Sunday, January 18, 2009

That Wriggled and Wiggled and Jiggled Inside Her

It's been a remarkable week for the 31 Dreamers. Many of you have responded to this blog with gushing feedback, which I've taken liberties to re-post as comments at the bottom of individual posts. One dreamer even went so far as to actualize the pierogies of another dreamer's dreams and then sent them my way. I am feasting on them right now with a side of sauerkraut are they are good.

Our dream of the day narrowly skirts around the culinary marvels of her part of the world: India. Runa had time to jot this down and send it along from an internet café in the town of Dharamsala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, perhaps best known as the home of the Dalai Lama and seat of the exiled Tibetan government. It may prove furtive ground for dreams. Here's Runa's:
I am in my grandmother’s kitchen, which she has just thoroughly cleaned. I somehow manage to drop a big pile of cinnamon and dust on top of her kitchen cupboard. Trying to clean it I take a towel from the sink, but since it is wet it just makes everything more dirty. Suddenly I realize there is something inside the pile, something that moves. It is a big (hand size) black spider, and because of me and the towel, it is now divided in two, but still alive. It makes me panic to see I have hurt it, so I sweat, my hair stands on end and I feel desperate and don’t know what to do. When I make a sudden movement I cause one of the halves of the spider to fly through the air and land in the sink. It falls into the drain but tries to get out of there. I’m panicking completely. I feel I should kill it to finish its suffering, so I try to flush it down. The spider tries to get out all the time but I flush and flush while I cry and cry and finally it disappears. I feel horrible. I think I should maybe also kill the other part of the spider that is still on top of the cupboard but I just can't do it. I decide to leave it be and hope everything will be alright without me interfering.

Runa, this dream can be read as many ways as a spider has legs. You're left at the end in a place of total anxiety, but you enter it in comfort—a safe space in your life that's an orderly idea of the past—the way things were and therefore ought to be. Then you go and make a bit of a mess of that place. Had it just been cinnamon that you'd spilled, no problem, you could've just swept most of it back into the jar. But that dust is a problem. You'd like to organize it all in your head, but the stale bits remain inseparable from exciting experiences and they just become more muddled together in your haphazard cleanup attempt. 

In the midst of all this emerges something really big and scary. Your relationship to this thing is difficult. You fear it, yet you lament its debilitation. You want to flush it away, but feel guilty about this desire. You kill off half of it, and save the other half—for what? For dinner? To be eaten with a sprinkling of dust and cinnamon? No Runa, that would be cannibalism, because this dissected arachnid is part of you—some portion of your inner soul that you don't want to see. But there it is, wiggling around in the dusty masala of your troubles, injured and immobilized. To kill it off completely would be like slicing off a piece of your own psyche—a partial suicide that could inadvertently damage the good things in an attempt to eradicate the bad.

Both in dreams and out, spiders signify many things. Danger and protection. Beauty and ugliness. Mobility and entrapment. Intelligence and fear. Your spider is severed from the start, as if her dual nature could be separated. But to divvy up these qualities would be as unlikely as extracting dust from ground cinnamon.

Runa, perhaps the most telling thing is your word choice at the end of this narrative: Interfering. You see all this as your own doing, your own fault. Though your self-blame seems a little harsh, there is some wisdom there. Could we rewind this dream back to when you make your first mess in the kitchen, maybe you begin not by acting, but by thinking. What would be the best method to clean up this dust? A broom? A vacuum? A shovel? Maybe while you pondered this you'd see a stirring in the pile. What is that? A mouse? A rat? No, a spider! And then what you'd do with this spider might require a little more study. Is the spider poisonous? Malevolent? Or will she catch harmful insects, clean up this pile of dust and wash the dishes as well? Your dream has you making bigger messes out of smaller ones because you're frantic, fearful, and freaked out. Take this as a suggestion to meditate on things a bit more, to not mistaking responsibility for emergency. In this way you may be able to face challenges in their entirety instead of washing one piece down the drain and leaving another to writhe painfully in the spicy dirt of your nightmares.

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The book of the day: A Concise History of India by Barbara D. and Thomas R. Metcalf. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

2 comments:

sara T said...

i can't believe someone made you pierogies. jealous!

Morgão Papelão said...

Yup. And I have you and your dream to thank for it!