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July, 2009

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7/1/09 - Title: "Flying or Dying - Exciting Adventures!"

There are several others, men and women, at least 3-4, more likely 5. We are in an oddly shaped, sprawling, one-story house where I am a guest. It is owned by another person here, perhaps Carl (though this is not at all clear). Janet may be one of the others (though this too is not clear).

A long airplane ride is being considered, perhaps with Carl and Janet. I see an engineering type video showing the stresses on the plane aloft, on this very plane in flight, and how they greatly contort and buffet it side to side, up and down in twisting, angular directions constantly, every part of the plane's exterior subject to them, so that it is a sort of miracle every time the plane successfully completes its route.

"I'm not taking that flight!" I say anxiously, kind of defiantly, to the others here. Then I realize the others may not realize how irrational it is to fly when planes are so vulnerable or know what I do about this flight and that they think I just lack the balls for it.

"Or maybe I'll take it anyway," I say, with false bravado, but meaning it, "just for the hell of it, to laugh at my fears!"

The others seem pleased and relieved at this, but now I am again remembering the engineering video and wondering if this is a stupid thing to do and if it may be my last flight.

[Fran thought this dream has to do with my dream group's vs. my own take on dreams and the whole process of dreams analysis, others' prejudiced and naive opinions about my dreams, reacting to their opinions, etc. This may well be, but my thought was that it had to do with specific relationships with persons in the dream group, for instance with Janet and Carl, and the possibility of new kinds of relationships with them (in the real world as well as the inner realm).

Of Janet, I would say she is an exceptional facilitator, that she is the most genuine person I know, and she is recently split up with her fiancÚ, of over a year, and in limbo at least with respect to romantic relationships, but probably also in terms of her vocational commitments, time she will spend with friends vs. being apart from them, etc.

Of Carl, for me he is also a good facilitator, but less so than Janet, like her is also intelligent, a natural leader, and, unlike me, he gives the more typically male ego impression of a lot of self-confidence. In fact, given that I have, by contrast, a great deal of self-doubt, he seems by comparison almost arrogant at times, though in reality this probably means only that he knows his own power to influence others and yet has a few of the blind spots, about his limitations and the purity of his intentions, that we all have.

References to 3 or 4, more likely 5, suggest transformation, manifestation in reality, waiting, and creativity.

This is mainly about one story, perhaps a story about major stresses that are buffeting now more than usual and with respect to a particular impending long flight (of fancy or of the future?).]

7/4/09 - Title: "It's about Tim(e)"

There are five others, one named Tim (not someone I know). I say to Tim something like: "It's OK. Everything is fine." We have to wait, not do anything rash in the meantime.

[Five is about waiting and creativity. Fourth of July dreams may be about independence, starting anew, beginning something on one's own. Something impulsive, rash, emotional, and short-sighted is being considered, but the ego advises patience. A more holistic and creative solution or resolution may ripen into being for the right Tim or time. But everything is already OK, fine, even without a re-solution in the mean time. The mean time is the average or moderate time, or it could refer to the Tim shadow I do know, a Tim who is not OK, is rash, impatient, insecure, impulsive, at times mean. In any case, there is here a lot about Tim or time. Maybe it really is about time. Time is OK and fine (perfect) and occurs for us only in this moment, yet (to avoid pain or discomfort) we spend much of it in anticipation of the future or dwelling in or on the past, either way thus losing forever its precious just as it is treasure. Tim, Sonya also points out, is also about tim-idity, a too rash low self-confidence reaction I have to even my good ideas.]

Title: "When You're Right, You're Wrong"

Someone is telling me: "You're right, but for the wrong reason."

[The ego wants to think it is right, but usually it is wrong. Here apparently an anima or shadow is affirming that he (the ego) is right but that his reasoning is faulty. In the earlier dream today, the ego seemed rather positive in assuring Tim everything is fine and that he is OK. I wonder if it is this assessment that was correct for the wrong reason or if there were some other instance of the old ego "I must be right" stance that is meant by this dream.

This morning, Fran and I renewed a little ego struggle, a new version of a pretty longstanding one. It is an ongoing battle of wills neither of us can win, but that keeps us too often engaged in a negative way, one in which I frequently feel self-righteous and/or victimized, when necessary stuff either does not get done or I must do for Fran what I regard as her share of the duties here.

