#4570: The Remodeled Hall.I’m standing with my back to the back porch of my childhood home. In front of me is the hall that leads to the kitchen. What used to be a narrow, musty passage between the two, with a bathroom on one side and my parents’ room on the other, is now a large spacious gallery, perhaps 18 feet wide, with a ceiling so high I can’t even see it. It’s filled with light and the walls are painted a bright, glossy white. I think someone is painting the last coat on it now. I think this would make a beautiful art gallery and imagine a huge square painting on one side. The dominant color should be red and other fiery colors. Yes, I’ll use this room for art, but not too much. I don’t want it to be cluttered or distracting. Just simple and beautiful. I wake up planning where ceiling lights should go.
Although the two dreams occurred several days apart, they felt connected. The first said that the living room, dining room and kitchen—symbolically, areas of my psyche related to my conscious living—had been dramatically remodeled over the years. The second one said that remodeling was also underway in the hall at the back of the house—symbolically, my personal unconscious. Whereas the front of the house was occupied with the more public and practical aspects of my life, this central part in the back was becoming a space for light, art, and creativity.
I loved these dreams. I loved my childhood home and my life there. And I love the growth I’ve undergone since then. Perhaps that’s why all my dreams of that house leave me with good feelings that last for days. It also makes sense that this recent series of house dreams came at a time when I was feeling particularly good about my life, my work, and myself.
The beat goes on, beat goes on Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain La de da de de, la de da de da
Charleston was once the rage, uh huh History has turned the page, uh huh The miniskirt’s the current thing, uh huh Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh
And the beat goes on, beat goes on Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain La de da de de, la de da de da
My two most recent dreams, 7 days apart, speak to a different experience of life. Both feature stressful situations in unknown public places where I’m looking for my husband, my car, and my cell phone. Here’s a brief summary of the latest.
#4587: Stressed and Unprepared. I wake up from a nap in a public place. I realize it’s 3:30 in the afternoon on Thanksgiving Day! I have 20 people coming for dinner in two-and-a half hours and I forgot to put the turkey in the oven and peel the potatoes! I start searching through a crowd of hurried passers-by for my purse, my cell phone, my car keys, my husband. I see my husband and send him to Costco in his car for the potatoes and green beans. As I head for the parking lot I worry: How will I have time to do everything? How will I even get home? I can’t find the keys to my car and I can’t call for a cab because I don’t have my phone!
I was frowning and feeling frustrated when I awoke from this dream Monday morning, and the mood lasted half the day! So what’s my issue? Have I been doing too much or too little? Are my priorities out of whack? Am I wasting time on things I love which are not that important in the bigger picture? Should I give more attention to my outer life and less to the inner? Do I feel guilty for loafing all day Sunday? Am I afraid of being unprepared for Thanksgiving dinner? For the book I’m starting to write? For my keynote speech next summer? Am I having trouble communicating my concerns to Fred and/or my animus and asking for their help? These are all things I’ve wondered lately.
My “childhood home” dreams tell me what I’m doing well. They remind me to be grateful. They affirm my growth and encourage me to keep going. Stress dreams tell me when things are out of balance. They set up possible scenarios and rehearse strategies I might want to consider. And though they may bring me down for a time, I usually bounce back before long.
Neither state of mind is a constant and this is as it should be. The psyche needs balance, just as Nature’s seasons. And the opposites of life deserve their due. Yet, regardless of which phase we’re in, we can be assured that the beat goes on. Like my two favorite kinds of jazz, sometimes the pace is frenetic, sometimes it’s slow and easy. But it goes on.
And the beat goes on, beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da
PRINI, ROSSANO / SANDRINI, PAOLO / NARAINE, WILLIAM / ULIVI, VITO / BARATTA, MARCO / SUDANO, RICCARDO
The Wilbur Award is given by the Religion Communicators Council for excellence in communicating religious faith and values in the public arena and for encouraging understanding among faith groups on a national level.