Saturday, 1 October 2016

A Violist's Dream: Concluding Post



I’ve been examining a violist’s dream who dreamt that she had switched instruments to a violin during an informal string quartet reading. You can scroll down to my last posts to follow the discussion. Yesterday, we arrived at the metaphoric restatement shown immediately below.

The string quartet dream retold as metaphor
There’s a part of me that serves as my friends and family and everybody I know. These parts of me came for a visit to talk and play with me. We were all together, making pretty music. But today was different for me. I was playing on a part of myself that makes a higher, squeakier sound. Normally I do something else. I play on a part of myself with a deeper sound. The part of me that makes the sound come out, that you can hear when it moves, was sounding bad; it wasn’t pretty anymore. The aspect of myself that was supposed to keep things sounding right wouldn’t stay where it was supposed to be. The music I was making within myself wasn’t pretty; it didn’t sound good. It made me feel kind of like sad and shy, and maybe I wanted to cry a little bit. It wasn’t fair, and I got mad.

Analysis
The circumstances surrounding the telling of this dream are unusual in that the dreamer is out-of-state, and I have not had the chance to discuss the dream with her now that it is in its metaphoric restatement. That is both a frustration and an opportunity for my readers. There is really only one person who can accurately assess this dream’s message, and that is the dreamer herself. Not having her present means that we may not learn what the dream is a reference to.

On the other hand, there is no harm in speculation—as long as we understand that we may be incorrect in our conclusions. In fact, speculation offers an ideal opportunity to explore the dream interpretation process and to allow our own imaginations to go sleuthing in any direction they choose. What follows are my own thoughts on the dream; I would be interested to have feedback from readers to learn what they might have come up with themselves.

My take on the dream
To me, the overall theme of the dream is one of being placed in a position that is uncomfortable to the dreamer. Metaphorically, she is “making music” that is “out of tune.” That certainly suggests an internal conflict, and I would point this out to the dreamer.

But now I would need help understanding the idea of switching to violin from viola. Normally, she “plays on an instrument” with a “deeper sound.” The violin is “higher and squeakier.” Is it that the violin lacks depth—which implies her struggle is with an issue that is shallow? Or is the violin really “higher,” and it is squeaking because it lacks use and needs oiling, i.e., her attention and commitment?

Only she could tell us for certain!

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