such as an obsessive compulsive disorder guy like me might prefer). Instead, it is necessary to sort of wing it or act more spontaneously, which is usually more fun and really works at least as well for me as all the compulsive pre-planning I am more prone to do.

  • The spacious, high ceiling rooms (reminiscent of churches) might further emphasize spiritual aspects of the dream.

  • Interestingly, Fran and I went for a performance, on the afternoon just after the dream, to a dance center or studio here in town, where I had never been before, and of which I knew nothing beforehand in ordinary reality. I found that, though only on one level, it had a large, high ceiling room as well as old southern building quality to it. The walls (inside and outside) and ceiling were all painted white. Also, the parking places were unusually set in the midst of natural areas, landscaped so there were interesting plants often on two or three sides of the spaces. In addition, people even sat in the audience for the production in rows of white chairs, in a way similar to what might be expected if there were a wedding service there.

Title: "Making the Most of Little Feet"

A petite, middle-aged, conservatively dressed woman without makeup is loudly clomping about the old bare wood floor in black grandmotherly shoes, the sound of her rapid footfalls echoing in her stack (stark) unadorned, almost empty old house.

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