So, perhaps it is this overall oppositional situation between Fran and me that the dream refers to. Even if I am correct in that analysis, I do not know, however, what lesson to draw from it.

Of course, if one is in that ego contest mode, it hardly matters that he or she is "right" and the other person or persons are "wrong." That whole game of "I'm right, and you're wrong" is itself so unproductive and negative that when we are playing it we are both automatically wrong! But that does not mean either that we ought to just give in to someone willing to play the game in a harder, more unrelenting way. It's a dilemma.]

7/8/09 - Title: "A Bear and a Strange Man Here. Cool! What Next?"

Suddenly before me there is a bear. It is all white. A polar bear? I am in town, a residential area. The houses are not new and look like those in the '30s-'50s in an older part of town. There is also a dog, medium-sized, a husky but small for that breed, also white, and also surprised and alarmed by the bear. Even though the bear seems like a polar bear, it reminds me in its shape and behavior as well of a grizzly (brown bear) or even a big black bear, only white. So far it is not aggressive, more like a tame bear that wandered away from a circus except preoccupied, looking for food or play, and so it is really oblivious of or ignoring me and the dog.

Through its unlatched front screen door, I barge into the house next to where the bear is. I have seen a woman in there, and also a child, a boy maybe 3 or 4, at most 5, years old. They are as yet unaware of the bear.

I shout to the woman (likely in her 30's): "Sorry to barge in! There's a BEAR! We must get to safety!" She doesn't see the danger. The kid seems a little scared or excited, but actually more curious, and he's now glued to a large side window or screen view of the bear. It could crash on in if it wanted to, but right now it is gnawing or licking something down on the ground or driveway right next to the house. The dog, still outside, has run away in terror. The woman as yet doesn't realize the danger. I'm telling her the bear could leap in, but she seems quite casual and relaxed, undisturbed by either my barging in or the bear. The kid seems really excited about all this cool stuff going on. "What next!?"

[In a paragraph I had read yesterday from Charlotte Koko Beck's book, Everyday Zen, the author, a Zen teacher for several decades, now in her nineties and as yet quite vigorous and mentally sharp, writes "So the way of practice that I've found to be the most effective is to increase the power of the observer. Whenever we get upset, we have lost it. We can't get upset if we are observing, because the observer never gets upset." It is not something that anyone can completely realize, but to the extent that we can achieve this in our practice, we are not as subject to emotional upsets. It can lead to seeing clearly and with compassion, the ego having little importance.

I believe in part the dream reflects this idea, with the bear representing potential upsets, but he is retained in a "tame" mode by virtue of the fact that he is merely being observed (by the anima and the child) even though the ego, not trusting in this, is so concerned about the assumed threat he is acting in ways that could actually invite bear-like emotions' engagement and wildness.

There are references here to 3 and 5, as well as to 30s and 50s, suggesting an emphasis on transformation and on creativity as well as waiting. The 4 could refer to manifestation in reality. Also, particularly when I was age 3, 4, and 5, I had emotional and physical abuse from my bear of a father.

The bear has aspects of being polar and white, grizzly or brown, and black. So, this is partly about polarities, polar opposites within my larger self or in my attitudes and reactions to things. This is further emphasized in that the bear seems both like a wild and aggressive species, such as the polar or grizzly bear, and like a tame circus animal with pleasant associations.

There are alarming circumstances in my life now, and perhaps in the inner realm as well. For instance, to help assure we continue to have a couple dream group meetings a month, I have taken on new responsibilities with Sonya's dream group. These will inevitably mean she and I have more frequent dealings with each other. Yet we get along poorly at times. It is as though we have some of the deficits of a mother-son relationship without many of the pluses. Though she is only about four years older than me, I evidently trigger a lot of not-OK feelings in her as a "critical parent" (to use Transactional Analysis terms), while she triggers in me a lot of "not-OK child" emotions. So, when around her or even just on the phone with her, I can often feel myself getting very angry, anxious, frustrated, or depressed. Any expression of such feelings to her, though, only seems to make things worse, and in reaction she starts showing a lot of typically angry, hurt, or sarcastic "offended mother" attitude, of course with little apparent insight into how her own ego is part of the problem.

