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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Last Night's Dream; German Women, Counterfeit Money & Saving Animals in Peru

I was outside in a neighborhood with others. In the street near a tall building a bunch of German women were jumping preternaturally high in unison. They were all dressed alike & holding large, rectangular pieces of paper. The group I was with went inside. When I left soon after the women were gone. Out in the street I found an unusually large $100 bill. The back of it was printed newspaper. I realized that it was one of the papers the German women had. There were others in the street. I gathered them up & gave them to someone. Later I was with others on a train in Peru. The main man in our group had a bunch of animals in cages. We were all working to protect them. During one stop I took a large lizard (like a Komodo dragon, but smaller,) out for a walk on a leash. When we reached our destination, one of us got into a slightly rusted, orange, white & turquoise taxi. Our main man had purchased it to use toward our purpose of protecting the animals. Standing nearby with another person from our group, they commented on how neat it looked, kind of "old school." Later we went into a funeral home. A man called me over to a private table to speak to me. After that I went outside, where the taxi was parked in a grassy area. I took it & drove to a covered area with train tracks, where a couple of people (including an overweight man,) were waiting for me.

Peru came up most likely because I was web searching sites on Tiahuanaco last night.

The picture is from my old, main hiking place in Canada. The gravel path is leftover from previous train tracks & was a wonderful place to fossil-hunt. Since then, the entire path has been paved over, creating a formal hiking trail about 10 miles long.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Snow & Last Night's Dream; Cars & Indians

A man was restoring/rebuilding cars. Later someone needed to research the Sioux.

These things are definitely both from work (although Indians, albeit typically Punjabi, have been a recent dream theme.) I didn't remember much more than this, as I stayed up way too late watching "The China Syndrome," which was much different than I'd recalled, but still good. I've always been a Jack Lemmon fan.

I originally posted a home video of our backyard bird feeding stations here. Although it showed up & worked fine in preview mode, once published it just showed up as a red "X." Kudos to those of you who can do do this successfully.
In the meantime, instead, here are some pictures of my place in Canada during a break in the "Bald Eagle" lake effect snowstorm (with a huge, black, snow-filled cloud looming on the horizon behind me);


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Last Night's Dream; Flying Truck, Jail & Liquor Store

I was outside at night with my ex & another man. A cop came & busted me for something. They were very nice about it--it was just a minor formality, not a big deal. They didn't arrest me, but instead told me I had to report to jail for an overnight stay. I agreed, thinking it was going to be a woman-only jail, which certainly wouldn't be SO bad. I went inside to pack a small, rectangular bag of books to bring with me. We went back outside, where my ex said he'd go get the truck (so they could give me a ride.) As I waited in the street with the other man, we saw him coming down the street toward us, going fast. Before he reached us, the truck went airborne, flying over neighboring houses. Parts on the underside glowed bright orange. Soon a blue flame shot out from the rear tire. The guy with me said, "THAT can't be good." The truck suddenly plummeted to the ground, landing in a neighbor's driveway, within inches of their truck. We rushed over to find that no damage had been done to people or property. My ex got out of the truck & left it there. Someone in a small car ended up giving me a ride by the jail. They went all the way around the building & ended up dropping me off as far from the entrance as possible. I walked back to the front & went in. I was surprised to find that the inmates were all unguarded, sitting on a large semi-circle of bleachers (like theater seating, but steeper, larger & outdoors.) There were a lot of people, many of them tremendously bored. I was glad I'd brought my books & realized that my stay was going to be a piece of cake. I found a seat about 1/4 of the way down from the top. Some people came while I read, but more left. Eventually someone came & told me I was free to go. I looked down the aisle, which was blocked part of the way down. I wasn't going to be able to go any other way, however. As I started down, the people in that area took their seats, clearing the aisle for my departure. Outside the jail I went to the area where I'd been dropped off, waiting to be picked up. It was close to a liquor store, where I stopped to buy myself an obscure & sweet liqueur. I let a couple of people outside taste it. They liked it & asked where the liquor store was. I said it was around the corner. Others coming through the area (walking, on bikes or driving,) also stopped for directions to the liquor store, which I gave them. The last guy was in a car & drove so fast I realized he almost passed it & in his sharp turn, he almost crashed into the building. Everything was okay, though.

Symbols here from other recent dreams; trucks (although not commercial type rigs, like the other day,) 2 men & jail/loose confinement.

In sympathy for my Northern visitors, the photo is of Niagara Falls in Winter. Always a magical spectacle & no crowds (as no one really enjoys being turned into a human popsicle that quickly. Just ask Han Solo.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Hike Deterred

Charles & I went to have a hike at the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve today. As I mentioned in my last post, we've had a lot of rain lately, so this is what we encountered...


We were able to reach the first stretch of boardwalk, at least, so we headed down that way, but then...


So we decided to stop & look at birds for a while. We saw yellow rumped warblers & bluebirds;


We also saw this enormous American bird grasshopper;


There's a lot of vertical lines in the pine woods, so this curvy little vine really stood out;


It was a good time, even if most of the main area was flooded out.

