I've deleted and then reinstated this post three times, on the grounds first that other people's dreams are not usually terribly interesting, and then, well, isn't it amazing how the subconscious suddenly appears to step in and say, 'right, come along, let's stop this nonsense, get a grip, what?' as if it were independent of the waking self. Anyway, see what you think.
The so-called festive season has frequently seemed to me to be anything but, not because of anything other people do, but because it's often around now that I get one of my approximately biannual mental arse-holings from one part of my brain against another. In the past these have taken the form of agonies of guilt over things said or unsaid, thought or not thought, done or not done, and I'd be the flagellant at the party and the rue in the Bristol Cream, even if nobody else knew about it. Lately the old depression mill seems to have let up on the guilt trips, and it does anxiety instead. I spent most of the past week struggling to suppress the - what? realisation? insight? - that everyone around me was as vulnerable as a soap bubble, and death could strike any one of us at any time. This is hardly an original thought, yet it seemed to me last week a grim truth newly stumbled on, something only I could see. Which all goes to show how these visiting demons skew the understanding and need to be ignored.
The subconscious did me a favour last night. I'd been lying awake worrying about growing old - as if worrying might prevent that happening, for Christ's sake. Then I dreamed I was standing in a dimly-lit room in front of a tall mirror, slightly above and angled toward me. My reflection in it was huge and hideous. I moved this way and that, trying to find a more flattering angle, but each image was more repulsive than the last. I wrote it up in my dream diary this morning, and thought about an interpretation. 'This is easy for once. I'm below the image, which is hideous and magnified, i.e., greatly exaggerated. I'm dominated by my own monstrous projections.' So 'bloody well cut it out' is the message. The dream ended the gloom, and waking up from it was, well, really waking up.
Happy New Year.
Odd dream from September. In a bright, modern building where I sometimes teach, I'm playing with a toy cemetery. There are little wooden graves with little wooden head stones, and little wooden coffins that fit in them. There are corpses that are like the little black stick-figures that designate male and female toilets, and these click neatly into the coffins. It's making light of death, it seems to me, reducing its trappings, which normally I find so repellent, to snappy little toys that are as pleasing to handle as wooden dominoes or Cuisenaire rods. WTF?