On the other hand, the kid's feelings in the dream reveal apparent growth potential and real excitement in me over some of the prospects ahead, perhaps from greater involvement in the dream group dynamics, but maybe just in experimenting with the idea that greater observational powers can enhance meditation or a meditative practice in life generally.

The anima here presents by example right feeling, in this case being quite relaxed and casual with whatever the moment brings, even if it is a strange man barging into her house or a big bear a few feet away in her driveway, reminding of a good attitude toward whatever arises in life generally or in the mind during meditation.

The dog is a relatively small husky, which is ironic, the idea of a husky, known for being a fairly large and aggressive canine being instead comparatively small or prone to running off in terror at the first sight or smell of a bear. He might in this case be a metaphor for my own courage at first in getting into new situations, like becoming a co-leader of the meditation group, but then, at the first sign of (even as yet only imagined) emotional difficulties, turning tail and running in terror of this new involvement I have gotten myself into. He symbolizes my reacting at times with timidity, where guts might be more appropriate.

Also, dog may represent the spiritual dimension, since the dream realm is dyslexic and dog backwards is god. In this case, though, we are left to our own devices, without any higher power remaining with us to which to turn over our ego or others concerns.

The presence of a large screen or window in the side of the house, that allows for viewing the nearby bear, suggests getting perspective, but is also like awareness during meditation practice, which permits simply observing with equanimity otherwise scary things. The references to screens suggests filters, as in meditation techniques, through which even otherwise emotionally laden or painful mental material may be safely viewed.]

7/11/09 - Title: "A Blow-Up"

There's a huge explosion. Long after I have dived for cover, it continues. I am relieved and glad amid the ruins of our home that Fran and I are alive and well. Only pieces of debris remain of our former house or neighborhood as far as eye can see.

[As I awoke, the thought occurred: "Wow! I did not know I was that angry at Sonya, or she with me.

Sonya is a dream group member and motherly figure (though actually just about 4 years older than I) with whom I have had an on again, off again relationship for 3-4 years now. Most recently, I have agreed to occasionally help lead a dream group, as her trainee. However, I have misgivings about it and wonder if this was the right decision.

She is at times and variously (in my current view of her): motherly, brilliant, defensive, analytical, intuitive, petty, and yet also can, at her best, an excellent dream group facilitator, counselor, and teacher.

Fran makes friends easily and is brilliant, extremely talented, musical (balanced) devoted to things she finds fulfilling, amusing and easily amused, and yet at times is strong-willed or stubborn, abrasive, and difficult to get along with.

Except that I am stressing it once again now, it goes without saying that the qualities I attribute to dream characters, such as above to Fran and Sonya, are actually projections, i.e. these are attributes of my own anima, merely represented by the real Sonya and Frances.

Other unsettling (and angering) things lately in my real world experiences include: day after day of intense heat (at least 24 days of 100 or more degree F high temperatures - and I loath the heat, much preferring the temperatures more typical in the coastal areas of the Pacific NW); all our beautiful live oaks, and perhaps some red oak trees as well, apparently dying this summer of oak wilt and needing to be removed (after a hassle about permits to do so, finding a reasonable and safe contractor, and being ready to pay a huge sum for it - and then also see the market value of our property plummet); and yesterday having gone to a new dentist, for a routine cleaning and checkup, who took 2.5 hours to finally have my cleaning badly done, barely removing the stain buildup, all the rest of the time spent by the dentist on other patients or working up and then lecturing me on why I needed to give him $4000 for treatments I had not asked for, despite my having no cavities and no dental complaints.

It may also be relevant that in the recent bear and barging into house dream, my friend Janet points out that, contrary, she thinks, to my interpretation of it as mainly having to do with father energy, in her analysis it instead has to do with mother energy (bears typically symbolizing mothers in dreams), quite possibly as developed in relation to my mom during my ages 30-50, but here brought to the surface or consciousness again by my involvement with a mother-like Sonya. She advised that, though this means interacting uncomfortably with Sonya, nonetheless with her I have the opportunity to work through the difficulties and grow, whereas with my real mom this might be more problematic.

It is positive here too that in the current dream both my anima, represented by Frances, and I (the ego) survive intense and explosive negative feelings intact.

