“The authentic life is the transformation of compulsion into freedom without the loss of the energy contained in the compulsion.”
— Marion Woodman, from The Maiden King
After all these years, I’m still working to transform this compulsion.
I’ve been helped along the way by my dreams. Including the one below:
I’m walking through the business district of New Orleans. People are fleeing the area. The military is enacting a forced evacuation.
But I keep going. I’m looking for Magazine Street.
I go through an empty indoor mall until I reach a store that looks out onto the river and the bridge. A street sign shows that four roads converge here.
But I can read only one of the four street signs: “Mountain Lane”.
I must’ve gone past Magazine Street. How could I have missed it?
So, I had reached a river and a bridge and a road that led to a mountain (and maybe even a mountain lion, since “lane” could be a pun on “lion”).
But apparently, I’m not interested in this river or bridge or mountain road. I just want to get to Magazine Street.
So what’s on Magazine?
Magazine Street in New Orleans is a place of shops, bars, and restaurants.
A fun street, yes. But perhaps the dream is using another pun: “Magazine” could be a pun on “magazine”—something attractive, but somewhat superficial and of passing importance.
However, I can take this positive from the dream:
After I realize I’ve missed Magazine, I don’t feel like retracing my steps—though I’m hesitant to go forward, I know I don’t want to go backward.
The dream seems to say that my driving compulsion has pushed me beyond where I thought I wanted to go.
That’s good, but I need to be more aware of what’s pushing me—driving me. I need to be more aware of this unconscious compulsion.
Well, I am—because of this dream.
© 2011, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology