I’ve been putting myself under a lot of pressure lately to think and write practically non-stop! Aargh! The pressure! So today I’m going to write about the first thing that pops in my head. No pressure. Just open up and let the ideas flow. Wait! I had a thought… Oops. I forgot it in the pressure to finish this sentence! Okay, breathing in, breathing out. Random thoughts: It’s a cool gray windy day and the Spanish moss is doing a graceful dance in the bald cypress trees outside my window. I’d like to be out there. I need to take a walk. Good idea! Be back later!
I’m back! I haven’t taken my walk yet because I remembered the thought I forgot. It was a dream I had last night that left me feeling awful when I awoke this morning. In the dream I’m in my house—a huge, beautiful, open, contemporary house with big rooms and high ceilings that’s nothing like the one I really live in—and have just realized I have guests arriving in twenty minutes for a birthday party I’m throwing for Barbra Streisand! After I send Fred out to buy ice and a birthday cake, I realize the caterers haven’t arrived, I have no snacks, the house is a mess, and I’m not dressed for the party! I rush around tidying up, then remember I never mailed the invitation to Barbra Streisand because I didn’t know her address. I feel so stupid!
Friends are arriving and delivery men are carrying large boxes through a huge open doorway. Outside I see nothing but a construction site with piles of sand, planks of wood and building supplies. Inside, helpful friends are unpacking the boxes and unwrapping treasures I’d forgotten we’d bought in Indochina. I follow them to a gallery on the far side of the house that I didn’t know was there. Our friends have artfully displayed the items on pedestals, tables, and shelves in intimate rooms under softly glowing lights. I’m delighted with this space, thrilled to see the brightly woven baskets, gorgeous patterned textiles, antique bronze temple bells, soft hand-embroidered clothing, and exquisite ethnic jewelry. Then I remember I can’t stay to enjoy this because my guests have nothing to drink and I’m still not dressed for the party. As I rush back to the main house I feel very frustrated with myself for being so disorganized, confused, and unprepared.
My dream depicts how I’ve been feeling lately. Normally I leave myself plenty of time for inner work which keeps the house of my psyche in good order. But I’ve been doing so much outer work that my inner house is a disorganized mess. (Actually my outer house is kind of a mess too.) And I don’t look so hot either. (This is a persona concern about how others are perceiving me.) I don’t even have time to enjoy some exotic treasures that have recently arrived to beautify some unknown inner galleries. (I’d really like to know more about that! What am I missing?) Obviously my outlook on life is still under construction! But what’s the deal about Barbra Streisand?
This dream did me a favor by bothering me enough to take me away from my work. Because I spent some time with it, I think I understand part of my problem and how to solve it. Plus I wrote this post! I’m feeling much better already! So now I’m going outdoors for a dose of Mother Nature’s restorative beauty.
P.S. I took these pictures on my walk. The neighbor’s goldens were swimming in the nearby lake, those are lemon blossoms from our new tree (Yum! Limoncello this summer!) and this is the high school crew team training.
Ego and God-Image: Part VII
Intellectually the Self is no more than a psychological concept, a construct that serves to express an unknowable essence which we cannot grasp as such,
I wonder about the Barbara connection. Who is she to you? I think it is the perfect dream, a bit unsettling but nonetheless perfect. Love that your community of friends that help you to “unpack your treasures”. You know, this seems to indicate that you do have supportive connections, yet sometimes you get lost inside (in your home~your psyche) to know that they are there, or that they are even coming for a visit. Then, when they do arrive they bless you. And, subsequently you want to bless them with some nurturance which is what you do so beautifully (with your writing and in your life) but somehow in this dream you don’t measure up. You feel you have nothing to offer but in reality you have everything already in the inner gallery that you were unaware even existed.
Shannon, I love your associations with this dream. They make me feel very good (I’m smiling contentedly as I write this) and are very helpful. Yes, yes, yes with the community of friends that are helping me unpack my treasures and bless me with their kindness. You are one of them, and have been for a long time. I’m so grateful for you. (Now I’m tearing up a bit!) And then your comment that I want to bless them with some nurturance but don’t feel I measure up is also right on. I hadn’t considered that, but I suppose it’s because this attitude is so familiar, like the air I breathe, that I don’t notice it’s my default mode! And finally, the confirmation that I don’t need a perfect party or Barbra Streisand or special food to deserve the many kindnesses I’ve been shown; I am enough as I am for my friends.
You’re right. This is the perfect dream. As to what Barbra is to me, I think she has an exquisite voice, and I suppose if I wanted someone else to sing the song of my soul, I’d choose her!
Thank you, dear friend, for attending my party.
Words flow from you like water in a little brook— soothing and inspiring.