Last Night's Dream; Taking Charge & the Princess

A couple of evil men had kidnapped a bunch of people, including me. We were all being kept in a nuthouse. We had access to one another, but if we spoke with anyone else, the men would tell them to ignore our ravings, since we were crazy. No one seemed to want to take charge & do something about the situation, although everyone was concerned about it. I had a rig, but they'd taken it away & parked it in an alley. I'd finally had enough & managed to chase them out there. They got into my truck. The engine compartment was covered by some kind of outer shell that kept the engine from running. The men smirked at me, thinking there was nothing I could do. I climbed up onto the engine compartment & managed to release the cover over it. As their faces fell I smirked at them through the windshield. When all was said & done they ran off & I freed everyone from the nuthouse. Later I was in a talk show audience. The guest was a young blonde in a silvery-white dress. She was a Princess who had been friends with Princess Diana. Unfortunately she was also very ditzy & annoying. The more she spoke, the more upset I got. At one point she got up on the host's desk & did a sexy dance for him. I was disgusted by her behavior. He asked her how a Princess should act & she said they should giggle a lot, act like a baby & always make sure they looked good. It was all I could do to stay in my seat & bite my tongue.

Both parts of this dream are very much about empowerment/"girl power."

The picture is of 5 chipping sparrows in my backyard today. You can tell from the background that we've had a lot of rain lately.

Last Night's Dream; Building & Book

I was in a building (a library?) between 2 roads (with no sidewalks or yard space.) I was getting ready to leave with others when I realized I'd left all the blinds open. Afraid that people could look in, see things they wanted & subsequently break in, I went back inside to close the blinds. Then I got into the car with the others & as we left there was some concern about a missing book.

This dream is work related, not only in the missing book, but in that we have to close the blinds at our library every evening. It's also on a corner ("between 2 roads," in a way.)
(Update; As of late Feb., we discovered that someone'd stolen some juvenile DVDs from our library.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crow Mothers Kitten

A friend e-mailed this to me & it's just too wonderful not to share. If you haven't seen it, you simply must. Enjoy.

Some of This Morning's Birds

The hawk was back again this morning (heard but not seen,) so "the kids" (as we call them,) waited until he vacated the area (at the urging of a couple of blue jays.) As usual, click on the pictures for larger views.

The blue jays have been shy lately, so one of them took off on me before I could take the picture.


The white-throated sparrow here (with the yellow spots on his head,) tends to be very shy. I was delighted to catch him here with so many other birds, particularly the dark-eyed junco, who's a relatively recent visitor.


It appears that half of our "usual" cardinals have moved on, but we still get up to 10 at a time. Note the goldfinch on the stump.


I like the way one of the cardinals is looking at the mourning dove. I'm sure he's thinking it's too crowded, already.


On their way in, many of the cardinals stop in our little magnolia tree for a look over the area. I'm enamored with the image & ended up painting it.

Unfortunately the raccoons once again bent my sunflower feeder out of shape last night & helped themselves to its contents (although it's still up this time.) A baffle is on its way, thanks to the help of the Zen Birdfeeder.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Astronomically speaking...

Tonight; Saturn in conjunction with the Moon.
Jan. 28; Mercury stationary.
Jan. 30; 3/4 (or "last quarter") Moon. Mars stationary.
Feb. 1; Venus in conjunction with Jupiter.
Feb. 4; Venus and Jupiter in conjunction with the Moon.
Feb. 6; New Moon.

Last Night's Dream; Birding

I was going to different places in a new area, bird watching. Every so often I'd get together with a couple of acquaintances to report on what I saw. I was very excited & happy about my sightings.

This dream was probably inspired by recent comments here about dreaming about bird watching. I wish I'd remembered what birds I saw--I believe a hawk was one (due to the actual sighting the other day)--but it's been a long, tiring week & I needed my sleep again.

With that, I'm finally caught up on posting recent dreams here. *whew* Sorry for the delay!

Thursday Night's Dream; ARM, the Headdress & Police

I was at a meeting, sitting at a conference table with business people. I refinanced our house to make lower payments. At the end of the meeting the woman casually mentioned my new, adjustable rate mortgage, at which point I freaked & said that wasn't any good & I wouldn't accept it. Later Charles & I were at a museum & decided to "liberate" a Native American chief's headdress. It was a cow skull with a tuft of hair sticking out the top. A large group of others in the museum supported us, creating a distraction as we took it down from the wall. I put it on my head to wear it out. I was also wearing a Native American style outfit with a bikini style top. Due to the unusualness of my outfit, I figured someone along the way would question us, but no one ever did. We got into the elevator to descend to the ground floor & leave. Once the doors closed & the car started to move, however, it seemed to be hanging from a single cable, twisting & turning erratically. It made me terribly nervous. Because it didn't line up correctly, the doors wouldn't open when we reached the ground floor. Charles opened the operating panel &, using the "slow" button, brought us back up & down, moving the car into correct position so that we could get out. Charles drove us home. A cop pulled in behind us in our driveway, which was a short walk from our house. The house was huge & fancy, up on a small hill. Charles stayed to deal with the cop as I continued on to the house (still wearing the headdress & my unusual outfit.) Walking up the hill to the house, a couple of Native Americans stopped me, gave me a Christian t-shirt & left. Right outside my front door, I was stopped by another cop with a thick, English accent. I cooperated with him & told him I hadn't had a car accident or moving violation in 19 years. He & I went inside, where I discovered A.F., who had made a mess of our place. I freaked on her, bringing up the time she had a party at my house in Ft. Erie. At least this time she was alone & nothing was broken or stolen. The English cop turned his attention to my unwanted house guest. No one ever seemed to suspect either Charles or I in the theft of the headdress.

