April, 20093 9 22 25 29 30
I saw a big, warm, light brown cow inside the house. She was just there, about two feet in front of me, her head to my left and hind quarters to the right. In the dream, that is while still asleep, I thought this means I've been cowed by something.
I went to see Sonya after having been away awhile, presumably to see her about my cow and cowed dream. She was smiling and glad to see me. She was busy, though, so I had to wait. She was already seeing someone else, a woman I think, about that person's dream. Sonya's consultation room was on the first floor. It was also like a basement, mostly below ground level, yet one entered or exited at ground level, so it must have been built like a cave into a slope.
Outside her consultation room, also on the first floor, was a large casual waiting room with a few chairs roughly in a circle or square. I was sitting in one of the chairs with my back to Sonya's closed consultation room. To my left, a young woman was sitting in another chair next to mine and then, also to the left and at a 90° angle to mine, so that we partly faced each other, a different woman was sitting in a chair that roughly formed a corner or turn in the (waiting room) chairs' square or circle.
There was some business about not enough ice. It was also as though a little ice had been spilled on the floor. "No problem," I said, "I can use my toes." I was barefoot and, showing off, proudly and playfully picked up bits of ice between my (right foot, I think) big toe and 2nd toe, and then flung these ice bits with my foot at the woman in the chair at 90° to mine, to the general amusement of the waiting women. It was as though I were flirting and engaging with the women with these antics. Their glee at the game, or at being hit by or just barely dodging the flung ice, was also in a way flirtatious.
A man, who evidently had been waiting too, challenged Sonya, asking if she were really a doctor or just called herself one, insinuating she was not a professional.
[Earlier that night, I was awakened by a nightmare. I could recall none of it by morning, just a vague sense of something disturbing having happened. Could this have been what had me "cowed"? I wonder if ice might mean lice or nice. Neither meaning resonates at the moment, nor does ice itself. Picking up and flinging the ice bits with my right foot reminds me of the dexterous left footwork in the movie, "My Left Foot," about a man without hands, or at least not the use of hands, who gets by fairly well by using his left foot, but still he often has major social difficulties. In the dream, there were 4 animas, including Sonya. I did not know the others, but I think of Sonya as having legitimately completed a Ph.D., and so entitled to call herself a doctor, as being generally warm, sensitive, and friendly, brilliantly insightful and intuitive, yet sometimes not as open as I'd wish to the possibility certain of her advice or impressions do not resonate, and may not be accurate, for the people whose dreams she is interpreting or whose problems she hopes to help with. The 3 women there to have their dreams interpreted suggest transformation, but the 4 animas, including Sonya, may indicate manifestation in reality. My shadow, the skeptical man, must reflect some reservations I have about Sonya's credentials, exemplifying questions I have had at times about how objective she is when giving personal opinions about people or their dreams. The "2 feet" phrase suggests dawning awareness. The circle or square of chairs may be a symbol of unity. I am engaged in an animated, playful, and flirtatious way with two of the animas who are on my left. This implies a degree of integration with my feminine side(s), as likely does the welcoming way Sonya greets me after I have been away. If the animas are showing correct feeling, presumably their lessons are to be welcoming, friendly, warm, intuitive, insightful, and engaged with others in a spirited, playful way. However, I need to guard against being too sure of my impressions, particularly when they are judgmental and inflexible, rather than being open to the real possibility I am wrong in my assessments. If the house is the self, what does it mean to have a big, warm cow within oneself, 2 feet in front of me, taking up much of the room with her presence? Reminds of a bull in the China shop, except here a much more placid form of intrusion. Or what does it mean that the floor is like a cave or a basement? I guess it partly has to do with things that have been buried (partly below ground level). There may be something else going on about the shadow who questions Sonya's calling herself a doctor. And since her room is referred to as a consultation room, it sounds as though one goes in there for a medical consultation rather than simply a dream analysis or a counseling session. That the cow is light brown seems calming and earthy. She is not a spiritual or an angry cow. She seems contented just to be herself there. She seems to give off animal heat. Am reminded of an image recalled from years ago, of a young woman out early to milk their cow in a cold barn who would open her blouse and let the cow's breath warm her breasts.]
