February, 2009

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2/4/09 - Title: "Time to Really Buckle Down"

I'm on a big undergrad university campus in an urban setting. I'm completely on my own, without friends, but am taking five major courses. When I go to class, I am amid or passing scores of other students. I am younger, maybe thirty or in my thirties. In the classes themselves, I am one of scores, even hundreds of students there. I have not been applying myself, do not even yet have all my textbooks, and have been skipping several, but not all, of the classes. I go to one (anthropology or sociology) today and wind up in the front desk row. The professor is about 40-50 years old, weights (weighs) about 125 pounds, stands about 5.5 feet tall, has short, light gray or white hair, and has an attractive, intelligent, sensitive face. She is attentive and notices that she has not seen me or at least not much before and, from very close, only 4 or 5 feet away, evidently asks me a question, apparently about the day's lesson or perhaps my status in the class. She is looking directly at me, right into my face, and asking me something, but I cannot understand what she is saying. I am really wanting to understand and answer her but am just not getting it at all. I ask her to repeat. The same thing happens. I hear sounds, but they make no sense at all to me. In all, I ask her to repeat about three times, even admitting then I must have a hearing problem and need to have it checked, but can never hear her speech as words, only as meaningless sounds. She is amazingly patient and also curious, never getting frustrated or angry about the situation, though eventually she gives up on trying to communicate with me and continues leading and talking with the rest of the class.

After class, I leave and go to another class. There too, I am not really following what is going on. This time, the classroom looks and feels like the inside of a big commercial jet airliner.

Afterward, I realize I am in trouble, far behind in each of my courses already, just several days into the current semester, and that I must either drop out [as I did (in reality) two or three times as an undergrad] or really buckle down, get and study all my books, find a way of hearing and understanding better, and apply myself conscientiously, in which case I think I could manage to finish each course with a "C," though an "A" or a "B" final grade is no longer realistic. The feeling is of sadness, frustration, embarrassment, and anxiety with the situation, but determination that, even if I cannot do as well as I might if I'd been a good student from the first day, I now shall at least finish the courses as well as possible.

[Perhaps this dream is about learning and, both in the short-term and in terms of the remainder of my life, about making the most of what time for the "curriculum" I have left. Five is emphasized (?), as is three (transformation). The anima demonstrates right feeling: being attentive, patient, sensitive, curious, and dedication to both teaching and (at least attempted) good communication.

In reality, I was during the time of this dream visiting in Waco with a couple, one of my brothers and his wife, relatives who were about to move to Honduras for a year, where they would be working at or for a deaf school, so I was there more or less to visit with them for the last time before they would leave. We all were staying then with my mom and a nearly deaf nephew (aged 34) who lives with her and is going to a technical school in a special voc. rehab. program and who, even among a group of several friends or relatives, necessarily is rather alone because at best his understanding of the sounds the others make is difficult, with communication dependent on his reading lips or on one or more of the others using sign language with him. Thus, he is, through no fault of his own, alienated from others, more an observer than a participant in the group's social interactions. In his classes he requires a good interpreter to provide him a constant sign language translation of what the instructor or one of his students is saying. A hearing problem could also mean one involving a court hearing. Or it could mean a problem hearing and understanding the communications of/from my anima, perhaps representing a failure to grasp the feelings, intuition, or unconscious side of things.]

2/9/09 - Title: "Bucket List"

One scene: I am interviewing for a job at a mammoth (quite large) bookstore. The general manager is to my front, interviewing me, but the younger person who would be my supervisor, my new boss, is just to my left. From the tenor of the questions, I can tell they want someone who really knows books. I object that if they want someone brilliant for the job they'll have to pay accordingly or the person's heart won't be in the work. I add that when I was putting myself through college I mostly worked for a bookstore (UT University Co-op, textbook department), and I loved it, but I was not brilliant and had not expected a terrific salary (though I did help create a union there, my fellow workers eventually settling for a grievance procedure [so management could not just fire you on impulse] plus a dime raise, and were happy to get them). My implication in this little speech was that they ought to seek instead somebody really dedicated to what is basically a clerk job but who did it for the love of doing it, not because he or she was the biggest brain about books. In so saying, I was not so subtly suggesting that my prospective supervisor might be overpaid and not actually love books like I do. The interviewer saw I had a point, but I did not get the job.

