hrj: (doll)
No doubt the topic of the dream was sparked by being at a con and having books and book promotion on my brain.

So there I was, in my dream, in the audience at a talk show. (Something like the Tonight Show, but the host wasn't one of the actual historic hosts, though I have this vague sense that he was modeled after some tv host I watched in my youth.) There was one set of "special" seats with whom they did an "audience interaction" segment (which, in the way of Hollywood, was taped separately in a different location after the regular show). One of the folks sitting in that area had to leave before the end of the show and offered me their place. So there I am thinking, "What an opportunity, because when they ask me to tell a little something about myself, I can casually mention being an author and I just happen to have copies of my books on me to display (as you do)."

So when the regular part of the show was finished I and several other people got whisked off to be prepped for the special segment and assigned a couple of attendants to explain the ropes and do makeup and the rest. There was a bit of a competitive "Hunger Games" vibe to this part, because evidently the prep crews had a bit of rivalry going in whose guest made the best showing in the segment. My crew was telling me I was way more interesting than the other guests, with an air of personal triumph.

But then they screwed up my make-up and were having trouble getting it fixed and I had to rush off for the taping, and realized I'd left my purse and the books behind in the make-up booth, but also someone had given me bad directions for where to go for the taping and by the time I realized I was going in the wrong direction and backtracked, the prep area was deserted. [Only now while typing this up does it occur to me that those "bad directions" might have been part of the prep-crew rivalries. I'm not sure this counts as being part of the dream, since it didn't occur to me while I was asleep.]

I got a janitor to let me into the make-up area but my stuff was gone. So I rushed off to the stage where they were doing the taping and arrived just as everything was over (and found my purse and books sitting there on my empty chair). As the crew was packing up, I went up to the host to apologize for the screw-up and for not having been there and to offer him a copy of my book anyway. He was all snippy and said, "After that, I wouldn't even read your book if you paid me. Well, ok, maybe I would if you paid me."

So I pulled out a ten dollar bill and said, "I'll give this to your favorite charity if you accept the book." And then we chatted some more and in the end he decided I was an ok person and agreed to look at my book. So the dream ended positively with the vaguest hope that a major tv talk-show host might some day say something nice about my books.

Analysis: We will ignore the enormous implausibility of the actual scenario. The various logistical disasters in the dream probably represent standard anxiety motifs about being over-scheduled and afraid that I'll drop the ball somewhere. But the generally positive conclusion seems to reflect my more relaxed feeling about how my books are doing this time around. (As I've mentioned in previous dream journals, my symbolism tends to be fairly direct and transparent.)
hrj: (doll)
This was one of those dream-withn-a-dream things. In the first-layer dream I was at a brother's place for the Christmas holidays. It wasn't a specific location or specific brother, but it was at a nearby (ca. 2 hour drive) location, which becomes relevant. I'd only been planning to visit for a couple of days, but on arrival I learned that there was a plan for all of us to bundle into cars and drive up to Bend Oregon for a ski trip. So I'm kind of whining about how it might have been nice to know this <i>before</i> showing up so that I could have brought my skis and packed warmer clothes. And I'm trying to calculate whether this planned trip will get me back by the time my vacation is up. And then there's the weird part. My horrible head-cold carried over into the dream, so in the dream I was spending a lot of my time nodding off to sleep constantly. And in those dream-naps I would dream that I was still in the exact same location and circumstances except that Mom was there. I was slipping between sleep and waking (in the primary dream) smoothly enough that it took me a while to figure out that I was dreaming and not hallucinating, and then I debated over whether to tell anyone about it for fear of making them feel bad.

Analysis: no deep inner meaning. I'm sick in bed. We just had a family holiday get-together. And I miss my Mom.

And then the dream verged off into being at some SCA arts collegium and I was trying to remember what class I'd promised to teach.
hrj: (doll)
I think it must be all my friends who are in the middle of buying houses, but I had a homeowner anxiety dream this morning. My house was an enormous rambling place with lots of "owner-built" additions and modifications. I had just gotten a housemate who brought a vibrant and spontaneous social life with her (consisting mostly--for some inexplicable reason--of people hanging out on the Making Light blog). I was in the middle if introducing myself to the sudden crowd and laying down some house rules (like: "knock before you walk in the front door" and similar) when a massive rainstorm hit and pieces of the house started crumbling and exposing structural flaws. Which the crowd of strangers began eagerly pointing out to me and explaining how I could have fixed or prevented them. And then a leak started pouring through the roof and I started to cry.