4/9/09 - Title: "A Mall and the Day Visitor"
Fran and I arrive together at a huge mall, and she parks her car out among a great number of other cars in the vast parking area. We go our separate ways to do our shopping or other activities for the next while. Later, I recall with concern that we had not set a time or place for getting back together. It will, of necessity, need to be at the car and as soon as we each have finished what we are here to do. I do not have the impression it will take Frances that long to finish her business. She is likely assuming the same for me, since we had not discussed being here an extended period. The image of her waiting a longtime at the car for me to finally show up and growing impatient or concerned makes me hope I can complete what I have to do quickly. As soon as I enter the mall, I am overwhelmed by the mammoth size and confusing labyrinth-like layout of the place. No stairwell or hall leads directly to another place in an orderly fashion. Rather, there are many extremely short entranceways, and, once entered into one, I find myself right in the midst of a complex multi-storied retail establishment, with salespeople, shelves, racks, or tables for the wares, potential or actual customers, inside stairways, and split-levels that each seem part of the last department I had been in as well as of the new one I have just gone into, and all of this confusion arrayed about in almost every direction. The place is for the most part a bustle of energy and business. When I exit, I find myself almost at once in yet a new warren of activity with little or no time or space of transition. Again and again, I open what I think is one of a succession of exits and go through, only to find myself in yet another sales area with an equal confusion of energies, business, multiple levels, no clear exits, etc. In no time, I am lost and continue to be so throughout the rest of the dream.
I get sidetracked from what I had intended to do by this confusing array of levels, options, energies, etc., and also by seeing a man's wallet on a low rack. It is mostly obscured by some black socks or another article of clothing. It appears to have been left there by mistake. I ask those nearby if it belongs to any of them, but it does not. The wallet is black, leather, well used, surrounded by a man's expensive-looking gray, black, and silver (or another bright, polished metal) looking watch with an expandable metal band stretched to snugly fit around the big wallet. Inside the wallet, there is a large quantity (amount) of cash as well as several I.D. and credit cards. The I.D. shows the owner to be a somewhat bigger than average and mature man (though many years younger than I am).
Among all the bustle, I see my brother-in-law, Ed, who is a new employee there but, being highly intelligent, has little trouble learning the ropes and being a floor salesperson. I ask him if they have a Lost-and-Found Department, and without hesitation he says "No." He shows no interest in the wallet and watch I have found other than to suggest that I just keep them, as they appear to be valuable. However, I am surprised by his reactions and go elsewhere in search of a Lost-and-Found Department, sure there must be one is so large a sales place.
Sure enough, after much further confusion of different floors, changes of direction, different departments, entrances or exists, etc., I come upon a quiet department's counter, behind which are three attractive women all eager to be of assistance. This is also in fact the first department I have found that is not very busy, so the women can attend to me at once. More or less in unison, they say "Of course!" in answer to if there is a Lost-and Found. When I show them the wallet and watch, they show appropriate concern for the owner who will surely miss these, acknowledge that I have done the right thing by turning them in, and say they will take care of the proper Lost-and-Found processing and of getting in touch with the wallet's owner, whose name and address we find on his I.D.
I figure it must now be very late to be getting back to the car and meeting Fran. I go in search of the exit that will take me to a main hallway out. In this I am totally frustrated. All the exits I try immediately become new entrances to yet other indoor sales areas, each as confusing as all the others.
In addition to this difficulty, I realize I must have set my white sunhat down on a hat rack at the entrance to one or another of the retail areas. I do not know where or how to find it. Going in search of it proves just as confusing as all the other attempts to move about in a rational, straightforward way in this mall, inevitably leading to my going into diverse sales areas. I finally find a white sunhat that sort of looks right, but it proves to be older and, when I try it on, it is for someone with a larger head than mine, so I put it back on the rack where I found it.
