April, 20112 3 6 8 10 13 20 22 27 28 30
4/2/11 - My friend, Janet, and I discussed today my 3/26/11 dream, "New Arrivals." Highlights of the interpretation:
Janet also had an extra insight or two about my 3/30/11 dream, "Of Parents and Children."
4/3/11 - Title: "In the Thick of It"
I am on the ground (not in the air) in a scene of warfare. Planes are coming over and bombing or strafing. I'm one of a small band of people caught in the middle of the fighting. Enemy forces on the ground have also been attacking from a little distance away with machine-gun fire. However, I am heartened to see and hear fresh evidence of firing back from an area where a neighbor whom I like is dug in. There are kids here amid the fighting as well. In fact, they are in the thick of it, not cowering but assisting with supplies of ammo, etc., and even doing some of the shooting.
[It seems the ego is well grounded. However, there is a major schism and conflict of some type between parts of the larger Self. Likely there is significant anger about one or more things, though I am not aware of this at present. Destruction or change is coming not only from this plane of awareness but also from higher (spiritual?) planes. The ego feels caught between warring factions. My creative or growth energy is actively involved on the ego's side of the conflict and vice versa. Perhaps the contention is between the internal forces for maintaining the status quo and those for moving ahead with further needed growth. If so, the ego appears to be on the side of growth. Good.]
Title: "To Buy or Not To Buy, That Is The Question"
I am in a quite large building, a shopping mall or some structure like that. After several other things have occurred here, that involved our going to certain places (shops?), a group of about five men, including myself, are discussing how best to go about getting a sophisticated phone or other communication device. Oddly enough, it is as though all five of us are going in on the purchase of just one complicated phone. In one of the big halls, we are congregated together talking about what we see as the pros and cons of this or that device or feature. One particular feature then is under discussion, considered worth the extra cost by some in our group, while a couple of us are wondering aloud if we really shall get that much benefit from it. I raise the final question (before waking up) about if we truly need it. However, it is not as though I am sure we should do without that feature, but am merely thinking it best to be sure before we commit our added money to buying the more versatile phone. Am ready to be convinced, if the arguments in its favor are persuasive.
[The title, having just come to me spontaneously, suggests this dream is partly about being or how to be. Am I to buy into living, accepting things as they are and making the best of them, or shall I resist my own being in the here and now reality of existence? The number five suggests creativity as well as waiting. The fact that we are meeting in a big hall probably means a not immediate or short-term but an at least moderately long period of transition. There has already been significant growth (quite large building). The emphasis on communication among at least five of us, including the ego and four (manifestation in reality) shadows suggests better internal integration. The discussion of pros and cons reminds of the near daily review of personal assets or positive developments vs. a few shortcomings, as I do Step 10, my current step in the Alanon program. I have also been recently thinking in the real world about eventually buying a cell phone or a more sophisticated communication device. The "couple" reference suggests dawning awareness. Since money will be involved, there needs to be a commitment of energy to more openness, receptivity, and intention to be communicating better. The ego is still at the stage of skepticism about this venture, yet willing to be convinced.
Reflecting on the two dreams today, creativity or creative energy is involved in both. The outcome is still in each dream in doubt, with pro and con forces or issues to be weighed and then resolved. In a sense, there is communication in both dreams. It is definitely of a more hostile sort in the first one. One could say that the "discussion" of the issues under contention is more heated in dream one, indeed at times involves fire (machine-gun), but as yet neither side of the pro or con arguments is wiping the other out; they are simply engaged more assertively (force-fully) in the first dream. Perhaps dream one, which could be a statement of the problem, reflects a more judgmental, left-brained, "win-lose" approach, whereas dream two suggests more mutual understanding and cooperation toward a "win-win" solution.]
4/6/11 - Title: "Feeling and Facing Up to Wounds"
I am in the bathroom, doing my usual morning routines, like washing my face, combing my hair, using a razor, putting on clothes, etc., when I notice I am bleeding from several tiny skin wounds. These are like from little nicks I have occasionally gotten from shaving, except they are both on my face and on my upper chest, about 3-5 small bleeding places at each location.
[The catalyst for the dream may have been an incident this past week when for the first time I had a little bleeding in three places near my rectum. At an annual physical my doctor had told me I had a hemorrhoid and asked if it ever bothered me. I had been surprised I even had one, as it had never been symptomatic. The bleeding stopped very quickly and has not been a problem after the one recent day.
