Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Angry Man: Dreams of Empowerment

"Frank" by Ada Zdanowicz

         Dreams of empowerment can be like a double-edged sword.  They can fill you with a false interpretation such as I experienced in my dynamic flow dream in which I awoke with a complete confidence in a belief delivered by a dream.  This belief may have had some basis in truth, but my extreme sense that I had been given knowledge of some absolute truth could have possibly resulted in misguided thinking if I had continued to pursue the idea long after waking.   A confidence upon awakening should usually be tempered with some rational thinking of the wakened mind.

       On the other hand some dreams may deliver a sense of empowerment that comes from an obvious source.  In this type of dream the message is clear and relates to a source that can readily be identified.  This is the type of dream I will relate in this post.  This was another one of those dreams that seemed very long and contained much detail that was mostly forgotten after awakening.

        I am with my family at a boardwalk on what seems to be the Atlantic Ocean front.  I'm not sure who all is with me, I only know that they are family members. It seems to be off season as there are not many other people. The sky is clouded.  

        In an establishment that seems to be a bar or a restaurant I see a TV news report about some large creature that has landed or been pulled onto the beach.    In the distance I see activity at the beach related to this reported event.  I go to see what is going on.

       We are driving somewhere  to the North.   My son-in-law Jeff is driving my wife's car.  We stop at a gas station and do a number of different things.  There is a large store at the gas station.  Perhaps I buy something at the store.

       We start driving again.  I am sitting in the front passenger seat as Jeff drives.   I realize that the car is nearly out of gas when I look over at the gauge.  We forgot to fill up at the gas station.  I suggest that we should turn around to go back to the gas station, but Jeff decides to keep driving and look for another station.

       As we drive, the places we pass are very old houses and buildings, mostly made of weathered wood.  I think I see a gas station but it is old and closed.  Continuing on, we come to a more populated area.  I see a small gas station and convenience market  on our left, but we miss it and keep driving.  I convince the driver to turn around.  The driver is now my father.

        We turn around and head back to where I saw the gas station, but once more my father misses the station and we pass it.  I say again to go back.

        The road is narrow and we are coming to an old looking railroad viaduct.   Before reaching the viaduct we turn into what appears to be a old wooden mechanic's garage or some unidentified business establishment.  The graveled drive area in front of the building is very narrow and as we make the turn the car brushes against the garage entrance which is covered with hanging wooden slats rather than a solid door.

       As we begin heading back in the direction of the gas station a young man emerges from the garage and walks toward us.  We are now out of the car and standing beside the road.  The man is very angry because we have hit his building.  I think to myself that if there was any damage it was to my wife's car.

      The young man is dressed in work overalls and he is carrying a number of items, perhaps tools and other things.  I apologize and try to be friendly.  He swings out at me trying to hit me.  I am not afraid so much as concerned about the man's anger and that he might hurt one of us.

      I say to the man, "Do you know about Jesus?"

      He stops advancing towards us.  Looking disconcerted he now seems to have an anger no longer directed toward us.  The man appears to be uneasy, confused, and unsure what to say.  

      I repeat, "Do you know about Jesus?"

      He turns and walks away quietly as though perhaps ashamed or merely deep in thought.

      I awaken feeling safe and confident.

       Shortly after awakening I tell my wife my dream.  She tells me that it was a wonderful dream.  During the day I feel positive and optimistic.  In the dream I have averted a volatile confrontation and I also know that we will be able to fill the car up with gas and continue our journey.

      The dream is most likely related to what the pastors at the church we attend have been talking about in their sermons and Bible study teachings. There is undoubtedly a call to action for me, but also a reassurance in my life.  This is a good dream to have.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Variations On A Theme Dream

English: Union Station in Downtown Los AngelesImage via Wikipedia

           There is a commonly used musical technique called variations on a theme in which a particular theme is stated and then repeated in various ways with alterations to the theme made each time that theme is restated.  In some renderings the motif may essentially remain intact where it is still easily recognizable as the theme originally heard, while other restatements may sound so radically different that only a highly trained ear and one having the knowledge of the progression of the theme sequence might be able to identify elements of the original theme.  Each time the motif is played, the song remains the same but is presented in a different way.

         In this post I am proposing that we sometimes might experience a similar effect that I will call variations on a dream.  This dream state involves an image or story sequence that states the initial idea.  Then, in either one continuous dream or a series of dreams that are interspersed between periods of waking and sleeping, the dreamer experiences a repetitive dream that may have variables that will change the outcome or direction of each dream story.

Here is my example:

         In a dream experienced a few nights ago, I am taking the light rail from the station nearest my home to another location which I am expecting to be downtown Los Angeles.  Nothing looks familiar to me, but I take it in stride.  There is a sense of disorder to the place where I end up and my plans (what are my plans?) are apparently thwarted so I decide to return home.  I feel lost and feel that I may have missed my train.

       At this point I wake up and remain awake for perhaps twenty minutes as I consider a train trip that I am planning later in the week.  I ponder my transportation choices, my destination, and the possibilities of things that could go wrong.  I fret upon intangibles of the trip that I will be taking in a few days.  I am afraid that I will not be able to get back to sleep and think about getting up to have a snack since I feel hungry.  Then I eventually drift into sleep.

English: Waiting room of Union Station, Los An...Image via Wikipedia       Again I am going to be taking the train downtown.  My son is with me.   He is about eight years old.  We are wandering through a vary large train station, but it does not look like any train station where I have ever been.  We go to a vending stand to buy a snack to eat.  We wander outside and walk on the sidewalk of an unfamiliar area.  There are vegetation covered hillsides and no traffic on the streets.

