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Dream: 12.4.14

December 8, 2014

I was in a bustling train station (possibly Chicago’s Union Station), waiting for the 5:12, my usual daily train, to take me home. When the train pulled in, instead of boarding it, I saw a bunch of items that belonged to me, on the roof of the nearest car, which was almost like an airport’s baggage claim. I pulled off one purple woolly thing (of 2), and a box, but I didn’t have time to grab my 2 suitcases because the train pulled out.

I went looking for a person of authority, to alert them that my luggage was going on without me, and hopefully, to find out how I could retrieve it.

I did find a train person. I expected them to want to see my driver’s license to verify my identity, but they never asked my name. Instead, now there was a badge (similar to a press pass) clipped to my shirt, identifying me as a “regular rider of X train”.

As this interchange unfolded, I was hoping I’d put luggage tags on my 2 suitcases. In the usual way of things, I rarely let them out of my sight, so I wasn’t entirely sure I would’ve thought to label them.)

I believed that the train with my luggage still on it would be heading for its final destination of Iowa, after which it would turn around and come back. If my luggage hadn’t been stolen, or fallen off, or had some other mishap, I might get it back as early as the next day or so.

I reflected that having the bags shipped back to me would likely be prohibitively expensive. Did I have money available for that kind of unanticipated problem?

When I mentioned to the train guy that I thought the train was going to Iowa, he said, “Oh no, that one . . . is going to Montana!” I said, “oh, hey, then my luggage gets to see a place I’ve never been!”

I started wondering if my luggage could somehow bring back postcards. J


Years ago, I had 2 jobs in downtown Chicago, both when I lived in (2 different) DuPage County suburbs. I never drove down into the city; I commuted by train, and greatly enjoyed the process.

When I dream about being in a train station, though, there’s usually a lot of anxiety: I have the wrong ticket; I don’t have enough money for the fare; I’ve somehow missed getting off at the correct station; I’m on the wrong train; etc., etc.

The train being the 5:12 associates it with P.

{I didn’t want to interpret this dream until after my retreat was over, but now that the dream was 4 days ago, some of the details are fuzzy. Was the purple woolly thing the same purple woolly knit jacket I had with me on my retreat? Or something else?

I think the box was approximately the size of a bread box, but I have no recollection what it looked like, or what might have been in it.}

Why didn’t I grab the 2 suitcases first? Partly, I think, they were heavy, so I thought getting them off the roof would be unwieldy, and then I ran out of time. But it’s also possible that I didn’t see them at first — the purple woolly thing caught my eye right away.

The actual purple woolly jacket is warm, but scratchy, so I tend to only wear it over a bunch of other layers. I bought it on our last day in New Zealand, in 2005. Our last really big trip.

Purple, the color, symbolizes creativity. The woolly part might relate to being a fiber artist. Maybe it was more important to dream-me to reclaim fiber-related creativity first, rather than fuss with heavy baggage?

Oddly enough, given that train dreams tend to be anxious, I was not worried about my luggage going on without me (even when I wondered if it might get stolen, or fall off the train, or just somehow not make it back to me). In fact, I was kind of excited for it, I thought, going to Iowa — a place I’ve never been, that is symbolic of Dreams Deferred and Lost Opportunities.

Montana is a place I thought I might have visited before now, except that I haven’t.

I just wished my luggage could bring back, or even mail to me, postcards from Montana. Which sound nonsensical, but . . . I’ve long lamented that, while I can and do (these days) send myself postcards from cool places I visit, I can’t be surprised by what they say, like I could if someone besides me was sending them. Basically, I wish I had a friend like me to do for me the things I do for others, so that I could be Surprised, But In A Good Way too.

I set off to look for the train person with no muss or fuss. No whining or carrying on. I was competent and confident and ready to deal with whatever came my way. Again, very different than these travel-anxiety dreams usually unfold.

The badge was interesting. As a regular train rider on the Burlington Northern, I had my monthly train pass, but it didn’t identify me, by name, address, or photo.

My luggage going on without me, having its own adventures . . . parts of me are “moving on”? And we’re apparently parting on amicable terms.


Worth discussing this one with P, if we get a chance.

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