I do notice that the description of the dream includes morning, which might be a pun for mourning. One part of the Alanon 12-step program involves accepting things as they are, the ones I cannot change, and sometimes this means grieving over circumstances one might wish had been different but simply are not. For instance, I would like to have had kids of my own or have had less problems growing up.
The bleeding also suggests wounds. There may at times be little frictions or digs that go on in a relationship. Even ordinary interactions between people who are close can sometimes leave one or both feeling slightly wounded. They may love each other and yet still at times exchange little barbs.
Something on my face may have to do with things I am facing, whereas on my chest it may deal with things of the heart and so things I am feeling. On the glass is at least half-full side, these are small wounds and bleed only a little.
3-5 suggests transformation, creativity, and waiting.]
4/8/11 - Title: "Bogged Down"
I must crawl on all fours or on my stomach through an expanse or bog of shallow, very light brown to khaki, or tan colored, clayish, muddy water, the mix of liquid and solid so thick that it accumulates all over my body in a sticky goo. Although it is an area on the ground, so that I think of it as thick, very moist, and yet sticky, gooey mud that I must try to progress through, it also reminds of the flour and water mixture, while it is still quite liquid, when they are being blended to be made into bisquits (biscuits). Whatever the material is, wet flour, wet clay, or something else, it clings to my legs, my arms, my torso, and even part of my head in a mass that is quite heavy and several inches thick, and it soon makes my further forward progress quite slow or impossible. Somehow I both see myself in the thick of this wet mess and see myself as if looking down at my predicament as an observer above. Part of the time, it seems like I am crossing a muddy open space or field, and part of the time it is as if I am struggling in a shallow metal container, about 12 inches deep and several feet long, full of a cement, water, and sand or gravel mixture, all having been stirred together into semi-liquid concrete about ready to be poured. So, in any case, regardless of the perspective or the material (wet flour, mud, or concrete) I am soon weighed down and stuck and hardly able to move forward at all while covered in several inches of gooeyness.
4/10/11 - Title: "Back in Service"
I am back in the military (National Guard? Army Reserves?) after having been away a long time. My uniform and other gear are all in disarray, as though I just threw everything together into a duffel bag hurriedly, along with several other things from the past, and then dumped them out in a large closet or part of my space here in a multi-room residence or barracks.
The rest of the unit is used to the routines here and promptly gets ready for a morning formation, but I am still trying to get my "shit" together and my stuff organized. I am trying to remember how to tie a necktie. This is not coming easily to me. I find everything except my hat or cap. I cannot find it anywhere. I ask a young black soldier after the formation if the place where uniform clothing is sold - I call it the "commissary," but that is not right - is open today, but he is not sure.
Now that the formation has broken up, I am afraid I am in trouble, for having missed it and not having my headgear. It is needed both to be properly in uniform and for protection against the sun.
I see a captain - He has the double bars on his uniform to indicate this rank - and tell him of my dilemma. He may in fact be the CO (commanding [or company] officer). He is surprisingly understanding and patient and says I can buy my headgear today. He adds that there is time. He says our unit's hat design is the one with basic olive green overlaid with a red, black, and yellow pattern. I see it on his hat and realize it is a smart (sharp or fashionable) combination.
[My father, a practical, efficient, but also domineering man, having been an army and then air force officer, raised me as if I were a junior officer. Later I was also for awhile in the TX Army National Guard. I basically told the military to go to hell while I was then in CA and when many were there involved like me in anti-Vietnam War activities. I avoided the stockade or being drafted only because in the interim I was briefly a mental patient, and a psychiatrist said if I were a regular soldier he was not sure I would not shoot at people on my own side. (Actually, I said that along with a few other things that sounded like they might have been from a physician - I was for awhile pre-med - but a friendly psychiatrist signed the letter.) Then I helped form and run a draft counseling center for young men who wanted to avoid being drafted and/or remaining in the military and doing service in Vietnam. Still later, ironically enough, I worked for the army in federal civil service for four years as a safety management specialist, before quitting to get a masters in rehab. counseling.
