Thursday, June 27, 2013

Would You Like to Have Your Dream Interpreted?

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
          I sometimes have dabbled in some dream interpretation on this blog, but as I have indicated in previous posts I think this is a very subjective realm that can be difficult for an outside observer to do effectively.  Recently I ran across a dream interpretation blog that seems to do a pretty credible job of this.  I've invited Amaranthe from Sculpted Dreams to share a bit about what she has to offer at her site.  Be sure to visit her blog and send her a dream if you'd like to get her take on it.

     I’ve been having strange and vivid dreams for as long as I can remember, which is to say since I was five or six years old. One of my earliest dreams involved Captain Kirk lying dead on a black slab with lasers set up around his body to keep anyone from bothering it. (I really liked Wrath of Khan as a kid.) Another that I had when I was ten or eleven was about a dog-eating sunflower. Sounds funny now, sure, but at the time it was terrifying—I had a dog, after all, and awoke concerned for its welfare.

     I got in the habit of writing down these dreams in a diary someone had given me, at first only in passing with one or two lines, but eventually I began logging the dreams in careful detail. Some were easy to shrug off as a kind of “data dump” in which my mind was simply discarding old information or making bizarre connections between otherwise unrelated things. But some dreams felt weighty and somehow important. These I would puzzle over, trying to understand them. I would read this and that dream dictionary and attempt to cobble together the meaning behind these nightly teleplays.

     After a while, I got pretty good at it. Taking what I’d learned, I began to apply a certain amount of intuition to interpreting dreams, until eventually it became second nature. And before long others began to ask me what their dreams meant, too. My cousins, my friends. Until one day a friend suggested I do it more widely. So I recently started a website titled Sculpted Dreams ( where I do dream interpretation for free. Because I enjoy it, and why not?

     As I’ve noted, I’ve only just started the site, but I’ll talk about some of the most common dream questions I receive from friends and neighbors. Places, for one. Usually some kind of distorted location along the lines of: “It was like the house I lived in as a kid, except . . .” Houses often (but not always; there is no “always” in dreams) represent the dreamer, and the rooms represent various aspects of that person. A childhood home, then, may be a way of showing an “old” or “outdated” or even “immature” aspect. The fact that it is distorted makes sense—the dream house has been manipulated to reflect the dreamer, not the actual location.

     Airplanes are another big one, or really any form of travel. This generally symbolizes the dreamer’s life journey. How difficult or easy the travel may be indicative of how difficult or easy the person is finding life to be. If in a dream you find yourself stuck at the airport, you may be feeling stuck in a kind of limbo in your waking life as well, as if you’re not getting anywhere. Travel can also represent transitions in life, moving from one stage to another. After all, when you travel you leave something (and sometimes someone) behind.

     So what good does knowing a dream’s meaning do you? It can be therapeutic to some degree, allowing you to understand yourself, be in touch with your own inner workings. It’s self-therapy. Dreams, when not a simple data dump, are your subconscious trying to get your attention. When you open those lines of communication, you begin to feel more balanced. The flow of information from subconscious to conscious and back gets easier, and the more you do that, the more you’ll dream because it becomes an ongoing conversation with yourself.

     Still, sometimes you need someone to translate the strange language of dreamspeak. Or maybe you just want a second opinion. If so, send me your dreams, and I’ll post them (anonymously) along with my take on them on my site. Be aware that I do edit for grammar and punctuation. (I’m a writer in my day job, so I can’t let these things go by untouched.) The e-mail link is on the site, or you can reach me at methos [at] gmail (dot) com.

      Thanks, Lee, for having me. And happy dreaming!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strawberry Jesus and Other Enigmatic Dream Phrases

English: giant strawberry
English: giant strawberry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       On the morning of Memorial Day 2013 I awoke with the phrase "Strawberry Jesus" on my mind.   I had slept in since it was a holiday and my wife didn't have to wake up early to go to work.  I had been dreaming intensely throughout the morning, but cannot now recall what I had been dreaming.  Only the phrase "Strawberry Jesus" stuck with me.

       Since this peculiar juxtaposition of wording had stayed with me I decided that this should be an exploration on this dream blog.  Why would I dream of such an odd term?   And why would it stand out for me as something that had significance?

         Before I began writing on the topic, I looked up "Strawberry Jesus" on Google.  I found some references to a musical artist or band from Rome, Georgia.  There were a few other odd entries for the term that I did not explore.  I saw nothing that would indicate that I would have seen this term mentioned elsewhere sometime in my past.   The origin in my mind is a mystery.  However, the fact that others have thought of the term makes it seem less odd that I would have thought of it.