I freaked out twice in this dream, once at the ARM & once at A.F. (who actually did have a party at my house in Ft. Erie years ago when she was supposed to be house sitting for my ex & I. We ended up having to cut our vacation short because of it & when we ret'd home, I eventually found things broken & missing, including a case of beer bottles that'd been smashed in the street near our house. Needless to say, we were terribly disappointed.)
When we were 5 & on a family vacation, my brother & I ended up stuck in an elevator at Walt Disney World's Contemporary Resort. At the time I believed that meant that the elevator was going to plummet at any moment, killing us both. As a result, I totally freaked out & started screaming & kicking the door with all of my might. In actuality, however, the elevator had merely stopped between floors & we were easily rescued. Regardless, I was horribly traumatized & refused to use an elevator after that for at least a year or two.
The cow skull was also a real part of my life. When I was 16 or 17, I painted the cover of The Eagles' "One of These Nights" (pictured above,) on a jacket for a young man. It was arduous work, but it paid well & came out looking great. Years later my mother found a cow skull on her property & gave it to me. I cleaned it & hung it on my living room wall, but for some reason it made me uncomfortable, so I eventually gave it to someone else. In retrospect I wish I would've kept it.
My telling the cop that I haven't had an accident or ticket in 19 years is incorrect. It's been 20 years now. My manager at work has an English accent, although it's not nearly as thick as the cop's was.

Wednesday Night's Dream

I was outside, walking with Charles. We came upon some kind of ride with double tracks painted black. I thought it was a roller coaster, so we decided to take a ride. It turned out to be a very tame ride which would carry two people to a different area, where one got to pretend to shoot the other with a rifle at close range. Later I sat on the ground, opened some used rolling papers & calmly set them on fire. A group of young people were nearby & made some stupid joke about me. It didn't bother me--I just thought they were pathetic. Soon I got up to go to someone's apartment. The young people were trying to intimidate that person, primarily by leaving signs that they'd been there; ivy painted on a wall, newspapers stuffed down in a crevasse between furniture and the wall. I wasn't intimidated & started removing the newspaper.

The intimidation towards the end (& perhaps even the close range shooting earlier,) was inspired by an article I read about the "stop snitching" culture before bed.

Note; I've added more info to yesterday's post (at the bottom,) now that I have some time to catch up (finally!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday Night's Dream

Sorry I haven't posted in the last couple of days--been busy with mundania. I hope to catch up after work today.

I was going to a talk or lecture. Trying to decide whether to bring a regular notebook or my graph paper book, I asked someone what they thought. Later I was walking down a path outside. The farther down the path a person went, the more potentially spiritual & painful it got. A spiritual teacher was sitting in a chair partway down the path, waiting to speak. Yet later I was at a (Punjab?) wedding with 2 computers to monitor, one being medical. John DeLancie was on the medical one. Soon time was up for both computers. I went up to seek volunteers for the next bit of time. I tried putting John DeLancie's name in the computer, but I couldn't remember it, so I put "Q" instead. No one was volunteering to take a turn, so I said I'd take the medical one; "It can't be hard to tell people 'you’ll be okay,' after all." Instead of laughs, the comment was received with complete silence.

We're back to the recent wedding theme with this one (see below.)

Woke this morning to 2 crows making a heck of a racket over a red-shouldered hawk in my backyard.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Further notes (now that I have some time);

Not only are we back to the wedding theme here, but again Punjabi people are probably involved.
The famous people in my recent dreams were all men with last names of 3 syllables each. 2 out of the 3 were John. Although I sometimes suspected that John DeLancie is gay (like John Malkovich in my other dream,) he's married & has kids. In his role as the omnipotent "Q" on Star Trek, he can also be seen as a spiritual teacher (albeit an obnoxious one, yet again suggesting the painful aspect of spiritual advancement.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Painting & Last Night's Dream; Brushes with Fame

I was with a woman, who brought up the movie, "Being John Malkovich." I started joking about the actor being extremely homosexual (not that there's anything wrong with that,) at which point she mentioned that he was standing behind me. Later I rode a scooter into an automotive shop to get gas (the pumps were inside.) Barry Manilow was there in a convertible. Someone told me that he was my biological uncle & after speaking briefly with him, he left. I was thrilled to have found a biological relative. Uncle Bud was driving a convertible there, too, with Aunt Fran & 2 other family members as passengers. He pulled up to the gas pump. Although I saw all of them, we didn't speak. I had a little spat with another woman there & got on my scooter to leave, but it was wedged between the front of my Uncle's convertible & the wall near the door. Eventually I was able to get out.

I actually did have mopeds & scooters in the past, most recently (in the late 90's,) the exact model pictured here. It was a great little bike & although I got teased a lot about it, everyone wanted to take it for a spin, too.
Out of my numerous Aunts & Uncles, only my Aunt Fran is still alive. Although I didn't speak with any of my adoptive relatives, there was no ill will there, no anger. We just didn't have much to say. The idea of a biological uncle crept into this dream as I was recently thinking about my own biological background, which I know nothing about & sometimes wish I did.
Note; I know nothing in actuality about John Malkovich's sexuality, nor do I care. This was just a dream, so don't go running around saying "John Malkovich is gay!"

The painting is a different take on my yellow abstract. I'm also currently working on a repaint of "Birds of Rhiannon," which I sold last November. Just trying to keep painting while I await the next new inspiration. (Update; this painting sold, Feb. 2008.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Reflections on Dream Interpretation, Part II

In this section I wanted to share some general guidelines you can apply toward interpreting your own dreams (see disclaimer in Part I);

1. Break it down. Rather than considering the dream as a whole, split it up into separate parts. Here are some examples of how to do this. All of them are effective in their own way & can also be combined with the other techniques;
~ An easy way to begin is to read through a dream from start to finish, taking note of each individual symbol, action, etc. as you go.
~ Look at the dream in a linear fashion; what happens at the beginning, middle & end?
~ Separate dream elements into different parts of speech; nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. These parts of speech lend themselves easily to further division (i.e.; Nouns--Settings, people, animals, etc.)

