Monday, January 06, 2014

Last night's anxiety dream. I was a grifter with my dad and younger brother. We had a scam we called the 'road sting' where we'd set up a broken-looking car in the countryside by the side of the road just before a bend. One of us would wait with the car and then the others would wait around the bend. Then we'd fleece any kind-hearted people who stopped to help.

We had set up our 'road sting' and were waiting for victims when suddenly a plane crashed onto the road up ahead. It flew low over our heads and then ploughed into the road with debris strewn everywhere. Then as we were staring, another plane came flying overhead, really low and tilted alarmingly to one side.

"I've never seen a plane fly sideways!" I said to my grifter-dad (who was a character, not my actual dad), and then the plane unceremoniously crash-landed on its roof some distance from us, up on the hill that flanked the road. It landed quite softly and quietly, looking totally intact except for being upside-down, but then an explosion came from within and it listed to one side.

Ambulances and police flooded the scene. Blood was draining down the hill from the upside-down plane towards us. My grifter-brother became upset and I tried to console him. I was mainly shocked that we'd been so close to two plane crashes without being injured ourselves. We realised our 'road sting' was over and retreated to the local sad guesthouse where we'd been staying.

At this point the dream underwent a kind of metamorphosis so I was still staying in the country, but was no longer a grifter and my companions were my real-life friends. I was in a country tearoom with my friends and a Jersey cow wandered in. It was extremely tame and behaved like a large dog, nuzzling people and pressing into their sides. The cow was locally famous for being very friendly and docile and the tearoom owners let it roam about.

It sat at my male friend's feet (at this point in the dream, I think the friend coalesced into Stuart) and I tried to take a photo, but my stupid phone wouldn't go wide enough to take in the whole scene, only either Stuart or the cow. He sat there posing with an increasingly fixed photo smile on his face, waiting for me to take the damn photo while I prodded at my phone in a flustered way.

Finally we were heading home from our country trip. I think we had been to a wedding in the country or something. I remember everyone setting off from a country estate in a convoy of cars. It was my turn to drive. Our car was the Modras' old red Commodore (fondly named 'The Shitmobile'). Despite the name, I always picture that car in my memory (and hence in the dream) as it was when it was new(ish) and gleaming like a boiled lolly, rather than in its sad final days when Lucy drove it.

I got lost in some rural city centre (Bendigo? Ballarat?) because some workmen had just finished painting new road markings that indicated we had to drive into a building and get a ticket. I drove in, got out to get the ticket, then thought I should confer with my friends, who were standing outside the building. Then I panicked and said to Stuart, "I've left the car running with the key in the ignition!"

He laughed good-naturedly and I rushed back to where I'd left the car BUT IT WAS GONE with all our stuff in it! Have you ever had that terrible lurch when you've realised something of yours has been stolen? The rest of the dream was me running wildly and fruitlessly through the various levels of this building (which seemed to be a university campus building; there were lots of posters and brightly painted walls, and it reminded me of the endless lifts and escalators at Monash Caulfield) trying to see the car and catch the bandit without having to tell Penny and Stuart I'd let it get stolen.

Now I think about it, what a strange dream that begins with me as a road criminal stealing stuff from motorists and ends with me as the motorist being stolen from. I wonder what the crashing planes mean. Last Friday I was at Brad's birthday party and in his bathroom is a poster with various dream interpretations.

According to this site, "To dream that a plane crashes signifies that you have set overly high and unrealistic goals for yourself. You are in danger of having those goals come crashing down. Alternatively, the crashing airplane represents your lack of confidence, self-defeating attitude and self-doubt. You do not believe in your own ability to achieve those goals. Loss of power and uncertainty in achieving your goals are also signified."

Further, "To dream that you are stealing suggests that you are feeling deprived. The locale (at home, the office, at school, etc) of where the stealing takes place is indicative of your neediness. Alternatively, stealing signifies unrealized and unfulfilled goals. You may have set your goals too high.

"To dream that someone is stealing something from you indicates that you are experiencing an identity crisis or are suffering from some sort of loss in your life. Alternatively, the dream means that someone has stolen your success or has taken credit for something you did. Perhaps you feel that you have been treated unfairly."

And according to this site, "The visual aspects of a plane crash may symbolize the fact that you cannot achieve goals as you have them arranged, while the crash itself may represent your feelings. If you feel helpless while you watch the plane crash, it can indicate that you are setting yourself up for failure because of your beliefs about any challenging goal or situation in your life. Oddly enough, if you are aware of the sound of a plane crashing, it may mean that you will succeed in achieving your goals."

But the idea of simply paging through a 'dream dictionary' kind of falls over when various motifs are combined into a narrative – for instance, how to interpret 'a cow that behaves like a dog that sits with your friend and that you couldn't photograph'? This site says: "If you were the one taking photos in your dream, this symbolizes your need to hold on to a feeling, or an image of yourself, from a point in your life that's now in the past." It also says, "Dog dreams that are positive mean that the dreamer is lucky in friendship." and "Cows in dreams represent wealth, happiness and femininity."

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