2nd scene: It is during depression times. I am having a successful interview for a job as a man who learns all aspects of the enterprise from the ground up, rather than having just one routine job designation. This place and enterprise is huge. It entirely caters to the needs of folks having significant events, so there are here under one roof gifts departments, clothes selling or rental departments, cake departments, giant hot food kitchens and lines, vast grocery supermarket type accumulations of foodstuffs, etc.

Our job is not merely to provide what our typically rich customers need but to come up with lavish and expensive coordinated package deals to sell to them, allowing them to choose between them. Then per the contracts we provide everything from catered entertainment for their special events to individualized food creations, personalized invitations, stunning table services, etc. People are so satisfied with the results that they usually become loyal returning customers for life. Those whom they have invited to these events are also impressed. Thus business keeps growing even though our markups over cost are huge.

As I am taking in one aspect of the job, not yet realizing I'll be an intern learning the whole operation, the general manager calls over and asks if I can guess what CB stands for. "Would that be Cherry Blossum (Blossom) Wedding, sir?" I shout back. He smiles and says I have potential in this business and then begins showing me the behind-the-scenes procedures for making the customers feel really looked after personally and well, while also steering them toward extravagant amounts of spending, yet leaving them so pleased they are happy to part with vast sums. I see that if I am devoted to the work, one day I might know and run the whole business.

3rd scene: At the same place, I am still learning the ropes but have been here awhile and have become more accustomed to the work. I take care of the needs of a chauffer/"gofer" who has come to pick up a moderate load of pre-prepared items, for the significant event of the family or company he works for. They are planning a medium-sized special entertainment.

Next, I am sort of working in the wedding department but also overseeing some of the catered hot foods preparations. I show someone different wedding themes that are available.

I notice a dumpy, older, slow moving (arthritic) Black woman I have seen before. She arranges, picks, and picks up (for the wealthy people she works for) some of the to-go food needed for her employers' events. It is still the depression era. In her face is a lifetime of suffering. As my back is turned, I hear a sound like eating just behind me. I turn back 'round and see that the Black lady is standing still, looking down a bit furtively. A big, four-sided, rollable (moving about on rollers), fresh food bin is there between us, laden on all sides and on multiple shelves with large quantities of food. I realize the ripe red grapes were hanging out of one shelf right next to her and that she must have been so hungry she had impulsively reached out, grabbed, and eaten several of them. Not to embarrass her, I say nothing, but I am moved that she and her own family must be having a rough time of it even though her employers are wealthy.

Next, I see her standing alone by a food preparation line. There is some hot overcooked sausage handy that has not yet been packaged up, and I realize she is about to pick up a piece and eat it. When I come over, she is frightened, thinks she has been caught, and believes she may lose her job or worse. I am terribly moved. Making it up on the spot, I tell her that when people come to pick up the event package items for their employers we like to fix a little plate of food for them to snack on while they wait (the wait idea again) for us to get everything together, and that I'm sorry we had forgotten to do that till now. I quickly get a paper plate and put meat and other snack items on it and give it to her. Unknown to me till now, the general manager has been nearby and has seen how the situation was handled. Now he comes up to me and says this is just the way people should be treated and that he is proud of me for not worrying about the little bit of expense to the company of such snacks compared with the goodwill such an attitude fosters for us in our customers. I am moved and wake up feeling overwhelmed, near tears of joy and relief that it was possible to ease her suffering and that I work in a place where such things are encouraged.

[A brother of mine asked me in an e-mail, just before I went to bed, what would be on my "Bucket List" (of things I'd especially like to do before I kick the bucket) and gave examples of what might be on his, things like going deep sea fishing, on long vacations living off nature among American Indians (though I'm not sure modern Indians still actually live that much more connected to nature), kayaking from its headwaters to its mouth down a major river, etc. I believe the dream may be giving me some Bucket List ideas: 1. To do things I enjoy, like working with books (even if I am not brilliant); 2. To learn more of "the whole business" (of the Self?) through dream analysis, meditation, and insight techniques; 3. Whether as a friend, teacher, counselor, or volunteer in direct service (dispensing food, taxes prep., etc.) to be helpful (facilitating) to others; and 4. in general, to notice and do things more with an open heart, out of kindness or generosity.

