trying to teach an old dog new tricks

shiver girl lake - February 23, 2015d

As a wise man once said…

“The more things change, the more things remain the same.”

A recent dream places me in a new environment, with new people and new possibilities…

Unfortunately, I’m stuck with an old habit of mind.

In the dream…

I’m on a group vacation, but I don’t really know the other travelers.

We’re milling about a large convention hall.  A woman sets up a dinner buffet.

But I had the buffet last night.  I could go out drinking.  The idea isn’t very appealing.  So then, what can I do this evening?

I wander outside with some members of the group.  We watch a theater troupe rehearse a musical number in a culvert.*

At first glance, this dream didn’t seem to contain any serious problems.  I can’t decide what to do, but that’s not a major issue, right?

Well, maybe it is, because I faced the same problem in my “moving to Seattle” dreams (see last post)…

This latest scenario would appear to be very different from my Seattle dreams.  But like those earlier dreams, I’m still not interacting with the people around me…

…I’m still maintaining a distance.

And like the Seattle dreams, I might find the answer to the “what to do” question by trying to close that distance, by engaging with others.

Maybe I don’t really feel that I “click” with my associates in the vacation dream—this has often been the case in my waking life…

And yet, I’ve received so much from the people who’ve passed through my life, even when I didn’t feel a strong connection…

In any case, as long as I’m with these people, I should try to be with them.  Otherwise, I should just go off on my own.  Either choice will get me going…

(* So why didn’t I ask myself about the theater troupe?  I thought I had more important questions to answer.)

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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sleeping in Seattle

now what fish border - February 5, 2015d

Why do I keep moving to Seattle?

In one dream…

…I’ve just arrived in Seattle on a train.  I’m wondering what I might do here, how I might live.

In another dream…

…having just arrived, I’m walking through a downtown building.  I look at this and that, thinking of what I might do here, how I might live.

So then, to these dreams indicate a move to the Pacific Northwest?

I don’t think so.  “Seattle” is a symbol…

But of what?  Why am I dreaming of Seattle and not Miami or San Francisco?

Well, Seattle is close to Canada.  “Canada” is another recurrent dream symbol.  To me, it represents the higher self—and also, the unknown mysterious North of myth and legend.

Okay, but right now, I certainly don’t feel so close to my higher self.  More often, I feel as if I’ve gone South…

In any case, this much is certain: these dreams speak of change.  Exciting, scary, wonderful change.

They also show I’m not well-prepared.

But how do you prepare for the unknown?  I’ve learned that, no matter how much I try to prepare, I don’t really know what’ll happen until the time comes.

So then, these dreams wouldn’t seem to be of much help…

However, there’s another important aspect within all my Seattle dreams…

…so obvious that I’ve overlooked it until now:

In each scenario, I’m thinking, feeling, looking about…

…but not directly engaging with my environment.

Yes, it’s wise to take in the lay of the land upon arrival…

…but perhaps I could find some answers to my questions by interacting a little more with the world around me…

It’s worth a try.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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oh, baby

baby boss - January 19, 2015d

No—not the baby sock again!

The baby sock first appeared in a dream several years ago…

In a more recent dream…

I see a light-brown baby sock.

Yes, that’s the whole dream…but that one image says plenty.

As with the prior dream, the little sock tells me I’m being a baby in regards to a particular situation.

I also understood, immediately, what the color “brown” meant…

My unconscious will use that symbol when I choose to ignore what I know in my heart—when I’m turning a blind eye to the obvious.

Why does “brown” equal “obvious”?  It relates to how a New Orleans comedy troupe got its name.  If you want the full story, you can click this link.

So, according to the dream, I’m being a baby by fretting about something, when I know, quite well, that the situation will work out.

Okay, but what’s the meaning of “sock”?  Why didn’t my dream use a shoe to relay this information?  Or a diaper?

I don’t know.  No matter—I got the main message.

So then, have I changed my behavior, based on this dream?

Yeah, kind of….

But of course, change is always a work in progress.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
mythsteps: the blog

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waking up in my sleep

computer dream 2 - January 5, 2015d

How do I know when I’m awake?

According to a recent dream, I can’t be too sure.

In the dream…

I discover my computer missing…

A few moments later, I wake up.  I return to my small computer room and find the computer tower in place…

…but the monitor is still gone.

Well, the loss isn’t quite so bad, I think.

Then I wake again.  Again, I check the room.

Now, the computer system is completely intact.  What a relief!

