Dream It was late December, the drifts were piling up in collusion against the rails of the porch. Little could be discerned above the sound of the wind, wrapping itself around the northeast corner of the house. Restless, it continued to bully what remained of the brittle branches of last summer`s honeysuckle, a loose shutter, and my grandmother`s wind chimes. In the midst of this late afternoon concert, the sun was descending unnoticed toward its mountain crypt. Already the sky was filtering the light with its angular sieve suggesting the beginnings of the golden hour. Soon it would lend itself to blazing oranges and finally a pastel pink adieu.
In that moment of silence, when the wind stops to take an in breath, I stirred. As I rallied myself from the daybed, throwing my coverlet aside, I grabbed the poker in hopes of being able to stir up the starving fire a little longer before an inevitable trip to the mud room. Arming myself with boots, gloves, and coat, I would soon enough be staggering out toward a chaotic woodpile in order to replenish the famished fire. My thoughts were still troubled. Clouded and confused. The images, rich with texture, numinous with meaning, affronting my conscious sensibilities. Between worlds, as if stepping on the edge of a great secret, I found the strength to twist an aberrant piece of wood back on itself to re-inspire the licking heat out of tired smoking embers.
How long had I been sleeping? Years. or minutes? The sounds of branches against glass beckoned my attention outward. The wisp of her hand, still reaching out to me. the color of the garden hose, surrealistic in its green undulating wetness. and the receding scent of roses.
I knew it would be a mistake to surrender to my impulses now. The warmth I had managed to coax out of the fireplace would not last long. I gathered up my sweater and moved toward the boots in the anteroom, having accepted my fate. The cold awaited me now. If I wanted any comfort through the night, I must submit.
It wasn`t long before my hands were stiff with the cold and my nose running as I made my pilgrimage repeatedly from pile to door. Why did I let my stash get so low? LAZY!! LAZY! I found myself flagellating my wonton lack of strategic thinking during this winter vacation. Drops of mud and the drip, drip, drip, sounds of snow melting off the wood beside the hearth brought me back. I had drifted. So you ver telling me sometink about da voman.
Da voman who smelt of roses? An vat next happened in your dream? He was looking at me with his pipe in hand, and an unrevealing straight forward gaze. The notepad situated carefully across his lap. I noticed a certain rigidness in his posture, as if he was holding something. Something inside, something he didn`t wish for me to see. Dr. Freud, I am feeling uncomfortable telling you this dream.
I feel as if you are judging me. So goot. Goot. Now who would judge you? I don`t know. I guess I felt judged every time I tried to tell my father anything sensitive. Your fadder? Yes.
Your fadder. And now back to da voman. Da voman in your dream. You said sometink about a garden hose? Da garden hose mid da vetness? Yes. It was wet.
Very shiny and wet. Goot! Un did you ever have to vater a garden mid your fadder? Well, I had my chores. We each had our chores back then. I sometimes had the watering chore. To move the sprinkler and to make sure I got all the corners of the lawn wet enough too. Father was very picky about making sure we got the corners of the yard wet enough so the grass would be evenly green and healthy. Ah Goot.
So to da fadder vas very important you make all da grass green and even, ya? Yes. We lived in a very nice neighborhood and appearances counted. He felt it was good to teach us to care for things and make sure they were well kept. Not only for appearances, but also for our own character development, responsibility, attention to details and all that. He was somewhat strict and perhaps judgmental, but he did succeed in raising responsible children.
So now ve can look at dis. You have had difficult feelings toward your fadder since a young age. He inspired sexual feelings in you and you didn`t know vat to do mid dem, so you displaced dem to the garden hose. He vas very strict and dis is why you continue to find fault in your own accomplishments. You are vaiting for your fadder to fulfill your needs for approval. You are shamed by your sexual attachment to him. I don`t remember leaving mud on the floor.
I thought I had wiped it all up. Must have overlooked it when I was putting the last load of wood down. I sat upright and noticed a strange scent in the air. It was as if I was in a different world. The wind was gone.
In the silence, a serene light streamed through the soft smoky room. This was not the room I had been in only moments ago. As he leaned forward from his small ladder I could see that familiar profile. Dr. Jung seemed to be putting a book back up on a high shelf.
?So you were telling me why you left your analysis in Vienna and came here to speak with me. I am not surprised. I respect the man very much. He was once a friend and mentor to me. I value the tremendous contribution he made to the field and to my own studies.
Freud pioneered a great deal with his insights and willingness to work with such unknown and difficult populations. Did you try the trance cure?¦ ?Yes. It was some of what we did, but he spent a good deal of time with me just listening and asking about my father. I guess there was a lot going on in my latency period. I realize now that my relationship with my father was more impacting and meaningful than I had before known.
Perhaps it is tied in to my sexual dysfunction with my current husband. I have repressed a lot from my childhood and based much of my current life on denial and rationalization. Now that I know my problem is based in my projections, I have some understanding and my symptoms are not as overwhelming. But it doesn-t change the fact that I felt somewhat uncomfortable with his analysis and continue to question myself.¦ ?What you are saying does not surprise me. The man was convinced that it was always the sexual impulse or the death impulse.
My own scientific research leads me to see that the unconscious is more dynamic and rich than he understood it to be. Let-s go back to the dream. The one you mentioned when you first came in . Tell me again about the woman, and the wet garden hose.¦ Suddenly the images were spinning. I found somehow, that there were new ways of looking at this woman.