When I posted this over on fb, it was pointed out to me in comments (and I had come to the same conclusion independently) that this may not actually be a homeowner anxiety dream -- although it borrows the symbolic language -- but an about-to-have-my-novel-published anxiety dream. A vast horde of complete strangers (as well as people I already know and respect) are about to "walk in" to my world without knocking and (at least implicitly) start critiquing the architecture, the furniture, the wallpaper, and the dinner menu. But dammitall I built that roof and I know for certain that it will not leak. So take that, you insecure subconscious!
hrj: (doll)
The motifs on this one are so transparent there's no point in trying for a symbolic analysis.

The dream starts out in what must be a sort of family Christmas gathering context (except it otherwise feels like summer time). My immediate family is present and a group of cousins are visiting ... leading to a peculiar digression where we discuss social customs around whether one enters a house by the front door, the back door, or by coming through some gap in the back fence and in through the garage. I'm wrapping up a present that is some sort of IKEA-like kitchen table ... except that I'm wrapping it up unassembled and carefully wrapping each individual piece separately (including screws and bolts), labeled so that they'll be opened in order for assembly.

This segues into my conclusion that I desperately need a three-week road trip vacation for the sake of my sanity. I'm going to be accompanied by my youngest brother and one of my cousins and I start micro-managing what they need to pack for the trip. Then we have to go see my insurance agent for some reason to do with making sure my insurance will cover everyone who might be driving. And then it occurs to me that I need to contact my employer about the trip ... at which point I remember that I don't have any unscheduled vacation days left in the year, much less three weeks' worth, and that three weeks is a bit more than I could get away with calling in sick for. End of dream.
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Every once in a while, my use of audio to stave off insomnia produces odd effects. Last night's reality: sleeping in my medieval pavilion at Beltane Coronation, running Jane Austen's "Emma" on the iPod. Last night's dream: attending Pennsic, except it was being held in a university dormitory-type setting with mazes of twisty corridors all alike, and all the Pennsic staff had adopted personas of Austen characters and would only communicate by quoting dialogue from the novels. There may be something symbolic in that my standard dream-Pennsic storyline involves realizing that I've been there for pretty much the entire event and haven't managed to meet up with anyone I know or attend any meetings or activities that I'd planned to do. (Note that I've only attended Pennsic twice in my 35 years in the SCA, so it's most likely that my dream-Pennsic stands for something else entirely besides the actual event.)
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Two very vivid dreams last night, both featuring close friends. The first one is for [livejournal.com profile] thread_walker's ears only. The second one involved a trip that [livejournal.com profile] scotica and [livejournal.com profile] xrian and I were going on to see a museum exhibit in some other city. We'd made separate travel arrangements so we weren't sitting together on the plane. When I got off in Chicago, I was walking down long corridors to get to the rental car (or something) and realized that the others weren't with me. Whereupon I suddenly got very insecure about whether I was even in the right city -- maybe I was supposed to have flown to NY or Boston instead. Pulled out the iPhone to Google the exhibition and check, but the connection wasn't working and when I tried to phone my friends the phone started talking back to me so I couldn't tell whether anyone was on the line.

I think the second dream is reminding me that I need to make my Kalamazoo arrangements Real Soon Now. (The first one was even more transparent, when it comes to it.)
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I dreamed I was rearranging furniture in my new house (yeah, how surprising!) but suddenly realized that instead of the single big open space I thought I had, there was a family/work room and a separate living room/parlor, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to move the couch and loveseat (this is a dream-only loveseat -- I don't actually have one of those) into the living room for company but keep the entertainment center in the family room where I'd mostly be hanging out. And I realized even as I was moving things around that it was never going to work because no matter where the TV was, that was where everyone would end up hanging out and the other room would be wasted space.

I don't think this is so much a "meaningful" dream as a tautologically obvious dream. But I do have my wonderful, functional open space so the dream can just take a hike. There's nothing to see here.
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This may be the first dream to stick with me where I as clearly living in Concord. I'm starting on a road trip from the Bay Area to Seattle, in a little (and I mean LITTLE) sedan, accompanied by [livejournal.com profile] cryptocosm and two other men who seemed to be co-workers of mine. Cryptocosm had been driving (??to get to my place??) and it was just after dinner so I said I'd take the next shift. (And I know how small the car was because the guy sitting behind me had to push the seat forward enough that I had to sit sort of sideways to drive.) It was clear exactly where we were, but the gps showed the merge of 680 with 80, so I figured I was starting from Concord and that I'd figure out how to get on the freeway ok.

