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Elements from 2 (different) dreams: 3.2 & 3.3.15

March 4, 2015


With my entire (?) extended family, maternal side, I’m at a “dying center”. It’s like one of those megachurch campuses or huge conference centers, but beautiful inside — landscaping with live trees, flowers, and naturalistic brooks. Beautifully furnished seating areas for people to gather, to say good-byes to loved ones. Lots of natural light. Oddly enough, a joyful and peaceful place.

My entire family is there, in this dream, because Gramma has decided it’s time to die, and she’s going to have it happen here, at the dying center.

I’m talking to my sister, when I ask if Gramma is still “walking around” (not sedated yet). When I find out that she is, I set off to find her.

I do find Gramma. We stand, heads bowed and touching. (In the dream, I’m only a little taller.) I’m full of emotion. I tell her I love her, knowing it’s the last time. I say, “Have a grand adventure in Heaven! That you can tell me all about when . . . “ I trail off, because I don’t believe in Heaven: definitely if there is one, she’ll be there, though. It’s a comfort, knowing she’s ready for it.

= = +


The real person, Gramma, died after a slide into dementia. As it was happening, it never felt like a good time to say, “You know you’re dying, right? I just want you to know how much you’ve always meant to me.” I would tell her I loved her, but next time I saw her, she wouldn’t remember it, or me. I waited too long, and then it was too late.

So it seems like this dream would be really sad. And I’ve had other dreams similar in plot, and they were really sad. But this one wasn’t.

It was an ending to a beautiful relationship, but I expected her death was another adventure, just as I said. It was time. She was eager to go; it was on her own terms. She was in control. It was all good.



{This one was a lot longer, and more fragmentary, hence “Elements”. I’m not entirely sure of the order of events.}

I’m staying at a ramshackle old house, in a forest, with a whole bunch of other people. My mother is one of them, but it’s mostly little kids, 8–12 years old.

Something with my (real) compost cup, which I encounter in the kitchen of the house, and am surprised to see.

I’m talking to someone, one of the kids, about my sexuality: “Susie is straight, Bob is homosexual, I’m . . . sort of in between, I guess. Girls can be really pretty, but I don’t think I’m sexually attracted to them.”

I’m in the kitchen, again, and there are dirty dishes everywhere. I’m looking for something to eat (?). There’s a bowl with a clear liquid in it, like soup, and I’m considering eating it, when I notice those dark globs aren’t vegetables, they’re … tadpoles, newly hatched. (I don’t eat any of it.)

One of the young guys in the house, 12, 13 years old, talks me into (or, in his mind, “persuades me”) to help him talk to a girl he likes. By the time everyone in the house has heard the story, it’s morphed into that he persuaded me to “persuade her to go out with him”! I’m incensed. I would not have agreed to do that. I’m walking through a long hallway, heading out the screen door, while ranting to yet another kid: “Ask the girl out! I’ve done that. Maybe she says No. That’s happened to me too! Sometimes, they laugh in your face. I’ve survived that! It’s embarrassing, but you live. It’s fine. Take your own chances!”

I am outside on the “lawn”, but it’s more like a meadow. There are kids everywhere, and they all want to talk to me about stuff. My mother is at the periphery, but goes into the house. As soon as she gets out of earshot, I say, “Before Mom gets back, how is this not the whole house ambushing me? Because that’s what it feels like. What is it all of you want from me?”

I’m fed up with whatever everyone said (which I don’t recall actually hearing). My Grampa shows up in a ramshackle old boat of a car, with shaggy white carpet interiors. He opens the doors, and I crawl in, as does my cousin Kendra (whom I hadn’t seen before then). The inside of the car is actually kind of huge, but somehow, with the 3 of us inside, it feels “full”. Grampa drives us away.

As he drives, I thank him for “being part of my life for 21 years, and thanks, too, to Gramma for being part of my life for another, hmmm, 30 years “. (In the dream, I’m trying to count the actual years, and I’m pretty sure something is not quite right, but I’m not sure what it is.) Grampa says: “how would it be possible for Gramma to have been in your life an additional 30 years to me, when we’ve just been to her funeral?” I say: “This is a dream. You’ve been important enough to me, all my life, to be active in my life all this time. Same with Gramma.”