This woman who smelled of roses was holding the garden hose. She was not separate from it. She was not afraid of it. She was simply holding it as the water moved out over the garden. And the roses-.They were growing quite nicely on the side.
There was one bush. One bush that seemed to be shriveled. One rose bud on a withered bush. She seemed to take no notice as she moved the wet hose from bush to bush, singing. ?I believe you have much potential here. What was the shape of this garden?¦ ?Well now that you ask, it was interesting.
It was a round garden. There were walkways that made it into a sectioned circle with four quadrants.¦ ?Yes. Yes. I would like you to draw this garden for me. Do a painting or drawing and bring it in for us to look at. Please, enjoy this.
Take your time. The hose is bringing the necessary water in to feed the life of your soul. Was there anything else in the dream?¦ I was falling. Fast-Dark-.Falling-falling? 6;falling-. down into a moving sinking world of spinning sides that seemed to direct and channel my fall. There was a whirring noise and a fogginess and the fall continued as if there was no end.
As if I was falling to the center of the earth and out the other side. I had no sense of time, only direction-down-.down-.down- ;– ?Keep breathing now-. Yes. That is right. Keep your breath moving in the area of your eyes. And now in this area.
See how this area is so immobile. Yes. You can breathe into it. Don-t worry. Breathe!¦ He seemed so confident as he sat next to me.
The sensations of my body shifted, moving here and there. Sometimes stuck and holding in my head or my arm, screaming- screaming with contracted agony. ?It is fine. You are releasing trapped energy. You must stay with it.
You are a cultural and political prisoner of all that you were born into. Breathe now. Just breathe. I have not put up with Freud, gotten thrown out of several countries, and continued with my theories in the face of so many small minded beaurocrats for nothing. I know what I am doing. Continue.¦ Suddenly I found that perhaps Freud was right about something.
Now as I continued to breathe, I could feel my libido, my life force, rising. Rising out of not one area of my body, rising from several places. Moving, stopping, and changing direction as I found more pain and then release and then actual ecstatic moments of release. ?I must leave you now. They have come to arrest me. My colleague, Dr. Lowen will continue with you.¦ I tried to rise and reach for my street clothes.
?Yes, I am Dr. Lowen. No need to get up. Keep going. You are welcome to meet me.
I am happy to see you are doing such important work. But now I would like to ask you to please continue to breathe as you bend over this chair. There is still much body armor to work with. When I look at your body I can see that you are holding in. Your anxiety is simply energy you have not discharged.
Yes, holding much in. We can work well together. You need to reestablish your orgiastic potency. We can work with that. Keep breathing. You are doing quite well. Don-t try to speak.
Just breathe. That is where we will process the ore. I have other colleagues who will help you also. Doctors and lay people who have studied with me and my students. Yes. Relax now.
Enough for one session.¦ I opened my eyes to find myself exhausted and spent on the daybed. My fire was out. It was cold in the darkened house. Strange. There was a greater sense of peace.
No, not peace. More of a sense of, well, strange- That is to say a difference. More movement. There seemed to be more space and freedom in my body. I was exhausted, but somehow more alive, and slowly beginning to shiver with awareness of the cold.
Ahhh there-.fire is so good. So elemental. So attractive. As I finished with the poker and relaxed in front of the fresh flames, I continued to marvel at the greater energy in my limbs. It was as if more of my body had come alive again.
Alive after a great sleep. And more hungry for living. Now how did he have me do that? That breathing? None of this intellectual talking nonsense. I was moved from one reality to another. It is the inhibition of my breathing that has been the source of my personality problems.
I must do more. But now my stomach is making a racket. I best get myself to the kitchen and rustle up something warm and tasty. It is, after all, the season! Is there any brandy in the pantry? Perhaps a hot toddy and some cookies as I enjoy the night. Yes.
Here we are. Soon as this kettle whistles I can take these goodies back to my wonderful fire. There you are you old Mutt! Snoozing under the kitchen table. You look so peaceful. You look so content. What? Well, look at that! Your paws are twitching! You are dreaming, for heavens sake! What on earth could you be dreaming? I guess we all have something to dream about, huh? Maybe those Jungians are right when they say we dream so that in the world of symbols we can work out our adaptive problems. Adaptive problems? I have plenty of those! Isn-t that the nature of life on earth? Oh, who cares! I have a fire just waiting for me and my toes can-t wait to be toasting next to it! I-ll just set this little plate down here and pull my coverlet over myself.
Where is that pillow? Oh, there. Let-s see, my cookies, my toddy, my coverlet, my fire, what could be better? A perfectly serene moment. Ahhhh-. Uhhhh-. What is this? Something isn-t right. I can-t seem to really enjoy. Relax. Here I am with all I want.
Peace and quiet and such a great scene. What is going on? I just can-t seem to-. ?OK, just relax. Relax and notice inside. Just pay attention inwardly.
In your body. Notice what comes there when you ask, ?How is my life going? What is the main thing for me right now?¦ Let the answers come. Sense within your body. Don-t go inside it. Just sense it.
Notice it. Now say to yourself, ?Yes, that-s there. I can feel that¦ Now notice what else is there. Notice that. Acknowledge and feel that. Put it aside.
And continue to do this. There may be a several things. ? ?Now, from among what came, just select one of those problems. Just one. Focus on that one.
Don-t go inside it. Just notice it. Focus. Stay outside of it. There may be many sensations. J …