The next scene in the dream -- and this was definitely a "next thing I knew" not movie jump-cut -- we were parked on a stranger's driveway and had a flat on the left rear, and it was almost dawn.

Now you have to understand that in dreams I have a real "thing" about driving while asleep. I do it regularly and it scares the crap out of me. So in this one, I insisted that I hadn't been driving asleep, I must have gotten short-term memory loss from the trauma of getting the flat. (There was some indication that the car might have gone out of control and sideswiped some other vehicles, although the parking job seems to have been under control.)

But when I went to get out my phone to call roadside assistance. The case was there but my phone wasn't in it. Instead, in the same pocket, was a stranger's high-tech pager. There were a number of clues in the pager to the owner's identity (like information on his employer, since it was for his job), so I set about trying to decipher who he was and how he was involved. There was some sort of recording or broadcast coming out of the device (which was actually my radio-alarm) that I was having trouble hearing. And somewhere in there the owner of the driveway came out and I had to reassure her about what we were doing there. And round about then I figured I needed to wake up and get moving.

Interpretations and image sources: I was just talking recently about needing to plan another Seattle road trip. As noted, sleep-driving is a regular anxiety of mine in dreams, but I'm not sure if it means anything other than a real-world concern for falling asleep at the wheel. No clear resonances for the other elements, although I note that with 4 people in the car, somehow I was the one who had to organize everything. No waiting for other people to rescue me! And then there's the motif of getting distracted from an immediate problem by an abstract puzzle that needs solving.

hrj: (Default)
Extensive vivid dream this morning about wildfires in the hills. In the dream I was more or less in my current location, but it was in the context of a group of people camping. When I woke (in my dream) I could see an absolute wall of smoke rising up over half the sky, and in the other part of the sky there were long streaks of smoke from other fires. The ridges of the hill were all ablaze. And periodically in the camping area, there would be small spontaneous blazes that would need to be put out immediately. Most of the people were just going about their business as usual but there were a bunch of us frantically running around collecting and filling buckets and trying to keep ahead of the little spot fires. I was working with a small boy who wasn't strong enough to carry buckets but wanted to help and I was showing him how to kick apart the sodden bushes after someone had dumped water on them to make sure there weren't any embers still hiding inside.

Likely triggers: news about the fires in Texas (especially from Texans on my FB feed), local news yesterday about possible lightning storms this weekend creating fire hazards, and in fact since there were a couple of actual lightning caused fires in the Mt. Diablo area overnight, it's even possible that the wind might have been right to bring a hint of smoke through my window.

Underlying metaphoric meaning: possibly some frustration with the usual tendency of organizations to be carried on the backs of a small set of people, even in emergencies, but no immediately obvious specific mappings here.
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I don't usually get real-time audio intrusion in my dreams. In fact, based on observations relating to my conscious perception of my anti-insomnia audio-streaming vis-a-vis the sleep-wake interface, my brain appears to shut down speech perception processing when I go under. But this morning when the NPR news came on at 6am and I hunkered down for an extra half-dozen winks, I had a vivid dream in which I was in London waiting with a crowd on s street corner for some sort of parade or event and a nearby loudspeaker was blaring the morning KQED traffic report and I was simultaneously thinking, "what a silly thing for them to be broadcasting here in London where nobody cares about the accident holding up traffic at the Caldicot" and "isn't nice that I don't have to pay attention to the traffic report because I'm here in London and don't have to get up to go to work."