I decide after awhile of more fruitless searching that I'll just have to do without my hat and go back through the sunny afternoon with nothing on my head to protect from the sun's rays. However, as I am quite aware that, long since, Fran would have gotten back to the car and been waiting in growing annoyance or alarm for my return, I have still no idea whatever how to negotiate out of this warren of stories, split-levels, exits, and entrances and back Fran's car. With the sun beating down, by now both Fran's car and her mood must be really hot. (I wake up feeling there is no way out of the dilemma, and so am greatly relieved as I realize it was only a dream.)
[I know none of the women in the dream but Fran. She is almost completely self-directed, easily becomes impatient, and yet can be an interesting, amusing, and affectionate companion.
Ed is married to my sister, Alice, who is high maintenance, narcissistic, and sees herself as a "sensitive," which means she is at once very intuitive and prone to hypochondria. She is too sensitive to work anything like a regular job and is highly dependent on Ed. He is the tall, handsome, sophisticated, very smart, egotistical excellent (though anateur) dancer who swept her off her feet at a time when she was very vulnerable in her 20s and who has been her shining armor knight ever since then till, recently without work for 7 years and unable to provide for their needs except with hugely growing debts, so they are facing bankruptcy and foreclosure any week now. He needs a job, just about any job, and, at the age of 58, really should be taking whatever he can get, but instead he keeps holding out for a lucrative, executive marketing and sales position, such as he had earlier in his career, and so remains among the long-term unemployed. Yet he is the mayor of a small, exclusive community in northern CA and cannot see himself doing anything plebian. He suggests to Alice that they go live with his aging mother in another state if worst comes to worst and their borrowed funds are finally exhausted soon.
I guess this is in part, at the beginning, about being parked, or else about my Fran anima being parked, since it is she who parks her car in the lot.
It is clearly also partly about the ego being lost and confused.
And about issues of lost identity, energy, and time.
It is about not doing what one feels one is best suited for (i.e. former corporate executive level Ed now working as an entry level floor salesman), not fulfilling one's potential.
And it is about terribly rapid transitions (entrances and exits with no or almost no hallways) as well as transformation (3 animas working behind the counter), things that are lost and waiting to be found, things that do not fit (Ed's job and the old sunhat), and exits that, as in an old Theater of the Absurd play, are also "no exit"s.
The title for the dream is literally accurate and is as well a play on the title: "Amahl and the Night Visitors," a noted Christian story and an operatic production with superb music. It had quite an inspirational influence on me as a child. It is about a poor, lame boy, Amahl, who is visited by three wise men one night for a place to stay, as they are on their way to find and bestow precious gifts on a newly born Christ child. Moved by hearing of the baby Jesus, who is somehow also God incarnate, Amahl decides to leave his mother and go with the wise men, walking the whole way despite his infirmity, to find and give the infant Jesus his only possession, the crutch he uses to walk.
In my waking awareness, though, I am not a religious person and do not believe in god, a divine Jesus, or an afterlife. The title had just come to me as an interesting pun and ironic twist on the dream.]
4/22/09 - Title: "Negotiating More Open vs. Frozen Water"
There is something sinister about my sister-in-law, Leila, who is telling me things about the changes in the ratio of open to frozen sea water in polar (Arctic and Antarctic) areas. She says there is now more open water and less ice.
I merely acknowledge what she says but do not show my feelings.
Then I am at first one and then at another polar area, each time in a kayak, or seeing as an observer a kayak, negotiating open waters of first an Antarctic bay and then an Arctic one. Each time there are 2-3 people in the kayak. It seems to be an old style kayak, large for use on the sea, but made with animal skins (skin) - seal? caribou? - coverings to help assure it is waterproof and seaworthy.
In the kayak scenes, it is very sunny, the sky blue. The dark gray open water is in contrast to the whites and deep blues of the surrounding ice or icebergs, and I see it all as starkly beautiful. But I am alarmed at how much more open water there is now. At this time of year, there should be little open water in these places. Global warming is changing things too fast, with unknown but likely severe consequences.
