Hashing out my stories

Posts tagged “aging

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Dream Blogging – Over here, Over there

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I’m still playing catch up with posting my dreams – two more after this one and who knows what my subconscious will have on offer tonight?! I must say – I’m getting tired of the same themes – so I’m going to try to leave the repeats out (unless there’s something particularly interesting!) Repeating themes are just like recurring dreams – obviously thing’s I’m ignoring, not understanding or still dealing with.

So – old people and babies and everything in-between with this one. I started off in a swimming pool that seemed to be in a retirement home. There were old men and women – having a blast – swimming, chatting and playing with babies. I was in the pool – just wading at the shallow end (hmmm!) – and an old man called out to me. He was balancing a baby on his open palm and told me to take over. I tried to get to the baby but it was hard to catch up with. At one stage he was underwater, and I tried to get to him – but as soon as I got close – he was somewhere else.

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Then I got out of the pool and was looking for my towel – which was old and scruffy. I was going into bathrooms and shower recesses to look for it. Every time I thought I’d found it – it turned out to be someone else’s.

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I was also looking for my shoes and looked everywhere. I finally found them under a chair – old, black and ratty. I ws disappointed that I found them!

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Then I was with my son when he was little – and one of his friends. We were crossing the road to get to the train station – but we walked slowly and an old man in an old, white car stopped to let us cross. When we got to the train station – I wanted to feed them as it was going to be a long trip.

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The man at the concession store thought that I had stolen something – and said that the woman who had stolen from him had a white handbag like mine. When I handed it over to him – he searched through and found nothing – then apologized.

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Then I was in an old house and Angela Bassett (of all people) – was an older woman and living there. I was sitting on the floor trying to use a computer, but an old man came along and tried to make me look at porn. I pushed him with my right hand and he slid very fast across the floor – like I had the strength of ten men – and slammed into the kitchen cupboards.

Then I was some kind of Geologist and had traveled to an exotic lagoon – with another Actor – Scarlett Johansson. We walked across the deck of a boat (maybe a Catamaran) which had netting that stretched to the shore of the lagoon.

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As we stepped across the net I could see underneath – in some rock pools – strange slugs and sea creatures. I watched Ms Johansson walk off onto the beach and her hair was still blonde – but with black tips on the ends.

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THEMES: Old age and youth, responsibility, new endeavors, transformation, power, reputation, opportunities.

SYMBOLS: Swimming pool, towel, old shoes, white car, white purse, old house, porn, boat, lagoon, exotic creatures

EMOTIONS: Fear of failure, panic, concern for others, anger, aggression, excitement, wonder.

ARCHETYPES: Old people, children and baby, pervert, cashier, Explorer

INTERPRETATION: There is a lot going on in this dream and I will try to keep it brief – especially in regards to common themes. (I will discuss further in the Summary.) Communing with older people – as I have passed the 40 year mark (gulp!) Others trying to assist me – re: taking over the balancing act with the baby – which represents new endeavors – as well as a new side of myself.

Towels are used to dry us off when we’re wet – and water represents the subconscious and emotions. Probably indicates a need to stop using old methods to soothe past mistakes or leftover grief. This also ties in with looking for my shoes – then being disappointed when I found them. Shoes take us through life – and the old black shoes in this dream could symbolize old methods that I need to disregard – and find something new. (Definitely true with my promoting and marketing.)

Walking slowly across the road could indicate how I feel about the way I’m travelling. The old man slowed down for me – making way for the new? (As I was walking with two children.) Train stations also represent a portal to another life. The cashier blamed me for stealing something – but then apologized when he realized I was innocent. He could represent my Animus – feeling that I’m trying to grasp for something I don’t deserve? Being absolved of the crime – could symbolize the idea that I am doing the right thing and can keep going.

I often dream of white things – and the white handbag/purse could represent innocence or purity. Bags can be seen as the womb or even vagina. Being empty – hmmmm!

