Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dreaming It Forward

Magician, 36" x 24"
private collection, Washington, D.C.

This past Thursday I participated in a global healing event. What did I do? I slept on it.

I got the idea from Laura's blog From the Couch. She got it from

The event will recur on the 23rd/24th of each month, culminating on the night of October 23. The idea is to go to bed with the intention of dreaming of "global healing for Mother Earth with dreamers from around the world."

Here's what I dreamed on July 23rd:

I am eating a chocolate cake which is sitting on a table. I am nibbling, taking one small bite from the cake, then walking away, returning to the cake, taking another bite, walking away, returning, eating another bite, etc. The giver of the cake says to me, "San, could you leave a little for me? I'd like some too."

I then find myself teaching in a classroom. My students are young people. I am taken with how fresh they look, how eager their faces appear. They are hanging on my every word. It's bit unnerving; I feel my presentation is kind of dull--I am referring to a textbook which doesn't inspire me. I am also becoming aware that a noise from outside the classroom is drowning out my voice.

I walk down the hallway to the room where the sound is coming from. I open the door and find a bunch of old folks square dancing with their music turned up really loud. A couple come to the door. Her hair is in disarray. Both of them have their mouths open in surprise, surprise that their music could be heard from outside the door. They seem, however, happy to turn it down.

As I turn to walk back to my classroom, I have an idea for a writing assignment for my class. I will show them two pottery disks, one of them shiny new and unblemished, the other with a complicated weathered surface. I will have them write about which disk is more beautiful, and why. I feel excited. I know the students will be inspired and I can't wait to read their work.

So, now I ask for your interpretations of my dream sequence...

detail, Way of the Sea, 60" x 48"


Lori Skoog said...

San...Welcome back! I will have to read this over again before I can interpret the dream. Love the painting. More later.

San said...

Thanks, Lori! Yes, when you have time, interpret. I'm all ears, babe.

Laura said...

It will be exciting to see what your readers think your night of Global Dreaming series means!

San said...

Yes, it will, Laura...sweet dreams to you.

Kim said...

A reminder to save something for the next guy. Seems that it's about give and take. Taking the little bit that you need, wanting to give something back, perhaps more than you took. Aging seems to play a role here too. Lol, how wild is this?

Welcome back. I was happy to see your name highlighted on my reader list. :o)

Celebration of Life said...

Okay, I will step out and take a chance on this interpetation:

Cake: No matter how delicious and wonderful, we should always leave "some" for someone else. We shouldn't "take it all" even if it was made for us.

Class: Even though the textbook was probably correct in fact, the joy of teaching and passing "it" on needs to be done in a creative way; just as you did with the two disks assignment.

Square dance: Dance as if know one is watching (or listening), enjoy and celebrate life.


~Babs said...

I'm thinking the old folks were totally oblivious to anything other than their same old 'song and dance', and had probably already gobbled up a lot of cake. They are not 'tuned into' Global conditions, or the necessity to teach the youth. Not all their fault,,they see everything as it's always been,,enjoying the party. Easy to relate; as change is hard sometimes.Seeing the need to change can be hard sometimes. Good part is that they did turn the music down, once they saw the need.

Also easy to relate to these paintings, which have your flair all over them. Would love to see the entire of the one with the detail.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Eating the cake reminds me of Leviticus 23:22 and the line from one of the Eucharistic prayers in the UCC Book of Worship: "We look to the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none."

Thanks for sharing this, San. I must join in and participate.

Blessings my dear friend!

Maggie May said...

You did well to remember such detail of your dreams.I never can.

I think the fact that you were eating so much cake was that you are hungry for something new.
The teaching....... you recognize that the youngsters are hungry for something too. You are aware that you might not be as enthusiastic as they need you to be, although you are going by the text book, something is missing.

The older folk have lost themselves in their folk dancing and are experiencing joy.
It seems almost as if the ages have reversed roles. It is usually teenagers who do this!
However, the old folk are listening too and turn down their music. They are still listening to the young.
Somehow or other, they have inspired you to go back to your class with some of the older peoples' abandonment of inhibition and joy!
You are inspired by this and go back to tell the class that something new can come out of the older weathered disk and the new one represents a new way of looking at it.
In other words, you need both the disks but we must always move on & approach things in a new way.

I have heard though, that only the dreamer can fully interpret a dream!
Fun post!

jsd said...

Cake: if we share there's enough for everyone.

Teaching: when we walk away from fear and open ourselves up to surprise, inspiration isn't far behind, and once found it's needs to be shared.

Your first painting left me thinking Lord, Alleluia, here I am. The second painting made me often we hide behinds masks even sometimes beautiful ones. Then I kept wanting to put mask as the first image then the here i am second...possibilities i guess.

thank you for sharing

Philip said...

Interesting to see what you are upto - I wonder if you are into non-dualism? I am just learning about this.

Shrinky said...

Oh boy, so many layers to this dream, eh?

A reminder to save some cake for others to enjoy, the cake would seem to represent the planet.

