Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dream a little dream for me

I often remember my dreams, but only for about 2 minutes after I wake up. In the first 30 seconds I think that the dream would make a great story. In the minute following I realize that it didn’t make any sense. And in that last 30 seconds it fades away. For some reason this one stuck around, though it is completely unusable for even the most avant-garde fiction.

The dream starts out with me looking out the window at the bonoboes. In reality a bonobo is primate that is closely related to both chimpanzees and humans. They’re smaller than chimps and are unusually peaceful animals. But in my dream a bonobo is a miniature kangaroo. Furthermore they’re not peaceful, but quite pugnacious creatures that will attack a human many times their size. And for some odd reason which was pertinent to the plot of the dream, but not at all to reality, they look exactly like house cats when they’re sitting still and only reveal themselves to be bonoboes when they start hopping towards you. And a bunch of them have gathered around my house. Someone leaves a door open and they begin invading the domicile and I flee upstairs. I come across the two castles I’ve built in a room, one made of Legoes and the other made of something else. I can’t remember what, but it was definitely not Legoes. And for some reason it was very important that I get these castles safely out of the house. Luckily I have luggage designed to carry the two miniature castles and I escape out the window. It may be interest that being attacked in my home by various creatures is not uncommon in my dreams.

I find myself on vacation. I think in reality my dreaming mind had already forgot about the miniature kangaroos. But if I were to make a story out of this mess I would be on the lamb from the kangaroos. At first I seemed to be in a rainforest, but it ended up being in Utah. The only indication that this rainforest was in Utah was that I later drove to BYU to see an old girlfriend, though it’s unclear why. Driving also never goes well in my dreams. I’m always stuck in some precarious situation; this time I was driving full speed down the highway in reverse. I’m pretty sure that cars can’t go full speed in reverse, but in the dream I was in traffic and attempting not to hit anyone while looking ahead in my rearview mirror. But I rarely die in my stressful driving situations, and I didn’t here either. I made it to BYU, only to have the dream switch up again entirely.

Now I’m in a steam filled bathroom. The only concrete detail I remember from this final portion is rinsing out my mouth and spitting out a lot of watery blood. I often lose teeth in my dreams, but in this case I was just spitting out this blood. And for some reason this was very important and I was relieved that I was able to get so much blood out.

So as you can see, there’s not much I can use here to further my literary career. But if there happen to be any dream analysts out there, I’d appreciate your feedback. Because a normal person doesn’t call a violent miniature kangaroo a bonobo.


Amy-Alisa said...

You're the one who wanted to be a psychiatrist. But if this is of any interest to you, I also often have dreams where animals (and people) are chasing me. And my teeth frequently fall out in my dreams also, very disturbing feeling.

Nate said...

I was directed to your blog site and couldn’t help but respond to your dream. Just to preface all of this, I usually do not attempt to interpret a dream unless I know something about the person and their current life circumstances. Otherwise, I find I often project my own junk into people’s lives. But there were a lot of vivid images that I think I can make some sense of here. I believe dreams can teach us a lot about ourselves, give us insights, or direct us towards issues we’re not facing up to in our waking lives. At the same time, I don’t think all dreams have significant meaning or any meaning at all. Usually, the individual will recognize when there is something significant that needs to be teased out. For me, this happens when I vividly remember a dream for more than a few minutes. I interpret the dream’s sticking with me as a sign that it needs to be processed on a deeper level.
Last but not least, even though I am a doctoral student in psychology, we are not taught about dream interpretation in any of our courses. I personally have an interest in dreams and symbolism and interpret dreams for myself and others solely as a hobby.
Okay, here we go. Granted this is going to be pretty vague at times but hopefully you can connect the dots. A house to me represents you as an individual: your thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and everything else that makes you unique. It is a place of security and a starting point from which you venture out to experience the world, both physically and symbolically. The fact that you were being attacked by monkeys is insignificant. The important element here is that you were feeling threatened. But to you, I suppose, the monkeys were threatening (looking like house cats at first but then jumping towards you like kangaroos) whereas to everyone else they were harmless. The window simply represents your perspectives or filtering system between what you feel and what others or the world outside tells you. The fact that the door was left open by someone other than yourself indicates a threat to your personal comfort, or someone else trying to intrude on your personal space or way of life.
As a result of this threat, you run upstairs. Stairs mean lots of things but I don’t know enough specifics me make sense of this. Maybe you’re just trying to get to “higher ground” for personal safety reasons. But the castles I think were really cool. Castles, logically, indicate places of defense and fortitude. The fact that you had built at least one of these yourself may mean that you have created defense mechanisms to shield yourself from perceived threats. Rather than abandon these to meet this particular problem head on (the monkeys), you felt it was necessary to safe-guard and maintain these defenses and flee.
Although you mentioned the three segments of your dream being somewhat unrelated, I think there may be a common theme throughout. The dramatic shifts in the dreams manifest content (the images you actually see) may have kept you from becoming overwhelmed and waking up, thus defeating the purpose of dreams themselves according to Freud, who believed that dreams allow us to be exposed to our fears, desires, etc. (the latent content) in ways that will not overwhelm the ego. I don’t buy into all of Freud’s stuff but some of it I think is genius.
I find the next portion of the dream the most interesting and easily interpretable. The fact that you are driving a car means you are actively trying to navigate your life in a certain direction. You driving in reverse, however, can mean one of two things in my mind. The first is that you are over-focusing on the past and trying to reconnect with something that’s no longer there. Your old girlfriend may further exemplify this point. I don’t think it means you want to get back together with her, I simply think she represents part of your past. The other option is that you see yourself going about things in your life completely backwards. On a cognitive level you realize this is dangerous, but emotionally you do not sense any danger, probably because it has never caught up with you or harmed you in any way (a theme you alluded to regarding previous dreams). But whatever this driving force may be, I think you realize that you’ve made it out in your head to be more than it really is. I say this because you envisioned Utah as a rainforest, which we all know is not quite accurate. This being said, I think the dream might mean you are trying to fool yourself into thinking that something is better than it really is. Again, this is pretty vague. Had I known what your experience was like it Utah or how you perceive the state in general I may have been able to offer more specific insights.
Lastly, the steam-filled bathroom probably signifies anxiety of some sort. I imagine the steam meant the room was hot and you were likely sweating. Also, bathrooms symbolize cleansing processing, not only because that is where people wash themselves but also because that is where they purge themselves of unwanted or unnecessary matter (that’s all I have to say about that). To me, water and blood both symbolize life, water being a more general representation of life itself and blood being a more personal symbol of your unique life or what you’re passionate about. This is a very tentative guess, but spitting something out is may mean you are rejecting a part of yourself that you see as undesireable, which may explain the relief you felt to have it gone. It’s similar to vomiting, but the latter obviously would signify a more emotionally charged response.
That’s all I got. Again, I admit this is pretty general and it may feel like you’re reading a horoscope, but without more info it’s the best I can do. If you don’t mind, e-mail to let me know if it was at all helpful or even to tell me you think I’m way off base. I would appreciate the feedback either way. Also, if anyone else has a dream they want to run past me, e-mail me as well. My e-mail is
Oh, I didn’t mean for this to be so long, but I hope it helps or at least gets you thinking.