Silly me.
hrj: (Default)
This dream needs no interpretation. In it, I came home (to a house with a different configuration) to find I'd been burgled once more. The alarm hadn't gone off (yes, I had the alarm system in the dream) because they'd entered the house by prying the walls apart.
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So there was this dream just before I woke up. I was in Amsterdam with [livejournal.com profile] thread_walker for some sort of extended embroidery workshop. So far, so good. But I had no idea how the workshop was organized, so while everyone else was frantically trying to sign up for the specific classes they wanted, I wandered out into an open plaza, thinking I should get in touch with [livejournal.com profile] aryanhwy to get together for dinner or something, and found there was an open-air museum display about Thomas Becket, including detailed reproductions of garments associated with him. Wanting more information, I went into the small museum gift shop, which was located in a disused church, but all they were selling were these sets of pop-culture-medieval coloring books and touristy crap. For some reason I hadn't pre-arranged for a place to stay in Amsterdam so I spent the night out in the plaza. In the morning I went back to where the embroidery workshops were being held and started trying to figure out how the event was organized so I could participate. All sorts of people were already getting started on their projects, and it was one of those "start of the con" atmospheres where people were arriving and greeting old friends. And the new arrivals were chatting in various different languages -- I caught a bit of Welsh at one point. But I was starting to get that feeling of "I don't know anyone and they aren't interested in meeting me or talking to me" and in the dream I pointed out to myself that I'd sworn off going down that road so I gathered up the nerve to ask someone where I could get some coffee. It was halfway across town, so I could either have my coffee or I could continue trying to get integrated into the workshop. And that was about it -- I woke up. None of my usual repeating motifs, nothing feeling "meaningful", just very specific, concrete, identifiable details.
hrj: (Default)
So the standard "not ready for some event/trip" dream involves a plane flight where I'm not packed, I'm not at the airport on time, I don't have my ticket (or passport) or some combination of these. In tonight's dream the trip involved me, [livejournal.com profile] cryptocosm, and some German guy flying to Germany for some award/ceremony (having something to do with Apple computers, but I don't recall the details). When I arrived at the airport, I was so excited about the trip that I forgot to get my suitcase out of the trunk of the car and didn't notice till later. But we were very early for the flight so we were hanging out in a restaurant or something for a while until it was time to go to the gate.

Then two things happened, and the chronology is confused in my memory at this point. One was that I realized that I'd left my suitcase in the car and ran back to get it. But I couldn't remember which parking lot it was in and the first one I searched had this weird one-way architecture so that I kept going up levels and couldn't go back, until I ended up at the top of a hill, when I could find a path of steps descending the hill through a park-like area. At that point I think I figured I just needed to get to the flight and we back to join my brother and the German guy.

Then the second thing that happened was that I paused a moment to find my ticket and then turned towards the gate I thought we were going to (we were in my standard dream-airport where I always go to a particular gate) and then realized that I'd lost the other two travelers and they knew the right gate but I didn't. And I knew that If I looked at my ticket I could find the gate listing and someone could tell me where it was. But as usual in a dream I was having vision problems and couldn't make out what it said.

But then somehow I found the right gate, and it turned out that I was carrying my backpack which had my laptop and a bunch of other important stuff in it, so all I was missing without the suitcase was clothes. And I said I could just buy more clothes. And then I woke up.

This is an unusually "in control" ending for one of my not-ready-for something" dreams. The mapping is quite transparent.
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So the dream was all about going out kayaking with this other person. But really, the dream was about safety. First we had to agree what route we were taking, since it was important to use the buddy system and we had to keep together but (in the dream) I was a much better kayaker than the other person was, so there was a lot of negotiation and frustration. But safety first! Then there was the digression for slathering SPF 500 sunscreen all over, because it was bright and sunny and ... safety first! And then there was the bit where we had to avoid getting electrocuted by power lines ....

But whatever else happened, we were safe!
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Had a very extensive (that is, I remember a lot) dream that spanned several waking episodes. No clearly meaningful elements but a lot of enjoyable meandering action. It was set in an old downtown -- more European in feel than American although that wasn't a specific element of the action. Several rather 19th c. gothicky-feeling buildings, filled with random antique objects and a lot of really nice old books. There was an elderly woman who was some sort of mentor to me and who, at the end of the dream (and there was a clear concluding end with a home-coming sequence of sorts) had developed a romantic relationship with another woman. In the middle there was a much more modern-feeling sequence with some sort of complex piece of laboratory/production equipment that I was interacting with. And there was this odd (and possibly symbolic) episode where I had to get all my laundry done before I could pack up and go somewhere but every time I thought I was finished things had gotten dirty again. But overall it was about wandering around and exploring in these old buildings with interesting and valuable (to me) objects in them leaving me with a pleasant happy feeling.

I only wish it had left me with a more rested feeling.
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I dreamed of my mother last night -- or rather, I dreamed that she dreamed of me. The way the story revealed itself was somewhat confused, but here's how I understood it as a whole.

