Tuesday, 1 January 2013

'Tis the Season to be Sorry



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?

11 comments:

maria verivaki said...

i remember feelings like this when i was living alone - i put it down to cabin fever, becos i usually took the rest of my annual leave from work, which meant many days of not doing much during cold weather when i didn't leave the house (but i dont recall dreaming of cemeteries)

χρόνια πολλά, ελπίζω να έρθει κάτι στα χέρια σου που σύντομα που θα σε κάνει να θέλεις κάθε μέρα να σηκώνεσαι το πρωί και να περιμένεις την επόμενη μέρα με χαρά - ίσως να σε περιμένει στο γραμματοκιβώτιό σου...

Nik_TheGreek said...

Happy New Year. All the best for a wonderful 2013!
I don't know about the toy cemetery though. It seems a bit weird. Have you googled it? :-p

Vilges Suola said...

@Maria: Thank you! And all the best for the new year to you and the family too.

@ Nik: Happy New Year! Yes, I did google 'toy cemetery' for an image, but Leggo cemeteries would not catch on... ('Oh, darlings, you're doing granny's funeral, that's so sweet!') and dream images are too individual to be susceptible to a generic interpretation. So I'm stumped on that one for the time being.

maria verivaki said...

entry for cemetery on Ονειροκρίτης του Αρτεμίδωρος - Big unexpected joy awaits you if you dream that you find yourself in a cemetery, or success in your matters if you see it far away. But if the cemetery is old or deserted, probably damages await you. If you see someone from far away coming towards it and holding yellow flowers, then he is surely going to die. If you are in a turkish or jewish cemetery, you will find out sad news about your beloved person. (dont ask me how artemidorus knew how turks felt...)

Vilges Suola said...

I'll go for the unexpected joy, especially since I was playing with the graves.

Diarmuid said...

Not a comment upon recent scribblings, more of a comment to let you know how glad I am that your insanabile scribendi cacoethes continues to taunt you. I very much look forward to reading your posts over the next year.

Vilges Suola said...

Thank you for the comment - I hope it continues too, although I don't seem to have a lot to say lately.

Candy said...

Hullo VS - I missed your postings while in the colonies; damned dodgy connections and all that. (They're not like us,you know, not bothered by intermittent service - pffft)Interesting that you keep a dream diary. Me too, but to what end, I know not. Quite like cemeteries and gravestones though. I imagine it is because a whole story gets told in very few words. Looking forward to 2013's posts from you!

Vilges Suola said...

Hi,welcome back! I did sometimes wonder why I bother with the dream diary, until just this week when an interpretation of a weird dream from a year ago suddenly hit me and seemed blindingly obvious. Have you read 'Private Myths' by Anthony Stevens? For those of us nowhere near (or unable to afford) a Jungian analyst, it's the next best thing.

Candy said...

Thank you for the welcome back - feelng vaguely unsettled and alien. Will try the Anthony Stevens. Funnily enough, watching 'A Dangerous Method' as I type - about Jung and Freud. Still think Freud is a genius......he knew exactly......

Vilges Suola said...

I feel vaguely unsettled and alien all the time; I don't have to fly to South Africa and back.

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