A Double Pun Leads to Awareness


“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


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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