All in all, part of me seems rather comfortable with the routines and regimen of being in or associated with the military, though part of me has at times also been in rebellion against that. I think the dream is about the regimen and routines of Alanon, with which I have some familiarity and comfort, but at times also toward which I am resistant.
I wonder if the CO may be a conception of my HP.
The colors probably stand for positive and negative attributes or feelings, green for health as well as envy (and olive green, per the internet, may stand for natural wisdom or Zen), yellow for intellect, energy, wisdom, caution, or cowardice, red for anger as well as passion, black for mystery or the unknown as well as potential.
Per the internet, black represents: "Black symbolizes the unknown, the unconscious, danger, mystery, darkness, death, mourning, rejection, hate or malice. The color invites you to delve deeper in your unconscious in order to gain a better understanding of yourself. It also signifies a lack of love and lack of support. More positively, black represents potential and possibilities. It is like a clean or blank slate.
If the feeling in the dream is one of joy, then blackness could imply hidden spirituality and divine qualities."
This afternoon I am going to meet my female sponsor and discuss Steps 10 and 11, perhaps the last time we shall do so during this first go-round through the steps. So, the dream may relate to this.
Added later. I asked my friend Janet about this dream. She wrote back:
"So you are in a place where you have to exercise discipline, as you said follow routines, maybe be on guard (national guard) or use your reserves.
There is a particular persona you are supposed to have, only it is not well ordered. You took the things you would need to have the right persona, including some things you've learned in your past and dumped them (as in putting them in the closet) or you put them where you live.
Your shadow is used to the routines. It is your ego who is out of practice and disorganized.
Neckties can be about obligations you have. Hats are about the role you play, but that you can't find.
You ask your shadow about your role and do you get your persona from a place where there's nurturance (commissary) but that may not be open.
The formal structure has been changed. Your head isn't in the place it needs to be in order to have the right persona, a persona everyone has, and a way to protect yourself against the masculine.
I think the CO is your shadow. His persona has a double bar, dawning awareness that something is barred, and this shows you how he ranks.
He is very patient and in fact says you can get your head in gear today.
He in fact is telling you what your role is: one that has the emotional climate of being peaceful yet with some passion, mystery and clarity. And you see your shadow's role and realize it's a good combination.
Very cool dream. That's my take."]
4/13/11 - Title: "State of Separation"
I am on a sandy, windswept and also tide-swept island that is shallow, only several feet thick, so it bobs gently on the seawater (I have no idea how an island made mostly of wet sand and clay can bob, but that's the impression.) It has little vegetation, and what grows there must be very hardy and low to the ground, to withstand the winds and tides. This island seems to have broken off from the mainland, from which it is separated by a narrow channel of seawater that is maybe only 4-6 feet in width. The island is an odd shape, kind of like Idaho, if the panhandle part were wider and the lower part were shorter. You could say it is like a stumpy, fat L-shape, with both parts of the "letter" thicker (or wider or deeper) than a normal "L."
I am here with my girlfriend. We are both much younger than my present age, maybe in our 20s or 30s. We are clearly in love or at least infatuation and enjoy each other's company and physical intimacy. Simple as this setting is, it seems full of wonder for us, though it also has a kind of sadness, maybe because our remaining time here is brief. I think we shall have to separate once we leave the island. (I have no idea how we are to get across the channel that separates the island from the mainland. Perhaps the water is shallow, and we can wade across.)
The sky is gray, overcast. I have the impression it has been raining recently and may do so again at any time. The sea or bay on which the island bobs is also mostly gray. The island itself and the adjoining mainland are tan in places and a deeper, clayish gray in places. (There is, despite this description, an exhilaration about being here on this island, both from the environment itself and from being with each other.)
There is a sense of needing to leave very soon, so the experience of this place is now going to be only very brief, but we have been here awhile already, at least several hours. I am sad that I (we) must go, even though I understand it is necessary. Not only do I already anticipate missing what we have here, but on the mainland we shall be separated, and there are also difficulties to be addressed there. So it is like we are coming to the end of a period of vacation.
[The proximity and enormity of the sea or bay suggest, I think, access to unconscious, intuitional, and emotional material. This is also stressed in the proximity of my anima girlfriend. There is quite a bit of emphasis in the dream description on sadness, contrasted with a sense of temporary exhilaration. The numbers suggest dawning awareness, transformation, manifestation in reality, creativity, waiting, and flexibility.
