spinning question - July 9, 2014d

Am I just spinning my wheels?

Consider this recent dream…

I’m standing in a driveway when I begin to spin.  I look down at my feet as I go round and round—they’re just off the pavement.

Having also spun in some past dreams, I’ve grown familiar with this symbol…

I’ve come to see spinning as positive—though it can be unsettling.  When I dream spin, there’s a revolution going on in my life.  Change.

Maybe this type of spinning is a universal symbol.  In the “Wonder Woman” TV show, a regular gal does a spin and becomes a super hero.

However, in this most recent dream, I’m going counter-clockwise.  So perhaps I’m regressing.

On the other hand…

…I have a sizeable past, and maybe I need to reexamine that past, right now, before I can go forward—before I can leave the driveway.

So, I’m not spinning my wheels: I may be standing in one place, physically, but internally, I’m making progress by going in reverse.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

temple gray gold - June 28, 2014d

I say there’s no such thing as a simple dream…

Consider this dream:

I’m watching a scene from ancient Mesopotamia.

The screen is filled with a golden temple.  A tall temple wall slopes upwards until it reaches a flat roof, topped by a ritual room.

This massive temple emits a diffused glow of gold light.  No one is in sight.

Then I see the same temple, except now it’s a light gray.

The actor James Caan is here, along with untold others.

I’ve ruminated on this “simple” scenario for the last three weeks…

It may likely be on my mind thirty years from now.

Temples give us space to express our spirituality.  The gray temple includes a Hollywood actor, so perhaps the dream refers to spirituality expressed through the popular arts.

The gold is brilliant.  The gray seems dull by comparison.  However, the golden temple appears to be vacant, while the gray temple includes people…

Perhaps the dream tells of a choice—one of those “damn if you do, damn if you don’t” choices.

As to how that choice plays out in my waking life…

…I’m not sure—I’m still ruminating.

In any case, I shouldn’t ignore the good news of the dream: whichever way I go, I’ve got a temple.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

trouble car - June 16, 2014s

A recent “car dream” presents me with a choice…

In the dream…

It’s late at night.  I’m parked in my driveway.

I try to lock the car by flipping the switch on the inside of the door on the driver’s side…

I try again and again, but for some reason, the door won’t lock.

I go to the passenger’s side door and flip the switch.  Still no luck.  I feel confused and frustrated.

If this scenario happened in waking life, I’d simply pull the car into the garage, shut the overhead door, then find a mechanic the next day…

But this is a dream, so the mechanic would be me.

However, as the mechanic, I may not be able to fix the door locks—the doors seem to be controlled by higher forces…

Since I’m also the car, those higher forces are within me—within the unconscious.

Even so, I don’t think I’m totally at the mercy of the unconscious.  After all, I could park in the garage…

In the garage, I’d have protection.

However, if I parked inside, I’d lose the fresh night air…

The dream tells me: you can’t both the open sky and the protection…

The dream tells me: your choices are limited, but you still get to choose.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

monster surprise - June 5, 2014d

Perhaps the opening scene of Apocalypse Now would not have been so gut-wrenching…

…if the director, Francis Ford Coppola, hadn’t listened to his dream.

In the scene, a Special Operations officer, played by Martin Sheen, goes through an alcohol-fueled tailspin in a Saigon hotel room.

It culminates with Sheen doing a martial arts dance in his underwear, while posed in front of a full-length mirror.

When Sheen punched and broke the mirror, the cut on his hand was quite real and quite painful…

That much we see.  What we do not see is how Coppola pushed the actor down into those angry depths.

The idea for that provocation came from a dream*…

According to Coppola, “In the dream, I realized that the secret to…getting Marty to reveal what he had inside was in his vanity, and if I…provoked him to look at himself in the mirror, that somehow that would bring out the devils that were in him…

“And so, I did this—I literally provoked Marty in the sequence and I taunted him about himself and about how handsome he was…

“…and didn’t he know he was handsome and to confess didn’t he always think that when he looked in the mirror…”

Of course, I would’ve told Coppola that, usually, dreams shouldn’t be taken so literally.  Usually.  Coppola goes on to say…

“Somehow I had an instinct…that this would bring out something in Martin that lay in many levels of the man’s soul and personality, and indeed it did…”

Indeed it did—the scene is painful to watch, yet I can’t look away.

That’s not to say his interpretation is complete.  I’m guessing the dream relates, not just to Sheen, but also to Coppola himself.

