I am a small child carrying a pile of books much too heavy for me. I want to
put them down but I cannot find any place to set them. I am in the basement of
the house. The lady in charge is upstairs and I am afraid of her, and do not
want to anger her by putting the books in the wrong place. I struggle to hold
the books and do not know what to do. I see a small table where I would like to
set the books, but I am afraid that the lady upstairs will be angry.
We know that dreams are multi-faceted. While every element in a dream
represents a part of ourselves in our inner drama, dreams also often refer to
actual people and situations and our attitudes toward them. This dream is
multi-level literally and figuratively: the child is in the basement, the lady
in charge in the upper floor, reflecting the inner relationship between a child
and authority with power over her. I certainly recognize these sub-personalities
-- my intimidated child and dominating "lady in charge" -- and my
extreme anxiety and discomfort.
I ask myself, Who is "the lady in charge" in me? I hear the voices
of mother and teachers, figures in authority during my early years who had other
concerns than a child's feelings and needs. In this dream, the child in me still
cannot find her own way, cannot set down her heavy load and free her hands to do
what she needs to do in her own life. The books she carries signify to me the
weight of intellectualization, of being in my head rather than in my heart. -- a
"head trip" laid on the child who was not free to be a child.
The online version with graphics of Alissa's work is at