Daily Archives: August 21, 2012

Self-Loathing?

This is actually a comment response that ran so long I decided to post it as a new article. It’s in response to a comment from wakemenow on my Venus & Mars post yesterday.

I’ve heard many a tale about the competition among women. There have even been some articles published in work-related blogs about women in business being far harder on other women than on men. I’ve long assumed it was primarily based on competition for a resource (position, power, money) that was viewed as scarce, but I have come to wonder if there isn’t something else at work as well.

This is a fairly fresh line of thought, so bear with me if it seems poorly thought out (or just flat-out wrong).

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Strange Dreams

Had a pair of interesting dreams I want to record. They were odd enough to stay with me once I awoke, and interesting enough (to me) that I want to record them. They seem possibly related to my current job situation.

(NOTE: This post is intended more for myself—a true web log—than for any putative readership, so you may not find it very interesting. This is your one and only warning! Continued reading may lead to a why am I reading this syndrome!)

Get on the bus?

The main substance of one vanished quickly, as the vapor of dreams do, but one thing stands out. It involved a bus that was leaving (for Florida) on some expedition or mission. The bus was one of those ultra-luxury tour buses, rather than, say, a city transportation or school bus. There was a sense of a corporate, or at least organizational, operation, more than of a vacation or fun trip. People I knew were on the bus, and they were leaving with a purpose.

I had declined to join the mission, and as the doors, front and back (midway back, actually, on the side of the bus), were closing, I walked forwards to the front door thinking I had one last chance to knock on the door, get the driver’s attention and join the mission. I was uncertain whether I really wanted to do that. There was both an element of “should I” but also an element of “could I.” That is, I was uncertain if I wanted to join them, but also uncertain if they would allow me to join them at this point.

As I approached the front door of the bus, it pulled out and left. Watching it leave, I wasn’t disappointed or upset. That dream ends there.

One interesting side detail: there was a second bus with a smaller group. This bus was one of those VW Transporter “micro-buses,” and the people on this bus were all hippies. The usual sort, dressed the usual hippie way, and the bus was decorated how you might expect. I seemed to know these people at some level, but had no mind to join them.

There was another aspect which is either a separate dream or related to this one. It involved being outside what might have been some sort of downtown office building. There was a carnival atmosphere and street artists of the sort you might find in Mallory Square, in Key West, at sunset. There was no actual carnival; no rides or attractions. Just a sense of expectation and festivity.

I’m wondering if the reference to Mallory Square signifies sunset imagery. In the dream there was no such reference; no water, no sunset (it was day). It only occurs now as I write this about an hour after waking. Given that I’ve experienced many other contexts with a similar carnival atmosphere and street artists, perhaps there is a sub-conscious connection. Also: bus was leaving for Florida, which is where Mallory Square is.

In any event, the only bit I remember with any clarity at all is being one of the few willing to walk past this one act—one of those that force audience participation to any who come close. This act somehow involved huge masses of Silly String. I walked away fully coated, a bit like Cousin Itt from The Addams Family.

Call me weird, if you will, but as a child I had quite the crush on Morticia Addams). Still do.

What is that thing?

The second, unrelated (?), dream involves a critter in my house. At first it looked like a combination of a very large slug (about potato-sized) and a tuber or large root. It had a dozen or so long eye-stalks on one end. It had no legs, yet I was chasing it around the house. At some point I was pounding on it with, I believe, a book. It wouldn’t die! One of the little eye-stalks was looking up at me as I pounded on it. It made me wonder if it was intelligent and trying to communicate.

I have no idea why I was so determined to kill it. I wasn’t afraid or angry. It just had no place in my place, and it needed to be killed. It was as simple as that. I share my abode with spiders; I respect their tiny predatory natures (and they kill other bugs). We have a deal, my spider friends and I. So long as they don’t attract attention to themselves, they may live their lives in peace. It’s when I see one crawling across my wall, or the middle of my floor, that they earn the tissue treatment. (No, I don’t carefully take them outside. I am, in fact, applying evolutionary pressure to teach them to avoid large open spaces. Just doing my part for Mother Nature!)

Anyway, my tuber critter had the odd characteristic of seeming very attached to the floor. No legs, so how was it able to cling so well? When it finally died, I used a stick to lift and examine it (actually more of a very long, narrow, shallow box with no lid, almost a skinny tray, like a huge, flat incense holder/ash catcher). Here’s where it gets weird (as if it wasn’t already).

Suddenly it was like I was looking at an octopus from the bottom. Either the eye-stalks had morphed into large tentacles (complete with suckers), or somehow large tentacles had been concealed beneath it. I was examining it in curiosity when this segment ended.

Some Analysis

Two images may link to things I’ve looked at recently, and it may be that my mind was just using the imagery. The critter in my house seems aligned with this blog post about an iguana in the house. The blog author and I exchanged some interesting comments yesterday (I’m interested in seeing where he takes his blog). In any event, it was fresh in my mind last night.

I suspect the “strange critter” in my house (mind?) represents something else though. The casual requirement of killing it is interesting, and why the octopus tentacles? It was, the only word that springs to mind is, grotesque. Does it represent something grotesque within myself that I’m trying (or should be trying) to kill? In the dream, I did kill it. Is that a plan, or a memory?

The leaving bus theme is a lot more clear! It obviously represents my work situation. I have been faced with the option of choosing to retire or trying to find another position in the company. I just now realized: bus was going to Florida, which among other things symbolizes retirement. I had thought the bus represented work (the sense of mission), and that I was choosing to not join work. But did it really mean I was choosing to not join retirement?

Great, now I’m still as conflicted as I was to begin with!

The hippie VW bus is an element that may come from having browsed through pictures of former girl friends for my Venus & Mars post yesterday. One of those former loves owned a certain VW bus of fond memory. In fact, one of the pictures I used was taken from the passenger seat of that bus.

But I wonder if the bus symbolizes my growing disconnection from elements of my own “hippie” past. That’s a topic for the future, but it was interesting that it worked its way into a dream that seems clearly job-related. I can think of a possible connection, but I’m not going to share all my secrets with you. (In point of fact, I’m not sharing many of my secrets with you! Nor will I ever.)

Waking up this morning also featured one of the most abrupt transitions from sleep to awake I’ve experienced in a long time (in fact, I think not since the other two dreams I recorded here, although the transition that time was really funny). This time I went from black night to bright day in an instant. And I was fully aware of the transition. An instant of black, and then bright day.

It was very striking!