Title: "A Lot Going On - Little Connection"

There's confusion of activity and congestion of people in a huge hotel. Here there is a busy kitchen with food in preparation for many in the hotel restaurant just outside one kitchen entrance/exit. From the back of the kitchen, another entrance/exit leads to behind the scene actions or little personal dramas.

I hear a brief dialogue between 15-year-old Jane (my niece) and my brother, Ron. She is disappointed he's decided they won't meet me for a movie or supper and tries to change his mind. He mainly just ignores her, giving some short "reason" why the meeting cannot take place. Clearly, she cares more than he about our getting together.

Then, I am at the sinks in a Men's Room. One of my sisters-in-law, Leila, walks in looking for me. I tell her it is the Men's Room. She does not seem bothered by this. She does start to head back to the door, but says I have a call or a message.

7/12/09 - Met today with the dream group and discussed yesterday's two dreams. Highlights:

  • There has been or is about to be a great transformation and/or devastation in my former circumstances or sense of self, so everything with which I have been familiar is being changed, as if I must start over from scratch.

  • Nonetheless, the ego, though perhaps a new version of the ego, survives intact.

  • My anima, represented as Frances, also survives and is well.

  • My masculine identity is confirmed (I am in the Men's Room and insist on Leila leaving since she does not belong here).

  • It is OK to be a man. It is simply what I am. I may have gotten a bad model of manhood from my father. Nonetheless, I can be a man and need not be that kind of man.

  • The Leila anima is there to show me right feeling or attitude, in this case particularly with respect to being more in control, or perhaps both charming and in control. The message, then, is it is OK to be more controlling and less self-effacing, timid, or deferential.

  • The Ron shadow often lives life with gusto and manages to make friends among his work colleagues, makes an adequate income, and has a good rapport with his 4th child, Jane, but he has had 3 divorces and was kicked out by his common law wife, related poorly with his first 3 kids, is manic-depressive (though more mellow on medication now), suffered brain injury from a concussion, and is a recovering alcoholic and pot user.

  • The Jane anima is very attractive, smart and sweet, wishes she were more involved with boyfriends, gets along well with most folks, enjoys interactions with others, and is generally easygoing and happy.

  • The Frances anima is as described in yesterday's entry.

  • The first dream may also be interpreted (besides an expression of anger) more positively. For instance, the transformation occurring, or about to, could involve (any of these "destroying" the old):
    • A radically new way of seeing ("as far as eye can see" here meaning as far as I [ego] can see).

    • An end to mainly compulsive, relatively rehearsed thinking, behaving, speaking, and interacting and a beginning of mainly more spontaneous living.

    • A commencement of a period of much more focused and/or concentrated moment to moment mentation.

    • Meditation or spiritual practice generally done with little ego interference, filtering, or defense.

    • Seeing the way I did with Ritalin plus carbon dioxide and oxygen inhalation, i.e. with intense imagery directly relevant to my unrepressed and unsuppressed thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

    • Acting and feeling significantly more masculine than had been characteristic of me before.

  • In this analysis the phrase "only pieces ... remain" might mean not so much that a familiar world has been destroyed as that perception and ideation are now intensely narrowed, down to one piece at a time.

  • The kitchen image swiftly follows the explosive change of the first dream. It encompasses much productive, nurturing, or nourishing activity.

  • From very little interaction, the movement by the second dream is toward a much more personal, public kind of engagement or involvement (and this could be the foreshadowed transformation).

7/13/09 - Title: "Head Count"

I am in a huge building, like a great government one or an investment bank headquarters. Some type meticulous, page by page accounting is going on, a total assessment of the value and/or number of each page of exceptionally important documents in stacks, big enough they would require a pallet and an industrial lift-truck to move each one, except in a slow method by hand. Besides this by-hand counting or accounting that is occurring, some kind of automatic (computerized?) estimate is on a screen going on as well, images appearing from or of the pages being considered. The pages of these documents are each quite large relative to normal ones. They are about four feet on a side, possibly five, and they are square and they are just layed (laid) one atop another in (chronological order?) prearranged stacks, each about 4-5 feet high. (I wonder if they might represent each day in the lives of certain individuals, or each sensation, thought, or memory.) They are normally, when not being counted, stored away in a very safe place, like a secure vault. Some people (from out of town, I believe) are awaiting the results anxiously, as though the final counts will benefit them personally. I am participating in the count/account measuring myself and am hoping it comes out to the benefit of the men and women waiting, yet I cannot alter the count for them in any material way, only when what is called for is just an estimate. Mostly, I must stick with the true accounting, however it comes out, but it appears the people will be much better off, once the stacks of these (odd) squares of vital papers have all been assessed and double-checked. On the giant screen, that summarizes or shows what is on each page being assessed, there are not merely text in small print, so fine one imagines a large book, like Shakespeare's works, might fit on no more than a few of these giant pages, but also vivid color images. In one, I see a thick, mostly green forest, from close enough I can make out individual trees (reminiscent of the redwoods in CA I saw and photographed in 2007) in the foreground.