2. Consider both the literal & figurative aspects of dream symbols. Try some free association. Really push yourself to think outside the box on this one. "Going to the gym" may indicate a workout, but it can also imply visiting your friend, Jim. A friend once relayed a dream to me in which a dog wouldn't leave her alone, regardless of her efforts. To me it seemed clear that something was "hounding" her. In one of my dreams there were horses in my old neighborhood. These two disparate symbols were connected, though; one sound horses make is a "neigh." The connection was further confirmed when I realized that the horses also happened to be on "Canter"bury Road. In a similar vein, look at words broken down into their component parts. "Popeye" is not just a sailor man or a great place to get fried chicken. It's also "pop" and "eye" (or "I.") Consider, too, that rhyming words may also be connected. In one of my dreams, a ball and a wall both turned out to be obstacles to my goal.

3. Consider dream symbols from different eras of your life, not just where you are now. I sometimes dream of fairs or markets, both of which were prominent during my teen years, so I look at those dreams from that angle; where was I (psychologically or developmentally,) as a person then? What's this dream trying to tell me about that time of my life & how it affected me?

4. As mentioned previously, one theory of dream interpretation suggests that everything in your dream represents a part of your Self. Look at each symbol through that lens--what part of me could this building (etc.,) symbolize? What condition is it in? What does the dream tell me about it?

5. Unusual size may represent importance or prominence in your life, a "big deal" or not. Something that's unnaturally large may be something you need to pay more attention to than something that's unnaturally small. An unusually small thing could also point toward your needing more of it in your life than you currently have.

6. Generalize to see the bigger picture. Don't get caught up in minutiae. You can spend a lot of time & energy (for example,) trying to determine specifically what the wall in your dream symbolizes (how high was it, what color was it, what was it made of, etc., etc.,) or you can consider that a wall is ultimately an obstacle or barrier. That's not to say the wall can't be further examined, but it may help to look at the bigger picture for starters.

7. Look for related or repeated themes, not just through series of dreams, but in individual dreams, themselves. I find that I often dream of "two" or "a couple" of something, or that I'll have to do something twice. Give such things further consideration. There's probably a reason why your subconscious keeps bringing them up.

8. Handwrite to more fully engage the brain. Here's an exercise you can try (with a single dream);
A. Write down the dream's symbols in capital letters (so they'll stand out,) on a piece of paper. Be free with your writing--put the words all over the place, tilted in all different directions--don't write in list form.
B. Draw a circle around each word. Leave room for more writing inside of the circle.
C. Consider each symbol separately (using the previous examples) & write down or draw associated words/ideas inside the applicable circles.
D. Look for similarities between symbols, words & ideas & draw lines between the related circles.
Not only does the act of writing &/or sketching engage the brain like no keyboard ever will, but this method is often helpful in discovering less than obvious connections between dream symbols. You can take this exercise further by coloring all circles containing verbs one color, all circles with peoples' names another, etc. You can also use different colored lines between circles to indicate different correlations. Be as creative as you’d like. Remember; there's no right or wrong here.

9. Start your OWN dream dictionary, maintain it & use it. As previously mentioned, no one knows you like you do. Feel free to add new information to old entries over time, but try to avoid erasing previously recorded information. Those old words may trigger new ideas, after all.

10. Stick with it & don’t get discouraged. Remember that not every dream is going to contain some mind-blowing element of self discovery. Dream interpretation is largely about thinking "outside the box." As such, it's an exercise in stretching one's mind, in creating new neural pathways. These things don’t just happen overnight. As with many other things in life, perseverance pays off & practice makes perfect.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another Quiz & Last Night's Dream; Visiting a Criminal

You Should Be a Painter

You have the vision, patience and skill to bring your unique visions to canvas. And you're even tempered enough not to cut your ear off in the process!

What Sort of Artist Should You Be?


This one seems to have jived with my reality (although I'm not sure about the patience.) Evidently it's not limited to traditional visual arts, either. Results include an author, an actor, etc., so feel free to give it a whirl & share your outcome!
Speaking of which, I finished yet another version of my yellow abstract last night (to the right.) It was the first thing I painted when I was getting back into art a while back & for some reason it seems fairly popular.

Last night's dream; I was with a woman, going to visit a man who was soon going to jail. We had to drive through a busy market area. In one area, Middle-Easterners were putting on a presentation relating to their culture. Our having to drive through interrupted them & I felt badly about that. Eventually we parked & continued on foot. We met up with the man, who was young, tall, skinny & worked at one of the market stalls. Other friends of his were also there. There were no customers, so we were free to visit with him, uninterrupted. After a while the woman I was with went somewhere else. I was getting ready to leave, but told everyone I'd be right back. The man reminded me that I'd have to drive through the market to reach him again, which reminded me of the Middle-Easterners' performance. I'd be damned if I was going to interrupt them again, so I decided to just stay a while longer. Soon the man turned into J.G., who was being jailed due to a car accident.

