Electric Dreams

Life, Art, Dream 

Dreamwork, Is It Worth It?

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Alissa Goldring 

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Goldring, Alissa (1997 March). Life, Art Dream : Dreamwork, Is It Worth It? Column. Electric Dreams 4(3). Retrieved July 19, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams


Once in a while I find myself wondering , " Alissa, why do you spend all this time on dreams?" Then along comes a dream that makes me laugh, or gives me insight or wakes me up, and often carries meaning for others as well -- and I know it's all very worthwhile. Like this one; and when I told it to a friend she exclaimed, "That's me too! You should see the piles in my office!"

The dream ( Saturday, February 15, 1997)

"I have some meat and chicken I'm carrying from a public place where I had stored it, to put into my refrigerator to cook later. But I see that my frig is packed over full, and the top part, the freezer too. And it is not working, there is no electricity. It is not cold, but it is bursting with a solid wall of packed stuff. Nothing is staying fresh, yet I'm trying to add more. . ."

Although the frig was vividly clear, it did not look like an ordinary frig -- there were no shelves on the doors or inside.

Of course I asked myself, Is this a picture of my accumulations, clutter? I thought of my endless struggle with the mail, paperwork, letters to answer, books to read, slides to store, files to sort, dreams to index, etc etc etc!!! -- not to mention maintenance: laundry and marketing, cooking and eating, walking and swimming and time with family and friends, and perhaps see a film! -- and the hope to create space for the "real work" of painting and writing! No wonder I felt like a jam-packed storage.

But I've been going on like this, rather hopelessly, for years, with periodic bouts of cleanup and reorganization and fresh starts. My Mac Desktop is a case in point !I feel myself drowning in the mass of information inundating us on every side. I see myself like a wide-eyed child at a vast buffet -- wanting to taste everything, and getting indigestion while trying to save up tempting morsels for later.

I see that I am in a ridiculous, hopeless situation. An impasse. This dream shows me how ludicrous my efforts are. But it does not give an answer. I will have to find the solution in living. What the dream does is free me from blind repetition, from being stuck in trying harder in the old habits. It asks me, is this what you want to be doing?

There is a saying that a problem cannot be solved on the level of the problem. Which is what I'd been trying to do for so long. The mind which created the situtation cannot extricate itself. Was it Hercules who, challenged to undo a knot which no one could untie, cut the Gordian Knot with his sword?

I see that I must stop accumulating right now, and let go the previous pile up. This requires a total change of attitude and action and goes deep into my *need to collect*. This frig part of myself makes me look at my definition of myself - am I what I save? or are they my habitual substitutes for love, security and trust, no less!

Alissa Goldring

You can write to me at Alissa@dreamgate.com

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