         I will add "Strawberry Jesus" to other peculiar dream references such as "Dynamic Flow" and others that I cannot remember at the moment.   There are also the references to songs, movies, or other creative things that I cannot connect to anything in real life.   These references undoubtedly come either from my subconscious memory of tanget encounters with these experiences in my life or some sort of connections that would randomly connect words or other sensory experiences to create something that seemingly made sense in a dream.

        The questions remain.  What are these references?  Why did they seem significant in the dream?  Why did these terms enter my dream-state thinking?

          Have you ever woken up thinking of a particular phrase or idea that felt very familiar or significant to you?   Did you ever figure out why or what the dream image may have signified?    Have you ever had a dream that was influenced by a phrase or concept that you'd heard before?

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Too Much Content

English: Lubok-style cover of a Russian dream ...
English: Lubok-style cover of a Russian dream book. The book is solemnly named The Dream-Book, or an Interpretation of Dreams by Sundry Egyptian and Indian Savants and Astronomers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      When I start remembering a vivid dream that seems to have lasted a long time, I can sometimes begin to dig up a great many dream details.   If I get on a roll with this, the dreams seem like they have an amazing amount of content.  During my high school and college days when I kept a dream journal and my dream recall became particularly acute, my recorded dreams would become many pages long, filled with many details of setting, props, characters, and plot.

        The detailed dream recall is not very common for me these days.  I've gotten out of practice of remembering dreams and have fallen out of the habit.  However, there are occasions when a dream will particularly stand out.  When it does, the details begin to flood my mind.  If I write these dreams, they begin to seem like they have too much content to record.   Here is an abbreviated version of a dream that I had last year (in 2012) that seemed like it had a vast amount of detailed content...

       From the point of the dream that I can remember, I seem to be remembering other times or perhaps other dreams.   There seem to be layers to my dream thoughts, but I may be experiencing the amalgamation of dream memory and whatever is happening in my current dream time, much the same way that in waking life we can be busy doing one thing but thinking of other things while being aware of other things going on around us.
        In this current dream I am living in a house which consists of one large single room adjoined by many smaller rooms.  There are multiple beds in some rooms.  The house actually seems more like some sort of hostel, but I understand it to be a house.
         I've run out of deodorant.  I look to see if there is someone's deodorant that I can borrow--my father's or my brother's perhaps.   I look for a unique brand that I remember having somewhere in the past.  There is a selection of many toiletry items out in open, perhaps on top of a large television.
         I go outside of the house-I'm starting to leave to go somewhere.  I notice that we have new neighbors who are either Mexican or gay--I'm not sure which.  One of the neighbors asks me questions about their overgrown vineyards.  I look and see I also have vines in my backyard but they are well groomed.  The men want to know how I manage to keep my vineyards looking so good.  I come up with a couple of answers and then I say I have a power cutter.  They want to borrow it and then I say my gardener does the trimming and start to tell about my gardener's services and prices--$32 per month.
       As I am leaving I see a police car arrive with a small boy in back seat.  I know this boy from earlier in this dream.  Is he mentally disabled?  Autistic?  The boy and I talk to each other about something.
      At one point in the dream I am a teacher's aide.  One boy of about 7 years is behaving badly.  I go over and discuss the issue with him and I handle the conversation very well
       The dream continues with incidents involving the police and children.  There is something related to music and different places that I can't remember...

      During this night I woke up several times thinking briefly about my dreams and my plan to remember them.  At times I had lucid dreams or had flashing images of what I had dreamed during the night.  I tried very hard to make sense of all the dream data that I had accumulated and to put it all together in some sort of logical sequence.

        Sometimes too much dream content can disturb sleep and distract the mind.  An abundance of dream data can greatly interfere with relaxing restful sleep.

         Do you ever have a dream that is so complex that you stay awake trying to recall all of it?   Are your dreams mostly quick and simple or do they seem to go on for long periods?   When you remember a great deal of dream detail, do you find it easier to remember your dream story?