One thing that stands out here is that the woman & I interrupted the Middle-Easterners, but we were able to visit with the man uninterrupted. The man probably morphed into J.G. toward the end because I overheard a conversation yesterday that involved a previous stay J.G.'d had in jail.

Reflections on Dream Interpretation, Pt. I

Although we do know some things about the physical science of dreaming itself, dream interpretation largely remains a mystery to modern science. As such, there are no "hard & fast rules," nothing that's particularly "right" or "wrong" in or about the process. This being the case, the ideas expressed here reflect my own thoughts & experiences with the process & may ultimately hold no merit, scientifically. As such, feel free to consider or disregard this entire piece. (End disclaimer.)
I've found that many people (perhaps lacking faith or trust in their own abilities,) seek out the input of others for dream interpretation. Alternately they may rely on one of the many dream dictionaries available on the market today. The problem with this is that dream interpretation is a subjective activity, depending on the personality & experience of the interpreter. Considering this, I think it's safe to say that no one can interpret your dreams like you can. After all, no one knows you like you do.
That's not to say that outside input (be it a person, a book or a website,) has no place in dream interpretation, however. Sometimes we're too personally involved with something (what I sometimes refer to as "inside the box,") to see things clearly. Sometimes someone "outside the box" may have a wider, clearer view of the subject, or they may just have ideas that you haven't thought of. The discerning factor here is whether or not outside input "rings true" for you. If it doesn't, don't give it undue merit. Make a note of it, perhaps, but move on. Don't waste a lot of energy trying to make external input "fit." Trust & be honest with yourself.
There are many theories on dream interpretation, of course. Freud largely considered them wish-fulfillment messages. Although this may be the case with some dreams, I find this happens very rarely at best. Freud (who was not the "Father of Psychology," as commonly believed,) ultimately seems to have been off the mark on a wide variety of things, so I always take him with a serious grain of salt.
Another theory suggests that everything in a dream represents the dreamer in one way or another, even other people. Although I didn't give this theory much merit years ago, I've since come around to it. After all, since dreams arise from our own neural firings, they're inherently full of imagery & themes straight from our own brains, which got there through our own experiences, ideas & thoughts. As a result, my mother (who was very critical of me,) may represent the critical aspects of my Self. I still don't give this theory 100% merit, however. I merely use it as another tool, another way of looking at things. Mom sometimes does represent mom, after all.
Personally I think Carl Jung opened new doors on dream interpretation with his theories on archetypes of the collective unconscious. There are themes in peoples' lives & brains that do seem to span all humanity, as evidenced by the fact that virtually all early cultures have catastrophic flood myths. Archetypes help me identify themes spanning a series of dreams. For example, I may dream of a teacher one night, a Punjabi man the next & a priest the next, but ultimately they are all potentially represented by the archetype of the wise, old man. In this way archetypes often help me clear out the clutter & get to the heart of the matter.
This brings me to a related matter; that dream interpretation is usually more easily accomplished when I'm looking over a series of dreams, rather than just one. Symbolism in a single dream may be a fluke (of sorts,) but when similar things come up in 6 dreams out of 10 (for example,) there's a clear thread to follow & further investigate (for example, my recent dreams involving weddings vs. one about peoples' refrigerators.) Although I may not have many recurring dreams, I do often have recurring themes. In a sense, my subconscious is presenting the same material in different forms, I'm looking at the same thing from different angles. I would never notice these trends if I looked at one dream at a time.
Some dreams are very clearly influenced by the day's events. These are typically easy to spot. For example, if I watch "King Kong" & then dream of a giant gorilla, it's safe to say the movie has bled into my dream. I don't spend much time on these unless they relate to other dreams around the same time in some way, or if they relate to more intriguing symbolisms in the dreams in which they appear. Mundania is often just mundania, even in dreams.
Some dreams truly seem to be precognitions of real life events, in which case interpretation isn't really required. The problem with that is that the precognitive nature of such dreams isn't realized until later (in my case typically within 3 days or so.) I may write more about precognitive dreams in the future (pardon the pun,) but that's enough so far as they relate to this topic.

Part II coming soon...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ducks & Last Night's Dream; Refrigerators

I was with a woman inside. She'd been given a task regarding contacting people about their refrigerators. I decided I'd try to help her out. We called various people. I got a wrong number at one point. People weren't being very cooperative, so we discussed & tried various tactics. In one instance the woman would ask the owner if their refrigerator had gotten moldy. We'd both thought that was a good idea. A man in charge came by while she was doing it & berated her, saying, "Refrigerators get moldy for other reasons too, you know." Although we'd been proud of ourselves, his comment really burst our bubble.

People "in charge" (or other authority figures,) in my dreams probably indicate a lack of control over aspects of my life or Self. Technically the man here wasn't my boss, but the woman was most likely a part of my Self, anyway. What part she represents I can't say yet, but we were clearly having communication problems (as symbolized by the phones.)

The picture is of some ducks in Toronto taken some years ago. I like the light & contrast in this one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Feeder & Last Night's Dream; Cheating & Dream Group

I was with someone else who'd found a way to cheat or steal from a room upstairs in a building. Eventually we were noticed, however, so we had to stop before we got in trouble. Later I was invited to join a weekly dream discussion group. According to the driving directions it was 14 miles away. Although I was interested in joining, 28 miles was a little too far to go. Considering that I lived near a small park, I thought that maybe I could start my own meeting in that area.

Considering how far out in the country we live, it's typically a 10 mile drive to get anywhere from here, so 14 miles wouldn't actually be "too far" in real life. I had thought about starting some kind of dream discussion group in the past, but (as previously mentioned,) most Southern Louisianians are notably flighty at best, so I'm not going to bother.