7/19/09 - Title: "A Wedding Reception Fit for Royalty"

It's late evening, and I'm just arrived (unavoidably late) at a huge stately wedding reception. It is in a huge hall with very high ceilings, cathedral-like. Everyone is in the very finest attire, men in elegant tuxes and most looking and acting like well bred upper class British gents. They are showing some high and mighty snobbery typical of British aristocrasts.

The women too are all in exceptionally elegant garb, some in aqua gowns, others in blacks, reds, and whites.

Great gouts of cut flowers are everywhere about on tables with white tablecloths and are being handed out in long-stemmed compositions by young well dressed lads. One gets stuffed diagonally into a space between front buttons of my dress shirt, so that several flowery inches stick out my front to the side just below my chin, but at an angle pointing to my left.

Some men who knew me before are talking to me. I get the impression from them that others are quite discontented with or offended by me. So I step out, facing a camp of these resentful men in the dark, soldiers, Highlanders, I think, and yell out to them that if they wish it and are men of honor and not cowards, I would be pleased to take any or all of them on, but one at a time. My message sinks in, but none come forward.

There is a misunderstanding, so that an old friend of mine here, Esther Dupchek, is being largely ignored by the large number of reception guests. She is dressed to the nines in a blend of black, red, and white.

But we see each other, first from a distance, approach, and greet each other with a warm and smiling embrace. I am surprised others are not acknowledging her. I point out to a couple of the snotty, superior acting men around me that this is Esther Dupchek and that it is she who wrote the book on weddings, a book no doubt used as a reference for how to do this very wedding. Esther is completely humble despite my comments, but happy to be here and that we have a chance to see each other and hang out.

[Esther was a grandmotherly figure in my life and a fellow devotee of a particular meditation path. We spent a lot of time together around 1974 to 1976, when I lived near her in VA. Esther was a charming blend of qualities: full of joy much of the time and a bit psychic, a little senile, and very spiritual, but she could occasionally also get moody and intrusive, chiding me occasionally for being too emotionally remote or, as she put it, "isolated and insulated," when she felt I was not accessible enough to her, as if we were related and she thought I owed her more of my time and attention than the many and often long visits I already paid her. It was in some ways like a mother-son relationship, with both the positive and negative aspects of that for me.]

7/22/09 - Title: "About to Meet the Tree Guy"

I'm in a huge downtown cityscape. Immense buildings rise above me on all sides, to multiple stories.

First, I'm in traffic, in a single lane. Trucks, even larger than 18-wheelers, are quite close behind me. I'm driving a compact or subcompact. I can't complain too much because I hired the truck drivers and their crew of giants for some big job.

The driver in the big vehicle just ahead suddenly stops, so I stop, and the huge vehicle just behind stops with only inches to space (spare) before it might have crushed my vehicle and me. The driver ahead gets out and examines an obstruction in our way. It cannot be removed. We must all turn around somehow and head back. The work cannot be done due to the obstacle. Before leaving, apparently out of destructive spite one of the men I have hired gets a tool with which he pierces a pressurized bladder about half as big as a house. The contents, a liquid whitewall plaster like material, spews out for some minutes, causing a rain of the "plastery" substance over a wide area. It will be difficult to clean it all up after it has dried.

In another scene, instead of a road, there is now a waterway, still in the same type downtown cityscape. The main man I had hired is now in a motorboat on the waterway. All the other traffic is gone. There is a sort of holiday atmosphere. Since the work I hired people for cannot be done at this time, it is time to play.