[Leila thrives on stirring things up, over-dramatizing them, making a bigger deal than warranted, taking satisfaction especially if she can get a rise out of people, which is a way she likes to manipulate others and feel more powerful. She is in some ways my least favorite sister-in-law, a hyper-religiously right-wing, ardently Bush supporting, Republican conservative who goes out of her way to disparage others, even frequently lying about them to make them look bad while sowing discord and seeking more loyalty to herself and her polarized and polarizing narrow-minded outlooks. She is an excellent mother and extremely loyal to and supportive of her husband, yet she is also uncharitable, bitchy, vindictive, and "catty." On the other hand, she can be very charming and friendly if one is not currently on her shit list. She is quite creative, ambitious for her own family, smart (but with no formal higher education), and dramatic. Her 5 kids and her in-laws all seem to think she is great, but she does all she can to undermine similar loyalty amount (among) my mom's children to her, while, to her face, seeming sweet and chatty. She loves spreading negative gossip and other bad news if she feels it somehow enhances herself. Yet she can be a lot of fun and endearing as when doing spontaneous funny skits with her daughters or showing genuine concern or empathy for a nephew of mine who was diagnosed with bone cancer last year.
Clearly, there is something here about polarities and politics, which my Leila anima represent in more than one way: she herself has political views on the extreme right pole of the political spectrum, which implies the dream significance, or within my larger self, of their opposite, the left pole of that spectrum; there is thus within me set up or reflected a set of positions, outlooks, or stances which are in opposition to one another, always ready, as it were, to be at each other's throats, and because of this I am also much more ready to see oppositional situations and to react to them in ordinary reality; "pol" can mean "people," and so this oppositional stance has most to do with relationships, both among the disparate selves of my larger self (or "True Self," if you will) and among people with whom I am in relationship in ordinary reality; there are also these polar opposite qualities within this anima representation of my feminine, for she is at once sweet, smart, charming, nurturing, loyal, creative, dramatic, empathetic, wanting the best for her family and for it to get ahead, and yet also narrow-minded, willing to lie to seek her and her family's advantage at others' expense, bitchy, catty, vindictive, uncharitable, disparaging of others, etc.; the "tics" in the word "politics" suggests outlooks or behaviors or stances that are automatic, unconscious, inflexible sets of reactions to things, just as there can be dysfunctional facial tics in response to certain kinds of stress. In a way, one could say of Leila that she is just like all of us, full of contradictions and not integrated, yet more so, an extreme example.
The situation of which she warns, that there is now too much open water in a formerly rather frozen sea, not only at the near pole but also at the opposite pole, suggests she is trying to get a negative feeling rise out of the status quo preferring ego about the greater openness now apparent within the larger self to intuition, emotions, the formerly unconscious material, and awareness of the painful inner conflicts or competing polarities or opposites now at war within me, where, instead, previously there was much more ice (or frozen emotions, locked in the ice of cold-eyed reason).
The kayak, in this interpretation, may be the means by which I safely negotiate between the more thawed and open water of my intuition/emotions and the still frozen parts, that suggest an intact rationality. The kayak has two or three people, and so there is dawning awareness occurring as well as some transformation going on.
The colors in the kayaking scenes and that they seem stark suggest that I see the choices, just between pure reason and pure feelings, as stark, but that the whole can still appear attractive to me, as though I am seeing the beauty inherent in both when they set each other off opposite one another. It may be hopeful that the open water is gray, suggesting it is filled with shades of gray. The blue of the sky and intense blue of some of the ice may also indicate a spiritual aspect to the dream's message, but probably even more reflect that I am often "blue" or quite blue, meaning sad, depressed, and grieving.
If this anima is showing me right feeling or, by contrast, its opposite, then of course there is encouragement for cultivating Leila's positive qualities and avoiding her negative ones, or for somehow integrating these polar opposites into a more holistic, unified larger self that has some of her fierce, self-interested strength and determination, yet also some of her nurturing, smarts, creativity, and supportive-of-her-man attributes.]
4/25/09 - Title: "Too Small. Too Big. Still Looking for 'Just Right!'"
I've for awhile been taking a growth hormone due to a weak bones condition. Now Frances, sitting opposite me at a restaurant table, suddenly says I'm taller.
I think she's comparing our trunks and so I say: "My trunk is the same as yours. It's my legs that are shorter." "No," she says, "You're really taller." I stand up to show her how my trunk is the same but my legs are shorter, and she comes over to stand next to me. "See," she says. For the first time, our eyes are at about the same level. In fact, I may be a little taller than she. In meeting my eyes she is looking a bit up to me.
