Monday, February 1, 2010

nightmares of reality....

I seldom have 'bad dreams'. Most of my dreams are really ordinary, if obscure, things.

Often I am working real hard on some problem I don't completely understand or am building something though I don't know what it is. I work and work in my dreams, totally at peace, just concerned with putting the next piece in place, not even concerned about the 'final product' but intent of my work. Once, lately, I dreamed about going shopping in some unknown place with Hank and Harriet Fotter for objects de-art for some house they were building. I had no idea what the house was like but I enjoyed the shopping trip (and in real life I hate to go shopping if it isn't for food....)

But last night I had what I'd call a nightmare. It would take me hours to write the whole dream down so I'll give you some details.

I'm out walking my dog in a city that I think I know and somehow, I lose him and I know I can't go home to Bern without Bela--my ass would be grass, so to speak. So, I'm looking for the dog during the dream and I have this big leather folder with lots of stuff in it I need--though I have no idea in the dream what is in it or why I need it...and I keep losing the folder and having to double back, still worried about finding the dog, before I can journey on.

The city I'm in was so familiar in the beginning of the dream but it becomes more and more unfamiliar as the dream goes on. Sometimes it is like the 'old campus' at Yale and sometimes like Cambridge MA and sometimes like a medieval city in some European place I've never been and sometimes like the sound stage for the movie with Robin Williams as Popeye. The territory keeps shifting as does the place I have to find. I need to find my house and then St. John's Church and then other places that I've never been and though the urban landscape is always interesting and could have been fun in another dream of another time, I'm lost...I mean, really lost and keep losing my dog and my folder.

I leave the folder in the apartment of a wonderful family--mother, crippled husband, two kids, the parents of the father--several times and have to wind back through the back streets and thoroughfares of my dream to re-arrive at the apartment and find my folder. Then I leave my folder somewhere because I am looking for the dog and come to a dog park with lots of dogs, a few of which look a lot like Bela but aren't and then go back into an official building and the head of security tells me they found my folder but it is just the stuff in it and the folder and my cell phone is gone, so I can't call Bern or anyone and it's like the 9th cell phone I've lost and I feel guilty and there is still no word of the dog though I keep asking people about him and for directions to wherever it is I'm going (nothing is clear any more) and everyone is friendly and tries to be helpful but nothing I tell them makes sense and some of them begin to ask me if I am crazy and I wish, more than anything besides finding the dog and getting wherever I'm going--that someone would take me to a hospital...somewhere white and quiet and calm, where I could just be for a while.

About that time I realize, even in my dream, that it IS a dream, that none of this is happening but I still can't stop wandering the wondrous streets of places I don't recognize at all and I have on a trench coat and I'm yelling "Wake up!" and "Why can't I find my way?" when I finally do wake up, pulling in and out of the dream for another few blocks of unfamiliar buildings.

Then I feel Bela against my leg in bed and can hear Bern breathing and I know none of it was real and I look at my clock, thinking it will be morning and it is only 1:07. I get up, go to the bathroom and read John Sanford's new novel for 30 minutes or so before I risk going back to sleep and finding myself in those strange, unknown streets that would be interesting if I weren't terrified.

I've thought about it for hours--being the Jungian I am--and realize the dream was about my retirement and how frightened I am about 'what happens next'. In reality, I have some ideas and thoughts about what I will do, but in my unconscious, I am terrified of finding myself somewhere totally unfamiliar where I can't find my way though people are helpful and where I lose the things I love and need.

Jung thought that once you 'got' the Dream-makers point, the dream would not return. I hope so because this was so frightening.

So, Dream-Maker mine, I've got it. I'm terrified of what is going to happen to me after the next (can you believe it? 89 days). And I'll dwell on that and ponder it over and over. Just don't send me that dream again, OK?

I really am moving into a city-scape that will be at once strange, unknown and a bit frightening. I know that...really know it after that dream....I know, OK?

I hope my Dream-Maker believes me....I don't want another night like last night....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.