The main man teases about some people being able to play while others (like him) still have to work, but really he's not working so much as enjoying cruising about the waterway in his big boat, just being careful to steer around people floating in the water.

I am one of the floaters. There is a current. It moves me along at maybe 5 miles an hour, as if in a Venice-like canal (but with a stronger current) between the huge buildings (except here the cityscape is more like a major American city, perhaps Chicago, NYC, Houston, or another one with an industrial area like this). Floating not all that far from me in the waterway are at least a couple beautiful, curvaceous naked women, separated from me and from one another by about 50 to 300 feet of water as we float along. Like me, they seem out for fun and a good time and are in a happy, holiday mood. I'm sure if I can reach them we shall have super sex, but for now we are all just caught in the current, floating at its pace, and so still separated.

In another scene, Warren Buffett, the (formerly?) extremely rich billionaire investor, is so sad he appears to have been crying. He does not want to give an interview or be bothered, but I have the impression things have gone terribly wrong financially, against his expectations, and that he and many others who depended on him or followed his advice have lost money big time.

[A favorite 1960s (I believe) vintage book of mine was Don't Push the River by Barry Stevens. Another way of saying it is "going with the flow." There is a more recent notion, similar to following your bliss (Joseph Campbell), called "finding your flow," i.e. what you really enjoy, that allows for easier focus and enhancement of your motivation or inspiration, so your creative juices can flow, the quality of life is greater, and there is an increased sense of meaning.

Early this morning, soon after the dreams, Fran and I were scheduled to have a consultation with an arborist to get his advice on how to save what we can of our trees (as it turns out that about 8 red oaks and 6 live oaks are already dying or are at severe risk) and give those that remain (after diseased ones are removed) the best chances of survival. I suppose some of the first dream scene, about people I have hired, has something to do with my expectations about the big job involved in removing or saving our trees or the (Paul Bunyan-like?) larger than life characters these men must be who routinely fix or remove big trees.

There are many (multiple) stories to be heard or told.

Something is a major blockage to one form of movement, and to the big job that was pending. However, when the big job is abandoned for now, in a new sense of play or fun there is a strong current (connection?) or flow and immersion in the unconscious (emotions, intuition), where I can at least see playful mermaid-like animas with whom I might integrate if the flow brings us closer together.

The tool bursting the large pressurized bladder, filled with a white plastery substance that then shoots out for several minutes, partially suggests a too full urinary bladder and partly exaggerated male sexual energy or urges, as does perhaps also the main man's big boat and the fact that he is enjoying "cruising" near naked and fun-loving ladies.

The various numbers suggest transformation (emphasized), dawning awareness, waiting, and creativity.

There is the possibility of integration with the fun-loving, playful, apparently lusty ladies who like me are going with the flow. So, the ego may take on the more intuitive, emotional, playful, easygoing, or sensual traits or habits of focus and of enhanced quality of life being modeled by these animas.

Warren Buffett (my shadow in the last scene) is a wise man, affable, brilliant, confident, at ease with groups of people, even strangers, one of the best chief executive officers around, a terrific investor, and a good if not great father. He and his company have been in the news lately for not bouncing back well after the economic and market meltdowns last year or for his having perhaps made some significant tactical errors then. However, in reality, his company and his model of how to invest remain head and shoulders above their competition, so a turnaround, likely sooner rather than later, seems almost inevitable.

His having been recently crying in the dream and not wishing to be interviewed or around people is mystifying to me and suggests some personal (not merely financial) catastrophe, or else that an as yet unknown tragedy of fortunes (a misfortune) is about to occur.

Since money is often a metaphor in dreams for energy, there is the possibility the dream forecasts instead some great loss of energy, hard to imagine one so comprehensive as to be symbolized by terrible losses Buffett might suffer for himself and his shareholders, though, unless there is an as yet unanticipated medical problem.

The only time I ever saw Buffett crying in reality was in an interview about his recently deceased (first) wife, whom he had obviously cared for deeply.

The fact that my shadow Buffett was terribly sad naturally indicates at least that I have some major unacknowledged sadness, a level of sadness that no amount of riches evidently can compensate (for Buffett and his friend Bill Gates have both been alternately the richest and the second richest men in the U.S. for decades now).

Of course, there's a small chance this is a predictive or clairvoyant dream and that something bad has really happened to my investing guru, Buffett, but I think it more likely the dream is about stuff going on with me.]

7/25/09 - Title: "Missing My More Conventional Anima"

I go home and my wife (not Fran) is missing. Our (her) car is there but parked in an odd place, out in the yard near our neighbor's place (to the left if looking out from the house, to the right if looking at the house from the street).

I have at first the impression she has gone over to the neighbor's place, but when I go over there looking for her she seems not to be there either.

Later, I get the help of many others to find her. Some kids try to help. There is a large crowd of people, scores or hundreds. They are standing closely together and appear to be an audience, standing in the front yard of and looking toward one of the houses in the neighborhood, one also in the direction I thought my wife must have gone. I figure she might be among them. The kids and I look for her through the big gathering but without success.

I think she probably went off to do something in which she was interested, then just sort of forgot to come back.

At one point in looking in the neighborhood for her, I encounter a lush or marshy area, where the footing is tricky and there are lots of snakes.

[I do not know this wife. For one thing, she drives a new gas guzzling SUV, which Frances would never own. Also, she does not look like Fran (for I do "see" her in my dreamer's mind's eye), and Fran would not disappear for days, certainly not without letting me know what she's doing and where. This woman is a little broader and fleshier than Fran, not as thin. And she seems in some ways more conventional (except of course for her disappearance), liking for instance to have meals prepared and served at regular times, which Fran does not.

I guess it would be more accurate to say this wife is a blend of Frances and a more matronly spouse who has attitudes, values, appearance, and behaviors more like those presented in Norman Rockwell paintings. So, instead of her having willfully gone off to do her own thing, as Frances tends to do at times, this wife has just kind of absent-mindedly left and then not remembered to return, too absorbed in whatever she is doing to realize I might be wondering where she is. It is as though my conventional anima wife had been for a time snatched by my real wife, Frances, who has then taken her off to do who knows what because Fran cannot be bothered by conventions or worries about what either I or this conventional woman need or want. Clearly, she, Frances, is in control of their combined body and mind, and my more conventional wife cannot return until Fran is through with whatever she is doing.

Snakes for me tend to be about unexpressed emotions. Marshy areas are likely of the unconscious, feelings, and intuition, but also places of rich, abundant life and growth mixed with hazard and the chance of a quick death.]

Title: "Bermuda"

I'm alone on a white sands beach. Lots of other people are on this island too. Behind me is the white, relatively cool bungalow where I'm staying. I'm sitting in a beach chair and have a cool drink in my right hand. I'm wearing sandals, a swimsuit, and a white terrycloth short-sleeve shirt, open in front. I do have on suntan lotion but am mostly unprotected from the hot rays. I'm not concerned about skin cancer or sunburn. I'm a little nervous, yet mainly just enjoying the heat, the sea, the surf directly before me, and the blue sky. People regularly come down to this stretch of beach. I'm looking forward to meeting whomever or whatever comes my way.

7/26/09 - Title: "Interpreting"

I'm using sign language to interpret.

[During my masters program in rehab. counseling, I took a course in sign language, and also went to Galloudet University in Washington, D.C., got a tour, and spent an interesting and fun weekend hanging out there. In those days, I was a very conscientious student and wanted to learn all I could related to rehabilitation counseling. But, though I got an "A" for effort, I never learned to use or understand sign language. I was way too compulsive and just could not mentally translate fast enough to do so. At best, all I could do was slowly sign by spelling out words one letter at a time, or by using or understanding a few common sign language phrases or ideas.

So, even though it's just in a dream, it is cool now to be able to sign easily and without my usual compulsive hesitations.

I would guess the dream is a metaphor for dream interpreting, something which, as with sign language, I have had misgivings about my ability to do.]

Highlights from today's group analysis of my "Interpreting" dream:

  • The dream is not only a positive confirmation that I am an interpreter, in this case of the signs and symbols of dreams, but also that in some sense it is now a time of completion, of graduation, and of a new beginning.

  • Sufficient learning has now occurred that I am ready to begin using it, not merely as just the building facilitator ("facilities manager"), someone available for the opening and closing of Sonya's physical location for dream group when she is not there, but also as a co-facilitator of the dream group itself, and ready to step in and lead or facilitate when she is absent.