The picture is from this past October. The nocturnal critters here had destroyed every feeder I ever put up except this one, which has lasted about a year. Unfortunately I found it on the ground this morning, empty, the metal rings that maintain it's shape drastically bent. I've managed to straighten out the damage to a certain point, but I doubt it's going to keep the squirrels out anymore & now that the raccoons (presumably,) know how to get it down & open it up, I'm afraid it might be the end of an era for this feeder, too. This is particularly disappointing as so many of my little birds used this feeder first & foremost.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sunset Boardwalk & Last Night's Dream; Another Wedding & Pretzel

Charles & I ended up stranded among wealthy people. Fortunately we had some nice clothes to wear, so we blended in. We ran into B & J.C., who were getting remarried. They were delighted to see us & invited us to the ceremony. We were happy to accept. Later I went to a pretzel stand run by 2 women. While waiting I managed to get a pretzel. I wiped off much of the salt & started eating it. The man in front of me finished his transaction & left. A young woman came up & the cashier asked what she wanted. As I’d been standing there, waiting patiently, I got mad & started hollering at the cashier (around a mouthful of pretzel.) I realized how petty I was being. After all, I already had a pretzel, but I figured; what if I’d wanted another one? Don’t they want the money for the one I have, at least? Regardless, I didn’t apologize to the cashier or the young woman, instead maintaining my bad attitude about the situation.

Yet another wedding, but this time I had something to wear (& Charles was with me.)
B & J.C. are friends of mine in Southern California who lost everything in the wildfires. I sent them a care package a little while ago, but they remain in my thoughts. They've been married a very long time & are still very happy together. I'm glad to know of a couple who not only stand the test of time, but are still crazy about each other so far down the road.
The pretzel thing may actually stem from my childhood. Considering I'm only 4'11" tall now, I was very much a runt as a child. As a result, I was constantly overlooked & spent lots of time at counters, waiting for service that wouldn't come (until Dad came over & freaked out on someone.) These days it still really annoys me when people cut into lines, even if it doesn't effect me directly.

The picture is from yet another walk (the other day) at the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve. I love living so close to this place!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun Little Artist Quiz

Which Famous Artist Are You?
You are part Leonardo da Vinci. You are the "Renaissance man" and you live to be productive. Great at everything you put your mind to, you have great passion and drive. But of all qualities, your curiosity is your best trait.
You are part Ansel Adams. Your artistic tool of choice is the camera, but you've got lots of other skills as well. Spoiled when you were young, you grew up to be a loving person and you have a deep affinity for nature and all things black and white.

This was fun, although I can't vouch for the veracity of some of the traits listed above. Feel free to give this a shot & post your results to my comments. I'd love to see them!

Birds & Last Night's Dream; Hunted by Men

I was outside, being hunted by 2 men. I couldn't shake them & eventually one of them caught me. I escaped, however, & ran down a line of trees to a low part of ground. It served as good enough cover for a while--I couldn't be seen down the hill from where the man was. I crouched down low & ran along the low ground, perpendicular to the trees. I knew that if the man was following me, he'd soon see me. My eyes scanned the surroundings for more cover, another place to hide, but there was nothing but open, grassy fields. I was caught, again. It turned out that one of the men was my husband. The man that caught me, however, told me he loved me. I burst out crying, because I never knew that & I loved him, too. Later I was walking with him in a mall. Looking up to the 2nd level, I saw a small store a friend of mine had opened. I was glad she had & wished her well. Walking by again soon afterwards, however, I saw that it was now a second hand store. I was bummed that my friend had failed so quickly.

Again, this dream is symbolic & doesn't speak to my relationship with Charles (which is very happy & healthy.)
Both this & yesterday's dreams include an element of marriage. Although there was an essense of physical danger at the beginning of this dream (like yesterday's decapitation,) it turned out to be nothing. This is usually the case in my dreams--95% of the time I perceive some kind of danger or trouble, it amounts to nothing. Although this can easily reflect worrying too much in "real" life for no good reason, I don't tend to worry about much at all. I consider worry a waste of time & energy that solves nothing.

The top picture is from this morning. In addition to the "usual" cardinals, goldfinches, doves, sparrows, etc., I was fortunate enough to get this blue jay & red-winged blackbird in one shot. The blackbirds are a very recent (& still somewhat rare,) visitor. At the same time, I had about 50 robins hopping around the front yard looking for bugs.
The bottom picture is from this past weekend. It's a pine warbler, another rare visitor. I'd assumed it was one of the goldfinches, but once I downloaded the picture I was able to see I was wrong. I love when that happens.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Astronomically speaking...

Tomorrow; 1/4 moon.
Saturday night; Occultation of Mars by the Moon (the Moon will be blocking Mars from our view here on Earth.) From the sound of it, the occultation will occur around midnight (depending on where you are,) so in some cases, this may technically occur on Sunday.
Tuesday, Jan. 22nd; Full moon.

Swamp Trees & Last Night's Dream; Death & a Wedding

Police were investigating a woman's murder. She'd been decapitated & her head was missing. She turned out to be T.D.'s girlfriend & he was deeply hurt. I went to his place of business to comfort him & let him know I was there if he needed anything. We stood in a garage doorway. He was somewhat gladdened to see me again, to know I was there. Soon everyone left & Punjabi Indians came to hold a wedding. The bride wore bright yellow, which contrasted beautifully with her dark brown skin. She was the only one I could see--the rest of the group were outside the building. There was an extra dress hanging high up on a wall. I tried to shake it loose to put it on, but it wouldn't dislodge. The ceremony was very short & no one seemed to mind that I wasn't dressed up.

