October, 2013

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10/7/13 - Title: "Movin' On Up"

Most forgotten, but I'm in a kind of growth and/or academic program in which there are many challenges but success in getting through them enhances one's insight, so that he or she rises to a higher level, not in the sense of more college credit but a higher state of being. Advanced students may say little, yet their wisdom is apparent to others in the program. My friend Janet is there and is both one of the inspiring teachers and herself an ongoing student in the growth program.

[Of Janet, I'd say she is an extrovert, passionate about her values and beliefs, and an excellent and supportive facilitator/teacher.

The program would seem to be a combination of Alanon, meditation, and/or dreams interpretation.

It may be relevant that while recently on vacation I realized that for me, at the time working on the Alanon 12-step program again (specifically Step 3), a higher power is everything but the ego, perhaps the same as what in Lifestream Way is called Lifestream, the living "sound" whose "vibration" dynamically creates, sustains, and expresses all that is and from which everything derives, moment to moment.]

10/15/13 - Title: "No Time Like the Present"

I'm in a big college-like educational institution, hoping and expecting with my current course to finish up my degree. It is time for the final exam. A 30s-ish young woman (and she seems familiar, but, awake, I do not remember where I've seen her before) is the teacher of the course. She is smart, attractive, competent. I feel that she and I have a good rapport and, among other things, I think this means she'll be a little lenient with me because, due to my age or otherwise, I have special needs as a student. The final is to be given in two equal parts of about an hour each, with a break in between.

For some reason, I do not get started on the exam during the first part. I do not recall why not. There is a feeling that something came up so that I wasn't able to start it then, also that I'll be able to make up for this by racing through the test during the second part.

During the break, long enough for a lunch (but for some reason I have just gone to a kind of communal break area rather than a cafeteria or somewhere else to eat), while I am briefly away, somehow a glass of water I had gotten to drink during the break has fallen over, spilling most of its water contents on my stuff (things I carry around in a bag), which is sort of in a loose pile on the floor near a chair. These things (my stuff) need to be saved from the wetness, the excess water cleaned off of them. I am still in the process of doing this when the time comes for the second part of the exam.

I get back to my testing classroom a little late, my stuff still kind of in a wet disorder inside a suitcase or backpack. Most of the spaces for the students and their gear have already been taken, but I do find one place left and go there. It is along one wall at the front of the room, where there is a long, shallow desk area (like a homemade desk area my wife made for herself - in reality - in one room of our house). I sit at one point along this desk area and put my suitcase or backpack on or under (can't remember which) the desk (to my left).

I have a little more to do, getting my things in good shape, before I feel I can take the exam in what I believe will still be about an hour more. At some point, the exam is passed, one copy to me. I have the impression it is multiple-choice and think this will facilitate my going through it quickly, so I may still get close to finishing, despite not being able to work on it during the first (morning) part.

A man comes by and tells me to get my stuff out on display. I think he is a manager or supervisor, perhaps the school dean or principal. I assume he is confused and thinks my stuff is supposed to be sold, like it is my wares or artistic creations, instead of simply my personal stuff. Yet I think maybe I'd better hurry and put it out on display anyway, so he'll be satisfied, before hurriedly doing the exam.

There is also something about looking for snacks amid my stuff, for I'm getting hungry, having skipped lunch.

A student to my right at the long narrow (shallow) desk has been working on his exam and looks up at me curiously, as though wondering why I've not started mine yet. I still have the impression that the time to start it has not come or at least that I still have close to an hour to work on it.

The teacher was in the break area and had seen that my glass, which had been nearly full, had fallen, most of the water spilling out onto my stuff, so I figure she understands I've needed to get the stuff in good shape again before starting the exam.

Now, since passing the exam out for us to do it in this second (afternoon) part, she is standing in the classroom a little to my left, monitoring, as the students (except for me, so far) are working on their exams.

I am just about to begin the exam, and have checked to see that I have a pencil ready, when she says, loudly enough to be heard through the classroom, "Put your pencils and exams down. That completes the allotted time. I shall now collect the examination papers," and she begins to do so, starting with mine as she is closest to me.

I am shocked and dismayed. I had not completed a single question yet. I'll get a zero and a failing grade, so I won't get my degree. I'll have to repeat the course or else never get my degree.

