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 in the dream

as father slaps her nose, and says it’s for her own good


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 playful dog represents embodiment and that I love exercise, freedom and movement. Emma, the Bernese mountain dog lived next door until two weeks before the dream. We loved each other. Her owner was jealous because Emma came when I called and ignored her calls.  Emma was easily extremely happy but 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, even though I excel in my day job. I miss my inner dog, my animal instincts and passion and want to bring her into 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’ve had good fellowship with friends. But even studying soul I feel distant from myself, and I want to move in a different direction. I feel away from myself at work, away from myself at school, and away from home and my family. Homesick? Soul sick?

Return – I want to return to myself, to bring myself back to the point that I departed from; to see if I can change direction back to a prior location, 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.

Sorrow – The feeling I have in this dream is of great sorrow with something gone wrong (or done wrong). I am bereaving the loss of Emma; the loss of my nephew, Jeremiah, who moved to Washington (Jeremiah died, you know); and I suspect that I felt the loss of my brother, Herb, a priori (he bled out from a .22 bullet in his heart). I forgot to say I lost a project that I was working on in my day job. I am smoking hookah perhaps too often (and drinking too often?)  Mary wrote me an email about my grade slipping to a C in Liberation Psychology and offered to give me a week extension to submit more work, which I declined. Oh my nerve! I dread the summer ‘s fieldwork (it is as yet undecided what I will do), and the incompleteness of my studies.

Father – The authority figure who thinks it is tough love to slap the dog on the nose (my father was like that in real life). The father is god, is superego, a priest, one who makes children obey, the male parent, the founder of a family, not the mother. A lot of pain is associated here and the dog in the dream is stunned. I am trying to make myself settle down and be more disciplined. I feel reprimanded for having fun (Cindi Lauper was right after all).  I want to be an obedient dog, to be well-liked but it has never happened before. Do I want someone to control me and make me be good?  Can I not be trusted to finish what  I started?

The Slap on the Nose –The nose is about following my instincts; it means to catch the scent of or get wind of; to cause to move forward; a sense of smell; to push or move.  I think it is a knack for discovery or understanding; as in the ability to get to the point: or 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.  But isn’t it also to obey and follow directions, which I am not doing very well? Am I supposed to follow a straight course versus a circuitous route without plan or reflection? The slap feels like 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. I feel shattered when I am punished as does the dog in this dream.

My sinuses have experienced pain and my nose irritated since living in this whimsical, moldy old house in Topanga.

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