Tuesday 15 May 2007

One about dreams

Dreams and portents. Dreams as portents. Last night I had the most horrific nightmares - of demon baby heads in boxes; of malevolent houses; of shit-smothered lavatories. Then again, like UPL, I often dream of horses – beautiful horses that I ride perfectly, seamlessly, like a centaur (exactly how I don’t ride in waking life). I’m forever revisiting old houses and those I’ve never been to. I’ve met Christ in a helicopter and flown with demons over urban parks. Sometimes it seems as I spend my entire nights dreaming – and half of my waking hours trying to puzzle out what they’re saying.
I’ve been intrigued by dreams all my life. The first one I remember was when I was about three. My mother had taken me to see the dinosaurs in Crystal Palace and, she swears, at the time I seemed quite sanguine about them. But that night I dreamed of a brontosaurus charging down our suburban garden and breaking in through the French doors. After that they turned really nasty – a black creature (half cat-half monster) stalked me throughout my childhood, my teens and my twenties. There would come a moment in the dream when I would realise, with horror, that the creature was there, waiting in the shadows, and that any moment it would fly at me, sinking its teeth in my wrist.
Sometimes, of course, dreams are just junk, the detritus of the day, anxieties and fears tumbling out. But some dreams, I know, have meaning. They are the big dreams, the important ones. I truly believe that dreams are the way our unconscious speaks to us.

There are many ways of working with dreams but I tend to paint mine. One of these days I will figure out how to get some of my images up on here so you can have a good laugh or shudder – they are a bit weird! I can’t scan them as they are usually huge. They may be a literal picture of what happened in the dream or they may be more of an expression of the mood of the dream through shape and colour.

The other thing I like to do is to “dream the dream on”, otherwise known as “active imagination”. If the dream ends on an uncertain or disconcerting note, you simply try continuing it in waking time. Imagine your dream in all its detail, not just visually but with all your senses, hearing the sounds, accessing the feeling in your body. There might be a character in the dream you want to question. If so simply ask the character if it would like to talk to you and then wait for the answer. Be patient: you have to wait for the answer and not rush to put something in. You will get a sense of when it's coming and it won't just be something your conscious mind is making up.

Generally the people or creatures you meet in dreams will tend to be different aspects of yourself, often those repressed in waking life. There are no hard and fast rules but here are a few that might have cropped up for some of you.

THE SHADOW: a dream character which normally manifests as someone of the same sex as yourself. Jung said it represents all the things about ourselves that we find unacceptable and so try to repress. Hence, if anger wasn't acceptable in your family as you grew up your shadow might appear as an angry or violent man or woman. If you can talk to your shadow and get on good terms, it will allow you to express your anger appropriately without flying off the handle. Ruthlessness is a common shadow for women because lots of little girls aren't allowed to be ruthless.
THE QUEEN: usually represents for a woman her own sovereignty and power. For a man it tends to represent his ability to deal with the feminine side of his nature.
ROCK STARS AND FILM STARS: generally represent the hero, excitement, creativity. Dreaming about a star means you want to project the part of you that craves attention and the centre-stage.
BABIES: Represent new life of all kinds. These dreams often come when you need to develop other sides of yourself - often when children have grown up and left home….
GOING TO THE LOO IN PUBLIC: Urinating in public usually represents spontaneous self-expression while defecating generally represents your creativity. Either dream usually means you haven't found your true way of expressing yourself.
BEING NAKED IN THE STREET: classically means a fear of revealing who you really are. Normally it will suggest that you need to reveal more of your true personality.
BEING CHASED: Usually whatever or whoever is chasing you is a part of yourself that wants to make contact with you. Animals can represent your instinctual nature - you may be leading too cerebral a life.
KILLING SOMEONE: A warning that you’ve tried to disown or failed to develop an important part of your own nature. Often this part of you contains your power, your strength – something you deny.

