Posts Tagged ‘dream interpretations’

Coney Island Dream

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Coney Island

dear Todd,

I had a very pleasant dream this morning. You’d written a short play in which a bunch of guys crammed into a cab and were driven to Coney Island (from someplace else in the 5 boroughs). Lots of talking between the guys. I’d agreed to play a small role (I was a teenager), but when I read the play I couldn’t really hear it. “Do people really talk like that?” I wondered.

But when I arrived at rehearsal, all these wonderful character actors had been cast, guys of various ages, and when they said their lines, wow, it was completely convincing and funny and smart (philosophy of the Regular Joe). I was the only inexperienced one. I hoped I’d remember my lines, but I had so few and everyone was really nice and reassuring. After the read through, we were all trying on vintage summer costumes, loud shorts and patterned shirts and caps. What a crew! I knew you were going to be really pleased with how it turned out.

Then there was a sort of espionage area, and finally I ended up looking at black & white photocopies of photos that my young pal Tyler had taken. He spread them out on the floor, and I was giving my 2-cents, thinking the photos were brilliant. I was young, and it was in the past, but not MY past. I could be young without any of the unease of youth, and I was in a past that seemed so mild because inside myself I knew about the future: I knew some bad things then would get better, and I knew that many naive hopes people had would be flattened, but this made me not so naive, which was actually restful. This past didn’t feel like an old song that can suck me back into the puddle of my old self. I woke up happy to be in the present again, but almost as if I get to have a slightly different past than the one I had yesterday!

love,

Max

dear max,

I love this Coney Island dream of yours and how you felt when you woke up. And I’m pleased to know I wrote a delightful play on the astral plane. I use the expression astral plane in reference to dreamland because some years ago…

As you know, I used to live in Sacramento. Seems like several lifetimes ago, but I have it on good authority I lived there for fifteen years during this lifetime. When I lived in Sacramento, in the days before digital photography, I took my rolls of black and white film to a photo lab and they would produce negatives and proof sheets from which I would choose photos to print.

One of the people who worked at the front desk in the photo lab was a woman named Harriet. She was single and very appealing to me, and had I not been married, I would have pursued her. My wife and I eventually divorced and I moved from Sacramento to Berkeley. A few years after moving to Berkeley, I went to Sacramento to visit old friends, and on the spur of the moment I stopped by the photo lab to say hi to Harriet.

She seemed genuinely happy to see me, and when I told her I missed her, she replied, “I would say I missed you, too, except I see you almost every night on the astral plane.”

“Really?” I said, pleasantly surprised. “And… um… what’s going on there?”

She frowned and said, “You don’t dream about me?”

“Not that I’m aware of,” I said, sorry to disappoint her, “but whenever I go to the photo lab in Berkeley, I think of you.”

“That’s sweet,” she said, forcing a smile. “Gotta run. Thanks for coming by.”

I wonder if my telling her I didn’t dream about her had the effect of ending our astral relationship, or if our relationship on that plane was strong enough to withstand any disappointment she might have felt about my not dreaming of her.

While living in Berkeley, I chanced to hear a radio show featuring a woman who was a well-known interpreter of dreams. People were calling into the show to tell her their dreams; and after listening to the dreams, she would ask the callers clarifying questions, the callers would do their best to answer her questions, and then she would give her interpretations. I was fascinated by her takes on dreams, which were often quite different than mine.

The last caller was a woman who said, “I’ve never remembered a dream, not even a tiny fragment, and listening to your interpretations, I feel like I’m missing out on something really important.”

To which the dream interpreter said, “I’m sure in the course of your life you have interesting experiences, and you witness things that might happen in a dream, and you can interpret those experiences as you would dreams. For instance, we could interpret the dream of you listening to a radio show about dreams and deciding to call the show. Your call is selected out of the hundreds of people calling in, and the dream interpreter suggests you interpret your experience of calling and getting through to her as a dream.”

“Okay,” said the caller, her voice trembling. “What do you think this dream means?”

“I think it means you have a strong desire to understand your inner thoughts and feelings, and by taking action to address that desire, doors of understanding will open to you.”

Speaking of dreams, my new CD of songs is entitled Dream of You. Here are the lyrics to the title song, which you can listen to on Youtube, download or stream from iTunes, or you can buy the entire album of nine songs from me for five dollars.

Dream of You

Woke this morning from a dream of you

And I wondered if you might be dreaming of me, too.

We were on that beach so very long ago

Holding hands, singing songs and walking slow,

only this time you say yes instead of no.

 

So we get married, get an apartment,

You write songs and I write movies.

We play our guitars in cool cafés

And live the life of urban groovies.

One of your songs gets covered by a star,

I sell my script about a car that can think and feel and understand.

We make lots of money and start a rock n’ roll band.

 

You have an affair, I have two,

And for a dicey year or so it looks like we’re through.

But then we fall in love again while touring in Spain,

get into therapy, heal lifetimes of pain,

and when we finally make it through

we start all over again.