After she has collected the exam papers, she announces that she won't be seeing us again. She has taken a position somewhere else (I think she mentions another state) and will be moving soon for that new work.

I am feeling crushed, not only because I won't see her again but because of my dashed hopes of completing the course and degree. (I awake, feeling still disturbed but relieved that it was just a dream).

[I believe this is partly about feeling that I am coming close to the end of my life. Though I have some stuff, I have not finished the "course" and feel in some ways that I have been a failure. It may not be too late, but the dream apparently expresses the idea that it may be later than I think, that I had best be about doing what really counts, not frittering away the remainder of my life on more trivial matters before time runs out. The numbers in the dream evidently refer to dawning awareness and transformation.]

10/18/13 - Title: "Just a Dream"

Scene 1 - A great deal of chaos in general, and about sleeping arrangements on a big bed in particular. Aspects of the place to sleep, mattress, and bedding keep changing, and as a result I am trying to adapt, but mostly have insomnia and restlessness.

Scene 2 - I am naked and in a big room or house. There is another man here too but not close, so he cannot get there in time effectively help. A little snake-like "creature," a robot or an alien, quickly slithers over, suddenly rears up where I'm standing and, so rapidly I cannot defend against it, grabs the lower middle part of my testicles in its "mouth," chews in, and begins disappearing into the scrotum. "Grab it," I yell, wanting the other man to help me pull the thing out, but he does not get over in time, so that most of it is already entering through the testicle sac. "Cut it!" I yell but we cannot immediately find anything to cut or chop it in two with, and besides by then I realize that in chopping what's left of it as it strongly pulls on in, he could miss and cut my balls off. It's too late. The thing is inside me now. (I wake up, still distressed but relieved it was "just a dream.")

10/24/13 - Title: "Five Ways to Go"

I'm discussing job options with a woman. A crossroads. Five choices.

[Have been thinking of different volunteer work choices. Am now the alternate group rep for my Friday night Alanon group and also regularly chair the meeting and am available to sponsor, but as yet have not been asked to do so.

Am also, as of this February, taking over as the literature guy for the large men's group Alanon meeting I attend. And for about eight years I have headed a mystery book club. Fran and I help put out two newsletters a month. Also do my best to stay engaged with a couple dozen nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews.

Stand ready to help out with my mom, as she may have medical and other difficulties, and/or to handle her estate when she dies.

The question is what if anything to be doing besides these things. Under consideration:

  1. Being an Alateen sponsor;
  2. Being a hospice volunteer;
  3. Being a Austin Partners in Education reading coach (which have done three years in a row till recently, and generally enjoy, but this fall the options changed, and it did not work out);
  4. Being an Austin Partners in Education school library assistant;
  5. Doing something as yet not known or considered, or doing nothing more for now and instead focusing on completing the Twelve Steps again (which my new sponsor wants me to do), on getting more caught up with various chores and projects on which I'm behind, and/or on doing more things I really enjoy, like investing, travel and amateur photography, chess, community courses, moviegoing, etc.

I note that my wife's default option is to simply do what she loves, which works very well for her and results in her actually doing a lot more volunteer work than I have ever done and finding it richly rewarding. In dreams, she has often been the anima presenting characteristics there for me as an example or counter-example, and so often has represented to me this choice of doing more what I love, less what I feel I "should" do.

Five is both a magical number for me, having spiritual meaning, and one I compulsively use for ordering my life. For example, I feel five things to do for the current day are "good," but having three, four, or six things to do feels wrong to me. Similarly, I am most comfortable considering five stocks and choosing the best of them, but the best of four or six of them feels off. I brush my teeth usually in groupings of five strokes each, etc.]

10/25/13 - Title: "Pasadena Gig"

I've been hired to take over a voc. rehab. office in Pasadena, on (near) the TX coast (and Pasadena is of course also in CA, which has vague associations for me). Those who hired me did so without seeing or interviewing me, just based on my personal background and record. I had a variety of previous positions, locations, and related trainings, including work as an assistant safety manager for the Dept. of the Army and as a rehab. counselor and office manager. I also have had some impairments myself (congestive heart failure, partial club feet, mental health challenges, etc.).

