DREAM: Swaddled Baby

I’ve stopped to visit with some friends at an open air restaurant. (In real life, they are my former colleagues at the job I just left.) I’m so excited to show them my new baby – she is the love of my life! I sit down with them and begin to show her off, then decide I need to use the ladies room. I leave my swaddled baby with my friends and head off. As I’m leaving the ladies room I realize I don’t have my purse. Did I leave it at the table? In the stall? After thinking about it, I’m sure I had it with me when I entered the restroom. I head back to the stall I used and a young lady is coming out. I don’t see her carrying my purse. I pass a couple others on my way back and I’m checking them each out to see if they could have it stuffed under a coat or shirt. I get back to the stall and it’s not there. Now I’m thinking – maybe it was on the counter at the sink and I just overlooked it. I return to the sink. No purse. I’m worried about the bag and my phone being lost. I’ve spent such a long time here and now I’m worried about leaving my baby for so long. I return to the table to find my friends have all gone. Where is my baby?

Now I’m on a bus with my swaddled baby and I’m holding her up against me. She is so precious! Suddenly there is someone – a blonde woman – who is after me. She wants my baby! I must protect her! The woman has brought men with guns and they are shooting at the bus and are going to board it and take my baby! I pass my baby to one of my older children (my real daughter) thinking the woman won’t go after her. I will get off the bus to safety and then retrieve my baby. I leave the bus through the back door and am hiding, trying to navigate to a place where I can have my daughter hand the baby to me through a window. I never get there before the dream moves on. (Interesting side note: At some point in all this drama my daughter says something to me about how attentive I am with this baby. I say to her, I want to get it right this time!)

Now I’m in a house and there are other people there with me. Friends? Family? I have my swaddled baby with me again, but I want to keep her safe and out of the way, so I put her in a small wooden crate – like the kind you would buy at a craft store to decorate your home. She fits perfectly inside the crate. In order to keep her disguised, I set a book on top of her. As I’m interacting with the other people in the house I keep thinking about how she is in this box and I’m worried that the book is too heavy. Am I suffocating my baby?

INTERPRETATION:

Wow – this one is full of metaphor, but one central message. The baby is my book! This represents all the distractions I allow to keep me from spending time on my book! The comment to my daughter in the bus scene has to do with this being the second time I have taken a break from my career, and this time I want to spend my time in the right way. The blonde woman wanting to take my baby represents how I tend to sabotage myself and my dreams. I believe the baby always being swaddled represents my fear of putting my book out there. What will people think?

DREAM: Giving Me Room to Write My Story

Originally Published August 9, 2015

Sometimes the Universe sends messages subtly, sometimes it wakes you up with a thump on the head. Early this morning I got a thump . Not an actual thump, of course, but a dream that contained a message that was meant for me and was said in very clear, specific words.

Yesterday had been very full with house cleaning and erranding, and ended in a soiree with several dear friends. It had been a lovely day and evening, and at 11:00 p.m. I was happily exhausted, so sleep came easily. Always appreciated!

Unfortunately, at 1:33 a.m., I was rudely awakened. I’ve been having issues lately with anxiety, and it was the familiar tingling in my chest that woke me. That, and the phrase spoken to me at the end of the dream.

Let’s start…at the beginning.

The supporting character in my dream is a tall, blonde, male actor – probably now in his 60’s – whose name I cannot come up with, even after several online searches. Moving on.

For the entire the dream I am in a house that is very non-descript. I do not see furniture. It is not a house from my real life. It is just a bunch of dark rooms connected by a single, dark hallway. I move back and forth between two rooms in the beginning and can’t seem to find focus, primarily due to a heavy sense of guilt.

The aforementioned actor is in the house with me, but I do not interact with him much. The feelings with which I’m struggling have to do with being in this house with my new actor friend, and not giving him the attention he deserves. At the same time I am struggling with some uncomfortable feelings about a former lover. This is someone I no longer have in my life, but for some reason I am holding onto feelings of sadness for how that person may be feeling or what they may be going through. I worry that I am spending too much time dwelling on the former relationship to the detriment of the new one.

Toward the end of the dream I stay mostly in the hallways, between rooms. In the final scene, I come to the room where the actor has been the entire time and he says to me, “I’m giving you time to write your story.”

I immediately experience a feeling of relief. He does not want to pressure me. He is giving me space to do what I need to do. There is no need for guilt here.

INTERPRETATION:

First, the obvious message: I need to write my story. Don’t worry about, don’t think too hard about it, just do it.

In the first week after leaving my corporate job I focused on some personal business as well as some administrative work related to my art business. I left writing at the end of my list – as always. Now I know I must be sure to factor in plenty of time for writing. I have a rough draft manuscript that desperately needs a final run-through. I must allow room for this work.

Next, symbolism in dreams fascinates me! The general consensus among dreamologists is that a house represents you. Different rooms have different meanings, but since none of the rooms in my house were distinct – I couldn’t tell if they were bedrooms, living rooms, etc. – I interpret this to mean the hallway was the only space of significance in this house. On the website Dreammoods.com, I found the following:

To see a hallway in your dream symbolizes self exploration. It is the beginning of the path that you are taking in life. You are going through a transitional phase and journeying into the unknown. It also signals spiritual enlightenment, emotional growth physical prowess, new opportunities and mental passages in your life.