       Next I am at a train station with my father.  We meander about the station.  I go outside to where there is a traffic filled freeway.  I see what seems to be a late sixties model car about to enter the freeway.  This car pulls over to where I am and I see my friend Sebastian in the passenger seat.  He thanks me for taking him to a party supply store where he found some items that were of use to him.  In my memory I distinctly recall being in this very large party supply store with Sebastian and looking about for some time.

      Once again I find myself in the train station.   The place is huge, but I see no trains.  Now I am with my youngest daughter.  We are looking for a train.  

       I wake up thinking about trains.  I am thinking about the train trip that I will be taking later in the week.  I decide that later I will look on the internet to see what the train schedule is and also how much time it would take to go to the train station by bus instead of driving.  

Here is my conclusion:

       Later this week I am planning on going to meet with blogger Yvonne Lewis from Welcome to My World of Poetry.   She is coming to Los Angeles for a few days and will be staying downtown.  Since I am not comfortable driving my vehicle downtown I've decided that I would take the train on that day.  However, since I am not accustomed to taking the train on a regular basis and have never taken the train to the particular location where I will be going, I am experiencing a little bit of apprehension.

      My other experiences with taking the train have always gone well.  Perhaps I'm feeling more uncertainty since the park and ride station is one I have never gone to on a regular work day.  Or maybe I've become too accustomed to being at home and am uncomfortable with going out.

       Whatever the case may be, I believe this series of dream variations is intended to help me work through whatever has been on my mind concerning the trip by providing some different scenarios of possibilities.  The dream stories make little sense, but that is probably due to some symbolism.  The latter factor may indicate  a deeper interpretation could be in order, but on the surface I think the dream variations are primarily rooted in my apprehension about this future event.

A final thought:

       Dreams that are sequentially segmented into variants of each preceding episode are probably a process of working through something that is on the dreamer's mind.  This may be related to a problem for which the dreamer has been trying to find a solution, a fear the dreamer is trying to overcome, or some thought that has been weighing heavily upon the dreamer's mind.

       But this is the simple answer.  In reality the dreams probably exist on so many different layers and are so expansive that the previous paragraph is the part that I see immediately without looking much further.  Much like the enormous train station in the dream story, there is so much yet to be explored.   The dreams are deep and the variations could go on forever if my mind allowed.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stevie Mouse

Field mouse of the subgenus Mus.Image via Wikipedia

       Here's a weird one.  Then again, when it comes to dreams what isn't.  Overall the dream is fairly uneventful as I recall.  In fact, it's so uneventful that I remember very little of it, although not studying upon the dream events upon awakening is undoubtedly the biggest factor in not remembering details of this dream.  The punchline of the dream is what is of greatest significance.

       In the dream I seem to be at some large event that may be related to a job situation--perhaps a trade show.  There are many people present and many individual events are going on.   The setting is a large expanse of land much like a park with trees, grass, and various plants.   I don't recall any structures in this setting.  It may be a state or national park, but the landscape where this takes place is primarily an open field.

      Throughout the dream I am wandering about talking to some people and observing others.  The scene is a festive one with much social activity occurring.  I don't not seem to have any particular mission in mind other than meandering about.  This feels like it goes on for hours, but probably only minutes or seconds in dream time.

       I become aware that my blogger buddy Stephen T McCarthy is present and I go to find him.  Since I have never actually met him in person I am surprised to discover that Stephen T McCarthy is a mouse. He is a tiny brown field mouse so he cannot talk, but we apparently have telepathic communication.  Stevie Mouse is walking and I am following alongside him.

       The mouse comes to a place where there is a grassy outcropping above him.  A large fearsome looking snake is heaped in the grass looking as though ready to attack my mouse friend.   I am afraid of the snake, but I kick at it, not dislodging it from its place.  I aim my kick better and soundly kick the snake away.  I awaken with the sense that Stephen T McCarthy the mouse blogger is safe from the snake.

       Why, why, why!  Why in the world of dreams would Stephen T McCarthy appear to me as a mouse?  In the dream I accept it as so normal as we stroll along exchanging thoughts.  But a mouse?  This makes no sense.  Can anyone suggest any ideas about this?  

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dream Shock

One of several versions of the painting "...Image via Wikipedia

         Have you ever had a dream that was so disturbing that it put you into dream shock?  Okay, I just came up with the term "dream shock" to describe a state of mind where one avoids dream remembering because of a fear or reluctance to experience dreaming.

          Oneirophobia is the term for a fear of dreaming or what dreams might mean, but a phobia is an anxiety disorder or irrational fear that interferes with ones ability to function under certain circumstances.  I have not reached that state as yet.  What am I saying?  Lately I've been avoiding my dream memories.

           My current state of mind came about after a dream that I described in my previous post.   I have not been remembering my dreams since that dream.  This could be due to having too many other things on my mind. Perhaps there have been no dreams striking enough to remember.   I'm not sure what factors may be involved here, but I think there is definitely some dream memory avoidance occurring with me.

            This reluctance to recall my dreams or think about this last remembered dream may relate to a message that I don't want to hear, am uneager to confront, or am unsure what to do about it.   Of your suggested comments, none were exactly what my interpretation is but some hinted at my interpretation.   This dream continues to make me think and perplexes my decisiveness to act in any specific manner.  I may be experiencing dream shock.

           This poses some questions that I would address to the readers.   Have you ever tried to avoid remembering your dreams?    Have you ever had a dream that scared you or upset you so much that you were afraid to dream or hesitant to remember?    What are your biggest dream fears?  

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