I realize that, at least in my brother's outlook, his Bucket List would be much more traditionally macho than mine.

And the ego is almost always wrong, so I figure there may be a problem with how relieved I felt and how full my heart was, near happy tears, at the dream's end. Maybe I was power tripping, finding a way to feel smug.

I know none of the dream characters in reality.

Clearly, from scene 2, the emotional quality is sad or depressed at the outset, yet it seems more positive by the end.

Clearly as well, I need to better take care of (attend to, listen to) my anima.

I cannot help noticing now a similarity between this title and that of the last dream: "Time to Buckle Down." I did not see anything special in that, other than the odd coincidence, but Frances - who typed this for me - pointed out that buck is not merely a male deer but also of course a verb. It might somehow refer in both dreams to bucking the trend or the system, etc. On the other hand, I note that bucks, whether human or venison, are known too for having balls. This might be linked to cherry blossum innuendo. In this light, there may be in the whole dream aspects of male vs. female identity, sexuality, power, and dominance. On the one hand, the cherry blossum can symbolize feminine dominance, while the poor Black anima in this dream is seen as rather subservient in a rich white male dominated world. Quite a contrast to the noble notions expressed in the above four Bucket List items, but perhaps more real.]

2/10/09 - Title: "Oh God! Please, God! Help Me, God!"

I am in a long hallway/entranceway, lying on my back, my left forearm tightly, painfully in the maw (mouth) of a large male lion which is lying on me (on my chest and legs) so close I can barely move, except for my right arm with which I can touch or bang on the right hallway/entranceway wall in hope of distracting the animal or bringing help. However, any movement gets the huge cat roused to new efforts at controlling, playing with, or perhaps then killing me. The lion is looking into my eyes and I his. He is, essentially, playing or toying with me just as a housecat would a small prey victim. He could kill me almost instantly but is enjoying his dominant position and just toying with me instead. I am angry and terrified. I reach out to bang on the wall, but the lion doesn't like it and so grabs (clamps down with his teeth on) my other arm more tightly. At any second his whim may be not merely to crunch on my arm but on my windpipe or cervical spine, then eat me. Realizing there is absolutely nothing I can do but perhaps, if I have the courage, wait or choose the moment of my death by using the free right arm to either slap the wall or try and jab at the lion's eyes, I shout in terror: "Oh, God! Please, God! Help me, God!"

[I don't believe in God, but it seemed to work. I wake up and there is no more lion.

Fran has worn a t-shirt with a male lion on the front in the past couple of days. I had not even consciously noticed it till she pointed it out after hearing my dream this morning (duh).

If I assume the lion is not a male but is instead Fran in a "male dominant" relationship with me, i.e having in some ways a more traditionally male identity relative to my more traditionally feminine identity in our marriage, she more a thinking type, me more a feeling type, etc., then the dream is consistent with things that have been in dreams about our relationship before, in which male vs. female identity issues and dominance vs. submission are prominent.

I thought, though, I had been making more progress on those fronts than would be indicated by this dream, if that is the correct interpretation.

Another way to look at it would be that the lion is my shadow, but I cannot see where that takes me. Either way, whatever is the dream's message is now being conveyed rather dramatically (a nightmare).

Maybe it is significant that my left arm is in the lion's toothy grip, while my right is free. This might I think suggest that a dream part of me is trying to control the ego me by disabling the connection to intuition and the unconscious. Or, if it is a shadow, it may wish to take in or consume the intuitional capacity, a rather opposite conclusion.

Lion sounds very like lyin'. If that is relevant, it is also relevant that the lion is lyin' on me, a doubling of that message. I have thought about this and cannot see how I have been lying. However, if I, the ego, had been subtly lying I might not be aware of it. In a way, perhaps most all egos lie, at least to themselves, inflating their power, importance, or permanence. So there is one way a dream about lying could be significant. Can one really be lying, though, without knowing it, that is, without intent?