Regarding the guilt and the “former lover.” A true former lover? Maybe. But there were also hints of work-related tasks in my dream. Nothing I can remember vividly, but they were there. So I believe the former lover in my dream represents the corporate job I recently left. A job that I loved. Over the months leading up to my departure – and apparently, even after leaving – I’ve struggled with whether the timing of my departure was appropriate for the colleagues who now own that body of work. Did I do enough before I left? Did I share enough information with them? My dream is telling me it doesn’t matter. It’s fine. Move on.

Dream: Late For The Wedding

This was a dream within a dream. In the dream I dreamt that I was to be the bridesmaid in a wedding and on the day of the wedding kept getting delayed in one way or another…going down the wrong street, getting lost, passing streets and doorways that I should have been familiar with…and sliding in just in time, but other members of the wedding party had had to do much of what I felt was my responsibility as the maid of honor.

In this dream, I awoke and realized it was a dream and was very relieved, because I was, in fact, to be the maid of honor in a wedding. And as luck would have it, I proceeded to have the same experience as I had dreamt (in my dream)…getting lost, missing obvious signposts and doorways, etc., and getting to the wedding almost too late.

Peppered throughout my dream were references to people from my past with whom I have not kept in touch. One specifically was a guy who had reported to me at one time and in this dream (the second version, where I was supposedly awake), he was along for the ride, trying to help me, but not able to help which I believe is because I was “calling the shots” and not following his suggestions. He just laid low and let me go through my motions and was always there along the way, even as I arrived at the location of the wedding, obviously very late.

OBSERVATIONS:

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing and the fact that I haven’t published “my book” yet…and that I’m now 50 years old, and hoping I’ll get my act together and regain my focus soon because I feel my time is running out. I’m 50. People in my “circle” are beginning to drop off, and I wonder if I’ve wasted too much of my time. Am I “too late for the wedding?”

In my dream people are depending on my and I’m not getting to the place I need to be. Is that a suggestion that I – in my non-dream life – am not getting to the place I need to be?

Lately the first lines of a poem I wrote when I was a 14 keeps running through my head. “Poor Sadie was a simple child, her parents died so young. She thought her sad life over before it had begun.” I wonder if it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I hope not.

Sadie

Poor Sadie was a simple child, her parents died so young;

She thought her sad life over before it had begun.

She lived through all her writings, the thoughts she held inside;

But if someone should come near, her feelings she would hide.

She wrote of things that pleased her and things misunderstood;

Hoping that somehow, someday, her thoughts would do some good.

She thought so much her head ached, but she wrote down every line;

And if a thought was hidden it came to her in time.

As she grew her thoughts expanded with every passing day;

And she carefully thought each detail as she wrote her life away.

She wrote like this for years, though it seemed so short a time;

For life was such a word, that it needed more than lines.

And when her time had come, she noticed much too late;

Her words had helped no one, and age had closed the gate.

What she had left were feelings, in her attic to remain;

And so poor Sadie left this world as quietly as she came.

Call To Action

I received a message the other day, but I didn’t hear it until now. I didn’t feel it.

It was a call from my mother’s cousin “Barb”, whom I’ve never met nor spoken with in my life. Barb was reaching out to me in hopes I might be able to get her in touch with my mother’s brother – her cousin. She got to me through my sister, whom she met at my mother’s funeral several years ago. (Why I wasn’t at my mother’s funeral is a story for another time.)

Sadly, I wasn’t able to connect her with her cousin – my uncle – because, as my mother explained to me when I was twelve, her family disowned her (and the rest of us) when she divorced my father. She went on to explain that her brothers were both very religious and so they didn’t believe in divorce. So…I was disowned by my mother’s family at the age of twelve because of a disagreement between my mother and her brothers. Sounds fair.

Barb and I talked for over an hour, and as it turns out we have a few things in common, i.e., her father discouraged/prevented her from communicating with her extended family; we both married quite young and subsequently divorced and then spent most of our adult lives single, feeling we were better off being fully responsible for our own destinies (or at least as much as one can be).

I believe things happen for a reason – and so, since Barb’s call last Sunday evening, I’ve been turning this over in my head trying to figure it out. Why me? Why now?

In the course of a morning meditation, it came to me:

For over ten years I’ve been sitting on a family-related project – my memoir. Over the years I’ve gone back and forth from feeling the story should be told to feeling I should keep it to myself. I thought I had put that argument to bed a few years ago, but now here it is again.

Since my early teens I’ve felt my purpose in this world was to write. So far I’ve not been successful at my attempts to erase the “you can’t earn a living as a writer” tape that has been running a continuous loop in my head since I first had the audacity to share my dream with my family some thirty years ago – trusting that they would be supportive.

But here’s the thing: I don’t just think I should be a writer. I know that I am a writer. And yet I find myself still working a corporate job (where, by the way, I write…business requirements).

The idea of going out on my own has been spinning in my brain for…ever. I have had two separate opportunities to transition into “self-supporting artist/writer” in the last ten years, but I’ve never felt really, truly ready, and so in both cases I spun my wheels in various other directions rather than focusing my energy on the thing I was put on earth to do.

So what’s holding me up from going out on my own? Whatever it is, I need to get over it. I feel that if I don’t take action now I never will. I turn 50 this year. It’s shit or get off the pot time, kids!

I’ve got a story to tell. I believe Barb’s call was yet another nudge from the Universe. It’s time for me to take that manuscript down off the shelf, dust it off and get back to work! My life story is one that should be told. If for no other reason, because I need to tell it!

(It should be noted that I actually wrote this piece on 6/29/11. I’m just now posting it on 5/12/12. ‘Nuf said.)