July, 20061 6 9 25 30
I'm inside a dark house, then eventually in dim, overcast areas outside, every way barricaded with natural or artificial obstructions or by other virtually impenetrable challenges, including charged electrical fencing, razor wire, extreme cold, etc. The dream is in color, but so dark it could almost be in black and white only. It is unknown what time of day it is, except that it is not night, for a little natural, though with overcast sky, daylight gets through. Some, at least, of the rooms in the old place are empty of all but frayed dingy carpeting or faded, sheer drapes, and yellowed roll-down window shades, largely missing, with those windows bare. I am alone in this large abode, but there is a sense that I am competing with Vance, a no longer close friend who, like me, in the dream is needing work, but he is unwilling to do some things for it, as am I. However, my tolerance is a little greater than his for obnoxious tasks and settings in order to make a living, so there is the impression I'll ultimately get by and even perhaps somewhat better than he, despite being several years his senior. At one point, I am on my way, or trying to be, away from this ancient, hemmed in area. But I just get caught outside, over and over, and unable to extricate myself. As night approaches in one of these situations, I am very cold, but know of no possible remedy for it. Various situations occur that seem as impossible of solution as the means by which an archetypal hero must win the hand of the king's beautiful maiden daughter or find and retrieve a precious prize. I climb a fairly tall tree and see I am in a thick forest, visible as such in all directions. Not only is the woods dark and evidently impassible, but the trees themselves, including this one, are filled with brambles, thorns, or other sharp places on the branches, which also grow so close together, and yet are so fragile too, that successfully negotiating them involves great hazard and effort. I try to get across one major obstruction after another, but am for my troubles electrically shocked, my hands painfully cut, hurt by falling out of a tree, etc. I awaken with still further frustrating, perilous options to try, but no real hope that any would lead to a way out of the isolation and impasse.
Off the top of my head impressions from this dream include that, though married, having a pretty large extended family, and with a number of shallow social contacts, I often feel an observer, alone and isolated, but do not know a way to rectify this that I would find fulfilling enough to sustain, or that would not itself lead to difficulties greater than the current quandary. And though I am retired and well enough off that I do not have to work, I often wonder if I might be doing things more productive with my life than I am, but worry that anything I can think of to do as a remedy, such as other kinds of volunteer work than I am already doing, would have its own challenges, like confining with its required commitments (when I am still reveling in the relative freedom from these implicit in being financially secure), or facing me too unpleasantly with my own irritability, stubbornness, mental or physical limitations, feistiness, obsessive-compulsive traits, or simply a low tolerance for tasks I find obnoxious or frustrating. As with earlier dreaming, I note some opposites: both dim and sharp; empty spaces, and yet others filled with things close together, or such that I am hemmed in; in color, yet so dark it is like black and white; tolerant vs. intolerant (Vance) of certain things. Possible owned or disowned self-descriptors, since they are represented in my dream, include: dark; dim; sharp; overcast (depressed?); cutting; extreme; old; dingy; faded; ancient; competitive; unfriendly; caught; very cold; fragile; obstructing, challenging; shocking; hurting; and frustrated.
7/6/06 - Title: "First Day in My New Position"
I'm finally successful in completing a training and induction process and then being hired as an engineer. I'm being welcomed into my new position as a professional at the hiring organization, everyone being very friendly.
It is not hard to see the immediate genesis of this dream, especially if one looks at the 7/6 entry in The Vintage Diarist. In the real world, there has not been much recognition, respect, or appreciation for what I do and the level of competence with which I generally do it. The dream situation clearly would rectify that. I was in fact trained by the US Army as a safety engineer and worked in that capacity for four years. Although called an engineer, the job actually entailed more inspection than engineering. Other professional or semi-professional jobs in my background included work as an insurance risk rater, as a disability examiner, a psychological tester, and a vocational rehabilitation counselor. These days, I think I am worked at a greater than amateur level as an investor, with returns competitive with those of some of the better investors. But in my library volunteer work there is little opportunity to demonstrate these levels of accomplishment or be recognized for what I have to offer. Nor are there ways in my ordinary day to day routines to have mutual respect and friendship among colleagues.