Also, I wondered if the lion, even though clearly male in the dream, like most cats in dreams is seen as female and so would be my anima, in which case it may be there to show right feeling. Here, "she" is showing playfulness and dominance. In human terms, her behavior would also be called sadistic. That is, if a human were treating another person that way, it would be sadistic or cruel, but I doubt lions see it that way and suspect we anthropomorphize to attribute such to any type cat. So, while this may be a stretch, I wonder if the lion is there to suggest both more playfulness and dominance in my own emotional responses.

If the lion is my anima version of Fran (especially since she had been wearing a male lion image), her qualities are important, and in a short dream this morning I was reminded that her qualities include, besides the tendency to try, on occasion ruthlessly, for dominance and an at times very playful nature, that she is brilliantly focused moment by moment on doing and being what she really enjoys, whether playing music, doing some artistic or other creative project, writing an essay, making an animation, photographing small details of nature, teaching about bugs, etc.

That last quality is one I could use more of too, as noted from the "Bucket List" dream analysis.]

2/11/09 - Title: "Oh, My Gosh!"

I am "awakened" (not) by Frances. She is out of my view, somewhere behind me and in a different part of the house (apparently at the computer - and in the computer room - but this is not clear). She says loudly, as though she has just been surprised in a very good way: "Oh, my gosh!" her voice rising on the last word.

[I "awoke" (not) lying on my back with my head north, where I had been sleeping (in reality and in the dream) on the sofa (where I can easily sleep with my head and shoulders propped up on thick pillows, necessary due to acid reflux). Of Frances, I would say, just as in the above prior dream, she is brilliantly focused on the things she most wants to do and enjoys doing. Probably several times a week she makes some new intriguing discovery due to her photography of bugs and researching them. Occasionally, she also then has these "Aha!" moments when she makes a really impressive, surprising, and happy discover, and then may well say "Oh, my gosh!" in that way. In reality, I was still asleep and probably on my side, though I was on that front room sofa. Fran was still asleep in another room. Since the door was open between, I could easily have heard her if she had said this, but she did not. She was sleeping. I had just dreamed it.]

2/18/09 - Title: "Dawning Awareness and Basic Urges"

Had a complicated, yet explicit sex dream this morning. Most of the details are missing as I try to recall it, but:

There were at least two aggressive shadows, that seemingly had it in for each other and me, plus two narcissistic (meant to say "nymphomaniac") animas that seemingly had the "hots" for me and kept appearing completely nude near me or where I could not help watching them. One of these, a smaller, younger woman, even tried masturbating in the same room with me, then complained as she was doing it that she just could not seem to "get off" this time, a clear invitation to have me assist her with this "task." Meanwhile, unknown to her, I was ogling, through a window, the even more gorgeous, also completely undressed other anima. She was putting on a languorous show, evidently for my benefit, her ample bosom and other magnificent attributes making me so horny I was nearly coming spontaneously (though in fact it did not turn out to be a wet dream, just one that left me with a hard-on for some time afterward). I walk over toward her to help the younger anima, but did not really feel right about it, regretting that it (I) was not to be then with the other, more mature and well developed anima (when I woke up).

Title: "A Bridge Too High"

I am on a very high, narrow bridge. I can see over and through the spaces in the delicate barriers at the bridge sides (edges) down to the land and water far below. I can feel the wind racing through and over the bridge. At this time, I am the only one on it. There seems on this high arc to be only room for people to move in single file. I am too frightened to go upright and instead am crawling along up toward the highest part of the bridge's arc. I am afraid of this immense height, yet wanting to prove to myself and to Fran, who is still below, that it is possible for us to negotiate this bridge safely, even if not without intense fear. Once I return, and it cannot be soon enough (!), I feel I can convince Fran to join me on the next attempt, this time hopefully to go all the way across the dizzyingly high span. It is as though we have been trapped on the side we have been on, and crossing the terrifying bridge will take us to a new place, much more spacious and with many more options. The temptation, though, is just to stay on the safe, limited options side/place we are used to but feel trapped in.