The old house with Angela Bassett – she was dressed totally in white – like she was back in the 1950’s. She could be symbolizing my mother – or the mature side of me – although she was just in the background. The old man trying to make me look at porn – could be the side of me that feels neglected. (Don’t we always want more than we have?) The force I used to push him away – didn’t take much. I know I’ve been like a battle-axe when it comes to my writing etc. (Again – themes of ignoring important aspects in my life.)

A tropical place – a lagoon – represents the idealized life or person that I want so desperately to become. Exploring new territory and finding wonderful sea creatures – symbolizes my desire for excitement and an authentic life. The sea creatures can also indicate the emotional breakthroughs I’ve made over the past few years (still more to come!) – and things in my subconscious I have yet to discover.

Seeing the blonde hair with black tips – could mean that I have come a long way – but there’s still a bit to deal with. Hair represents your public persona – and how you present to the world. Some say it also indicates an increase in status. We’ll see!

SUMMARY: Same themes re: balancing acts – especially in regards to my public persona, etc. There are some aspects that are currently being ignored – which I should pay attention to. (I know!!! But I’m busy!!!! *sigh*) I need to keep a look out for opportunities and find new methods. I also need to prioritize as I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants – most of the time. I have been a lot more forthright lately – sticking up for myself and not taking crap from others. I think – maybe sometimes – I need to keep my power in check. I can be a little aggressive – especially when it comes to issues with justice and fairness. Meditation time!


Dream Blogging – Prawns ‘n’ Roses

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I had this dream this morning. I was watching a prawn emerge from it’s shell, on the beach and then it was like time-lapse photography. It slowly but surely baked in the sun – bubbling and becoming crisp – but not moving. Then it ‘de-cooked’ – again via reverse photography and started burrowing – head first into the sand, leaving it’s shell behind.

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I then went over to play in the shallows of the ocean, and dove underwater. I saw some abandoned toy soldiers and reached out to grab them – at first quite excited to have found some treasures.

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I noticed that they were faded and somehow were meant to stay in the water. I unearthed some toy tanks and again became excited, only to realize – once more – that they were abandoned and of no use to me.

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I put them back with the soldiers and just lay there – underwater – looking at them, with no emotion.

Then I was walking down my old street where I used to live in Australia, and saw what used to be my house – with a lush garden and huge, white flowers growing along the side of the house. I wondered how they could have grown so big.

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I went up to the front steps and was talking with my husband and my grandson – when I heard something in the front yard, around the corner of the patio. When I went down the steps to look, I saw a man in a small car, driving around haphazardly in the front yard. When I went up to talk to him – I thought at first that he was a policeman. We got into an argument about the legality of changing address too many times. He said that he had checked me out and found that I had moved too many times. When I took a good look at him, I realized that he was just a security guard. When I pointed this out – he giggled mischievously and drove off.

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THEMES: Ageing, evolving/devolving, transformation, survival, old emotions, new beginnings, authority, defense.

SYMBOLS: Prawn/shrimp (sea creature), Shedding skin, giant flowers, ocean/underwater, army toys, car

EMOTIONS: Battle of wits, being dispassionate, melancholy, excitement, wonder.

ARCHETYPES: Husband, Grandson, Security guard.

INTERPRETATION: Seeing the prawn emerge from it’s shell represents shedding skin – becoming a new person. Sea creatures symbolize the depths of the ocean – water is emotion – so it could be the evolution of my emotional self. Seeing it cook symbolized ageing – and then seeing it with a second life expressed how I feel with getting older and trying to start a new phase. The fact that it burrowed under the sand represented how I have been feeling of late – that it’s all too much and I just want to hibernate. (I have been doing a lot of promoting and marketing for my book and business – and it’s starting to take its toll on me!)

Being in the shallows of the ocean symbolizes – possibly – a shallow disposition. This could represent feelings of guilt – in an emotional sense – regarding not spending enough time with my family. However – seeing the toy soldiers and tanks could mean that I don’t need to ‘wage war’ anymore – that the time for battle is over. The fact that they were underwater (emotions/subconscious) and that I unearthed them – excited at first – then realizing that I didn’t want them, showed that I have outgrown my need for combat or even anger.

