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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