I found myself in a slight variant of the house I grew up in. It was the middle of the night and I heard my mother calling out for various family members. I got up and found her wandering down the corridor. She was in the confused and frail state of my next-to-last visit. I took her back to bed and she kept asking me to explain what was going on. I tried to explain to her that, in my reality, she was dead, and therefore she must be dreaming this. But the explanation didn't take hold and I kept having to repeat it.

The seasons had moved on, it was spring and the flowers were blooming. And I thought, if death meant continuing on in a dreamland, weren't you supposed to revert back to your prime, rather than being stuck in an eternity at the end of life? It didn't seem fair.

So I forced myself to wake up (out of the dream within a dream, so I was still in the first-layer dream) and there was something confused about moving or preparing for a camping trip and the last thing I recall before my alarm went off was admiring someone else's racing bicycle that had an incredibly light frame (made out of some sort of fiberglass or plastic) such that you could toss it up in the air with one hand. And I was deciding that I had to get a bike like that.
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So you know that genre of dreams where you're doing something ordinary and everyday and you suddenly realize to your horror and embarrassment that you're stark naked? I didn't have that one. I had a dream where I was doing something ordinary and everyday and suddenly realized to my horror and embarrassment that I was wearing clothing. At this point you need to remember that my job involves entering clean-room environments where I'm supposed to be wearing scrubs covered by sterile coveralls. Yup, in my dream, there I was in a clean production area wearing street clothes. Horrified and embarrassed. And wondering how long it was going to take for someone else to notice. Context is everything.
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So it started as a standard travel anxiety dream (although I have no impending trips in the near future). I'm at work; I have a flight somewhere in about four hours; I'm thinking, 'Ok, an hour to tidy things up here, an hour to go home and get my bags and get to the airport, leaving me with a couple hours for security delays and whatnot -- I'm right on schedule.' And, of course, now the standard anxiety dream events kick in with folks at work delaying me, paperwork not being ready, and so forth, but I still make it out to the parking lot well on schedule.

Then as I'm pulling out (and, by the way, my beautiful green Element has firmly ensconced itself in my dream-landscape at the default vehicle)there's a thud and scrape. I look over to my right, and I've slammed into the side of the car next to me. I'm thinking, 'What the heck? I had plenty of space.' Then I look to my left and the ground has opened up revealing the reason for my erratic driving. It seems that at some point, someone had left a backhoe in a pit in the parking lot and just filled in dirt over it, but now the dirt has settled leaving deep holes around the now-revealed backhoe. And it was the seismic shift of this earth-movement that caused my car to ram into the other parked car. I hop out of the car and start taking pictures to use as evidence for the police and insurance company.

But I still need to get out of there and get home so I can get to the airport, only now the parking lot has transmogrified into the interior of a cathedral (and the backhoe is revealed to be sitting in the crypt below the nave) so I have to wait for services to be over before I can extract my car and leave. This is the point where everything goes fuzzy and I think I woke up. Originally there were a bunch of much more specific details about the delaying issues at work before the parking lot/crypt incident, but they slipped away while I was trying to hold onto the main plot thread.

No interpretation on this one: the lack of real-life travel plans to map it to makes it impossible to figure out the symbolic equivalence of a backhoe in a church crypt.
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I stayed up a little past my bedtime last night to finish the last chapter of Jo Walton's Farthing, an alternate-history mystery set in a post-WWII Britain in a time-line where the US had stayed isolationist, Hitler ruled the continent, and the UK had made peace with Nazi Germany. I guess the story hit me a little hard because my dreams took me into that setting (at least vaguely) and I found myself having to pack secretly to leave the country and become a refugee because I was about to become the target of politically-motivated violence. But I had to conceal my plans from everyone around me -- they had to think everything was going along normally. The worst part of the dream was that I couldn't take my cat and couldn't leave her behind either, so part of the preparations involved putting her down. But then there was a delay in my leaving and I had to find some way to conceal the body (or mis-direct people about how she died), all the while being terrified that "they" were going to come get me before I could get away.

Definitely not one of my "stock themes" dreams. But clearly set in motion by the novel, so I'm not too worried about it having deeper meanings (other than me still being a bit tense and depressed).

ETA: I should mention that I found the book very well written: engaging protagonists, well-crafted mystery, good use of atmosphere. Just a really really creepy setting.

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