Revisiting Old Dreams

For the second night in a row now I have revisited an old dream. It was/is an interesting experience.

In the first dream I was in a dune house, or a collection of structures that made up a single dwelling, preparing it for a party by making sure all the outdoor lights sufficiently illuminated the place such that it could be seen from the two-lane road that passed nearby — a sandy driveway curved between two dunes before opening into a large open area that was both a parking area and a patio. Inside the living area was where I recognized the structure from a childhood or adolescent dream: I had fought and/or been chased by some oppressive and/or dauntless force (monster or bad guy, who knows now?).

a dune house somewhat like the one in my dream

a dune house somewhat like the one in my dream

That was two nights ago. Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

Last night/this morning I dreamt I was making my way through a vast hotel/dormitory space. When last I was here, I was single, now I followed my wife and daughter, and at times my mother (so the women in my world — what signifiers!). We were, as I was before, in search of a particular apartment, but the structure was so large as to make even obvious attempts at location quite difficult to follow. E.g., the apartment/suite had a room number like 2Q176, which was something like floor-wing-suite. I panicked when I lost track of my family, but then, oh how technology can enter into one’s dreamworld, I called them from my cell phone to find out where they were. I scrambled up too narrow stairways — with too much wallpaper and carpeting I might add — which gave onto very plush lounge areas which were also perhaps a bit dated by their wall-to-wall carpeting, overstuffed furniture, wallpaper, and chandelier sconces. (Really? Is my unconscious furnished in a fashion I would find abhorrent?) Eventually the counselor is found, a professorial character with the hip/guru sensibility one images one finds among a certain generation of UC Berkeley faculty. Sigh, again the unconscious seems rather unimaginative. All I remember is walking with him to find a place to sit. This time we walked up, always up in this dream, on wooden stairs to find a place in a small cafe filled with wooden benches and tables to sit and talk. I can’t remember now what we talked about, if we talked at all before I woke.

What does it mean to dream dreams you have dreamt before? In both cases, dreams that were once filled with anxiety or dread or fear are now either more tempered, re-directed (the anxiety is on the momentary loss of my family), or inverted completely into one of welcoming guests: `anxiety => anticipated hospitality`.

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