Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wondering about Dreamwork

This morning as I was working with my dreams, a thought occurred to me. Jung believed that the anima/animus and shadow often presented themselves in our dreams; he also felt that archetypes were particularly powerful dream characters. Ultimately, he felt that our dreams compensated for something--an idea, belief, action--we weren't aware of in our waking life, helping us find a new way to integrate that part of us that wasn't finding expression in our waking hours. For example, a person who feels run over in daily life might be have a superpower in his dreams, or someone who has an inflated view of herself might be humbled in her dreams.

Today as I explored the compensation in my own dreams, I wondered whether by doing this type of dreamwork we are able to circumvent the experiences we might attract if the dream's message remained unconscious. If I need humbling, for example, and I realize my dream is telling me that, I can consciously act to check any overconfidence that might get me in trouble. If I understand a dream about hosting a huge party is really my subordinate extroverted side getting a little exercise in my dreams, maybe I'll be more open to doing more extroverted things instead of telling myself I tend to do only what introverts do. This might release me from attracting an experience in which I could learn that same lesson (which may or may not be pleasant) down the road.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this idea. Leave a comment and weigh in if you feel so moved. :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Art of Storytelling

This poem was in today's Writer's Almanac--and it's so true! In my family, we have strong women stories. My great-great grandmother took her daughter from Kentucky to Oklahoma after her husband died and started a boarding house on the edge of what was then Oklahoma territory. My great-grandma was a year too young to participate in the land rush, but she saw it all, as people seeking land camped on their lawn and slept on their porch before the big event. She lived in Chickacha, Oklahoma, where there was a big reservation--she saw all the big chiefs riding into town for council. She would later go on to march as a sufragette and be a strong voice of influence for all who knew her. (Some would say those strong opinions weren't always welcome, but I loved--and love--her dearly. In her 80s, she would let me wrap her up in ace bandages and play hospital; she encouraged my interests; she told me land-rush stories; she always got me just the thing I hoped for at Christmastime. Thanks, Grandma Roos!)

Here's the poem:

    The Art of Storytelling

    Once upon a time there was a shocket,
    that is, a kosher butcher,
    who went for a walk.

    He was standing by the harbor
    admiring the ships, all painted white,
    when up came three sailors, led by an officer.
    "Filth," they said, "who gave you permission?"
    and they seized and carried him off.

    So he was taken into the navy.
    It wasn't a bad life — nothing is.
    He learned how to climb and sew,
    and to shout "Glad to be of service, Your Excellency!"
    He sailed all round the world,
    Was twice shipwrecked, and had other adventures.
    Finally, he made his way back to the village ...
    whereupon he put on his apron, and picked up his knife,
    and continued to be a shocket.

    At this point, the person telling the story
    would say, "This shocket-sailor
    was one of our relatives, a distant cousin."

    It was always so, they knew they could depend on it.
    Even if the story made no sense,
    the one in the story would be a relative —
    a definite connection with the family.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Last night I watched (for the second time, actually), the Academy-Award nominated Little Miss Sunshine. I thought it was interesting that all my kids responded in a big way to the movie, in spite of their varying age levels and developmental tasks. :) They are 13, 19, and 25, respectively, and I'm the ripe age of 45, and we all responded with love and excitement to this movie. Why? Because of the powerful themes it contains--themes about redemption, reconciliation/communion, and ultimately, freedom.

I won't ruin it for you, but this movie is definitely a must-see. We get there together. You'll see. :)

Monday, January 08, 2007


In normal daily conversation, we don't often get the feeling that we're creating something new and real in the moments we share space, ideas, time. But Saturday I had a conversation with a person who was so smart--such a visionary--that I felt my own ability to understand was enhanced by being in the same space. Then today I ran across this quote from Martin Buber, which put the perfect words on my encounter over the weekend:
"In real conversation...what is essential does not
take place in each of the participants or in a neutral
world which includes the two and all other things; but
it takes place between them in the most precise sense,
as it were in a dimension which is accessible only to
them." Martin Buber, Between Man and Man