I say, "I'm no longer shorter than you, but now I have giantism," and so saying I hold up my right hand, that looks more like a basketball player's, except my nails have grown out of proportion and so are about an inch long. They look more like claws than ordinary fingernails.
I figure I can stop taking the growth hormone. But that won't make me get shorter again. I might still grow for awhile. I say to Fran, "I might be the first person who went from too short to too tall."
[Weak bones could be a way of saying I have had a weak spine or was spineless, lacking in guts, to use another bodily euphemism. I do not know what the hormone could be (harmony, perhaps?), but it makes sense that there has been a period of growth treatment. Whether with Jungian dreams interpretation or a meditation practice, one intent is personal growth. With sufficient growth one might overcome some of the worst of a lack of grit, heart, guts, or spine. A small self might even gradually change into a larger one.
I think the dream may be saying that the relative positions of a strong anima, represented by Frances, and a weak ego have been to an extent altered so they are now more on an equal footing. As a consequence, to a small degree this inner Fran now looks up to me more than was the case before.
Another aspect of the taller ego may be not simply measurable personal growth but also growing up, somewhat greater maturity.
Trunks can be of trees or human bodies or things that we store baggage or blankets in (?).
This anima is also suggesting that I "see," recognizing the growth or increased maturity which has occurred. The anima and small self ego "I's" are now of fairly equivalent inner power, development, confidence, or adulthood. To a degree this is also reflected in Fran's and my ordinary waking relationship.
The ego seems always worried about something, and now is concerned that the growth will make, or has already made, me into some kind of a deformed monster, maybe because in the past (when growing up, for instance) I felt put down if I began acting a little cocky about progress that seemed to have been made.
There are allusions here that must be from the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" story. The title is certainly taken from it. And the right hand that now seems "too big" and looks more like a bear paw (a bear dad?) would be consistent with that as well. But I do not know what to make of it.
Also there are aspects here similar to the "Alice in Wonderland" story, with the idea of being too small or later too large and wondering how then to get just right.
Presumably both hands are now larger, but it is only the right one that is stressed in the dream, so it may be about too rational, analytical (in the head) an outlook at the expense of the intuitive and emotional (in the heart) side of things.
Don't know what to make of the bear claws. (Our dog, Puff, has a favorite toy, a hand-puppet, and Fran & I can put one of our hands into it and play with her with it. It is a red fuzzy bear paw. It has black cloth bear claws sticking out about like my more rigid claws in the dream.)]
Title: "Existentially, A Near Bliss"
It is evening. There is something, a condition or state, that ideally has a large number, for instance, 90, but is lacking only a few to be at this perfect level. So, I add a few. Things become very stable in a good way.
[90 is 3 x 3 x 10, and so it represents transformation big time!
The sense in this dream is that something will be just right if only a few more (of whatever it is) are added, as if there is a nearly perfect chemical bonding that will occur or a recipe that now only lacks a few more (of whatever it is) to taste ideal. That is not exactly it, but gives the gist of it, I think.
It occurs to me now that as I was falling asleep before the dream, the acronym "DEMIS" came to me, representing a roughly equal emphasis on things related to: dreams, exercise and fitness, meditation, investments, and social engagement.
Looking up "demis" in the dictionary, the closest word I find to it is "demise," which means: (as a noun) death; or (as a transitive verb) to give, grant, or transfer. Thus, it may represent an ego death or a transition.
It occurs to me too it is now just a few days shy of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday (5/3/09).
Is it just a coincidence that Demi Moore used to be married to Bruce Willis, of whom I had dreamed just before the last time I was at a Sonya dream group meeting, and I know I shall be going again to her dream group tomorrow? Bruce has now been married to two Demi look-a-likes. In a sense, then, he has married Demi plural or Demis. That is probably a stretch, but an interesting one.
"Demi" also means half, I believe, as in a half-cup or demitasse. But two halves or demis might make a whole.]
4/29/09 - On 4/26, I went back to Sonya's dream group and discussed the above dreams. Highlights: