Monday, August 08, 2011

Another dream

While my waking life consists of waiting and routine tasks, my dreaming life seems to have escalated. Last night, I dreamed that I returned to college. I was the age I am now and was returning because I hadn't completed my bachelor's degree. In real life, I graduated and went on to graduate school which I did not complete. I was moving into a dorm and surrounded by young, hopeful girls, feeling quite out of place but hopeful myself.

My adviser from my undergraduate days came to my dorm room and told me how glad he was that I was finishing my degree and that I had too much potential not to finish. He also insisted that I sign up for his class in women's studies, a course not in his academic discipline He was one of my favorite professors in college, but I was always nervous around him. He always challenged me to think and consistently called me on mediocre work if he thought I could do better. I always wanted his approval and felt like I had lost it when I let my parents talk me out of taking an internship.

Later I was heading off to that class and realized that I was both late and didn't know where the class was. I went to an office that looked remarkably like the office of my high school to ask directions. On my way there, I was met by two of my other favorite teachers, one from high school, one a former business supervisor. They told me that I needed to come with them. I said that I didn't know they knew each other, and they answered that they all knew everybody here.

We headed off together to a small hill that had been covered with people's artwork. We headed up a slope that was made of masks. Their surfaces had the texture and color of burnt metal. Each mask showed a blank face whose expressions only differed by the shape of the mouth. There were hundreds of these masks, and they had been placed like paving stones, creating a surface like curved fish scales leading up to a sharper rise. At the base of this rise was a ledge wide enough to walk. The vertical area was a glassy black, like obsidian, and had been carved by different artists into different pictures and shapes. I remember running my hands over what looked like a carved basket. The other part of the hill was made of a rough, uncarved white material like limestone. We sat on the ledge and leaned back against that milk white surface, and my teachers turned to me and said, "Now, read the moon." I looked to the left, and there was the moon, out in broad daylight, closer and larger than I've ever seen. It was like I was looking at a large building, not a distant satellite.

At first, there were words on the moon that soon morphed into the familiar shadows we all know from the moon. As I laid back and stared at the moon shadows, trying to understand them, I looked down and saw a city far beneath the hill I was on burst into flames. My teachers then said, "Welcome to Israel."

I jumped up, and my teachers were gone. My sister and oldest friend came up to me and said, "You have to leave now. It's too dangerous." I insisted that we had to do something. Suddenly we were inside a building that contained a scale model of the burning city. The buildings that were burning in the real city were burning in the model as well. I would identify which buildings were on fire and communicate somehow where help was needed to the people actually working to extinguish the fires.

Then I woke. What gets me about this dream is that this is the second time I've dreamed recently that I returned to college because my bachelor's degree hadn't been completed. Seeing my degree on my bedroom wall this morning was a real comfort. The teachers in my dreams have all died in real life. My sister and friend are still very much alive, and both are pretty much always there for me. The hill of art was beautiful and compelling, but the masks in retrospect are disturbing. It bothered me to walk on someone else's art, especially since it seemed damaged. I remember wondering how many artists had carved on that hill, and just what I was supposed to read on the moon. And Israel? Just what was that supposed to mean?

My subconscious mind is fun and disturbing, and I love remembering my dreams. Isn't this a fun one to chew over?


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

My dreams are always so convoluted. They rarely follow any kind of rational plot line, and when I try to tell someone about them, I get lost in the weirdness and never do get to explaining the whole thing. I'm surprised that your recall is so clear and your recounting of it so logical.

August 08, 2011 3:55 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

There are huge chunks of the dream that are missing, but the images in this one were so clear. I can even remember that the dorm room I was moving into was painted yellow.

August 08, 2011 6:20 PM  
Blogger sunflowerkat321 said...

I rarely remember a thing about my dreams and I wish I could. Recently, I have started to jot down anything I can remember because I feel like it must be significant.

This dream is fascinating in its detail and yes....plenty to chew on. If you get an inkling of what it's all about, I hope you'll let us know.

August 09, 2011 7:01 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

I have many times dreamed I had to go back and complete some degree - sometimes it was high school and sometimes undergrad. Always I knew I had already completed the Ph.D. and the logic of it all always escaped me.

August 11, 2011 9:01 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Virginia, I think it's just telling us that we have more to learn, and we know it.

August 11, 2011 9:26 PM  

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