[The unintended appearance of "narcissistic" here calls to mind my sister, Alice, who is very much that way, but not much at all a sensual wench. Her size and emotional maturity remind me more of the younger of the two animas, though there the resemblance stops. Alice is also very self-indulgent, and tends to be passive and inadequate, getting herself into jams but taking no active part herself in getting out of them, leaving everything to her husband to manage, though at times he does a hugely bad job of it. Then she blames everybody else but the two of them for her difficulties. In short, not the best anima for me to be uniting with inside, so it is no wonder I was regretting not making love to the more developed and mature anima, who really turned me on, instead. Why, one wonders, did I not "go for it" when so much more attracted to the other anima, especially as she was evidently available too, just not then in the same room with me. The other anima reminds me of Janet (younger than her present age, perhaps in her 20s in the dream, as I also am younger, perhaps in my 30s), who is passionate, certainly, but also brilliant, personable, attractive, sensitive, intuitive, kind, analytical, optimistic, and possessed of a great sense of humor.

I wonder if the two dreams or dream scenes might have in common that there are two alternatives presented, one that is very limited and represents being or feeling trapped, while the other is much the preferable choice, the one that is more developed and mature and/or offers many options, yet in each case there is at least a little risk involved in going for the more attractive choice, either because of the high span that must be crossed or the risk of rejection if I leave the room, where I am now with a less mature woman, go to the more mature one, and come onto (make advances toward) her in her place.

This theme seems to be consistent with one played out in recent "Bucket List" dreaming, of needing the balls to go for what is abundantly available and really turns me on.]

2/23/09 - Title: "Climate Change"

I have returned to work (as if for the TX Rehab. Commission, for whom I worked for about 20 years, first as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, later as a disability examiner). I must relearn the basics, as some of the bureaucratic procedures have changed. Nonetheless, it is sort of good to be back, surprisingly enough, nice to see some old acquaintances. I fit in more easily than I might have expected. There are here now huge picture windows on the floor where my cubicle is, and they look out on a big city's downtown area (possibly Austin, though I do not recognize the skyline). I am surprised by how wet and humid things are. (It is as though the TX city has been transformed and transferred into the climate [if not the location] of Portland, OR, where I had wanted to move upon Fran's and my retirement, but which did not work out since Frances preferred staying here, and in fact this has proven more practical, as she has several music gig contacts here and loves still being able to play in the opera orchestra, sub with Austin Symphony, play Gilbert and Sullivan shows, etc.). A great fog of humidity obscures some of the morning view of skyscrapers, and things are cooler now than before in Austin. The sky is grey (gray), and yet interestingly so, with low cloud banks.

[Last night, shortly before going to bed, I had been toying with the idea of returning sometimes to one or both of my former dream groups' meetings, considering what I saw as the pros and cons were I to do this. This might be the type work that is part of the dream's theme. Among my concerns are relations with certain group members who are rather volatile, while others tend to use bullying tactics and can be vindictive if crossed or challenged.

Yet there is some indication, at least from the large picture windows, that if I were to return I would have better perspective than before. The wetness or high humidity suggests also being better in touch with my own unconscious, intuitive, being, or feelings side. A cubicle includes the concept of cube, which is three dimensional, indicating transformation.

Things being cooler now than before in Austin might be simply the slang meaning of that phrase, perhaps if I return to dream group meetings, perhaps whether or not I do.

The great fog of humidity that obscures some of the view may be indicative of the logical or rational side's picture of things being decreased, due to the presence in awareness of more from the feeling, intuitional, or otherwise unconscious side.]

Title: "A Veteran of These Parts, But on the Lamb (Lam)"

It is night and mostly dark, and I am traveling alone on foot outside, on one of three paths that seem to join in a large triangle. Then there are others, but it is as though they are less sure of their direction and look to me for it. I am slight of build but have a better sense of purpose or understanding. There is also a vague sense of something apprehensive, as though the police may arrest me if they can.

[This "Veteran...Lamb (Lam)" dream may be a variation on the idea of my possibly returning to the dream groups. If so, there is again the notion of transformation, in the three paths that form a triangle.

I (as the ego) would like to think I would be received by the other group members as having more direction so that others would look to me in that way, but that is likely wish fulfillment rather than reality. And even if to a degree I have a sense of direction there, it is still plenty dark and somewhat frightening in this place.

