Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A dream inspired by South Pacific... maybe

Actually, I debated whether to share this dream because it's not like it offered any great insights into life although it certainly did illustrate a couple of life problems. Still since dreams are one of my interests, since this dream was very vivid and did have a 'story' to it, I decided I would relate it. Who knows someone else might interpret it better than I have.

In the dream, the female character was going through a divorce. She was trying to work out her settlement. She had evidently married a very wealthy man or they had built up a lot of money together as the settlement was substantial. If there had been anger or disappointment in the marriage ending, it was over. This was mainly about the logistics of establishing a new life and begins as she realizes how much money she will have. The figure $13 million sticks in my mind. She was about 60 and there was no sign of the ex in the dream. Perhaps he had moved on to someone else and she didn't care. At the point of the dream, it was just a relationship that had come to an end and now they had to work out the financial aspects.

I think she was me but not the me I am today, not living the life I am, none of the people I actually know in it, nor where I live. It just felt like I was inside her as these events unfolded. I will refer to her as her because in a dream it isn't always really us even when it appears to be if the life events aren't the same.

One of the dominant elements in Glenn Close's South Pacific was that she had been drawn to come to where she was. It became obvious from the moment she met de Becque (a meeting that the 2001 version showed) what that reason was. Possibly inspired by having just seen that, my dream involved soul mate love also but with a problem that went even beyond racism for being a barrier.

When my lead character had realized who her soul mate was (she knew from before the dream began), she also knew he was one of two young men who were friends with each other and with her. He was about 20. The boy didn't know who she was to him but he was drawn to her and wanted to spend time with her. She saw the complexity of that, as although she was still very attractive at 60, she knew that wasn't going to last. Forty years is too much of a gap for anything more than an affair and where would an affair leave either of them?

Part of her new life required selling the home where she had been living. She was running into a problem there also as the local zoning would not permit the person to buy the house who wanted it. The problem was the city designated that certain neighborhoods would remain small for workers who could not afford bigger places. This was such a  neighborhood which meant her sale fell through. This was not about racism but more an ordered society where each group must remain in their place. She was angry about it but not much she could do.

She and the young man went for a walk together, down past a beautiful park with a lake as she thought about who he was to her and knew she'd never tell him. A lot of other things happened that don't matter as they walked downtown

Then came what did matter as she saw poverty such as she had never seen. There were people living in cars. On a rooftop were cars that served as homes. One was a van where a family lived. This was a hot climate and to live in such a place, and she could just imagine how awful it must be.

The difference between these peoples lives and hers hit her hard as she realized she would come into this large amount of money but could she enjoy it knowing how some had to live? If she gave away her whole settlement, she couldn't make a dent in their poverty. In some ways she wished she had never known this existed but there was no going back from the knowledge. Or was there?  Could she just turn off that knowledge and enjoy herself? Could she give away a small part of it and enjoy her life? What would really change this kind of poverty?

Although I think the elements of 2001's South Pacific had to be behind the vividness of the dream, I also think that it was coming out of the political problems we talk about today. Also in the dream, the woman was in a time of transition as am I as I head into old age.

For her, all that she looked at was either impossible or wouldn't really help her to make her future life better. There was a soul mate love that could never be. There was a lot of money which might buy comfort but not happiness especially if she started comparing herself to others less fortunate. Nellie Forbush was able to have her soul mate once she overcame her prejudices but sometimes such love is not meant to be and certainly for the woman in my dream, this was one of those times

The dream was about extreme poverty more than racism as the people suffering so much were all faceless in my dream. They represented something more than were characters.

Sometimes I can see how a dream applies to my life. Sometimes I cannot remember even vivid ones. This one made me think about the problem of poverty and how the solutions many wish might take care of this or that really don't. We have certainly seen that in our country. How do we fix something that big? What can one person really do? Good jobs mean far more than hand-outs, how do we get those jobs especially when, for cheaper goods, we are shipping so many jobs overseas?

The dream ended without any magical solution to any of it which is often how life is (and how 2001's South Pacific left one of its characters.) A dream that strong always seems like it should have a message for my personal life, but I don't know if this one did. I do think that the problem of poverty is one that worries a lot of people for finding solutions that work rather than just plugging a temporary gap with a bigger one to open next.


Darlene said...

I can't remember whether it was Jung or Adler that said we put the story in our dreams and dreams are the way we are trying to work out our problems or resolve an issue. (I am using my own words because it has been 40 years since I took that psychology course.) Since we put the information into our dreams only we can interpret them.

Keeping a dream journal helps because if something needs resolving in your life the theme will be recurring in dreams. It may be an entirely different dream or a similar one, but the underlying message will become obvious if you keep studying it. Write down the dream as soon as you waken. If you can't remember the dream, write how you are feeling the second you open your eyes. Sad? Happy? etc.

The story in the dream is not to be taken literally. It is an expression of your feelings. The illustration given at the time was about a woman who kept dreaming that she was at the bottom of a pond and was surrounded by old rusty license plates and other trash. The message she finally became aware of after keeping her journal was that she felt used by her family and was tired of them making so many demands on her. Her resentment was being suppressed in her waking hours but came forth as she slept.

Kay Dennison said...

I wish I could remember my dreams. Sometimes I do but mostly I don't. Right now I could use a good dream to sort out my feelings with some of the things in my life.

I envy you.

Rain said...

I don't know how much dreams help sort out feelings but one of the things I recommend, and it's helped me, is when you first wake, before you open your eyes, think about what is in your mind. Sometimes our subconscious can tell us something right then that later our mind noise blocks out.