In any case, my initial tasks are to get acquainted with the people who are working here in the Pasadena office already (working, that is, without overall supervision) and with how their operation is and is not working (internally and in relation to the community as a whole), gain their confidence, support, and trust, let the people who hired me know I can handle the new responsibility, somewhat appease the people who were interested in this position but were not picked, begin to get comfortable with my new duties, and start serving the disabled community here.

The office building is a large, complicated one with many smaller offices plus a huge storage area connected toward the back, that used to be a movie theater, is built over a hill, and seems now kind of unstable, so when a new pallet of stuff to be stored is dumped in there, the whole former theater section vibrates and threatens to break loose from the rest of the overall rehab. office and tumble down the hill.

[It occurs to me that Pasadena (TX), where I do not recall ever being in reality, must be a pun for something. Possibilities might include:

  • "pass-adena" could refer to the idea of death (passing), perhaps also to adenocarcinoma or that I am passing the threat of getting serious cancer.

  • "sad" is also part of "Pasadena," of course.

  • So is "pa."

  • Also "den," which could refer to family and friends.

  • "saden" is there, which is like "sadden."

My take on the dream as a whole is that I am concerned about my life's shortened prospects, that there is sadness about the possibility of passing and over having less remaining potential for success or fulfillment, though this is certainly not an overwhelming outlook or attitude, that there is a reduced feeling of stability about the future, I am wanting to integrate disparate internal interests and aspects of myself, and I feel I am able to fulfill expectations/responsibilities for running the rest of my life as a rehabilitation project, within the context of the Alanon program. It is significant, I think, that this is to be occurring near the coast, an area of access to the ocean, a metaphor for the unconscious, intuition, and the realm of emotions. The huge storage area behind apparently is "shadow" stuff from which, at least in the past, it is (was) possible to get the picture (see movies). The emotional tone is one of loss, grief, and anxiety, yet also of excitement, with the possibility of new growth and opportunities.

In addition, it seems to me true that the dream is suggesting: 1. My job is to provide better management (or, in Alanon terms, allow my Higher Power to provide it) and integrate diverse aspects of myself that are there to do the work but have been operating without supervision for awhile; and 2. I am to examine the shadow stuff stored in the old movie theater part of the office, sort of "mining" all that stuff for the valuable things I may find there amid my shadow issues, baggage, memories, etc., and then remove it from storage, thereby also making the building more stable, since it will no longer be as structurally compromised or overloaded (with shadow material), which in turn can make the place available again for showing movies there, i.e. for getting the picture or having better perspectives.

Finally, I believe the dream reflects what I am already doing, going through the 12 Steps again per guidance from my new Alanon sponsor, and, specifically, starting once more to do the 4th Step, taking a fearless and personal inventory reflecting both my strengths and weaknesses, i.e. those things I prefer to keep in the shadows but now need to drag out and look at in the light of day, so to speak.

I consulted my friend Janet about this dream, and she indicated that in her view it is definitely not about my being "over the hill," especially as I am in a shakey office building that is on, not over, a hill. She thinks it would be best if the structurally unsound shadow storage place be allowed to just break off and fall away, that I no longer need all this old baggage.

From other of my associations to parts of the dream, she believes instead that this is a time to acknowledge parts of myself, especially intensity, warmth, connectedness with others, feelings of closeness yet separateness, and internal conflicts, but not to keep being held back by negative stuff from the past.

She notes that the dream references my impairments, but that I no longer have the mental health issues of my youth. It seems to her, though, that mentions in the dream of my congestive heart failure and partial club-footedness in childhood are metaphorical and suggest an excessive amount of emotion at times ("You care too much.") and difficulty taking a stand, respectively. She adds that I have what it takes to rehab the issues of the dream, that the ego does not have to supervise, these other characters in the dream can do it themselves (or I can rely on my "higher power" to assure proper leadership), that the second paragraph of the dream shows I can do what it takes, the framework is large, and that, even if the old storage area does not break away, each time any new material is added to it, the whole system shifts, much as the slightest change can completely alter the view through a kaleidoscope. She said I need to get OK with being uncomfortable. Things being unstable can feel very uncomfortable, yet that is hardly the end of the world.]

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