photo courtesy of support.michganhumane.org
A woman who was shopping in her suburban neighborhood witnessed a dog owner yanking so hard on a leash that her dog flipped over on its back. Even though this happened in broad daylight and no one was asleep, we are treating the experience as a dream, a waking dream.
We have examined the narrative of this event and isolated the important words. Those are the dream symbols. Next, I asked the dreamer to “Tell me about” each one. What I was looking for was the broader definition of each of these words. As an example, I asked her to “Tell me about an intersection.” The strict definition of that word might be something like, “a place where cars going east and west share an area with cars going north and south.” But when I asked for a broader meaning of the word “intersection,” the witness to the dog abuse incident answered, “It’s a crossroads.”
What we have done below is to reconstruct the dream. But in place of the original dream symbols, we have substituted the dreamer’s metaphoric descriptions of those words. In addition, I have frequently added phrases like, “There is a part of me” to remind the dreamer that every image in her waking dream is a facet of herself.
Metaphorically reconstructed dream
There is a part of me that is replenishing commodities in me that have been used up. I’m in the environment I live in. It’s quiet. Nothing much happens out of the ordinary. It’s predictable and reliable, so it has a peaceful effect on the residents that live in me. I am approaching a crossroads within myself. It’s a place where I have a choice of which direction to go. There, I encounter a part of me that is someone like me; the feminine polarity. This part of me is usually associated with nurturing and family. Along with this feminine part of me, there is another part of me that is known as man’s best friend. A wonderful companion. Always trying to please. Enthusiastic. It acts as the guardian of my physical environment. The feminine part of me has a way to maintain control over the guardian/friendly part of me. Sometimes there are dangers that the guardian might not understand, or the guardian might become invasive through its friendliness. The guardian/friendly part of me was not causing trouble. It wasn’t involved where it shouldn’t be. But my feminine part gave the guardian a violent and unwarranted arrest of motion. This feminine part of me turned the guardian upside down. It was rendered immobile and out of control. I was stunned in disbelief. And yet the guardian part of me acted as if this was normal. It regained control and seemed nonplussed. It was all so strange that I couldn’t let it go. It was an abuse, and no parts of me seemed to acknowledge that.
When the dream is retold in this fashion, themes come to light. In this case they seem to be highlighting a conflict between two aspects of the dreamer: her feminine side that she associates with nurturing, and her friendly, guardian self. Tomorrow, we’ll ask her about this dream.