Being slight of build may mean I lack self-confidence, which is the case, and so I do not as a personality cut a significant figure. The cops would indicate status quo, I think, both those parts of myself and those in the actual dream groups that want to arrest or stop growth and so keep positive but scary change from occurring.

The title suggests I am a relative veteran of the dream realm, having been dabbling in it in a more systematic way since my early twenties or before. Yet there is also the idea of perhaps being a sacrificial lamb, feeling too innocent and unprotected to go back where there is often aggression and anger on display.

I might also there be on the lam in the sense of needing to avoid or at least not stir up the forces (police) for maintaining the current establishment even when it is a hindrance to positive change. Indeed, though there are misgivings to an extent about her group as well, Sonya, in warning of the hazards of the group led by Christine - and the two of them seem to be having a little feud, both telling others about one another's faults and neither willing to have anything more to do with the other directly, while I feel somewhat caught in the middle in this dysfunctional family type fray - even said that the existing structure within Christine's group would try to destroy my "being" rather than allow me genuine expression.

Meanwhile, I am traveling alone and outside in the sense of not being part of a group, though the dream interpretation correspondence and friendship with Janet, which has continued, is greatly supportive and helpful.]

Title: "Waterworld"

I have (as in the first dream today) returned to a city (which I sense is Austin, though different) and gone to the outskirts, roughly toward the east or southeast of town. It is an area that in summer (which it is now) previously would have been mainly dry, bare channels of limestone, but now the same location is filled with several inches or even a few feet of water. There appears to be just enough current to the water that it does not become stagnant. There are not even any mosquitoes. Nonetheless, the area or channel is partially filled with luxuriant plant growth, water plants as well as surrounding land plants and trees, their roots soaked in all the water, and with many dead tree branches floating on top of the channel water. These are bare, no bark showing (and remind me of smooth bare hardwood branches after they have been in the ocean or in Lake Michigan (meant to write Lake Superior) for awhile and then are washed up on the shore), beautiful and smooth and each piece looking like parts of a wood sculpture. I am so surprised by all this water, driftwood, and luxuriant growth, where all before had been hot, dry, bare limestone, that I am unsure where to go or how to maneuver here and just sit down on something that is partially in and partially out of the water (so it gives me something to sit on). There are, I know, water snakes here, a troubling thought, but at the moment I am content just to sit and contemplate my surroundings. I had come here looking to check out the real estate and maybe get a new home, but all the wetness has transformed the environment so much I do not now know how to continue my search.

[This morning, a few hours after I had the above dreams, our kitchen faucet, no problem for several years, began to gush with a leak which I could not stop completely, narrowing it finally only to a slow stream after minor flooding had already soaked portions of the kitchen counter area. We had to close off the flow from under the sink, and we shall need to get a plumber to replace the faucet. It seems to have a worn out gasket.

Austin is my home town now, in that I have spent more than half my life here. In some ways, I wish I were living elsewhere, but in others I think Austin is both a neat city and a convenient one. For awhile I thought I had to be residing in another part of the country to be happy. But I think that was an illusion. If I am going to be happy, it could just as well be here. Austin is at least an oasis in the midst of a generally red-neck state, and there are plenty of cool things going on here. Fran and I also really enjoy all the good restaurants here as well as cultural opportunities. And I am getting into the meditation resources in this town.

The title as well as all the water and growth in the body of the dream suggest I am here thinking about a "place" where I am more in touch than before with my feelings and intuition.

The snakes (seen as unpredictable, venomous, and prone to strike) for me are an old theme and probably, as before, have to do with suppressed or repressed emotions and their latent energy, currently not available to me.

I do not know what to make of the beautiful driftwood. Perhaps it is an indication that I am floating (adrift) or in limbo amid the possibilities of "coulds" or "woulds," rather than taking decisive action, such as definitely going or not going to the dream groups or addressing some other concerns, like dealing better with acid reflux problems in the larynx or lower throat (also perhaps associated with suppressed or repressed expression), doing more volunteer work or definitely letting go of that notion, etc.]