Later. I talked this evening with the Wednesday night dream group about this dream. Highlights:
4/20/11 - Title: "Inside Protection"
I am in a room or apartment in a rooming house or apartment building. Conditions outside the front door of my place, in a long, narrow hall, are chaotic and sinister, dangerous, so I avoid going out there when I do not have to. (For some unknown reason) I put several rolls of toilet paper down out in the hall (perhaps after shopping, intending to bring them in once my arms are not full). Moments later, I go back for them and find them partially torn up and scattered on the floor out there. It is as if a dog or wild beasts had been at them. The hall is also rather dark, though sunlight comes in a little under a crack beneath a metal door at the end of the hall. To the right, this door ends the hall, about 5-6 feet from my main door. To the left, the hall goes off indefinitely, getting darker and darker, but I know it passes the entrances to several other rooms/apartments like mine in that direction.
Conditions inside my place are rather unpredictable as well. There are at least 2-3 dogs in here, and they have the run of the place. One is a cute young puppy, seemingly into everything. I'm not sure it is even housebroken/"potty trained" yet. It too likes to get into and play with/mess up rolls of toilet paper, but at least I can scold it. It is very playful, cuddly, and fun despite its inconvenient, pesty (pesky) habits. There is also at least one, perhaps two or more, larger, adult dogs. It or they are German shepherds, police dogs. They are powerful animals and in the way at times in my small place, but have some training and, other than their getting in the way when I want to move about in here, they are not a problem. The adult dogs seem about twice as big and powerful as regular German shepherds.
There is also a door off the kitchen. I feed the puppy inside near this door. If one were to come in the front door, turn left and go out the kitchen door, one's path would form an upside down "L." From the point of view of someone inside already, like me, the "L" is right side up.
There is, about the dream overall, a feeling of imminent danger or upset. Inside, the chaos is bearable, but just outside it is terrifying, potentially violent. I feel that, though they are inconvenient, the dogs are good companions and/or protection in here.
[I had asked on going to sleep for a dream from my HP of what I need to see.]
4/22/11 - Title: "The Right (Persona) Stuff"
I am being given a test. It is late evening or nighttime, and I am at a downtown central area or a shopping mall. I go into a brightly lit, spacious men's clothing store, and there are various men's clothing options, in sets with their associated assessories (accessories) arranged together on merchandise islands. I begin tentatively making my choices of styles and colors. Then a man comes in who clearly has a high ability in what is being tested. He rapidly goes to each island of basic clothing/accessory combinations and selects what he wants, evidently scoring 100% or very close to it. I understand that he is a competent, manly, leader and a successful salesman or self-promoter type individual. I speed up my own selections, making the same choices I had just seen him making. Some of the choices include plaid slacks, shirts, or ties, and these seem weird and uncomfortable combinations to me, at times ones that would clash, but he made them, so I do too.
[I suspect "plaid" refers to "played" and that the dream is suggesting both that I be less tentative, doubting myself less, but also that I get more comfortable engaging with life in a more playful way. This is also consistent with the last dream, which had a fun, playful puppy. On the other hand, there seems in these persona choices more potential for clashes, which I see as having to do with relationship conflicts. "Islands" no doubt are about the ego (I-lands). It seems my shadow's ego is strong compared with my own. He probably is not as bothered by the clashes his personal choices and expressions engender, possibly even enjoying them. In this sense, he is like the puppy in my last dream, unconcerned with its expressions, since it is as yet not housebroken. However, the greater comfort with clashes may also mean there is significance in how I at first spelled "assessories," rather than "accessories," since my ego sees some of these choices as asinine, as in "ass-inine."]
4/27/11 - Title: "A New Role"
Scene 1 - I am in a cramped office setting and am newly hired. Five others and I all must fit into an office space about the size of a walk-in closet. Clearly, everyone will need to cooperate and get along well for this operation to work. I vow to myself I shall nonetheless be successful here. It involves selling, self-promotion, extroversion, and calm, none of which come easily for me.
Scene 2 - I am living in a one-story large home with my brother, Horace, his wife, Leila, and their youngest son, Keith. I was interviewed for a position as a financial consultant/salesman with a firm, possibly the same one Horace is associated with, Raymond James, and will be under his supervision, or possibly it is Merrill Lynch, which Horace used to work for. In either case, Horace and his whole family are now quite friendly and welcoming. I am even allowed to hang up some clothes and some wash rags in Horace and Leila's master bathroom and to use it myself, though it adjoins their master bedroom.
As I am hanging some things in their (there), I see Leila, not yet out of bed. She greets me warmly and jokes that Horace had better not get the wrong impression from my being so close to his wife, still in bed. She has on a low-cut red slip or nightgown, silk I think. Horace comes in and jokes about it too. All 3 of us know I'm not really going to make a pass at Leila, and Horace can be friendly because he is senior to me in the firm. (So either we are not competitive now or he has "won.")
[Horace is playful, self-confident sometimes to the point of arrogance, very good at self-promotion, a financial services salesman and manager, proud of being a good father, husband, and grandfather, extroverted within his work or his church, but clannish, not wanting to associate with folks much outside his family or established institutions, yet quite friendly with people who belong to his "tribes." With him, other people are either in his "us" category or one of "them."
Leila is also very clannish, seeing herself as the arbiter of who is OK (us) vs. not OK (them), but, like her husband, is friendly and warm toward those who are currently "us," yet even more than Horace is rejecting of and critical toward those who are currently "them." Often her decisions about who are "in" vs. "out" seem rather arbitrary and manipulative. Creating scapegoats is her favorite hobby. She dresses seductively or at least provocatively at times and seems very aware of herself as being, or at least having been, an attractive woman, still dressing this way at times, though really too old to pull it off. I doubt she would ever have an affair, though, and she would be scandalized if anyone were to make a pass at her. Both she and Horace are quite into a right wing, conservative form of Christianity and politics, on a par with their idols, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.
Keith is 16, a good tennis player, something of a momma's boy otherwise, very good at academics, in choir, religious, but apparently not with any hard edge to it like his folks have, has a friendly, humorous way of relating to people generally, and so is not noticeably into the clannishness or "us" vs. "them" attitudes of his parents.]
4/28/11 - Among others, we discussed my 4/27 dream, "A New Role," last night in dream group. Highlights of the analysis:
4/30/11 - Title: "Caruso"
It is outside on a sunny afternoon. I am using my hands while intently looking at something with which I am playfully tinkering or working. Then I spontaneously break into a happy tune, my voice rich and full, as if I were joyous and singing in the shower (where I can sing as I wish, for it is like nobody can hear me). I sing like that unselfconsciously, unconcerned whether or not anyone hears.
[I sang the few notes I remember of the dream for my wife, a musician. She said it sounded movie theme-ish, uplifting, optimistic, heroic, an ascending melody which really opens up in the second half.
The dream setting as well as the tune and the ego's feeling while singing all seem consistent with a joyous mood. That the setting is outside suggests to me the dream may be more about external reality than the inner realm. It is a mood not in synch with how I had been feeling when I went to sleep, yet I continued to feel pretty darned good after getting up.
I am in Steps 10-11 of the Alanon 12-Step Program. I have been worried, probably overly so, about whether I need to make amends about every little thing, any potential misunderstanding that comes up, etc., though it seems to me that such misunderstandings, as well as the ordinary play of emotions within, are as variable and usually as unintentional as the weather, and perhaps are best simply noted without our needing to feel guilt or to jump through hoops to make amends whenever these temporary clouds appear. Thus, whereas my anxious and depressed attitude before going to sleep was judgmental toward myself, that I ought to conscientiously be making amends right and left (even when having had no feedback confirming that anyone had felt I had given offense) on awakening, it was more like: No, unless I am shown that amends are indicated, I can note that an attitude or expression might suggest a shortcoming best avoided in future, but then can carry on living spontaneously in the present moment, even enjoying life for a change, one day at a time, rather than dwelling on a microscopically detailed and self-indulgent drama of "how bad I am."
I am reminded of the recent dream of a playful yet not yet housebroken puppy which knew no better than to give "expressions" that were offensive in the apartment, but who was also a metaphor for a growing new spirituality that needed "training," certainly, but in such a way as not to destroy its "spirit."
I had forgotten to read the 4/29 entry in the Alanon literature daily reader, Courage to Change, till tonight, after having this dream. When I did, I was struck by the coincidence of the wording in the entry, "...I may move forward into a richer, fuller, more joyous life today" with some of the dream's description.]