We kept driving, farther and farther into forest that turned into swamp forest. Like the Everglades (?). Grampa was pissed off about something, and muttering angrily about it, but I was looking forward to whatever-it-was.

= + =


So much to unpack here! These 2 grandparents, the real people, were married to each other. In waking life, Grampa died when I was 11, and Gramma, when I was 31. So the years in the dream are confusing.

As far as I recall, Grampa has appeared as a character in my dreams only 3x in my life, including this one. The first time, in 1987, he appeared to tell me not to kill myself over breaking up with my first boyfriend (which I’d been planning to do). The second time, in 2005, he appeared with the grapes teapot, telling me someday I’d be whole again, like the teapot had originally been. Now this time.

On the other hand, I’ve dreamed about Gramma probably hundreds of times.

Still, these dream-grandparents are not the real people — they’re archetypes/subpersonas. And it seems clear to me that they are . . . leaving my life for wherever retired archetypes/subpersonas go. It’s time for the “newer” generations to take over.


When I told my grandfather in the dream, “this is a dream”, the weird thing about that part was … it wasn’t a lucid dream. Right up until I said that, my character had no conscious awareness that she was in a dream, and she did not try to influence or change what was happening. That’s never happened before. I didn’t know that could happen.


So, there were all these kids, 8–13 years old. I didn’t recognize any of them: they didn’t physically resemble any kids I’ve ever known and they didn’t arouse in me the feelings that any people I know do (which is how I generally figure out the emotional significance of unfamiliar dream characters).

They must be the “new generation” of my own archetypes/subpersonas. But I don’t know any of them.

Have all the time and energy I’ve spent on uselessly yearning after dream-Tony and dream-Adam, etc., etc., obscured my knowledge of just how many subpersonas I even have? And what matters to them? How they formed? All of that? Kind of unsettling.


The tadpoles in the “soup” thing is interesting because I have this whole rant about Frogs!, which is really about Joy and Exuberance and Being a Little Kid Who Never Grew Up. (Spouse keeps telling me I should write a blog post about it, but I haven’t known how.)


What about my sexuality is bothering me enough that I keep dreaming about talking to people about it? It’s true that I don’t know how I would characterize it, but it’s also true that … no one has asked, nor is anyone likely to ask. Why does it matter?


The swamp imagery must definitely be a motif. Pretty sure swamp-like stuff was on my list of Duende-ish topics that poured out of me (into my Sketchbook Project at the time) in January 2014. I haven’t known how to start writing about it, because I don’t really know what “it” is. I guess “it” is tired of waiting for me.


Oh, the dating thing was weird too, because, of course, I’ve never asked a girl on a date, only boys. As a teenager, I asked 3 boys to a dance, and they all said no. One laughed in my face for 5 minutes but never actually responded (which left me hanging for weeks because I honestly thought he would eventually say, “No”, directly, but he never did). One insulted me so drastically as he refused that I could never bear to look at him ever again. One just said No. And then, in my early 20s, I asked a guy out. He said No. I never tried with anyone else.

I have a lot of sympathy for guys who ask girls out and get turned down. But I have much less for guys who think that they have uniquely been scorned by being turned down.

I never realized before right now that… no guy I asked out ever said Yes. People don’t actually say Yes to me all that often. I keep asking, and people (not always the same people) keep saying No. Usually it’s not even “No, thank you”, it’s just “No”, or even “Hell, no!” (Or they don’t respond at all.)

{My chest suddenly feels tight. I feel kind of panicky and nauseated. Huh.}

This is somehow connected to my ongoing motif of Resources, but I don’t know how.

Well, how can I obtain Resources, if, when I ask for them, people laugh in my face before saying No? Or they just don’t respond?

I guess I’m supposed to have resigned myself to just never receiving anything I need. I can’t do that, obviously.

“Tony” and “Adam” have received the lion’s share of my internal resources. And then they’ve treated me/the rest of us the way the real Tony and Adam did — dismissively, at best. Meanwhile, the rest of my juvenile subpersonas are apparently like feral children.

How do I “even things out”?

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