Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dreams, Real Life, and Writing

A couple of weeks ago (about a month after I started going to therapy) I began to feel as if I'd had surgery-- like some poisonous little thing had been snipped out, and I was all sewn up and tucked in for a long recuperation. A little later I began to imagine my situation as an untangling. Somehow my  sense of wellness and my view for my future had gotten knitted into the same garment as the financial settlement of my divorce, and now we'd pulled the whole thing off the needles for a thorough unravelling. I still really, really want to get my half of the joint assets, but it don't feel like I'm wearing it all the time.

Then Sunday I went by myself to a poetry reading in Santa Monica. My friend Sharon Charde had come all the way from Vermont to read with a group of other poets who'd all been published in Rattle. Somewhere on the 10 West the muse slipped into the passenger seat unannounced--not comfortably settled in exactly, but an idea or two rose up out of somewhere, and it occurred to me I should jot a note. I don't really jot down notes anymore, I thought. So I didn't bother to rustle around and find the pencil and the post-its I keep in the center console.

But there were more ideas, and finally during the poetry reading intermission, I pulled my index card notebook out of my purse and wrote something down.

And the dreams. I'm having dreams and remembering them. My therapist, who's trained in Jungian dream analysis, listens to me while I read my written record of my dreams, and then she reads them again herself, and we discuss them. When I was growing up in Iowa imagining that I'd meet my one true love and stay married forever, I'd never have predicted that 40-some years later I'd be divorced and dreaming about my ex and telling the dreams to a therapist and feeling better about everything.

I keep dreaming about light.

And I've had two dreams about cats--cats that I, at first, thought were other animals, and then, Presto! The rabbit turns into a cat.
The fish turns into a cat.

I hope I'm turning back into a writer.


Elizabeth said...

But you had never turned into anything else.

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