Friday, 27 May 2016

Nosy Neighbor: Post #3



I have been examining my own waking dream about an incident with an annoying neighbor. (Scroll down to my last two posts.) The point I am emphasizing this week is that, even though this was a real-life occurrence involving another human, it was also a dream exclusively about me. In my book Always Dreaming, I use the adage, “Whatever you perceive is you.” This waking dream is an excellent example of that idea.

 On Wednesday, I isolated the symbols so that I could uncover their metaphoric meanings. I did so by asking the neutral question: “Tell me about it.”

Tell me about…
*  40-year-old house:  It’s where I live, and it’s starting to show real signs of wear and tear.
*  Structural rebuilding:  It’s what I am doing to repair the years of weather damage.
*  Overwhelmed by simultaneous projects:  It can get out of hand with so many workers at once.
*  Roofers:  Protecting my house from weather.
*  Masons:  Rebuilding the chimneys to keep them safe.
*  Plumbers:  Making sure the water flows smoothly.
*  Neighbor:  Lives next to me.
*  Parking in my driveway:  Obstructing the flow of the workers’ movement.
*  Open the gate:  Not a time-sensitive project. It could wait.
*  Winter debris:  Old, rotting organic material that can build up and get in the way.
*  Problem with ants:  A minor issue with pests that, mostly, were stirred up due to the construction work.
*  Livid: Infuriated at his audacity.
*  Stayed the whole day:  My anger wouldn’t go away.

Reassemble the dream
Now I’ll reassemble my dream, replacing my symbols with my descriptions of them. I will also add phrases to remind myself that every symbol is a facet of my own state of mind.

The place I live inside of myself is aging and is starting to show real signs of wear and tear. I am doing repair inside of me to fix the years of weather damage. This can get out of hand with so many parts of me working at once. There are parts of me protecting myself from “stormy weather.” Other parts of me are keeping me safe. Still other aspects of myself are making sure that the “water” flows smoothly. Then there is another part of me that lives right next to all of this. This part of me comes along and obstructs the flow of my own personal workers’ movements. This part of me is obsessed with a project that can wait; it is not time sensitive. It has to do with cleaning out rotting organic material that can get in the way. It’s also worried about a minor issue with a pest that has been stirred up by the rest of the work. I am infuriated with this interference and my anger won’t go away.

Comments
So…Did I experience an annoying encounter with a neighbor who chose a particularly  inconvenient moment to pester me? Or did I have a waking dream that was describing a conflict going on within myself? The answer is that I had both.

Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Nosy Neighbor: Post #2



On Monday I began looking at my own waking dream about a nosy neighbor who chose to make himself prominently annoying during some construction work. You can read the whole description in my last post. It is lengthy, however, so I will abbreviate it. Here’s the shorter version:

My waking dream
My house is 40-years-old and is in the middle of extensive structural rebuilding. There are days when it is difficult to pace the work so that I am not overwhelmed with simultaneous projects, but that isn’t always possible. Last Monday the roofers, masons and plumbers all showed up.

My neighbor, Jack, has a penchant for putting himself in the middle of other people’s affairs. Even when whatever drama is unfolding is private, Jack will manage to make his way front and center. I sometimes think he has a built in radar.

Last Monday Jack drove his car onto my driveway, parking it in such a way that none of the workers could get in or out. He wouldn’t leave until I agreed to open up the gate between our two properties, so that he could rake some debris that had accumulated over the winter. While making this demand, he told me that I really needed to address a problem I had with ants. I was livid at his sense of entitlement. My anger stayed with me the whole day.

Waking dreams are about the dreamer, not the world at large
It would be so easy to project this incident onto the world outside of myself: No question about it, Jack can be a major annoyance; he is real; he is my neighbor. Like most people, in days past, I would have confronted him about his inappropriateness. But, to quote Deepak Chopra, “Look at the world around you, and you will see a mirror of yourself.” Over time I have found that remark to be absolutely true. It implies that, if I change myself, Jack’s behavior will change to reflect who I have become. Let’s see if it works if we analyze my waking dream.

Tell me about…
*  40-year-old house:  It’s where I live, and it’s starting to show real signs of wear and tear.
*  Structural rebuilding:  It’s what I am doing to repair the years of weather damage.
*  Overwhelmed by simultaneous projects:  It can get out of hand with so many workers at once.
*  Roofers:  Protecting my house from weather.
*  Masons:  Rebuilding the chimneys to keep them safe.
*  Plumbers:  Making sure the water flows smoothly.
*  Neighbor:  Lives next to me.
*  Parking in my driveway:  Obstructing the flow of the workers’ movement.
*  Open the gate:  Not a time-sensitive project. It could wait.
*  Winter debris:  Old, rotting organic material that can build up and get in the way.
*  Problem with ants:  A minor issue with pests that, mostly, were stirred up due to the construction work.
*  Livid: Infuriated at his audacity.
*  Stayed the whole day:  My anger wouldn’t go away.

Notice the themes?
We’ll discuss them in depth on Friday.

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Or, follow the discussion uninterrupted.
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Monday, 23 May 2016

Nosy Neighbor



Last week I was a day late with my blog. I explained that I’d had one of those impossible days where I simply couldn’t get to my computer. I wrote that my frustrating experience was a waking dream—an event that occurred during my waking hours that had the same surreal quality as many traditional dreams. I promised to examine the incident this week, so here goes:

My waking dream
My house is 40-years-old, so it is due for some structural TLC. In the past couple of months, my family and I have replaced windows, gutters, the roof, fencing and garage doors. We have rebuilt the two chimneys, replaced some faulty outdoor hose bibs, and ripped out and replaced some weather-damaged framing. We have tried to pace the work so that we are not overwhelmed with simultaneous projects, but there have been days when that has been impractical. Last Monday the roofers arrived in a truck with a long conveyor belt to get the shingles onto the roof, the masons were finishing the chimneys, and the plumber was busily replacing damaged faucets. Everyone seemed to have questions and need my attention.

I have a nosy neighbor—“Jack.” This guy has a penchant for putting himself right in the middle of other people’s affairs. Even when whatever drama is unfolding is private and quiet, somehow Jack will manage to make his way right into the middle of it. His ability to show up when it is least desirable is uncanny; I sometimes think he has a built in radar.

Last Monday, at the height of the construction confusion at my home, Jack (whose property butts up against mine) drove his car(!) onto my driveway, parking it in such a way that none of the workers could get in or out. He wouldn’t leave until I agreed—at that very moment—to open up the gate between our two properties, so that he could rake some debris that had accumulated over the winter. While making this demand, he found it necessary to point out to me that I had ants crawling up the outside of my front porch and that I really needed to address that problem.

I was livid at his inappropriateness and sense of entitlement. My anger stayed with me the whole day.

Dream symbols are about the dreamer
The above is a lengthy description, and for the sake of this blog, I will summarize and abbreviate in the next few posts. For today, I wish to leave you with one, important thought: Dreams are invariably about the dreamer, whether they are waking dreams or sleeping dreams. This is one of the hardest things for dreamers to accept, but it is true: Jack is me. The ants are me. The construction work is me. Even though this is an event taking place during my waking hours, it is a symbolic, metaphoric story about a conflict going on within myself.

We’ll take a look at it in more detail on Wednesday.

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