You have a keen and receptive audience in the class of youngsters you are teaching, but your message isn't coming across, it is stale and uninspiring, even to your own ears. It is also being drowned out by outside influences. Without educating future generations of the importance of conserving our resources, caring about what happens to our environment, there may soon be little future at all. The past (generations before us) largely failed to pass this message down, that legacy often deafens us to "learning" the urgency to take action. The elderly people are deaf to the realisation their party is detrimentally impinging on those around them, it's not out of malice, just ignorance (they happily comply when it is brought to their attention).

There are valuable lessons to be leaned from the past, but equally we can also draw huge benefit from embracing the new (as in the project you set to engage the class, knowing this will both fire and excite them).

As the dreamer, only you know the true interpretation of your dream, everything else is only a pure speculation.

Isn't it wonderful to wake from such a vivid, impressive dream, and to recall every detail?

murat11 said...

Welcome back from recovery...

I'm on the jsd wavelength: la torta chocolate seems to be Mother Earth herself speaking - the giver of the cake. Interesting the dissonance in the classroom: fresh faces, eager, and yet your own lack of inspiration: with return to school looming, this part felt like home: finding a way to communicate: how often the learning comes outside the preconceived box.

Box leads right into square dancing: these folks have transformed the box, their exuberance (okay, their noise) pulls you out of the box, inspires. Mother Earth's (our) healing comes from indigenous joy, not from la academia.

The disks remind me of CDs, of faces, of masks, of communion. Young faces (shiny new) and older (complicated weathered surface). At least one of your students will not be able to choose, they're both "more beautiful," they're both the same face.

Magician is the way of the sea. Our masks are mere sea urchins at play.

Daryl said...

Miss you when you are off creating, then I see the creations and I am happy you were there ..

Interpretation.. youth vs age ... lovely as the new is, it gets lovelier as it gains age

Laura said...

Hi San, I think that the cake and taking bites and returning for more you taking just little bits of something good and you keep wanting more. The music drew you out of "your classroom" into something else and maybe people you think are kinda square are really having lots of fun
listening to music and dancing...and you found then that the textbook way of teaching others is dull and came up with a new creative way of teaching others to compare outward forms...
clay representing us made of clay and easily shaped by the maker....but as the dreamer and all f the characters they are really all you...: ) love the dream...I think that night I dreamed of teenage girl rebel snipers : )
Love and Light, Laura

Kim said...

Hello San, this is a fantastic event...dreaming about what our earth might become and how the current conditions might be solved.

You have gotten some excellent responses here, so I am a bit reluctant to give my own take on your dreams, but I will take the risk. Here goes...

The cake is representing something sweet and delicious which is enjoyed more when you share it with others...that is just like the dancing and the teaching. I think the elder dancers were there because you needed to be reminded how important it is to find the joys in the tasks we do (a lesson they clearly had learned)...even when they seem boring. You had to have them in the dream in order to remind you learning is what we need to do all of our lives and yet the reality of it is we have made it into drugery which it clearly does not need to be! The same is true about the care of the earth. Caring for this beautiful universe doesn't need to be drugery, we need to find the joys presented in sharing of that stewardship! Like with the cake and the teaching, if we do not think of others when we take on the tasks, the joy is not going to be as great. Your dream(s) reminded you of the importance of responsibility to others and the joy that responsibility brings. Okay, so how was that?

I love this process and will be dreaming of this myself!

Oh, and I have a surprise over at my blog...come see!

sukipoet said...

I love this idea of a global healing dream. I guess i agree with Kim about the cake. We must share the sweet things in life. Must not be greedy and gulp the whole thing down at once but take bites now and again.

The young and the old span our lifetime on earth. we all go through these ages if we live long enough. the young folks like baby birds wanting knowledge and wisdom.

The elders down the hall, as someone else said are experiencing joy, and abandonment in the fun of dancing. They forgot there were others around they were so focused.

The smooth disk represents the young, just beginning their lives on the earth, unblemished, a "clean slate" ready and eager to learn. The weathered disk represents the elders who now have many lines and wrinkles as their journey on this earth draws to a close. and you are the shaman, the teacher, the one to bring both the young with their freshness and the old with their experiences together. From this togetherness will come global healing.

Lee said...

Global healing is a very good dream, San. Towards that end I think the cake and coming back to eat more but being requested to leave some is indicative of the reciprosity necessary for the world to function as a healthy productive community. If we take all we are given there is nothing left for the next person, nor is there anything for the giver to grow the next crop or bake the next cake from. I like Paschal's image of the cake as Mother Earth. That fits well with her giving but us not usurping all of her gifts and resources.

I see reciprocity in the teaching too. We have to teach the young and that you brought back a rich supply of ideas from your interaction with the world helps them to learn that they are part of the global community. So I'm thinking your subconscious not only wanted to express the need for sharing in the world but also bringing up the next generation to do that as well.

Loved the Magician. When I clicked on it I was attracted to her face which seems to be tilted somewhat upwards with either total abandon to delight or adoration. Her headdress seemed medieval to me. I could have easily taken her for an abbess or a lady in waiting if I'd only looked at that part of the whole. She seems to be dancing for joy with her arms upraised. I can see the wand. It could also have been a sceptor. Queens and magicians are masters of their world are they not?

