I Dream of Emma (who is a dog)

Mon. June 19, 2006
Categories: Dreams

Emma runs away

Playfully returns.

We have such joy together.

I dance. She watches through the screen.

Then I watch as Father

Slaps her nose, and says

“it’s for her own good”


Waking thought:  I lack the discipline to be in a Ph.D. program.

Free associations

I choose experiences when I “should be studying.” “Are you spontaneous?” a new friend asks and off I go to listen to him sing bards and recite poems in front of a blazing fire, drinking wine, sharing energy that made me so happy. I pull weeds with my landlord when my roommate says the garden is looking sad, that things are overgrown.  I choose fellowship over solitude, such as dinner with friends, conversation with my nephew (who has since moved away but it being so important for me to get to know him), talking with my man and making love, or sleepless nights.  All the while I truly desire to soul search, to read, to write.

The Dog –The happy dog represents embodiment, that I love exercise, freedom, movement. Emma, the Bernese mountain dog that lived next door just moved away with her owners two weeks ago. We loved each other, very much.  She was extremely happy, whereas I am dog-tired.  I fear I have no discipline to be true to myself, nor to another. I feel as if I am failing to do my best in the Ph.D. program, meanwhile I continue to excel in my day job. I love my inner dog, my animal instincts and passion and want to bring her into my holy relationship. Women who run with wolves know how to love and are wise and happy, I tell myself.  They will not be punished!  They will be rewarded!

Away – I am out running around and feeling enjoyment, well-being and contentment. I have had good fellowship with friends. But even though studying soul I feel distant from myself, and I want to move in a different direction. I also feel away from myself at work, away at school, away from home, away from family.

Return – I want to return to myself, to bring myself back to the point of departure, to change direction, a prior location, go back to a previous state, to come back to a place where I have been before, go back to something earlier as when I was writing poems.  I am not at the point of no return, at a critical point at which turning back or reversal is not possible.

Sorrow – the feeling in this dream is the opposite of joy, it is of great sorrow or sadness with something done wrong. An emotion of great sadness associated with loss and bereavement.  I think I am bereaving the loss of Emma, of my nephew Jeremiah moving to Washington, and the future loss of my brother Herb, oh I forgot to say I lost the project I was working on. I am developing bad habits, i.e. smoking hookah too often and drinking.  Mary wrote me an email about my grade that slipped to a C in Liberation Psychology and offered to give me a week extension to submit more work, which I declined.  I fear the summer and the fieldwork, and dread the incompletes that have to be done.

Father – The “loving” authority figure thinks it is tough love to slap the dog, but the punishment is unfathomable to the dog! The father is god, is superego, a priest, one who makes children obey, the male parent, the founder of a family, not a mother. A lot of pain is associated here because my own father is once said “Can you just settle down?” but years later, when I asked what to do with my life, he was the one who said to “follow your heart”.   I am trying to make myself settle down because I feel reprimanded (by my mother ) for following my heart.  My father thought of his own mother as someone to be ashamed of, as someone who had lovers.  I am like her.  The lover gives me back my life, gives me happiness.  It is not the joy of spiritual union, of marriage. I want to be an obedient dog, they are well-liked. Do I want someone to control me and make me be good?  Cannot I be trusted? I want trust more than anything.

The Slap on the Nose –For me the nose is about following my instincts, it means to catch the scent of or get wind of, to cause to move forward, sense of smell, to push or move.  I think it is a knack for discovery or understanding, it is the ability to get to the point, to win by a nose in a race.  The nose is used to nuzzle, to show affection or to examine and search.  It is to engage in something as a calling or way of life, a pursuit, or following a path.  It is also to obey and follow directions, which I am not doing very well. To follow one’s nose is to go in a straight or obvious course, or to proceed without plan or reflection: obey one’s instincts.

But the slap on the nose is punishment for following my instincts.  The man who wants to marry me worked in the penal system, first as a parole officer then as a corrections officer and towards the end he worked with the criminally insane. I fear severe, rough, or disastrous and punitive treatment by him. My nose has been irritated since living in this old haphazardly built house in Topanga. My sinuses have experienced great pain.  I feel shattered when I am punished.

Comments are closed.