Category Archives: Dreams

Holding Myself Hostage

Ode to Bonnie Parker, originally uploaded by nhungsta.

Sunday morning I had a dream of myself at 10. I am rollerskating through the neighborhood and wearing this filmy pink nightgown that my grandmother had given me for my “dress-up box.” I used to wear this over my regular clothes and run or skate around with my friends, who were also dressed up in funny, older clothes. In the dream, I am skating in this outfit through lawn sprinklers, and I am happy. So very happy and joyful and laughing.

As I awoke, I saw that image morph into another from that time period. I used to dream that my father was a terrorist holding my family hostage. Unless I met all his demands, he would blow my mother, my grandmother, and my grandfather up. This Sunday morning, it wasn’t my father as the terrorist, and it wasn’t my family as the hostages. It was me–me at 10 years. I was the terrorist holding the gun, and I was the hostage. If I did not meet my terrorist demands then my life would be destroyed.

Two images of my life — one carefree and joyful, the other constricted and miserable.

I’ve been talking with my teacher about the need to free up my life to allow more time to just be and let creativity percolate. I run around so busy with my self-imposed responsibilities to others. I was ranting about this to my husband Friday evening — because I have “responsibilities” and I am “dependable,” I can’t just let things “drop!”

But I am holding myself and my life hostage, and that needs to stop. And that bomb needs to be replaced by some green and white rollerskates!

Following the Man on Fire

I have delayed posting this as I tracked down the “perfect” image to illustrate it. I’m not finding it, which may be a clue that I need to create it, or that finding that image is not the point.

Last week, I had a dream. Actually, I usually dream, but every once in a while the dream image is very clear, clear enough to remember, clear enough to stick with me. This is one such dream.

I am walking through a marketplace that looks much like a medieval fair, but dirtier. People all around me are sick and dying. I am slowly walking and watching them. My heart goes out to them as they shuffle in the shadows of alleys and doorways. Occasionally, one will cross my path and make me stop in my tracks. There is a moment of awkwardness before the other shuffles off, and I continue.

At the center of the marketplace, I find my teacher elder, a wizened old woman with a round face and eyes. She is tiny, wrapped in cloth to stay warm by a small fire. She may be old, but she is not one of the sick. She is timeless. I sit across from her, and we talk.

A man about my age comes and sits around the fire between us. He is wearing a roughly woven, brown robe, much like a monk’s. He has dark brown, curling hair and a kind, yet compelling eyes. I feel a flash of connection when our eyes meet. We don’t speak much to each other, but both listen to the elder.  A spark from the fire flies out and lands on his sleeve. A small fire spreads over his arm and hand, but doesn’t seem to burn him. He reaches over and taps out or covers the fire with his other hand. He gives me an embarrassed look, as if I have seen something that he usually tries to hide. He is surprised that I have seen it.

Unhurriedly, he rises to leave and walks away. I follow him. I know in that moment that I will always follow him, no matter at what cost–to my life or my reputation. And I know that it will be OK.

Early in December I made the intent to begin a conscious relationship with my animus. I believe this dream is saying that I am on the right track, but that I will have to take risks. My life is pretty “safe” right now, but sometimes I feel that I am on a knife’s edge, that I want to play with fire.

Yet, I am afraid. Afraid of losing control of my mind. Afraid of losing the respect of others, of losing my good name. Afraid that my work (especially my artwork) will make people seriously question my sanity or good spirit. So, I am usually “good” or “pleasing” and sometimes “inspiring,” or so I’ve been told.

But I think that may be changing, which I’ll talk about in my next post.