In another sequence of dreaming last night, There has been a typical central TX flood, such as often occurs on Shoal Creek, Bull Creek, or Barton Creek here in Austin. It is the next day, or soon afterward otherwise, and the waters have receded, but the area around the now once more normally flowing stream has been affected. There are areas of bent over plants or trees, new sand bars, dug out areas where trees and banks have been undermined, new pools, exposed roots and rocks, a few stranded animals, a few small carcasses, etc. I am exploring the area and later telling others about and showing some of these interesting changes and the new and diverse features of the creek environs following storms and the rising, then lowering waters.
Off the top of my head associations include wondering if there is a sexual element to the dream. The ideas of swollen streams, of rising and lowering, of, on the one hand, gushing waters and later of greatly diminished or more normal flow seem to have a passionate aspect and/or to relate to genitourinary function otherwise, perhaps referring simply to a need to go to the bathroom, after which things would be more normal. However, these impressions do not really ring true as the main significance of the dream, for the emphasis seems to be on a fresh view of things or of interesting changes afterward, implying more than just a morning after sex or a relief following peeing. There are here on display an array of interesting and diverse features of the self, a sense of renewal after a period of change, of exploring the new conditions, and of teaching others (other aspects of the self?). There are also the apparently negative or less acknowledged elements: feeling stranded; in some at least small ways dead; the aftermath of a storm implying adjusting following a period of heightened (negative?) emotion; feeling undermined; and feeling exposed.
7/9/06 - Title: "The Problem Here Is an Inability to Communicate - Or Present a Good Appearance - While Rapidly Running Out of Time"
Awoke from napping this afternoon with the following dream sequences still in mind:
I'm away from home and attempting to call long distance, as if to make a request or explain my whereabouts, using some other peoples' phone, in their home, with operator assistance. The lady of the house is sort of trying to help me with info needed for the operator but is doing it in a rather confused and disorganized fashion, which is causing irritation and frustration on my part, so that, while she is dithering, I am apologizing to the operator (who, despite all, remains very professional) for the delays and inability to readily provide the needed information. The operator, for instance, asks for the number I am calling from, three digit prefix first (instead of "area code" she calls it something else, that apparently has meaning here locally), and even this I do not know and so must explain that I am not calling from my home but while away on a trip and so am needing to get the info from my hostess, at the same time communicating to the lady whose phone it is that I need the area code (or local three digit prefix, whatever it is called there), but that lady is seemingly not understanding what I need or else unwilling or unable to provide it promptly, but meanwhile I see three numbers, "313" I believe, on a pamphlet or pad in front of me near the phone and hope that is it, and I ask the operator if that could be it. It apparently is, but then, when she asks for the rest of the number I find it is not located anywhere on or near the phone, so again I must ask the scatter-brained host woman. She gives me part of it but then starts on a tangent about their not always using their regular number because sometimes one of the numbers does not work, no matter how often it is tried, so what must be done when getting to that number is to insert as asterisk (*) in place of the correct number. I've no idea why she even notices the problem, for presumably she would not normally be calling her own number, but this seems to be one of the dream paradoxes for which there need be no explanation. But all I want, instead of this elaborate explanation about the use of an asterisk rather than the right number (and a request by the hostess that I report this problem to the phone company while I now have them on the line), is the correct number to be able to give the operator so I can then complete the bureaucratic early part of my conversation with the operator and so finally get on with making my operator assisted call to another person, presumably in my home town, perhaps even at my home there. Once again, the host woman gives me all sorts of unwanted info instead of what was called for, and, particularly as I am getting very frustrated, I can sense the operator must be getting highly doubtful of this call as well and may be ready to just hang up on me, but then I'd have to start over from scratch. So I mention that I would understand if she, the operator, were getting irritated with us, and I apologized once again for how long this was taking, after confirming, following some silence on the operator's part, that she was still there, but, trying to seem reasonable, I said although this one call was taking an inordinately long time, I understood that on average calls the operator must deal with would just take about four minutes, and certainly this single call, though unfortunately long, at least would not be long enough to change that average figure! Nonetheless, at some point in here, while I was feeling mounting anxiety that the call would be ended early by the operator and increasing frustration or anger that the host lady could not just give me the info I needed, and quite simply and promptly, the dream ended.
