Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Did yesterday’s haiku seem like it didn’t match the photo? I thought they both touched on transience really well -- the impermanent spring mist, the shifting spring light on the wall. That was the common link in my mind. (Just FYI!)

This has been a really busy week! But I’ve been enjoying the urgency, the need to tick off items on my figurative to-do list. I once joked to my mom that my life was nothing more than moving objects from one place to another -- mailing back the Netflix movie, taking out the trash, picking up the laundry -- and she laughed and said, “Well, that’s what life is!” Kind of boils it down to its practical core, eh?

I’ve been having dreams lately, too, which is interesting because I almost never dream. Or at least I don’t remember them. But for the last few nights, they’ve been hovering around my head as I wake up, so I’m at least aware of their presence even though I can’t capture their substance.

When I was in college, I went to a therapist for a while who had me write down my dreams. I’d then read them to her and we’d analyze them together. (She was an ancient Jungian, who always wore purple and chain-smoked as we talked.) Dreams can hold some underlying meanings, but these days I tend to think they’re mostly just misfiring neurons -- I suspect we impose much of the meaning on them after the fact. They can tell you in general ways about the issues percolating in your mind, but I’m skeptical of a lot of the deep metaphorical analysis.

So now, I don’t even try to hold on to them. I just let them vanish, like steam. Poof!

(Photo: Upper East Side, March 2008)


Anonymous said...

Love your description of your therapist. What a hoot!

Well, no wonder you don't remember your dreams! I love mine, though like you I figure they're doing their thing at night when I sleep and my conscious mind doesn't have to get so involved as I once thought it should.

Still I find them fascinating and mystical, and they do reflect the undercurrent of my mind-heart. Sometimes they're so vivid I believe they are asking me to examine them.

Dreams are part of the creative bounty of being human. Cool that you're dreaming, very very cool.

Anonymous said...

Dennis loves dreaming about those chickens that rotate on a spit. Or the vole that did not get away.

It seems impossible that Dennis could have neurons that misfire, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

My anxiety, when I am stressed, manifests itself as dreams in which my efforts to do something are frustrated. I dream of leaving for work, but being thwarted in my efforts to get there. I don't think dreams mean anything.

Anonymous said...

Daydreaming is nice.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to mom to boil life down to a delivery service! HA!

Anonymous said...

I totally want to meet your therapist - sounds like my kind of people!

Anonymous said...

this is so odd, I generally read shadows during the first half of the day, but today was crazy busy and my routine was to shits - tres weird

yes, I totally saw the transience connection with the haiku and the picture of yesterday's post. well done!!

I love dreaming ....I do tend to have cecil b demille productions w - however, unless I meditate on the dreams upon waking...proof.... transience

re moving things from one 'pile' to another.... agree with your wise mama... 'that's what life is' - am sure there's some law of thermodynamics that covers this fact....

on the mouse you mentioned making your pictures bigger....when I do it it's a two step I changed the html of the basic setting (we do use the same template, but I go with the dark on the mouse) and then tweak the html number after I upload the picture. if you don't tease it out yourself, let me know and I'll show you what I changed.

hope you had sweet dreams!

Anonymous said...

ha ha dennis
i love dreamtime. it's a whole other life for me. last night i dreamt i was dr who and i had to foil the plans of these giant robots. i realised i could fairly easily knock their heads off, and so wasn't at all frightened. i think i have met you in a dream before too
also having an ultra busy week!

Anonymous said...

what I meant to write:
on the mouse you mentioned making your pictures bigger....when I went to this larger picture format it was a two step process. the first thing I did was reduce the size of my margins - which is a permanent change - I went into the template setting and changed some numbers. the second step is something I do each time I post a picture, I tweak the size after I upload the picture - I change the 400 to 800.

if you are totally confused and/or can't tease this out yourself, let me know and I'll show you what I've changed when I see you!!!!

is this clear as mud? I should have been dreaming and not writing comments....

Anonymous said...

Kim: Thanks for the tips! I haven't totally committed to changing my own layout, but it's nice to know how it's done. :)

Anonymous said...

blogspot must have liked my comment and gobbled it up. To the best of my recollection, I wrote that some dreams strike me as the night time equivalent of the cleaning crew clearing out the trash, picking up laundry and so on. Who needs to know about it? gets done and that's that.
Other dreams weave their magic in the inner circuits and don't bother to percolate up to consciousness - no need, they act on us and we find ourselves taking an unexpected short cut somewhere and meeting a long lost friend, for example.
Others wake you up because they are so scary or beautiful or significant that you know this information is important.
Dreams hovering: I often have those. In my experience when that happens somebody or something is trying to tell me something.
Interesting times, Steve. As for that Jungian therapist, she should be in a book or a movie. Did she wear lots of ethnic silver jewels or sleek danish silver ones? :-)