 

We move to a little town by the sea,

Have two great kids, Susie Q and Lee,

And you write songs, and I write movies.

That’s when I woke up and you were not there

Because you didn’t say yes, you said,

“No my friend, I would not dare.

No my friend I would not dare.”

 

But sometimes I wonder how things might have gone

if you’d said yes instead of no and we had carried on

holding hands and walking slow,

and when I take you in my arms you say yes,

when I take you in my arms you say yes.

 

Stuff of Dreams

Monday, August 28th, 2017

233totality

totality diptych by Max Greenstreet

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” Shakespeare

There’s an old vaudeville routine in which a guy goes to a doctor, painfully lifts his arm above his head and says, “Doc, every time I do this, it hurts like crazy.” The doctor looks at the guy and says, “Don’t do that.”

I recently had a run of lousy nights of sleep. When I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I am not a happy camper the next day—an afternoon nap my only hope of regaining equipoise. While searching for reasons why I was sleeping poorly after a spate of nights when I slept like a well-exercised child with a clear conscience, I realized I’d been reading national news within a few hours of going to bed.

To which the vaudeville doctor said, “Don’t do that.”

So I stopped reading or viewing any news for a few days and thereafter limited my intake to a little news in the morning; and thereafter having a good night’s sleep became much less problematic.

“Delusions of grandeur make me feel a lot better about myself.” Lily Tomlin

For most of the days of my life for the last forty-five years I’ve been writing a novel or play or screenplay or collection of stories. I write these longer works sequentially, not simultaneously. I’ve tried to write multiple works of fiction simultaneously a few times in my life, and my muse is never pleased. However, she does not mind sorties into non-fiction while I’m creating my larger fictive works. I theorize that my fiction writing employs neural pathways distinct from those used for writing non-fiction; thus the two processes do not collide.

My dreams, on the other hand, seem to share neural pathways with my fiction writing, and if I drift off to sleep thinking about the novel I’m writing, my dreams will compose scenes, often nonsensical, to fit, sort of, the fiction I’m working on. These dream/fiction hybrids can disturb my sleep much as nightmares will, so I try to leave my work at the office, so to speak, when I lay me down to sleep, though I’m not always successful at keeping my characters and plot twists at bay.

“In my dream, I am your customer, and the customer is always right.” Laurie Anderson

Over the course of my adult life, I’ve remembered dozens of dreams in which I am giving a piano concert for an enormous audience, or I am about to give such a concert. In some of these dreams, I enter the concert hall, see the piano I am supposed to perform on, and various obstacles and detours keep me from ever reaching the piano. In other dreams, I make it to the stage, sit down at the piano, and find keys missing or the piano is terribly out-of-tune or the piano is full of vines or cats or naked women, and is therefore unplayable. Or I begin to play and the keyboard disintegrates.

However, in two of my piano dreams, the pianos remained intact and I played gorgeous danceable music, my fingers incapable of making mistakes, every note just right—and the crowd went wild.

“Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama

The brain/body/mind consortium is highly suggestible. I often forget to remember this. But when I do remember how suggestible my system is, and I take a few minutes before falling asleep to suggest to my brain/body/mind that I will sleep wonderfully well and wake rested and full of energy, I very often do.

“When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.” Carl Jung

I’ve always liked this pronouncement of Jung’s, which I take to mean that our unconscious patterns of behavior shape our waking lives as much or more than the conscious choices we make. From what I’ve read by and about Jung, I think he might also have said, “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it will express itself in our dreams, and we can interpret those dreams to help us uncover and perhaps overcome some of those unconscious patterns of behavior that are interfering with our happiness.”

Joseph Campbell frequently recounted the story of Jung undergoing psychoanalysis and reaching a profound impasse that stymied him for several months until he had an epiphany about the most blissful activity of his childhood: building little stone houses and villages. So he “followed his bliss”, bought some land on the shores of Lake Zürich, and built a stone house. While building this house, he had a series of dreams, the interpretations of which helped him overcome the impasse in his psychoanalysis.

“One does not dream; one is dreamed. We undergo the dream, we are the objects.” Carl Jung

Marcia and I both had bizarre dreams last night. Marcia’s dream involved going on a quest to find beer for the many uninvited guests crowding into the living room of our house that was not our house. She eventually made it all the way from Mendocino to India and forgot about trying to find beer.

My dream starred two darling children and their young mother who were trying to teach me their language, which seemed to be a mixture of Spanish and Arabic. I was sitting facing a large blackboard on which the children took turns writing words they wanted me to learn. One of the words was arastó. The children gleefully shouted arastó, but wouldn’t tell me what it meant.

Then a handsome young man entered the room and said his name was Abababus. He warned me to never forget the second ba when saying his name. I woke from this dream and could not go back to sleep until I got up and wrote down Abababus, lest I forget the second ba.

What caused these dreams? Marcia theorizes my spaghetti sauce—turmeric, cumin, garlic, various unusual heirloom tomatoes, red wine, olive oil—may have been the author of our dreams.