Dreams and Reality

My piano teacher has a masters in psychology.  This probably explains why I refer to her as my therapist.  Maybe “sage” is a better word.  Anyway, we were talking about dreams the other day and she explained that she did some coursework in dreams for her graduate degree.  She said they were required to list all the items that appeared in their dream when they woke up, then immediately go back over the list and, for each word, write next to it the first word that comes to mind.

As a lover of ideas, I wanted to try this.  I did so this morning.  Here’s my list:

Tornado                               Disheveled

Bathroom                            Stable

Mom                                     Hold On

Andy                                     Let Go

Coffee Shop                        Security

Two Floors                          Options

Book                                      Pleasure

Canadian                             Difference

Small Town                         Comfort

Owners                                Relaxation

I’m not sure someone who doesn’t know me or the dream can necessarily get the significance of this, but let me just say that I was blown away by this exercise.  (If you’re curious about the actual dream, see the end of this post).  What was so incredible was that this is my current state of affairs summed up in ten words!  Life feels like it’s going to get a little disheveled, and then I’ll have my stability back.  Note the dichotomy in that, and in the next two phrases: holding on and letting go.  Actually, there’s dichotomy all over this list!  I want some security, but lots of options.  I want to surround myself with things that bring me pleasure, but I also want to experience all sorts of differences.  And have a place that gives me comfort and relaxation.

Here’s the thing.  Traditionally, I would have said the money was because I watching a show last night where someone was given three hundred-dollar bills.  And the Canada thing is because I’ve thought of spending a few weeks in Quebec City this summer.  The book was because I’m constantly checking to be sure I have a book with me, or that I didn’t leave it somewhere.  But to think the whole thing has this whole other meaning – how wonderful!



In part of my dream, I was in a house with family and a friend and saw a tornado on the top of a far off hill.  I screamed throughout the house for everyone to take cover in a bathroom, assigned some people to go to the upstairs one.  While sitting in the bathroom downstairs with my mother, I thought maybe I didn’t see it correctly, so I stepped outside the bathroom door to check and that’s when it started.  I ended up holding onto the doorjamb and my mother, but made it through.  In another part of my dream, I was in a coffee shop.  I was given change at one point in three hundred-dollar Canadian dollars instead of American ones.  They were closing up, and I was on the second floor of the shop when I realized I’d left the book I was reading downstairs.  They let me back down to get it.

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