Decapitation is a major theme in Celtic history & mythology. Since they believed that one's soul was found in the head, the Celts were notorious head hunters. Not only would they take their enemies' heads, but they'd proudly display them on their belts, in their horses' manes, at the entrances to their homes, etc. Some buildings had niches specifically carved near the entrance for this purpose. In this case, however, I believe the decapitated woman was inspired by an episode of Forensic Files that I watched the other night.
Interesting dichotomy here, though; the sad ending of a death (a severance, particularly indicated by the decapitation,) inside of a building & the happy beginning of marriage (a uniting, joining, melding,) outside. Clearly a threshold is indicated here, a turning point. I'm not directly involved in either event, though, I'm a peripheral player at best.
According to Snopes, a yellow wedding dress signifies "foresworn" (a false oath or repudiation,) & is widely disliked; "Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow." According to Moroccan tradition, however, bright yellow scares away the evil eye.

The picture is of a swampy area near Lake Ramsay. I liked the density & reflection of all the small trees.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Important Message for Southern Louisianians

Tomorrow is the day! (Ignore the mention of Christmas there.)

Spider & Last Night's Dream; Secret Agent

I was taken away from my usual job to become a secret agent. I was included in a group of a few other trainees, supervised by one or two experienced agents. At one point I saw my former manager, smirking at me. We all went out on a mini-assignment as part of our training. Someone I knew from my regular life was there, making me fear that my cover had been blown. According to those in charge, however, it was no big deal.

This spider (about 1/2" in length,) was kind enough to pose for me on our living room window today. If anyone is familiar with this kind of spider, I'd love to know what it is. Our spider guide book is too generalized to offer much information, unfortunately.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Last Night's Dream; Drum Jam & Weird Man

Charles was getting ready to throw an old cob of corn for the critters. I offered to loan my drums & bag of percussion instruments to a small group. A young woman in charge said it wasn’t necessary, but I did it anyway & they seemed grateful. Soon I realized that I’d forgotten my djembe. Considering that's my main drum, I felt like an idiot for forgetting it. I offered to go home & get it, but was told that wasn't necessary, either. The group got down to playing. Soon a tall, awkward man approached & hit on me. There was something innately untrustworthy about him. He persisted, regardless of my lack of interest. Eventually I went over to Charles & told him about it, seeking his help. He made the man go away. When the group was finished drumming they gave me my stuff back, including an ashiko.

Although I don't have an ashiko in "real" life, I was aware in the dream that it was supposed to represent my djembe (pron. "JIM-bay,") which is the tallest drum pictured above. According to Eric Cartman I must be a g*d damn hippie (actually I was at a drum circle when "Die Hippie, Die" first aired. Go figure!)
The man who hit on me reminds me of a pedophile who did a similar thing to me many years ago. Fortunately we were in a very busy mall, so there wasn't anything he could do.

The picture includes all of my current drums & etc. percussion instruments. I also used to have a larger djembe, but I sold it about a year ago. I used to enjoy attending drum circles in & around New Orleans. Here on the Northshore there are no drum groups. I've tried getting something going previously, but too many Louisianians are all talk/no action, so I gave up.
These days the bursitis in my shoulder pretty much prevents me from playing anymore, unless I'm having a particularly pain-free day, in which case I may play a little either with Charles (who typically uses one of the hand drums on the floor,) or along with some of my Celtic CDs.
I really wish the doctor would give me the cortizone shot that would end the pain but he won't, so instead I miss drumming (& dozens of other things.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Last Night's Dream; Rollercoaster, $500 in Change & John Bunnell

Something about an unusual rollercoaster (like a wild mine ride.) Afterwards I was buying something from an old woman & only had a $500 bill. I doubted she could break it, but when I asked she said yes & took it from me as though insulted. She gave me change in Canadian loonies. At first I thought that was ridiculous, but soon I realized it wouldn't be so bad. Later John Bunnell was doing something unusual (like ballet dancing or something.)

Today's picture is of a goldfinch at my sunflower feeder, with a chickadee & nuthatch flying in. At some point I'm going to play more with the ISO (or maybe "sports") settings on my digital camera & see if I can't sharpen up these movement shots.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Finished Painting (Finally) (Updated)

Firstly, many apologies for the slightly blurry image. I took about a dozen pictures trying to get it properly centered & lit & this is the best I could get it.
I'm not entirely pleased with the reworked painting, either. I was doing fine until a single brush stroke had more of an effect than I'd hoped. It may be silly, but a single, bad brush stroke can stop me cold on a painting. The day before the bad brush stroke I'd posted that it was almost done. Instead it sat for a while on my floor while I looked it over & writhed in agony until I was able to conceive of a decent enough possible "fix." Unfortunately I think I would've been better off leaving well enough alone. C'est la vie. It's signed, it's finished--time to stop writhing in agony & move on.
For those who hadn't seen it, the study for this painting, "Sunset at Cedar Bay," is below. It's 10x8" & more true to the original photograph, but certain aspects prompted me into the rework. The finished painting is 18x14" & contains elements that just won't be possible to capture in a photograph. The biggest difference between them is that I blended some irridescent white & gloss varnish into the paint used for the water. As a result, seen from a certain angle parts of the water in the painting actually reflect light. That's something I really do like about the finished product.
I really shouldn't complain so much--I've done much worse. It's acceptable enough, even if I rue not having stopped just a few brush strokes ago. I'm just being my own worst critic, as usual. <:\

(Update, 2008; The smaller study was given to friends as a housewarming gift after their home was lost in the California wildfires.)

