Part 3; Night Lights; Shifting Through Dream Image Work

                                                     This is Part 3 of a 3 part blog article scroll down for parts 1 & 2

Creativity & Dream Work

Free-writing in a journal about dreams is another way to access the unconscious. Just the kinesthetic movement of writing longhand can help unexpected material to arise. I title my dreams to zero-in on the theme. One example of discovering healing through a dream can be found in my dream notes entitled “Tim and Arlene’s Daughter.” Tim and Arlene are longtime, Jungian-oriented, friends of mine, they are married but never had children. Still, my dream centered on a visit I pay them where I meet their adolescent daughter, just beginning to get her bearings.

In my notes I think about Tim and Arlene’s salient characteristics and what features, passed down by each of them, a  daughter might inherit. Though I very much loved both of my parents, I must imagine Tim and Arlene as my parents to see what the dream’s saying. The dream tells me that I am consciously and unconsciously re-parenting myself.



                                                Tim & Arlene’s Daughter

 Who are Tim and Arlene?  Married soul mates who met in a junior high chemistry class in Orlando, Florida, where I’m planning to attend a conference in a few weeks. Tim and Arlene’s long marriage has outlasted other attractions. They’ve stayed loyal to the idealized version of one another. In actuality they have no children;  in the dream they have a daughter, an adolescent, smart, sweet, polite . . . Who would she be, Tim and Arlene’s adolescent daughter?   Tim’s brilliant exuberance, his lightning-quick, serpentine, mind—A wordsmith, professor, carpenter, who like Odysseus, literally built a marriage bed.  A self-taught musician on the piano, flute, didgeridoo—And who is Arlene? I think of her internal intensity, her ephemeral presence, her sharp, philosophical thought, analytical mind, introverted love of the dark—Yes, indeedy, easy for me to see parts of myself  in both of them!  Isn’t that why we’re friends?  I’ve got both their poles, so their daughter would be an interesting amalgam . . . The dream is set in Maine where we’ve all lived. Tim has a sailfish. I’m leaving after a wonderful visit sailing with them, “crossing the waters,” indicating psychic transition. The weather is overcast, rain will fall. The daughter of Tim and Arlene would have a stable foundation to sail off from . . .  My adolescent self has been wounded but this young girl wouldn’t have suffered so. It seems I have progressed to showing great potential launched as a new daughter of creativity and dreamwork.                                                      

 And although “rain” can be interpreted several ways, I see it here as a self-cleansing, the washing away of guilt and fear. The more courageous, balanced woman I am awakening into, come clean.

Another dream was simply this: I was wrapping a present for my friend Jennifer. I went to college with her and we are still friends many many years later, though I don’t live near her. She has had an interesting life as will come out in my sample. I admire Jennifer, so the dream is telling me that I have an inner Jennifer. My job is to get in touch with her, make her conscious. In this case she is a positive shadow figure.


A Present for Jennifer

 images-1   I’m wrapping a present for Jennifer, that’s the whole dream. Okay, so who is Jennifer—lovely, beautiful, generous, competent, wealthy , corporate Jennifer. Or Jennifer in college, the Mademoiselle model, her silken long blonde hair. Jennifer the first one of our girl group to marry, her husband,  Handsome Harold, and the first one of us to have a child. Earth Mother Jennifer, Hippie Jennifer. Capricorn Jennifer, like me. She who struck out against her parent’s approval, she who moved to Canada to make the best of the little she had while Harold when to grad school. Jennifer, mother of Elizabeth and Lindsay, look-alike daughters, triple Jennifers. She who left emotionally abusive Hank and returned, daughters in tow, to NYC.  Jennifer who lived in a commune with other families, and fell in love with Ted. Jennifer of the  secreatarial job, that grew and grew, administrator to corporate PR for a media company. Jennifer of Southern Connecticut, hostesse of huge house parties and Thanksgiving dinners, mother of two more children with ted, and all along working. Jennifer at the center of an infinite ring of family and friends. Open house Jennifer. Jennifer who suddenly lost Ted after twenty years of fun and wonder. Lost him in a ten minute heart attack in his sleep, in their bed, Ted gone and the children watching. Jennifer orchestrator of the Mother-of-all-Funerals, Jennifer sad on the steps of her front porch. Then a few months later, Motherless Jennifer, her mom taken all at once. Jennifer who sent two young children off to college in the shadow of these two huge deaths. Jennifer with the best boss, best job, golden-parachute Jennifer, and yet another man appears for her, widow and widower in perfect timing, gifts-to-each-other, heaven sent.

  That must be it. My mother’s stroke this week. I must make myself a model of Jennifer whose confidence and courage goes unshaken. I’m wrapping her a present. I’m to give the Jennifer in myself some kind of credit, kudos, a present in the present moment, to be there and accept, and move on, taking care of my children, my books, my work. Congratulate myself, gift myself. I’m not her but I am her, my so different soul-sister, even our birthdays, one day apart.


 images Just the free-writing exercise alone produces much without necessary analysis. In writing, the unconscious mind gains momentum and rises. It’s almost ahead of us, we can’t write fast enough to discover what we’ll say next.  When the mind is relaxed as it is in sleep, as it is when involved in a creative process, truth will reveal itself.  

Experience the dream image process with


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