Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Stuff of Dreams

Last night I had a date with Al Pacino. Of course it was a dream, but still pretty exciting with the added benefit of not actually having to get the date nor figure out what to wear. All I had to do was figure out what the dream meant. Here is what I came up with.

First, prior to going to bed, there was an overabundance of yogurt (Wallaby, vanilla bean, really good) while watching a TCM war movie. Then, before lights out, I read a couple of chapters of Villa Triste, a novel set in Florence, WW2. Quite a long book, consisting mostly of street and Italian names with a little bit of story in between. The immediate environment, including what's in your tummy, is often the material from which dream symbols are created.

All I recall about the beginning of my dream is that Al and I had just met and were briefly together. Then we were apart, then back together in an apartment that was pewter color, lit by high windows and scarcely furnished. It opened into a room with a brass bed. (Put Pacino and brass together and I think knuckles and jeepers creepers.)

Within this disturbing setting, Al and I have a conversation. He does most of the talking about serious things, He knows something about everything and none of it interest me. I show him several pairs of shoes I bought while we were apart. He dismisses them and goes on talking. Then, just like on a real date, I excuse myself and go into the bathroom, the kind of bathroom one finds in a restaurant or a club. I look in the mirror and see that Al Pacino is not the only one with a face. My thought exactly. When I return to the room I know I'm not getting into that brass bed but I don't know how to get this across to him in a pleasant way. Then I wake up.

I think my dream is about choice vs. living up to expectations and also about self-acceptance. Al is an important person, which he demonstrates with his important conversation. I could be important too if I aligned myself with him by being clever and available. Instead, I choose to focus not on him but on something that appeals to me, shoes. Feeling overlooked, I head for the bathroom where a mirror reminds me that I count. Big shots, little shots, we all count.

Dreams speak in symbols. To get their message you look to the feelings they evoke before putting words to them. My feelings and the thoughts that followed them were: curiosity and excitement (hey look, here's All Pacino) distaste for a show of self-importance (his conversation) affirmation of my own way of being (the mirror) and an unwillingness to sell myself (the brass bed).

I could actually come up with a different interpretation of this dream and you probably could also. But I know that for me this is a good interpretation because it matches the circumstances of my life and it feels true. The sense of truth is the proof of the pudding. No one can know the truth of a symbol the way the creator of it does. Someone may offer an interpretation but if you don't receive it with an aha moment it doesn't really serve.

PS Thank you Al Pacino for letting me use you as a symbol. I think you are a fine actor and I apologize for any misrepresentation. And if you are ever in town ...


Tommyji said...

I really enjoyed reading this. It was both informative and entertaining. Would love to hear more stories like this.

Anonymous said...