One day my friend and colleague Robert Waggoner
read the proceedings of a lucid dreaming panel in a scientific journal. He told
me, "I was intrigued by one panelist who said that he had all of his mental
functioning in lucid dreams, including imagination and even dreaming."
Later that night Robert had this lucid dream:
"I'm in a room. It's bright and cheery. For some reason I feel that it's
a magician's shop or puppeteer's. There's a desk with a lamp, a chair with cloth
thrown about and items on the wall. I realize that I'm lucid and this is a dream
and I wonder if I can imagine something that isn't obviously there. As I stand,
I imagine a balance beam bar right in front of me, though I can't see it. Then I
drape my upper body over the invisible bar until my head is touching the floor
and my legs are parallel to the floor. And I grin and laugh. As I'm awakening, I
mentally touch up the dream with an extra scene of me seeing myself in an upside
When was the last time you had a humorous dream? Isn't that upside-down from
our usual way of dreaming? Ah, yes, anxiety and nightmare gets our attention
fast. Such dreams are perfect fodder for interpretive and conflict-resolving
dreamwork. But what do you do when the dream doesn't have to be diagnosed or
healed or sliced and diced? How do we honor a dream of joy? Sometimes I think
that dreamworkers haven't a clue. They just don't know what to do when a dream
or dream story is humorous.
Another close friend and colleague, Bob Trowbridge, once came to a meeting of
the Bay Area Dreamworkers Group and related this nonlucid dream:
"I'm sitting on the end of a double or queen size bed. A black Scotty
dog jumps up on the bed and bites and chews on my hand and wrist. Then he jumps
down again. I pat the bed and he jumps up and starts all over again. A woman in
the room tells me to watch the dog because another black Scotty dog is passing
"It turns out that there's a long, wide hallway to our right that opens
to the sidewalk outside with no door. The other Scotty sees or senses our dog
and comes running into the room. The Scotty on the bed jumps down and runs over
to the other dog and they sniff at each other's noses.
"The woman says to our dog, 'This is your brother Winston, Gennedy.' Our
dog looks at her and says, 'Winston Gennedy?' She says, 'No. Your name's Gennedy.
His name's Winston.'"
Bob then continued, "I told this dream to my friend Steve. I got to the
part where the woman goes, "This is your brother Winston, Gennedy."
Steve repeated (in a puzzled voice) "Winston Gennedy?"
We chuckled over the fact that Steve had heard the two names as if they had
been strung together, just like the dog did in the dream. Immediately
thereafter, the gung-ho dreamworkers jumped on Bob with their dreamwork methods.
They began to ask him questions like "How old are you in the dream?"
and "How do you feel in the dream?" You know, doing dreamwork. And Bob
replied, "No, no, no, I just wanted to share this dream. I think it's
So the serious workaholic mood changed and people started making wisecracks.
Like "What a hairy dream!" Or calling it a "shaggy dog
story." At this point, the hostess, who had been out of the room, came back
in. She heard all the chuckling and laughing and asked, "What's up?"
Bob began to tell the dream all over again. He got to the part where the woman
is saying "Winston, Gennedy" and the hostess repeated, "Winston
Gennedy?" The whole group cracked up again.
Finally, from across the room, Kent Smith spoke up. He cleared his throat and
said, "Bob, if this were my dream, I'd forget it."
I was laughing so hard, I slid off my pillow.
Right on, Kent. Sometimes you do have to forget it. You have to forget doing
interpretation or making sense and look at things from a fresh point of view.
Like upside down and backwards, hanging over a parallel bar. Or flatass on the