Writing or Dreaming?

ImageThis morning I woke from a dream in which I was chasing a wolf out of my back yard. My weapon was a large baseball bat. The wolf’s weapon was invisible. I think it’s called fear. Dream symbolism being what it is, I assumed that this message was about feeling that the wolf is at my door and I should do something about that. My house is under siege. Strong reaction called for. In the dream, I find the bat on the porch among a stand of wooden posts and such. I’m not sure I should use this bat. It’s fresh wood, unfinished. It’s not mine. But what if that wolf eats one of our little dogs? I run outside with the bat and POOF! the wolf is gone. Dream rescues often work like that, no gore, just wish fulfillment.

Once I was wide awake and seated with my journal, I thought more about that dream. I’ve heard that the first meaning in probing a dream is not the only meaning. The writer in me finally woke up and said, What if? What if I had called the dogs inside and let the wolf sit there in the sun? This was a she-wolf, reddish, big, healthy looking. She was not threatening anyone or anything. I missed the chance of watching her, a wild creature, up close through the safety of the window. Maybe she was not the evil messenger of want that I first thought. Maybe I should not have been so quick to chase her away.

Writing is like this: an image pops up from the unconscious and we chase it away, assuming that it’s a harbinger of fear or silliness. We don’t want it hanging around, so we swing at it with a bat. And it goes away. It probably won’t visit again. Better to sit with it, see what it has to offer. (I just typed to as tao–hmm, that might also mean something.) The next time there’s a wolf at my window, I think I’ll be patient. If she lunges at me, okay, I’ll defend myself. But if she’s just a casual visitor, I might get to know her.

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