Bless you, dear man. Kindness flows from you like a refreshing fountain, always there to nourish the weary traveler. Jeanie
Jean, I love how you went about writing today, it sounds “soooo-o-o” like me 🙂 Synchronistic, I just read your post after writing my dream of the past night, a dream I hardly realised had occurred until I sat down to write the tiny remembered fragment. My outer life is as busy as my inner life and I am doing a vital balancing act trying to honour both. Your dream, your story and your photos resonate deep within me. Thank you 🙂
You’re right, Robert. As I re-read it I absolutely see the similarities between this post and yours. In fact, I know your beautiful posts have had a powerful influence on me. Early on in my blogging I never considered using my own pictures until I discovered your site, and I was blown away with how you took such wonderful photographs and found so much personal meaning in everything you saw. Your honesty and spontaneity and ability to stay present with yourself have been extraordinary gifts to me and the many people who read your blog. You are obviously one of the many attendees at my party who have been so helpful and kind. Thank you, friend, for helping me unwrap my inner treasures! Jeanie
Ah Jeanie – you are precious. Your words do bring my spirits up as do your posts. You are on my “must read” list of blogs. I treasure you as a friend in this inbetween world called cyberspace -> cyberia 🙂
I’m wondering, if everything is connected and your dreaming mind had a hunch you would post about this dream, I’m wondering if the “helpful friends”, which seem to be many, are your followers. The treasures they unpack are the wonderful comments you receive on your blog. Not just on this post but all the posts. I read your comments and many are so thoughtful, get some to ask questions while other are expressing appreciation on the way you put your ideas down. Some of those comments would be, “brightly woven baskets, gorgeous patterned textiles, antique bronze temple bells, soft hand-embroidered clothing, and exquisite ethnic jewelry.” They are in a place in your house that you did not even know was there. Yet, there they are and how beautiful is that.
I mean its just a thought. I’m no dream expert. I’m not even a Jungian expert.
However, I am glad that you are now taking time for yourself, to contemplate this dream and to walk outside in “mother nature’s restorative beauty”.
Janice, your “just a thought” is brilliant! You may not think of yourself as a dream or Jungian expert, but why would you need to be with that kind of intuition?! I wonder if you know how much comfort and simple happiness your comment has given me. I intend to spend every possible moment today savoring it, and the other comments I’ve received about this post. You’re absolutely right: these comments are hidden treasures in the art gallery of my mind. And they’ll always be there! And I can go back to them any time I want to enjoy their beauty!! This is just awesome. Thank you, friend. Jeanie
I’ve had dreams of unpreparedness (the upcoming exam I never prepared for, the guests arriving but nothing to wear). I’ve also had dreams in which I discover rooms in my house (the door at the top of the stairs, never seen before). But I’ve never had the two dreams combined into one! It is a wonderful mystery to me that dreams can be so demanding that we simply must take time to think about what they are trying to say, and if we don’t take that time, the dreams will repeat themselves.
You’re right. I hadn’t thought about the two themes appearing in the same dream. I have actually been worried about the fact that I’m working so hard that I haven’t been “showing up” as much or as well-prepared for social situations and that family and friends might be judging me for that. Obviously, that’s an unwarranted concern, as the dream shows. This is certainly a persona issue. As a perfectionist, I’ve always struggled with not wanting to offend or disappoint others.
The other theme of discovering new rooms has appeared many times as well. Usually it’s a series of rooms in an attic that I’d forgotten about….(higher thoughts?). This is the first time it’s been an art gallery. And ethnic Asian art at that. So yes, when I look at the dream this way I see it’s saying that I’ve been unduly concerned about my persona because the intense work that has occupied so much of my time and talents, while making me feel somewhat disoriented and out-of-touch, has produced some beautiful new inner rooms in my psyche and furnished them with some rather exotic art. It occurs to me now that the fact that this art comes from Asian countries and ethnic cultures (instead of being cutting-edge contemporary art, or something like turn-of-of-the 20th century European art ), suggests that my creative work has its roots in very ancient philosophies about the meaning of life. (For example, Taoism!) And it does, of course: but with a modern, Jungian twist. Perhaps that’s the meaning of the big contemporary house I’m living in!
Very cool. I love this. Thank you so much. You’ve been of enormous help!
Jeannie – Did you know that Barbra Streisand is a Taurus?
Maybe the party you were planning in your dream was for you,
but being so busy you are unable to be conscious of the wonders
you have brought into your unconscious to be celebrated.
Just a thought from my astrological consciousness 🙂 Sandy
Hi Sandy. Wow! I used to know she was a Taurus but had forgotten. It didn’t occur to me to connect it with this dream! I’d also forgotten that my birthday, like hers, is coming up soon! I just love these observations! I’m definitely going to to be more intentional about how I celebrate my birthday this year! Thank you for your astrological perspective. It’s very meaningful to me. Love, Jeanie