Visiting my old house and seeing the large, white flowers could represent melancholy and feelings of regret. White represents purity – even death – and the fact that the flowers were white and huge could show deep seated feelings of forgotten or ignored elements regarding the family. It could even symbolize hope and new beginnings.

Being on the patio with my husband and grandson shows my relationship with men and the males in my family – and how I interact with them. The security guard may have represented myself – my animus – still trying to inject negativity or flush out more guilt – over having moved. (Especially overseas – away from my family.) Discovering that he was not a policeman, but a security guard – a giggling fool as well – shows how I needn’t take my self-loathing too seriously. Being negative without warrant can be corrosive – however I do recognize that I have to make peace with others.

SUMMARY: It’s time for me to accept getting older and making it a positive rather than a negative. I have the power to transform – and even though it’s a good idea to take a break and rest every now and then – it’s all worth it. I am entering a phase where I don’t feel so defensive and do not have the chaos in my life that I used to. I have learned not to attack or to be so negative – which is a blessing. I need to be excited about things that will help me grow – and disregard those things that drag me down – and interfere with my evolution.


Dream Blogging – Sweeping

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I had this dream this morning – strangely I don’t remember what else happened in it. I was back in Adelaide (Australia) – at my son’s place – at the end of a long, dark hallway. I was sweeping sand out the front door, and it didn’t matter how methodical I was – I couldn’t get rid of all the sand. Every time I looked behind me, there were still small mounds of sand. When I became aggressive with my sweeping, I saw that there was still a fine layer of sand still on the floor.

I remember thinking about the futility of it; that no matter what, people would still be dragging in more sand – on their shoes and clothes – but I kept on sweeping regardless. Then I was in a grocery store – in the refrigerated aisle – when I saw a black man (the bus driver who takes me to work every day!), up on a ladder and cleaning out the grime and grease from some machinery in the ceiling.

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He was using his fingers to clear out the filth in the grooves and little shelves in the compartment. I asked him to stop and put some gloves on, as he could make himself sick. He just looked down at me – smiling and shaking his head – then continued doing it. I was worried about him transferring the filth to his mouth, but he wouldn’t listen to me.

THEME: Cleaning and sweeping, Concern, Futility.

SYMBOLS: Broom, sand, hallway, door, supermarket, ladder, dirt.

EMOTIONS: Concern, frustration.

ARCHETYPES: Man

INTERPRETATION: Cleaning and sweeping represent a desire to clear away old debris; clearing a path, putting things in order, correcting a mistake or problem, desire to reveal what’s underneath. The Buddhists say that cleaning your Dharma mirror (or whatever you’re cleaning) – means that you are sorting out your crap, basically – paving your way to enlightenment in order to reach Nirvana.

I was using a straw broom – which is a symbol of domesticity. It’s also a symbol for witches. (I have been a Hedgewitch for a long time!) Maybe it could mean that I have to use another method for sorting out my crap – or even – that the methods I’m using are not working? Sand can be symbolic of many things. In this dream I was in Adelaide (my son lives near the beach) – and it could be regarding my relationship with him – or being away from Australia. Clearing out past mistakes, paving a way back home, or reconstructing how I feel about my family.

Sand – and the shore – can be thought of as a threshold to other worlds, as they border the ocean. A grain of sand in an hourglass represents the sands of time. I know that I have a deep desire to turn the clock back – as the theme of aging has been prominent in my life lately. Turning around and seeing more sand behind me – tells me that no matter what – it will always be there. That’s where the futility re: continuing the process of getting rid of it comes in.

A hallway symbolizes an avenue to somewhere. In the Mansion of the Soul analogy – it represents a path to somewhere – or a holding/waiting area, that led to a door to the outside. Sweeping the sand out the front door – from the hallway – might show that I dither about, wasting time in a holding pattern – when I should move on and forget about what I can’t change.

A supermarket is a public place where you go to purchase sustenance. Probably representing my public persona – or how I deal with the public? A ladder has many connotations – such as – moving up the ladder (the man was at the top); bad luck for the superstitious; a portal or passage to another dimension etc. The man – as animus – could symbolize the masculine part of myself. The fact that he was black does not escape me. I have an Aboriginal (also Chinese, Welsh and French) heritage – so maybe that hints at my background or ‘native’ sense of self.