  • I am as yet in an internship or apprenticeship phase, but also I have moved on to more responsibility than simply showing up, and will be expected to lead those dream group discussions when Sonya's occasionally not there, and so then to steer the discussion so it does not become just an opportunity for one person or a few people to dominate and bully others, so folks who otherwise might be more quiet are encouraged to participate, to keep the discussion ball rolling when there are lulls, to help make relevant connections, and to keep the meetings from descending into ego clash bickering sessions.

  • As yet, I do not feel entirely comfortable with this new role, but the dream is predictive and shows that in fact I am ready and will be able to be the interpreter and facilitator for the group.

  • When our meeting was over today, the others gave me a round of applause. Cool.

7/28/09 - Title: "Making Do"

It's nighttime. I'm out, in a strange area. I want to be in the large, well lit building where there are many others, some of whom, including Mary, I know. but it is closed now, no admittance. I am frustrated, angry, and determined. I'll find a way to get my needs met and to later be included too. Meanwhile, instead of the nutritious dinner served to the guests inside, I must settle for a "gloppy," mostly hot cheese junk food supper that looks like a blend of greasy pizza and TexMex.

[Mary is the widow/sister-in-law who was married (till he died from a brain tumor) to Ralph, my oldest of 6 younger brothers. She's very bright, controlling, yet exceptionally good at facilitating social events and interactions. Mostly, she's a friend and confidante, though we've had some discord over her attempts to control. She's Mom to a favorite nephew, Jim, and so, especially since Ralph died, I've spent more time with her than with most sisters-in-law.]

7/29/09 - Title: "Cold Comfort Food"

I am in a small Chinese restaurant shop at breakfast time. From a little buffet at the counter, I pick out a large piece of cold but cooked and breaded fish and ask for a to-go container and some sweet and sour sauce to-go with it. I hope the lady behind the counter gives me a container with the sauce in it, not just those little to-go plastic packets that must be torn open and the liquid squeezed out.

[I would not normally eat Chinese food for breakfast, but the piece of fish looked really good. I had the sense that I had been here the night before and that my getting the fish now was in a way a continuation of my eating here then, as though it were a leftover.]

Title: "Serving the Left"

Though not myself Chinese or Jewish, I am a new member of a small radical left-wing Chinese American or Jewish American community. I have offered my services. I am wearing some sort of simple gunny sack, which is evidently what a new member or initiate in this group wears. Some of the group's activities are clandestine. The government would consider us a subversive or terrorist organization if it knew everything.

[The gunny sack I am wearing is made from a simple canvas bag, such as maybe cotton had been stored in. But it reminds me of the phrase "sack cloth and ashes." I assume the reference to Chinese is about something exotic or foreign to me and my life. I have occasionally thought of my first dream group as mainly a Jewish American organization, since a number of its members are or were Jewish, and we are of course in America. The main person from that group with whom I still associate is my good friend, Janet, who led the group when she was in town and who has still been deeply involved in the Austin dream community even after having left for over a year to be with her fiancÚ. She recently returned briefly but is now again away, this time overseas for her work. Janet is exceptionally genuine, generous, and competent in her many roles, one of which is as a facilitator or co-facilitator of dream groups. She and I have corresponded a lot over the past several months and have exchanged dream interpretations. Usually it is she who interprets my dreams. She has a "radical" history, having been, among other things, a farm workers organizer in the 1980s. She has had a few dreams recently that I analyzed, though not nearly so well as she does mine. I think the "left" reference here suggests the usually unconscious, intuitional, and/or emotional side.]

Title: "Beginning Anew"

I am across the street from and looking at a small residential looking building with an L-shaped construction. Although it looks like an ordinary suburban house, I know that this is the facility or Temple of a small, radical Jewish American community, a smaller organization now than it had been. There has been an adverse official or court ruling. The group has suffered a major loss and will be much less viable than before. It may not survive as a radical religious community.

[Again, I suspect the Jewish American reference here is to the dream group or to Janet. I wonder if the L in L-shaped refers to the left (to material from the unconscious, intuitions, or feelings). Whatever the ruling was that has shaken this organization, it has been a tough blow. It will be hard for it to recover. Though she has not said anything directly, recent e-mails, and particularly the dreams that Janet and I have exchanged - both mine and hers - have caused me to worry about her health.]

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