In another complicated dream, that seemed to have preceded the one just related above, I am out of town, much seems to have happened in the dream before (that is not recalled), and I'm needing to attend a formal event, but for some reason have only one suit, however it is looking very worn, disheveled, and dirty in places, even with burrs and other vegetable matter, as well as mud or dust, on several parts of it. I am trying to pick the debris off, but it is clear that this outfit really just won't do for the imminent occasion, so that I am quite concerned about getting to a store or cleaners or having some help from others here about remedying the situation in some definite, positive manner. However, there seems to be no way to do all that is required or desirable in the time remaining.
7/25/06 - Title: "Desperately Seeking A Life, With Lisa"
I'm in a very big, multiple levels and rooms house with a few other people, including my shy younger brother, Allen, and a lady who is reminiscent of Kathy Bates, the actress, whose roles I've liked, as in "Fried Green Tomatoes" and a more recent television movie, "Ambulance Girl," in which she plays an anxious, depressed middle-aged woman in a troubled marriage (no kids) who makes a positive and fresh start after she "gets a life" through becoming an EMT trainee, successfully overcoming her hang-ups to complete the course, and then actually working as an EMT, acquiring new friends and meaning in the process. In the dream, Allen and I are not just brothers but also both members of an esoteric meditation group, as, indeed, was the case about 30 years ago. There is an issue about my forgetting the Kathy Bates' character's name (which is Lisa) and calling her someone else, then being embarrassed over it. In fact, a couple years ago I did feel embarrassed after calling a woman named Lisa, a horse handler and boarder who is also a close fried of a family of in-laws of mine living on a big farm in WI, by the wrong name. In the dream, I seem to already know the Lisa lady, though our relationship is unclear. There is the sense we may have slept together, but also that she is an intuitive and that I may have consulted her for a psychic reading. At some point during the night, I go looking for the lavatory and become lost in the unfamiliar surroundings. In the morning, the others seem to know I called Lisa by another name. There are also generally accepted rumors, among those of us there, that she and I have been having sex. The group Allen and I are in is somewhat straight-laced and though I have not actually been sharing Lisa's bed, I can tell Allen thinks I have, and that he regards this as both interesting and warranting of a little respect, for my boldness, good fortune, or whatever, despite the group's moralistic constraints. The idea kind of appeals to me too, and I wonder what it would be like if Lisa and I were lovers, or lovers again. [Consciously, I have little or no desire for sex with someone like Kathy Bates. My admiration of her is of a different kind.]
7/30/06 (afternoon nap) - Title: "At the Mercy of [a] Violent Nature."
I'm at sea with others on a ship. We notice a great upwelling of material from the ocean floor to the surface, so much so that in places the waters are roiling and our ship is violently wrenched over, but it does not capsize. Nonetheless, at least a couple of us fall overboard from the deck. Some of the debris has risen even above the ocean's surface, remaining there, and forming small islands. Elsewhere, whirlpools are created. It is thought that there is no way those who fell overboard could survive. Already they have disappeared from view by observers still on deck. Yet, in another segment, it seems I am one of those who fell and, though alone (not so much as a bird around) and out of sight of the ship or any source of help, for now I am alright but adrift and swept this way and that. I hope to at least get to some land. There is a new rocky-upwelling-created island not far away. Maybe I can reach it. There is also a place nearby where violent forces are blasting hot air, magma, or both with huge energy up out of the water, with such vigor it is as though the air or matter is hurtled heavenward, at least to the upper atmosphere. [Both segments occur apparently in the middle of the day and under a vast sunlit sky, but then the natural violence creates a smoky overcast. The dream seems to have been in color.]