Waking dreams—or any kinds of dreams actually—need not be catastrophic to deliver helpful and important information to the dreamer. As we’ll see with this week’s waking dream about ink blotches appearing in unexpected places.
Finding the metaphors
It’s time to find the metaphoric associations in the dream symbols. My wife is quite familiar with this routine, but there is still a thoughtful effort involved. As with any other dreamer, I ask her to “Tell me about” each symbol. In her case, she often knows the answer before the question is asked; she goes ahead and works on the dream without my input. What follows are her replies:
Tell me about…
* Mopping up a spill: It’s when you make an unintended mess and you have to clean it up.
* Paper towel: It’s a handy absorbent. It soaks up unwanted liquids.
* Liquid: A fluid substance that is difficult to manage if it’s not in a container.
* Ink: Well, we have an expression: “Get it in ink.” That means, make it permanent so on one can change their mind.
* Milk: For infants, it’s their sole source of food. For adults, it can be a nutritious food assuming there are no allergies.
* Writing myself a note: It’s a way to remember things that I might forget.
* A pad: It’s a device for use when you want to be especially aware of something.
* Scarf: It keeps your neck and throat warm and protected.
* Neck and throat: It’s where your voice comes from.
* Voice: What you use to make yourself heard and known.
Some thoughts about these answers
There are several things to notice in my wife’s answers. These come from someone who understands metaphors. Take a look, for example, at the reply to the symbol “pad.” A reasonable definition might have been “a stack of paper glued together at one edge.” But that would not have contained a metaphor. Instead, she got right to the point and answered, “It’s a device to use when you want to be especially aware of something.” Interesting!
Also, notice that there are two places where symbols have been added for analysis that weren’t originally in the dream. The first one is “liquid.” If you read through the original dream, there is no use of the word liquid. But sometimes symbols are implied and come into the fore only during the interpretation process. She used the phrase, “unwanted liquids” in her answer to the symbol “paper towel.”
The same thing happens later in the dream in her answer to the symbol “scarf.” She introduces the words “neck and throat” which are words full of metaphor. So I ask about those. That leads her to the word “voice” which is another word with powerful implied symbolism. In fact the symbol “voice” could well be the key to understanding the entire dream.
While most dreams have their symbols clearly stated, it can also be, as in this case, that the symbols—and their associated metaphors—are implied.
More on Friday.
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