dishing the cockroaches


kafkaesque - January 8,  2016d

Another good news-bad news dream…

In the dream…

I open the door to a dishwasher machine and find a litter of cockroaches inside.

I immediately grab a vacuum cleaner and suck them all up.

I then see a group of cartoon characters.  They bunch together, as if horrified.

So, according to this dream, I’ve taken care of a problem.  Quite effectively, in fact…

But maybe the cockroaches wouldn’t be there if I ran the dishwasher more often.  When the dirty dishes just sit inside and molder, they attract such pests.  I base that analysis on waking life experience.

But what do those dream dishes symbolize?  I’m reminded of the expression “I’ve got a lot on my plate.”  We all take in so much experience.  It’s digested, without requiring our conscious effort…

However, we must still wash the dishes.  “Washing dishes” represents dealing with my past experience on a conscious level.  Sooner or later, the work must be done.

The dream tells me: if I procrastinate on this chore, I’ll only create more problems for myself.

Okay…but why are those cartoon characters in my dream?

To be honest, I haven’t really considered them.  In any case, I’ve plenty to ponder for the time being.

© 2016, Michael R. Patton

sky rope poetry

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dreaming of the Santa Within

penguin santa 485w 2 border - December 22, 2015d

“The Night Before Christmas”, that famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore, is a dream…


At the beginning, the narrator says he’d just settled his brain for a long Winter nap.

Yes, he soon springs from his bed.  However, he never mentions waking up…

Thus, I believe he actually dreamt the entire scenario.

So the Santa he describes is actually the Santa within himself.  An aspect of his positive shadow.

Each time we repeat that poem, the narrator’s dream becomes our dream.  We tell ourselves of our own positive shadow.  Our own generosity.

Yes, Santa is real—he’s as real as you and me.  He lives within us.  The trick is: to make him live “out there” as well.  I’m still working on it.

Happy holidays.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

myth steps: the blog

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

deadly projection

flag grief - December 3, 2015d

Another mass killing in the U.S. brings to mind many dreams I’ve had over the years…

…dreams in which I’ve dealt with terrorists, with shooters, with thugs.

I now realize those killers exist within me.  Even if the dream killer is someone I know, it still is me.  That killer is part of my shadow.

I bristle when someone acts as if dream work is airy new-age touchy-feeling nonsense.  It’s serious business.  If I’m unaware of the negative shadow within me, I may project that shadow out there—onto “the other”: that store clerk, that couple…

…White people, Black people, the community, the employer, the post office, the government…

I can project that shadow onto anyone, any group.

When that happens, I will see them as the source of my problems, the source of my pain.  They become the killer in my dream who’s out to get me.  In order to eliminate that threat, I may go so far as to try to eliminate them…

…and in that way, create another sad headline that leaves people asking “why?”.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

myth steps: the blog

Posted in dreaming, dreams, Jung, photos, psychology, self-help, symbolism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

cleaning up…and up…and up…

mop bucket list - November 13, 2015d

A recent dream says I’m cleaning with dirty water…

In the dream…

I’ve hung a white 5-gallon bucket upside-down, so it can dry.

But there should be two buckets.  Where’s the second?

This dream refers to the cleaning I do on an inner level.  The symbol of the bucket comes from a household chore…

When I mop my floors, I always use two big buckets.  One holds the soapy water.  One holds the clear water…

As I mop, I rinse the mop sponge off in the clear water, before dipping it back into the soapy water.  That way, the soapy water stays relatively clean.

After I’ve finished, I hang both buckets upside-down, so they can dry.

I believe I’m also cleaning on an inner level—when I’m in the dream state.

For the most part, that cleaning occurs below my conscious awareness.  Even if I recall one dream per night, I still forget the majority.

But this mop-bucket dream tells me that I need to look into those I do remember…

Otherwise, I’m only working with one bucket.  Yes, I’m still cleaning, but a lot of the dirt gets recycled.

At the time of this dream, I was having a good streak of dream recall.  But I didn’t do much work on the dreams received…

However, it’s not too late to return to them.  Dreams shouldn’t be “date stamped” like a loaf of bread.  Those dreams likely speak of dilemmas I’ve faced throughout my life.  Even when a dream refers to a current situation, it’s still talking about the big picture.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

Posted in dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

another point of view

small but mighty - October 25, 2015d

Dreams are a mirror…

…and often the reflection is not so flattering.

