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Archive for September 4th, 2009

Dreams

One of the things that appealed to me about Jim was the fact that he enjoyed reading.   When I first went to meet his parents, I noticed book shelves with books in the living room.   I thought that was a good sign.   It was only much later that I had my attention drawn to the entire wall of books in the basement.

When his mother died and the contents of the house were being dealt with, many of those books came home to reside with us.   I doubt if any of them have “value” in terms of money.   There are times when I wonder what criteria were used to decide which books to tote here.  When the boxes arrived, they were put up onto our shelves willy-nilly.   There is NO cataloguing or arrangement system in place at The Havens, I am afraid, and the situation will only deteriorate when the books at my parents’ place have to be dealt with.

So anyway, the other day we were motivated to search for Owen Wister’s “The Virginian” and in the process one of the odd books that has been hiding on the shelves in the back room rose to the surface of the ocean, so to speak, and floated into the living room, where it has been amusing us.

This book is “Ten Thousand Dreams Interpreted: or What’s in a Dream, A Scientific and Pracitcal Exposition,” by one Gustavus Hindman Miller.  This book was copyrighted 1901, and this is the first (and probably only) edition.   How it arrived at the family manse and why it stayed long enough to be adopted by us is a mystery.   The book is not.

(I have a “Dream Dictionary”, by Tony Crisp, copyright 2002, which I use occasionally to help me elucidate some of my rather odd dreams.   Let me just say that I don’t put a lot of credence into dream interpretation, but sometimes by looking in my D. D. I get an insight into what the heck is going on in my subconscious.)

Now that the usual disclaimers have been made, I wish to present to you one of the Ten Thousand Dreams, as interpreted by Herr Miller.

“For a woman to dream of flying from one city to another, and alighting on church spires,”    Wait, we must stop here for a moment and meditate on this image.   How poignant, how precise a dream.  It is the “alighting on church spires” part that really intrigues me.   Is this such a common dream, alighting on church spires while flying from one city to another? “foretells she will have much to contend against in the way of false persuasions and declarations of love.  She will be threatened with a disastrous season of ill health, and the death of some one near to her may follow.”

(In contrast, the 2002 book relates dreaming of flying suggestive of confidence and the ability to solve present life problems.  By the way, there is no mention of alighting on church spires.)

I don’t know.   I just like the imagery, the way the language is used, the very archaic view of life and relationships.

If you dream of “falling from a foot-log into clear water, it signifies short widowhood terminating in an agreeable marriage.  If the water is not clear, gloomy prospects.”  Something that signifies widowhood is not gloomy?   I guess it depends on who you are widowed from.  (There are no foot-logs in the 2002 book.)

Here’s another:  “For a man to dream that he is a girl, he will be weak-minded, or become an actor and play female parts.”  Wonder if Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams ever dreamed of being a girl?

Okay, just one more.   “Mountain:  For a young woman to dream of crossing a mountain in company with her cousin and dead brother, who was smiling, denotes she will have a distinctive change in her life for the better, but there are warnings against allurements and deceitfulness of friends.   If she becomes exhausted and refuses to go further, she will be slightly disappointed in not gaining quite so exalted a position as was hoped for by her.”

Have you ever, woman or man, young or old, dreamed about crossing a mountain with your cousin and dead brother, who was smiling?

I don’t know.   This may become a regular feature at The Havens.

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