Monday, May 23, 2016

Anxiety dreams

I had an anxiety dream both last night and the night before.

When I was a student the dreams were usually about being late for a final and not being able to find the classroom, though I knew all the answers, or moving through amber trying to reach the building.

As a priest they have ranged from being chased by a posse of bishops across an open field to beginning a Eucharist for a huge crowd, opening my Book of Common Prayer to discover it is a picture book and everyone gradually leaves because I can't remember the opening acclamation.

The last two nights have been different.

First, let me assure you, my anxiety dreams are rich with symbolism and depth and I ponder them for days, wishing I were in Jungian analysis  again--several sessions for each! Ultimately they are not terrifying, but point me to consider what it is I might be anxious about subconsciously. They never come when I'm consciously anxious, but only to make me ponder and reflect. (Sounds Jungian enough, right?)

Saturday night, I'm traveling in a strange place (It looks like West Virginia) and go into an Episcopal church for Eucharist (I think it's called St. Peter's) and encounter there a woman from my past. Obviously she is someone I had feeling for. She looks a lot like Mahala Holmes. Mahala and I were both counselors in a summer camp when we were juniors in college. She went to Marshall and I went to WVU. She was a lifeguard and I took kids on nature hikes and played softball with them. She was beautiful and unattainable to me.

Anyway, this dream woman and I reunite and she tells me to follow her to her place of work--which is a fancy coffee/desert place in the middle of nowhere. She has to work and I drink coffee and eat a desert she brings me. Finally I must leave and she walks me to the door. Outside, I can't find my car, so I go back in and ask her where it is. "Right in the front lot," she tells me. I go out a different door and the parking lot in that direction is on fire. I circle around the coffee house and can't find my car.

I can't find a way back in and end up near the burning lot again only to realize somehow I've lost my sports coat and my car keys (for the car I can't find!) are in the coat's pocket.

Then I wake up.

Saturday night, I'm at a board meeting of the Mastery Foundation, which I am a member of. There are people there I know and some I don't. It's at the house of one of the board members--a very nice and spacious house. Some of the members are actually from the real Board, some are other people in my life (which confuses me in my dream) and some are total strangers. For some reason, I go for a walk with 'Margaret' (who looks like a much younger version of Margaret Baranoski--a member of St. John's, Waterbury, who I buried years ago).

On our way back from wherever we went, Margaret is hit by what I think is a big, black Landrover. One of the tires comes off the car and I pick it up and carry it into a Post Office (much more like a British Post Office than ours) and get one of the postal workers to help me get it on a table. We open the tire and 'Margaret's' clothes and possessions are in it, but not her body.

I say to the postal worker, "we have to call the police!"

He (who looks like a British actor, maybe a young Michael O'Toole) says to me in a British/Irish accent, "no, lad, you brought this to me, I have to handle it now."

Suddenly I'm back at the house where the meeting is. I find Ann (who is real and the Executive Director of the Foundation) and tell her what has happened. She touches my arm and says (as she has from time to time) "I'm leaving this to you".

I spend the next however long (it seems like an hour) chasing the members of the board around the spacious house trying to get them into the meeting room so I can tell them what has happened.

All to no avail. Like trying to herd cats, they escape me at every doorway. I finally tell our hostess what has happened and say, 'we'll all have to go to the police station in a while'. And she says (I kid you not!) "But there's so much chocolate left!)

I end up in the meeting room in despair with Ann looking at me with her arms crossed and no one coming to my calls.

Then I wake up.

I'll ponder these for weeks. Any Jungian folks out there who have any insights, let me know.

(My unconscious anxiety is probably that we're leaving for Italy June 10th and I hate to travel--I'm a real home-body, truth be known. Or it may be that I'm 69 and was very ill on Saturday--though I slept through it--and I'm having intimations of mortality. I'll be following both those threads and others, I assure you.)

If dreams are 'whispers from God', these were two odd messages! Jung believed dreams were our unconscious seeking to make us more 'whole'. I believe that. I just don't understand it!

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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.