2/28/09 - Title: "The Big Dump"

I am visiting a thin old woman at her spacious apartment or house. She has a large old female golden retriever dog. Soon after I get there, while the woman is in another room doing something, the dog walks slowly past me and into a sunny larger room, probably the living room. I know the dog knows better, but, evidently impelled by an uncontrollable urge, diarrhea, or illness, she suddenly squats down and takes a dump onto the floor or carpet. While I am calling to the woman to let her know about the problem, the shit just keeps coming. When the dog finally rises from her squatting, there is at least two and a half to five gallons (enough to fill half or all of a five gallon pail) of shit in a great soft repulsive pile that is tapered, high in the middle on top and widest at the base. The woman belatedly hurries in and is concerned about what has happened. I am worried about how we shall clean up that huge mess, but she seems more bothered by what may be the matter with the dog. She tells her to go into her kennel. The dog also seems concerned about what has happened, or her owner's tone of voice, and heads for the large kennel. Just before she goes in and lies down in there, I notice that there is also mess on the bottom of the kennel, not shit there but just a lot of messy stuff, as though it has not been cleaned out for a very long time, and, as the dog lies down on that, I am bothered that she should have to lie in all that filth.

[At first blush, I am not getting much from this. Off the top of my head, it is evident that "large" is a recurrent word or idea here, but I do not know what to make of that.

The characters in the dream are my ego and two animas, one a dog, which could also mean god and so might have a spiritual connotation.

If an anima is to show me right feeling, the woman may be showing concern for the health or welfare of others, while the dog appears to simply be concerned that she has done wrong or has made her owner angry. Certainly the pet's demonstrated right feeling here is just a great urge to unload one's shit, no matter how big a mess it makes.

There is a spacious, sunny aspect to the residence, which may indicate spirituality or clarity or a happier disposition. But these may be the only obviously positive qualities in the overall drama of this dream.

The word ken is part of kennel, suggesting this may have something to do with family relations.

A golden retriever suggests something precious and/or of high monetary value and so indicating great energy (except that in its agedness the dog walks slowly and seems itself to have little extra energy). The word "retriever" suggests the retrieval of intuition, feelings, dreams, or other things from the unconscious that have been hidden.

The ego is mainly concerned with the repulsive shitty mess that must be cleaned up or that the dog must lie in and so with restoring things to normal or to correct appearance. However, it must be better for the dog's (anima's) health that this huge internalized pile of crap has been eliminated.

There is an impression that both the animas as well as their residence are quite old and that they are not in the best of health. The woman may be alright physically, but she must not be all there mentally to have allowed the dog to lie in her mess or filth in the kennel. She appears to be negligent, mentally distracted, or forgetful rather than deliberately treating her pet badly. Thus, my impression is that she perhaps should not be left completely on her own but at least should be checked on frequently and assisted to make sure she, the abode, and the dog are adequately cared for, since the woman may no longer be fully capable of this herself.

The fact that there are two animas suggests dawning awareness of the dream's message.

The 2.5 to 5 gallons of shit description emphasizes 5 (and 2.5 is 5 x .5) which can mean creativity or waiting.

Shit may be bad to keep inside but, once out, can be a good fertilizer and thus indirectly a source of nourishment or nurturing.

Both the dog's body, collecting a huge amount of waste matter, and its kennel, collecting a lot of mess as well, had evidently not been cleaned out in a long while. A main theme of the dream may be the need to purge what is still around but no longer useful or healthy.

At first I had no associations to either the woman or the dog, but now it occurs to me they may both refer to Sonya, who seems physically thin to me and more elderly in some ways than is apparent from her age alone, sometimes being forgetful, emotionally vulnerable or defensive, showing anxiety or petulance or tending to harp on things in an old womanish way (reminiscent of my mom in that regard, which is the main reason I think it is like an old woman to be that way). She can also be, and more often is, warm, highly intuitive, brilliant, an excellent facilitator, and sensitive. She has spent much of her life learning about and richly understanding, teaching of, and revealing her own or others' dreams, and in that way one might say she is as well a golden retriever.

So, clearly I have to a degree both some of those negative and positive qualities, or they are a part of my anima.]

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