He ignored me and laughed when I showed concern for getting his fingers dirty. This could mean that I have a tendency to put myself in dangerous situations – blithely unaware that I could be doing myself harm. It could also be telling me to stop worrying about the small details – or even shying away from the dirty jobs in my life. As I’ve recently been sick – it could be telling me to stop being ignorant in regards to my health. This is a common theme for me lately!

SUMMARY: I need to stop worrying about things I can’t change – and start worrying about the things I can change! Again – putting the past behind me and to accept that time is marching on. I need to take more risks – being careful in the process. I need to stop procrastinating and try different methods for the evolution of my psyche. In order to properly integrate, I need to accept what is and work on what isn’t. Time to move on and be brave.

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Dream Blogging – Gang of Animals

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I had this dream yesterday – but was so tired last night after work – so I’m posting it late!

In the dream, I was walking down a road on an overcast day. I saw a gang of animals heading towards me on the footpath. There was a dog (pitbull), some cats and a strange, floating pinecone with an owl’s face peering out of the front. (The pinecone was horizontal, flying low.) It was a fantasy creature obviously – but in the dream I was mystified – trying to find out what kind of creature it was.

One of the cats was white with ginger patches. It had a large paper bag attached to one of its’ back legs – as though it had worn the bag for pants, but had stepped out of one of the leg holes. The leg was poking out of the other side of the bag – and was bloodied and broken. When I got closer to try and help it, I noticed that it was distressed – but it kept floating along with the other animals.

The dog seemed protective of the cat – but at first I thought that it was responsible for the cat’s injuries. Then I realized that the cat had been in a car accident and that it was quite old. When I tried to pick the cat up – it felt like a bag of bones. It purred when I petted it and I tried to help – but I wondered if the purring was just a stress reaction. I decided to follow it home to see if I could alert the owner and once we got to its’ house – the owner showed up.

She was an older hippy woman who pulled up in an old, white car that was beaten up and neglected. There were dirty, stuffed animals along the back window of the car. She was concerned about the cat – who was now lying on the grass in the front yard – waiting to be attended to.

THEME: Concern, dealings with animals, travelling, old and beaten up.

SYMBOLS: Cat, Dog, Strange creatures, road, car, stuffed animals, paper bag, injuries.

EMOTIONS: Concern, compassion, confusion.

ARCHETYPES: Old woman, animals.

INTERPRETATION: Some of this was obvious to me – as I’ve said in my previous dream interpretation – I’ve been feeling old and beat up lately! Walking down the road in the middle of the day – travelling through middle age. (The road was sloping slightly downwards.) The animals coming towards me represent various elements of my psyche wanting to be analyzed – or the process of the integrated self. For example: the dog was in good health but had a twinge of pink on its’ nose – hence the reason why I’d thought it had bitten the cat’s leg.

The other cats were fine – ambling along – but the old, injured cat represents how I’ve been feeling of late. I don’t know if it was jet lag or a virus – but I’ve been very tired for the last couple of weeks and have had strange symptoms – such as sore hips, stiff joints and glands swelling up. I think the flimsy bag on the cat’s leg symbolizes my haphazard attempts at taking care of myself! I try to soldier on and tell everyone that I’m fine when I’m not – for fear of appearing old and feeble.

The pinecone owl stumped me at first – but then I realized that it represented the mystical or spiritual side of myself that I’m still trying to understand. The pinecone symbolizes seeds spent – therefore old age. (I’m not dead yet – at 48!!) The owl is a nocturnal animal – so am I. It also represents wisdom and secret worlds – so maybe the fact that it was half-pinecone means that I’m entering the realm of the crone. (It’s funny – as I’ve always loved pine trees and owls!)

I think the lady also represents myself. The car symbolizes how I travel through life. (Roughshod and breakneck – sometimes!) The stuffed animals in the back window could symbolize aspects of myself that have taken a back seat – or have been neglected.