In any case, Coppola based his interpretation on instinct, and I can’t argue with that.  In my experience, any true interpretation must involve, not just the intellect, but also our feeling sense.

(* These quotes come from the director’s commentary on the DVD Apocalypse Now: the complete dossier.)

© 2014, Michael R. Patton

aquarium vacation - May 27, 2014d

A recent dream shows me acting like a fraidy cat…

…while also being an active explorer.

In the dream…

I’m watching an undersea documentary.

Two scuba divers are warned about the possible presence of sharks.

The male scuba diver roams around, enjoying the ocean landscape…

But the female diver takes shelter…

She crawls into an opening in the hull of a sunken boat.

Maybe that fraidy cat is just using good sense…

However, she still doesn’t feel safe.  And perhaps for good reason—something could be lurking in the dark cavernous space behind her.

On the other hand, the other diver might be an even bigger fool—he explores despite the potential threat…

But he doesn’t want to be controlled by fear.  He’s not ignoring the danger—he’s alert.

This dream tells me of two conflicting aspects within myself…

Is the bold diver a potential and the fraidy cat the aspect I usually express?  No—I alternate between the two.  Often, in just a blink.  I jump forward, then I step back.  I’m reserved, then I’m bold.  I want to see, but I don’t want to look.

Of course, there’s a time to step forward and a time to step back…

But if you’re going into the ocean, you might as well step forward.  As the dream shows, as long as I’m in the water, I can’t avoid danger.

Here’s a secret about the fraidy cat aspect: this diver actually wants to explore.  Otherwise, she would’ve avoided the water altogether.

So, maybe it’s not a major conflict—maybe I can solve this problem without too much inner resistance.  But to remain aware of the problem, I must remember this dream.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
OPEN ALL NIGHT: poems of our dream life

home plate - May 12, 2014d

My dreams have shown me some awe-inspiring scenarios…

But not this time…

In a recent dream…

I see a kitchen sink filled with dirty dishes.

Some dinner plates stick up amid the clutter.

Kitchen sinks and dirty dishes have appeared in previous dreams.  So, I have a clue about the meaning of this sink and those dishes…

The dream tells me: I’ve taken in quite a lot.  That number of dishes could serve a feast.

I don’t feel as if I’ve done any feasting lately.  But dreams don’t lie.  Apparently, there’s more going on than I realize.

So then, what does the work of washing represent?

I think it’s a review—a reconsideration of my experience…

I base this idea on a dream from several years ago…

In that dream…

I’m at a kitchen sink, washing dishes.

I recall something from my early years.  Suddenly, I feel the emotional impact of that event.  I break down.

The dream said I was still dealing with some past business…

I was cleaning it up, clearing it up for myself…Certainly, the emotion was coming through clearly.

This latest dream says I’m involved in the same process again…

However, in the dream, I haven’t yet started on the dishes.

Maybe they can wait.  I’m really not in the mood for a review.

However, as the earlier dream tells me: though I may wait years, I can’t avoid the washing.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
poems of our dream life

all work and no play - April 29, 2014d

A wise man once said:

“Work hard…play hard.”

A recent wise dream tells me to do both at the same time.

In the dream…

I’m part of a working team in a windowless building of small rooms.

I’ve just finished a job.  Now, I join the other workers, who are taking a break.

But soon, I’m given another task.  So, I must work while the others relax.

I go into an adjacent room to start on this new project.

Moments later, I hear music and open a door to check it out.

I see the comedian Robin Williams and a middle-aged woman working at a table, side by side.

While they work, they do a silly dance to some loud disco music.  They really dance quite well.

I knew the dream wasn’t about an employment situation.  The dream referred to a different type of work…

I believe we’re all learning through this life: we’re learning in order to grow.  That’s our real work.

But don’t I deserve a break?  After all, everyone else got a rest.  Should I have protested?

No, I don’t think so.  I was given the task because I needed the task.

But maybe I was taking the wrong approach…

The disco pair demonstrated to me that the work doesn’t have to be such drudgery.

Robin Williams is a jokester, a clown.  The woman who dances alongside him reminds me of a former co-worker.

She was a good solid worker; quietly conservative in manner.

So, I have these two sides to myself: the playful jokester side and the solid worker side.

There would seem to be a split.  But the dream tells me: it need not be that way—these opposite sides can function in harmony.

I’ve got find ways to put them together.  Because when I do, I’ll have a good time—a better time—while still making progress.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton


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