Sunday, September 10, 2006

What Dreams May Come

I've heard it said that a person's dreams are only interesting to him/herself. I'm going to test out this theory...

I few weeks ago, I dreamt that I died. This is not unusual for my dreamlife. I have died in all manner of ways... my least favorite being the "falling" deaths, due to the sickening feeling in the gut on the way down. What was peculiar about this dream was what happened afterward. Normally, I wake up at the instant of death, gasp, and thank God that it wasn't real. This time, I found myself alone in a bare yellow-walled room, and I knew that I was in Purgatory. I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness at the prospect of being completely alone here. And I didn't know what to do. What does one do in an empty yellow room? Thankfully, I woke up due to some noise outside my window. For once, I was happy to be a light sleeper. How long would I have been trapped in that room otherwise?

Naturally, this dream engendered a slew of questions: do I even believe in the idea of Purgatory? why was I alone? what is one supposed to do in Purgatory, if one finds oneself there? why yellow?

If you have any answers to my questions, or an interpretation of my dream, or would like to share one of yours, I'm all ears.


Anonymous alissa said...

if this were my dream, i think i could write pages about its meaning to me. but its your dream, and the key to understanding it is its context. which is you, and your relationships. that said,
i still think its important to share your dreams.

here are some things i would consider, if it were my dream, tempered by the fact that its yours. maybe it will help you, if only to discover what your dream is not.

my understanding of purgatory is as an in-between place, a place to wait. so it makes sense that i would be alone, stuck in an empty room. what do you do in such a situation? you think and wait.

i think purgatory is traditionally a place of purification. i don't know much about that, but if you do, then consider it.

the room being yellow is also fitting. here are some things about yellow. i had a yellow bedroom as a child, and the rooms of my schools were often yellow. what is your own experience with yellow rooms?

i would consider the function of being there. is it to wait in sadness? to go mad or find solace in isolation? is it to conjure an exit by my understanding of it? to bring others into it? to decorate it? to leap up in fury and smash through its walls? what is outside the yellow room? heaven? a bicycle repair shop? more yellow rooms?

does it signify a literal purgatory? a literal heaven that requires purification? a personal purgatory? a situation that requires change? where do i feel lonliness and isolation in my waking life? where do i feel trapped? how do i connect? how do i ecsape?

your dream is a riddle and it goes like this: you are in a yellow room with no exits. there is only your sadness. what do you do? or it goes like this: you are in a yellow room with no exits. there is only your sadness. why are you there?

or it goes both ways or some other way that i could never tell you.

now for my own dream, which is vaguely similar to yours. i had this dream about seven years ago. in the dream, i was in egypt, a man, and had been some kind of leader. i was trapped in a small one-room tomb. the walls were completely covered in hieroglyphics. they told the story of how i had caused (somehow) the deaths of all villagers who were my responsibility. i was to remain there forever for my crime.

i don't know the significance of this dream. i do remember that i was struck by the dissimilarity to my own life, and the egyptian theme that seemed to spring up from nowhere.

i hope you find the answers to your questions.
i hope you don't mind that i read your blog.

7:24 AM  
Blogger J said...

thanks for your response. you've given me a lot to think about. oftentimes, i find that my dreams are just a mish-mash of each day's fears, frustrations, hopes, etc... but every once in awhile i get one like this purgatory one (and like your Egyptian dream) that make me think about Carl Jung's "collective consciousness" idea. i like the concept that we are all somehow connected by a thin thread of unconscious memory.

6:55 AM  

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