What Does it Mean When… ?

My dreams have been highly charged with symbolic images lately, more than likely due to my reading of Man and His Symbols, by Jung et al. I’ve scribbled a few haphazard images down in my journal, but there’s been little free time to think about what the dreams might mean. Instead, I’ve been reading poetry, attending readings, grading papers, planning for classes, cooking a few dinners here and there, and trying to revise a few poems.

I qualify any interpretations of dreams with a big question mark, because it takes a long time to see the patterns in dream symbols. What does it mean if I see a horse lying on its side in a ditch? The only way to know is to take a wait and see attitude.

I let the image simmer for a while, and if it stays with me, I’ll free-write about it. I’ve come up with some rollicking prose poems that way. They’re self-indulgent, but very fun to write. My current project is about miniature foxes.

One of my favorite fiction writers is Kelly Link. She writes about zombies, mysterious rabbits, and homunculi, among other topics. Her stories lend themselves to anyone who enjoys dream imagery, postmodern fantasy, or magic. You can download portions of Magic for Beginners from her website.

6 thoughts on “What Does it Mean When… ?

  1. dale says:

    I sometimes wonder if the function of dreams might not be to produce images for the waking mind to work on later; that producing a poem or a prophecy might be the natural completion of the dream process, rather than a misappropriation of it, or a riff on it.


  2. Michelle says:

    I read such a funny quote this morning. In light of your post, I thought you might enjoy it:

    “Last night I dreamed I ate a ten-pound marshmallow, and when I woke up the pillow was gone.”

    – Tommy Cooper

    May you write many more rollicking prose poems.


  3. Julie says:

    Hi, Christine. Thanks for the link to “Magic For Beginners.” It looks fantastic! I imagine your semester’s load contributes to many of your vivid dreams. I’d love to read one of your new dream poems when you’re ready to show it.

    Dreams fascinate me. I think what you say is right on. It’s hard to interpret the meaning of a symbol in a dream unless there is a pattern. Even then, I’m probably wrong:)


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