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dream Themes and Connections

English: ImaginOn
English: ImaginOn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       While it can often be easy to pinpoint the source of a theme in a dream, why we dream about that particular topic in the way that we dream it can be more puzzling.  If something weighs heavily on our minds prior to sleep, we may dream about that thing either directly or indirectly, but it's often easy to understand the connections between the waking life concern and the dream story

         A exemplary case from my own dream experience involves a poem I wrote for a contest my writing group recently held.   On Tuesday night (of the week when I had this dream) I entered my poem of light verse and won the contest.  Wednesday night before going to bed, my wife read my poem and then had me explain it.  Since English is not her first language, there were some things that she didn't quite understand.  I went through the poem with her and then afterwards told her that a lot of people who were not familiar with poetry and English literature would probably not understand the references I made in my poem.  My poem was geared to a fairly specific audience.

         As I was trying to go to sleep I began going over my poem in my mind and thinking about other poems that I might write.   Throughout the night I slept fitfully at times.  I continued to review my poem in my mind during sleep, half-sleep, and waking.   I mentally composed new lines for new poems.

         At one point I looked at the clock.   It was 4:08 AM.  Dismayed, I thought that I would not be able to go back to sleep, but then I quickly fell into a deep sleep and began to dream....

        I arrive at work early in the morning.  It is just starting to turn light and no one else is around.  I am going back to my old job at Morris Costume Company.   The workplace reminds me of the place where I used to go except that it looks older, perhaps larger. The building is located in an older industrial area where some of the other warehouses appear to be no longer in business.  The parking lot is larger than the one at the building where I used to work and it seems to be mostly gravel.  I seem to be on foot and without a vehicle.
       Since it is so early I am the first one at work.   It seems that Morris Costumes has reopened their California warehouse and today is the first day of this new work term.  The office is dark and seems mostly unfurnished when I go inside.   The surroundings are similar to the place where I used to work, but perhaps larger.  I go into my office and begin arranging things.  The phone rings.  A customer is on the line.  I remember this customer.  Her name is Sherri Larson.   We talk briefly and I think I take an order from her.  She says she wants to speak to my boss when he gets in.  For some reason I have the impression that she wants to speak to my son-in-law Tom, but then I realize she really means the company owner Scott.
       I go out of my office and notice things are now much lighter.  The day is gray but the sky is brighter than it had been when I first arrived.  There is still a sense of gloominess--a dream setting haze perhaps.  A rail container has been dropped at the front door.  I open the container and begin unloading it into the front office first and then into the warehouse.   I notice that employees have arrived and are working in the warehouse.   This warehouse seems at first like the warehouse where I used to work, but then as I look I see that it is much bigger.
       Thinking that I could use some help unloading the container at the front door, I walk to the back of the warehouse where a number of workers are busy unloading a trailer at one of the docks.   Ray, the warehouse manager from the Charlotte, North Carolina location is in charge and I realize that all the workers are from Charlotte.  It's almost like the front of the warehouse is California and the back is North Carolina.  After speaking briefly to Ray and a couple of the workers, I return to the front office.
       Scott has arrived in his office.   I let him know that Sherry Larson has called but he seems uninterested.  I ask if it would be alright if I got one of the workers from the back to help me unload the container I've been working on.   He lets me know that I can do it myself.  He seems terse and grumpy.
        Returning to the container, I continue to unload boxes.  They aren't heavy, but it's a hassle to bring them through the front door and into the warehouse.   I start wondering what it is that I'm unloading.  Most of the boxes aren't marked, but I eventually find some that indicate they have either come from or are destined for a trade show in Chicago.   With this knowledge I come to the conclusion that this is product and display materials that will be going to an upcoming trade show.
        As I take a load of boxes to the place where I am stacking them in the warehouse, I notice some very attractive young women working in the warehouse.  They are attired very well in nice summery dresses.  It seems rather odd to me that they would be dressed like this.  For one thing it occurs to me that if the young women were on ladders stocking shelves one could see up their dresses.  Also the dresses would get messed up as they did the sometimes dirty warehouse work.   There is also an issue of safety that I think about.
         Everything is much brighter now as though it is late morning.  Many people can now be seen in the warehouse.   The scene is very busy.   I continue to work alone.  The container unloading is going very slowly and I realize that I have a long job ahead of me...

          I then awoke about six minutes before the alarm was to go off.   Poetry was still on my mind.  Somehow there seemed to be a connection between the dream and my thoughts of poetry, but I could not figure out what that connection was.

          Do you ever fixate on some little thing that keeps you awake, disturbs your sleep, and influences your dreams?   Have you ever created something as a result of dreams or other nocturnal thought activity?   How could my warehouse dream reality to my thinking about poetry?

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