SUMMARY: Again – to slow down and take care of myself – but also, to acknowledge the hidden aspects of my true self. I need to accept getting older and rejoice in this new phase. I have been leaning away from spirituality over the past few fears – towards atheism. Maybe the mystical realms don’t have to be necessarily attached to a religion per se. Nonetheless – I have been feeling the lack of connection to that side of myself. Time to explore!

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Monstrous wings

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Thrym’s Wedding Feast in the Elder or Poetic Edda, W.G. Collingwood, ed. 1908, p. 127

I’ve had a short break from writing this memoir and listened to some audiobooks – memoirs that others have written, in order to get a feel for how different people see their lives and how they relay their stories. I can be quite anal at times, but found myself feeling lost in the stories that flooded up from my subconscious – struggling to put them in order, trying to figure out how to structure the memoir and what format to use. Should it be a dream like kaleidoscope along the lines of a surrealistic novel? Should I break it up into a collection of poetry, or even create a saga or edda-like monstrosity that takes the reader on a crazy voyage? (I don’t think my life has been that fantastic!)

I’m very mindful of not allowing this to be one of those poor pitiful me “I will survive” stories, but then I had to face what my motivation was to write it in the first place.  I have, of late, been struggling with the idea of getting older. I hate that I’ve passed the forty year mark, although I don’t know what I expected – to stay young forever? If I’m honest with myself – I really don’t want to go back to when I was twenty – or thirty. I’m emotionally and financially in a much better place now. Would I like to have my youthful appearance back? Sure – who wouldn’t? So is that what it is? Fear of aging? Probably.

The idea of death creeping up is not a nice thought. However, I resolved my fear of death in my twenties. We will all die and that is that. I also realized a long time ago that death can come at any age so there’s no point worrying about it – better to live your life like there’s no tomorrow, and so on. No, what really gets to me is the idea that time is running out and I haven’t achieved all that I assumed I had set out to do. Writing this memoir has been wonderful for so many reasons, but the glaringly obvious thing is that there is still so much that I want to experience and do – and most importantly, that after all is said and done, I AM NOT WHERE I THOUGHT I WOULD BE WHEN I WAS YOUNG!

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I could comfort myself with thoughts such as – “Well, who is!?” or “Whose fault is that!?” It sounds defeatist to say that I am disappointed with myself and my life. I am grateful that I am not living in a war torn country or that I did not have anywhere near as bad a life as a lot of people do. If I’m going to be negative, I would say that I am ashamed of some of the things I’ve done and that I’m embarrassed, sad and full of regrets.

But if I’m going to be positive I would say that I am proud of who I’ve been, what I survived and how I made people feel, what I’ve accomplished and how my life evolved. After all, it’s all about perspective. I remember when I was fifteen and at my grandparent’s house for my birthday. My Uncle, who was coming down off a heroin habit, gave me a card with an inscription that read “Ah, the Sweet Bird of Youth, flies too fast!” At the time I didn’t get it, but as the years rolled on, I could hear those words, spoken in his cracked voice, and I would smile ruefully to myself.

All of a sudden, here I am, punishing myself with regrets over what I could’ve done better, what I should have done by now and what I should not have done at all. But the lesson learned is not to continue to squander any more time, that every minute counts and that there’s always a chance for redemption. I have to remind myself to count on the prize of forgiveness, respect and humble pie – all wrapped up in the bundle of wisdom. This memoir doesn’t have to be perfect – it can’t be perfect.

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It will be a mess of hairy arms and legs and crooked teeth gnashing against the pretense of high heels and perfect lipstick. I zigzagged my way through my life down dark alleys, along pristine hallways, through self induced poverty and flatlining in the world of the middle class. I butted my head against the pricks and became a prick and back again, kicking and screaming.

Like the memoirs I have listened to lately, I’m not going to worry about format. I’m not going to worry about whether it’s chronological or in any kind of proper order. If I want to break out in song or poetry – good! If – like my life – I want to zigzag, so be it! I have to learn not be timid with the things that belong to me. I just have to put it out there, warts and all and let it fend for itself, like a mama bird kicks the baby out of the nest. I pray for monstrous wings!

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Picture: Ally McGurk/Solent News