Last Night's Dream; Pix, Waterfall & Roof

I was outside speaking with someone & had my camera. The cloudy sky started to break quickly, allowing sunlight to filter through. I took pictures of it. Later I was on a platform near a narrow waterfall in the woods, talking with a woman. We weren't in sight of the falls, we were around a corner from them. We left, but soon I realized she should see the falls before we go, so I took her back. There wasn't a lot of water coming over the falls (which were in the shape of a tight semi-circle,) but it was still very pretty. Yet later a guy from my old high school was fixing a roof. Edges of some of the shingles had lifted & he was nailing them back down.

The semi-circular falls remind me of Niagara's horseshoe falls, although my dream falls were considerably smaller in both size & volume. The roof fixing probably stems from the fact that I briefly awoke this morning to heavy rains.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Another New Bird & Last Night's Dream; Another Flood

I didn't sleep well last night & the phone woke me early this morning, so I was too distracted today to recall much.

I was looking over an outside (nature) area with some people in it. Soon afterwards the area was flooded.

The only difference between the flood in this dream & yesterday's is that this one was in a natural setting, as opposed to a road. In both cases I was looking over the area, which had people in it. These days I'm never sure if flooding in my dreams is symbolic or stems from my memories of Hurricane Katrina. Considering that there's still lots of Katrina evidence around, I tend to lean toward the latter. If it's symbolic, however, what do you think a flood might indicate in a dream?

This past weekend was my first sighting of red-winged blackbirds since I moved here (about 4 years ago.) Although I was delighted to see them, I'm even more delighted to report that about 10 of them were noshing in our backyard yesterday (see picture.) The yard was so full of birds again this morning that it looked like the ground was writhing. It reminds me of Raiders of the Lost Ark; "Indy...Why does the floor move?"

New Bird & Dream; Animals, the Flood and the Building

Didn't have time to post my dream from Monday night yesterday;

I stuck my head out the back door. 2 raccoons ran to the edge of our property (near the hanging feeder.) One of them didn't look like a raccoon, however. It didn't have a ring tail & it wasn't gray/black. It was colored reddish-brown all over. They stood near the edge of the property for a while, looking at me. Later there were 2 rabbits. I picked up one of them & carried it around. Outside lots of people struggled through a deeply flooded road. They were calmly sad. Later I was hovering high above the ground, looking down on a very tall building/tower that had a platform and an industrial crane on top. I wasn't sure how stable it was. I certainly wasn't comfortable enough to go there.

I believe the raccoons & rabbits are linked, considering they're both ground-dwelling animals common to N. America, there were 2 of each of them (at least at first,) they're roughly the same size & both words begin with the letter "r" & have double letters.
Although I've never "flown" in a dream (that I recall,) I do sometimes hover like I did over the building here.

The picture includes our new bird visitor from this morning; a dark eyed junco (he's above the goldfinches.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Birds of Fontainebleau State Park

Another lovely day (with clearing gray skies)
yesterday, so we went for another hike...


We found a boardwalk being replaced (much of the park has been closed since Hurricane Katrina, although repairs are underway.)


5 American coots of about 12 in the immediate area.


An American Robin.


2 red-winged blackbirds. There were at least a dozen flitting about, but I wasn't able to get any pictures of the group. These were the first red-winged blackbirds I've seen since I moved here.


2 Canada geese (although I'm not 100% sure on that.)


Some kind of seagull and a northern mockingbird.


A common crow and a brown pelican, state bird of Louisiana.

There were more birds than this of course, including a cardinal, a hairy woodpecker, a great blue heron and numerous little, wedge-shaped flyers I got some pictures of.

Last Night's Dream; Yard Display

It was nighttime. I'd put together an outdoor yard arrangement (low to the ground,) that was lit with small, white lights (like Xmas lights.) People & things sought by others were there, so it was very popular. I took a picture for a woman & it came out with very high contrast (mainly just white & black.) A cop standing there told her he wouldn't leave her hanging—he’d help her out.

One recent dream theme (revealed here as well,) is about me gathering things, typically small things. Not sure what that's about--getting my stuff together, maybe?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Interesting Bark & Last Night's Dream; Car/t Accident & Looking Foolish

An older, overweight man was driving some kids in a white go cart (or some other kind of ride--like a bumper car.) There was another white go cart/bumper car full of kids nearby that he was also in charge of. They were all driving on a major freeway. The man was in a terrible accident, in which the car/t flew up into the air & was hit by a car. Other people reviewed the video footage. Later I was trying to figure something out. I.D. was there & kept asking questions, distracting me. When I answered him about one of them, he laughed out loud & made a big deal, as though I was an idiot. Getting annoyed, I defended myself & said I knew what I was doing. He merely asked the wrong question (to intentionally make me look stupid.)

The picture was of some interesting bark we saw on yesterday's hike.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Near Lake Ramsay

As temps were back up to 68F/20C
yesterday, we went for another hike...


About longleaf pine ecosystems & vulture.


5 anoles (the 6th one ducked under the tree bark.)

Charles among the pines.

Colorful leaves & a wolf spider.

As today is even warmer than yesterday
was, I sense another hike coming up...
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