As part of its metaphoric imagery, a dream that was related in a dream class made use of a common English expression: “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Knowing that gave the dreamer a big head start as he began work on his dream symbols. Let’s eavesdrop on his process.
The basketball dream
In my dream I was playing an informal, pick-up game of basketball. It was just me and some other guys I know, and we were having a good time. But then I looked down and noticed that, instead of basket balls, we were using pairs of shoes tied together by their laces. In fact, I saw that we were using my shoes, and one of the guys shot a basket with them. The next thing I knew, the shoes were separated from each other. One of them made it through the basketball hoop and fell to the ground. The other shoe somehow ended up on top of the basketball hoop’s backboard and was balanced there, teetering back and forth on the edge. We all just stood around waiting for it to lose its balance and finally come down. That’s when I woke up.
Isolating the symbols
It was time for the dreamer to work his way through the symbols. First he isolated the most important of them. He had written his dream down, and he simply went through the paragraph and underlined the important words. Here’s what he came up with: pick-up, basketball, me, other guys, good time, pair of shoes, tied together, my shoes, shoot basket, made it through the hoop, balanced on the backboard, teetering, lose balance and come down.
Converting symbols into metaphors
Many dreamers have their own way of discovering the metaphors in their dream images. This dreamer is familiar with the dream interpretation process, and he has worked out his own method—a good one. He says that he pretends to be a novelist. He looks at each symbol and tries to imagine how he might use that word or phrase to help him describe something he is writing about. For example. One of his symbols is the phrase “mad e it through the hoop.” Here’s what he had to say about that phrase:
If I were writing a novel, I’d ask myself what circumstance that phrase might describe? The first image to come to mind is of a businessman trying to convince a lot of skeptical colleagues that a plan he is proposing is worthy of consideration. He succeeds after some intense negotiation. So If I were writing that into a novel, I might say something like, “It was tough to score points, but he finally got it through the hoop.” The whole image is one that conjures up a sense of a difficult task, but one that is worthy of the effort, because there is a reward to be gained from it.
On Friday, we’ll continue to observe this dreamer as he continues to systematically convert his symbols into metaphors.
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