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. Back in the real world, Adrian is in Lithuania. James is at school. I moved the wheelbarrow and the watering can and so the woodpecker has given up in disgust and gone back up the combe to hammer at trees (a far more suitable diet). I have finished the first draft of my ghosted book (hurrah!) and might even go to aerobics this morning. Thanks to everyone for your comments – I am continuing to be stern and steely to all concerned with the house (though so far they continue to ignore me totally!).

Aaaghh, all my pictures are on my laptop - so this will have to go picture-less for now.....imagine your own dream here!


Mutterings and Meanderings said...

Fascinating piece which I really enjoyed.

I have dreams I remember from childhood because they made such a big impression...

CAMILLA said...

Hello Jane - Fascinating blog, I sometimes dream about being in a wood, and surrounded by trees, trying to get out, then all of a sudden a tusami water flood comes from nowhere, and I am fighting to keep my head above water. Sinking down and down into the bottom of the ocean, quite frightening. I wonder if it has anything to do with my own personal life, as I at times find it quite a struggle juggling everything, and try to keep MY head above water.
Forgive me Jane, but did I read somewhere on purplecoo that you had wrote a piece to the other side, if not I apologise, just me getting forgetful in my old age!
Enjoy your day, btw, I did eventually blog, thank you for messages. Sometimes my inspiration is lacking with blogs, but I love it here, a great circle of friends.
Warm Wishes To You Dear Jane.

DevonLife said...

very interesting. however you have left out my favourite dream... being married to David Beckham. Bear with me. He is really nice (in my dream) and doesn't speak with a squeaky voice. It's a disapointment to wake up... oh not really.

Suffolkmum said...

Great stuff. You do seem to have articularl vivd and interesting resma - I sometimes do, but often they're so prosaic they even bore me. I do have a terrifying house one which I think I mentioned once on the other side - tried doing that 'continuing when you're awake' thing but am such a baby I was too scared!
ps pretty please - can we have some more 'Walker' please?

Suffolkmum said...

Sorry, didn't check my typing - that was supposed to say 'particularly vivid and interesting dreams'!

JacquiMcR said...

Jane, you have me engrossed as usual. I have carried on partially complete dreams before, but never to the extent that you mention.

My dream from childhood was always about going to school in my bare feet but only me noticing. This never happened and I often wonder what it might have meant as it did continue over a few years.

Take care - Jacqui x

countrymousie said...

I will try and dream tonight - I rarely remember a dream and him indoors doesnt dream at all. My only memorable dream was horrid - I imagined I had a baby in the back bedroom only I forgot it and left it!! DREADFUL.

bodran... said...

Hi jane,lucky you remembering yours i remember mine initially then they seep away,the only ones that stick in my mind are the ones when i just notice my mums there she died in 1999 and i feel a relief because she always said she'd contact me in a dream but then she's gone before we speak..
But i feel a relief at this as when she first contacted me and spoke she said she could only do it 3 times and she'd wait until i needed her...xx

@themill said...

Fascinating stuff. My recurring dream is falling off a bridge we used to drive over when I was a child visiting my Grandparents. I always wake with a start just before I hit the river. What does that mean?

Grouse said...

Dreams have haunted me since childhood, too- I've had the same dream, Mousie!My recurrent childhhod nightmare was some great contrast in textures (like a needle and a rubber), which heralded the dropping of a ball-bearing in a corner of a room, that first rolled smoothly then went haywire. At that point I woke up screaming. Ex[lain that one please!!!!!!

annakarenin said...

My childhood dream was big bolders rolling towards me and black hands coming through the door.
Don't remember many dreams as an adult except when pregnant I dreamt quite vividly. The ones that occassionally pop up are the, out in public without knickers and the feeling that I am weeing only to wake up extremelly releaved to find I haven't and also finding my teeth are loose, absolutely hate that one and am paranoid I am going to loose all my teeth.

Pondside said...

Interesting blog, Jane. I don't remember many of my dreams and rarely have nightmares. Those that I've had have been horrid and I've come out of them crying.
What's Adrian doing in Lithuania?