However, on occasion, I like what I see.

Consider this recent dream…

I look at myself in a big mirror from about three feet away.  To my surprise, I find I’m in pretty good shape…

No, the torso doesn’t bulge with muscles.  But I do have good tone.  I’m fit.

Though I’m in decent physical shape, this dream mirror doesn’t reflect the outer person, but the inner one.

The mirror tells me: you’re in better condition than you believe.  Mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  Not great shape.  But good shape.

And the positive message doesn’t end there:

I’m facing the mirror and the image is clear.  So, I’m willing to “face” the truth.  I can see myself clearly—if I stand back a bit, if I get a little perspective.

In my self-examination, I’m usually pretty hard on myself.  I look at my flaws up-close.  But according to this dream, if I step back, I’ll see another truth.

I don’t think the dream is saying I should abandon one viewpoint in favor of another.  But it does suggest I should break from my usual mode occasionally.  Take a break and broaden my view…

…especially when I need some encouragement.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Glorious Tedious Transformation: the book

Posted in cartoon, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

my inner Johnny Cash

guitars yin yang - October 5, 2015d

Am I the Man in the Black?

Consider this recent dream:

I see a silhouette of Johnny Cash a short distance away.

It has a shiny silvery surface, which reflects my own image.

Waking, I immediately got the basic message…

The late Johnny Cash, the one known as the “Man in Black”, is a mirror to me.  In his image and story, I can find an aspect or aspects of myself.

That’s not to say I’m a country music star who praises Jesus.  Dreams usually use symbols in a much more subtle way.

Some neuroscientists might say I dreamt about Cash only because I’d seen a documentary on his life the night before.  To them, my dream image has no symbolic value.  No hidden meaning.  Johnny Cash was part of the bric-a-brac recently shoved into my memory bank.  So it was only natural that he’d pop into a dream…

Even the fact that I’d seen his image on a mirror-like surface could be explained away, I suppose.  After all, I see reflections on shiny surfaces throughout the day.  My dreaming mind could have combined two memories, randomly.

Whatever the truth may be, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself by thinking of my dreams as symbolic pictures, symbolic stories.  So, for that reason, I’m not going to throw my Cash dream on the junk pile…

I’m going to try to see the Johnny Cash within me.

I’m guessing I’ll find something positive and something negative in that symbol…

But I’ll try not to be too proud of the positive, nor too disappointed with the negative…

As I see it, any aspect has both a positive and negative expression.  Every positive aspect has a negative on its flip side—so I also contain that potential.

Likewise, every negative aspect has a positive side.  By becoming aware of that negative, I can flip it to the positive…

And so my Johnny Cash dream isn’t going on the junk pile.

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

Posted in artwork, dreaming, dreams, Jung, psychology, self-help, symbolism | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I remember to remember

going going gone - September 27, 2015d

I broke the record.  I have a new personal best.

I’ve remembered and recorded a dream for twenty-five straight nights.  My previous record was nineteen, set two years ago.

But to be honest, before the streak, my dream recall had been poor to middling.  The change came when I resolved to catch those dreams that slipped away so easily.  I’d put in a little more effort.

Now, when I first wake, I stop my mind before it starts running around like a waltzing mouse.  In the stillness, maybe there’ll be a lingering wisp of a dream.  Maybe that wisp will lead me to something more substantial…

But if not, I still have the wisp, and even from that thin thread, I might learn plenty.

Or perhaps that wisp was the entire dream.  Some of my recent dreams either have vague imagery or no imagery at all.  Perhaps I forgot the pictures.  But who says a dream must always be seen?

Okay, so I’m more resolved.  But there’s another factor involved in my current streak.  I’m getting a little more sleep these nights.  The longest period of REM (dream) sleep occurs at the end of our sleep cycle.  So, if I only sleep five hours, instead of seven, I cut off a good chunk of my dream time.

I’d like to end with quote from a baseball great who knew a few streaks of his own…

…a man whose logic was that of a crazy, beautiful dream:

“If I didn’t wake up, I’d still be sleeping.”
              — Yogi Berra

© 2015, Michael R. Patton
Open All Night: the book

Posted in artwork, dreaming, dreams, psychology, self-help, sleep | Tagged , , | Leave a comment