At that point, I wake up once more.  But this time, it’s for real—I actually open my eyes…At least, I hope it’s for real.

This dream tells me there are various levels of waking—metaphorically speaking…

Lately, I’ve been looking back and seeing how asleep I was in the past…

But what about the present?  I’m aware of how I was asleep, but not so aware of how I’m still asleep.

In the dream, each time I wake, I recover more of the computer…

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I remember the sequence correctly—the computer might be intact in the second scene, and the monitor gone in the third…

So my progress on this dream is stymied…

Even so, what I’ve gained from is important: I must keep fighting to wake up….

…and not just to the past, but also to the present—to what I’m doing now.

It’s a difficult job: how can I see what I can’t see?  Fortunately, dreams, such as this one, can help open my eyes.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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remembering the mystery

cliff mystery 301w - December 26, 2014d

I go along with the idea that dreams don’t tell us what we already know…

However, I make this exception: sometimes a dream may remind me of what I know, but have forgotten…

Consider this recent dream:

I’m imagining a monologue in which I tell someone how mystery can be found everywhere—even in the plainest of places.

Then in silence, I receive the image of a grassy hillside, barely visible in the dark.  A rather ordinary place, and yet it seems mysterious to me.

The scene shifts again.  In a dark room, I find Freddie the cat (once a pet, now dead).

His eyes trace the path of something invisible to me.

I see a white glow in those dark eyes.

In my life, I’ve found mystery everywhere—on the magnificent mountain. but also on the ordinary hillside.

Along with that realization, I’ve come to believe that so much of my world is invisible to me…

…but perhaps not invisible to the average housecat.

Unfortunately, in the minutiae of daily living, it’s easy to lose awareness of the mystery.

In my head, I may talk about mystery, yet lose all sense of the mystery…

But if I will just shut up for a few moments, I can reconnect with my instinctual nature, symbolized by the cat…

…and then begin to sense the secret of a hidden world…a world all around me…a mystery to be found everywhere.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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many happy returns

i walk the line crop - December 12, 2014s

Did he actually meet the Man in Black?

Country musician Marty Stuart tells of meeting his friend, the late Johnny Cash, in a dream:

He came walking down a road…and he looked so beautiful…

He looked like he did in about 1973…I mean clean as a whistle—he looked rested and he had a tan.

We stopped and he said, “Stuart, how’re you doing?”  And I said, “Good, J.R.  How’re you doing?”

He said, “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve learned to do since I’ve been up here.”

“Show me.  Tell me.”

He said, “I can sing just like Merle Haggard.”

He started imitating Merle Haggard…

…[afterwards] we hugged each other and he walked off.

I saw Merle right after that and said, “Hag, you’ve got to hear this.  You have to hear this.”  And I told what him I’d dreamed and he said, “Was it in color?”


He said, “Those are the best kind.” *

That scenario reminds me of one of my own “meeting dreams”: I talk with a deceased friend, then massage her shoulders—which, ironically, I never did while she was alive.

Yes, visiting those who’ve passed on can be fun…

But the question reminds: did Stuart actually meet the spirit of his friend Johnny Cash?

All we can say for certain is: Stuart experienced Cash’s spirit, just as he did, so many times, when his friend was still alive…

Whatever the metaphysical reality of this dream may be, Marty Stuart did indeed meet the spirit of his friend Johnny Cash in a dream.

(* This dream was heard in an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, broadcast November 28, 2014.)

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
listening to silence: the book

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personal universal dilemma

women question border - December 2, 2014d

Can I find a place for myself in a roomful of women?

A recent dream presents that question.

In the dream…

I enter a classroom.  A middle-aged woman is preparing to lecture.

I walk along two long tables, looking for a place to sit—a spot that allows me a little elbow room.

Both tables are almost completely filled in with women.

Finally, I find a small round table off to the side, where I can stretch out and feel comfortable.

A little weird, right?—I’m one guy in a room of thirty or more women.

Actually, it’s within the natural course of my life.  The things I’m interested in—such as dream work—are more likely to attract women than men.

But maybe I shouldn’t have sat apart—shouldn’t have distanced myself from the others…

It’s not that I’m uncomfortable around groups of women—I just don’t want to feel too confined within any group.  I want my own space.  Since I’m not rejecting the group, I think that’s okay.

This rather plain dream speaks of the great human dilemma:

An individual’s need to be part of a community, while retaining some degree of personal freedom.

In my experience, the balance must continually be recalibrated.

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
open all night: the book

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