As to Mask, I love it when you use those shimmery soft colors. They pull me in with their soft glow and cheerful, cool colors. If that had been my dream the Mask would have been an indication to hide our actions and not shout out how much we do for the world. But with you I remember how dreams are many layered things and perhaps some of the layers are masks that you will remove in later dreams perhaps as soon as next month.


aims said...

You received energy from the chocolate which drove you forth to teach the meaning of life - what the young can learn from the old in the new and weathered pottery tiles - and from the older people dancing - showing that they have learned that life is for living - from life - not a textbook.

Love the angel in the painting San...

lime said...

heck, i have trouble figuring out what my dreams mean. but i do think the element of sharing is a strong one. leave some cake for others to share, share your thoughts on which disc is more beautiful and why. i think that much is evident and important in our waking lives.

Carol said...

There are a lot of nice interpretations here. I have nothing more to add, except that that was a very sensuous dream.

And so are your paintings.

david mcmahon said...


That dream means you and Bennie will be travelling ALL around Australia soon.


Lynette said...

I love the colors and textures in 'Magician', wow San your dream almost seems to have different levels of meaning but I'll try. I almost felt like it had something to do with you teaching the young people to grow up as happy older adults and to remember how to have fun when they do go through the different stages of life.

AnotherQ said...

You dreamed of mother earth.

Segment 1; This is a representation of the present day. This is how we currently act in the world. We take what we want.

Segment 2; This is a representation of the next generation. This is our future. The next generation, our children, are learning and eager to do things differently. We can guide them differently than how we were raised.

Segment 3; This is are presentation of the older generation or the past. The focus on this generation was on "me" rather than on "the earth". This generation was not aware their actions would cause problems for others. When they were made aware of what they were doing, they responded. They learned & adjusted to climate warming, for example, when they became aware of this knowledge.

Segment 4; The future is not yet determined or written. Different outcomes may be achieved by the next generation. The path they write about may take the world toward being renewed and shiny; new. Another path may take the world on a more weathered and beaten down path.

The choice is of what happens to the world is up to the next generation and what they determine to write about.

SandyCarlson said...

I enjoyed reading your dream. In fact, you gave me an idea for a writing assignment come September!

I love these paintings, too. Just spent 8 days at the BEACH in NC, and the sure do resonate with me. Thanks.

Sandi McBride said...

It is Mother Earth asking you to not be so greedy, to leave a bit of her wealth for others to enjoy, and you've learned your lesson well, so you go on to teach those who come behind you to stop and smell the roses and not to try to pick every bud off the bush...the oldsters dancing and the music so loud...well, they've lived their lives and expect nothing to be said if they drown out Mother Nature's birdsong and thunderstorms with the peals of laughter of their own lives...or howls of despair...but if you draw the attention of the perils of too much...always too much...some will listen...some may not...but the few can make the many...lovely dream...
Congrats on Post of the Day nomination from David!
Sandi xo

Anonymous said...

Hi San,
Lots of interpretations in here. I find that my most vivid dreams have been influenced by things I've experienced or conversations I've had in the time period preceding the dream.

Love the first painting but I'm having a hard time understanding the second painting. hmm... With a mask one cannot see who you are... but you can see who they are.

Anonymous said...

There are so many interpretations to your dream here. The first thing that comes to my mind is your ability to achieve more than you feel you may be capable of. You have obviously done wonders with your life in so far as having a successful studio, but so many people appreciate you, perhaps more than you think.

Great post.

CJ xx

Carol said...

I'm amazed that you remember so many details! I think sharing the blessings we have....and giving back to society plays in this. I keep thinking more and more about giving back, the older I get. I don't want to run out of time to do so! The cake? Nourishing your own soul as well as others'. Teaching? Again...sharing knowledge.

What do YOU think it means, San?

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I so like this idea of joining in on the global healing dream connection. I visited the site and will try in August.
Love the colors in the painting and am reminded of the Magician card in Tarot...beautiful and powerful but with a spiritual softness.
As to your dream, I wouldn't begin to try except I would make a huge bet you like chocolate cake!

San said...

Kim, "give and take"...I like that!

San said...

Jo, I should have known you would find celebration and joy in the dream. Beautiful!

San said...

Babs, I like your take on the "same old song and dance." A very interesting angle. Thank you.

San said...

Nick, "sharing by all, scarcity for none"--that takes the cake. :-D

I'm glad you intend to join in. Your dreams are needed, friend.

San said...

Maggie, it does seem as though the generations have switched roles somehow. Isn't that just like the logic of dreams?

"Ready for something new" are right! Thanks for the acknowledgment.

San said...

JS, thank you for your thoughtful comments about my paintings. "Lord, Alleluia, here I am." Such an affirmation! For the painting and the attitude.

If you saw the entire second painting, perhaps it would be less sad. I hope so anyway.

San said...

Philip, I would love to hear your thoughts on that topic.

It's good to see you here.

San said...

Shrinky, it's a layer cake all right! You would notice that of course. :-D

Thank you for your detailed interpretation. It's most wise. I would expect nothing less of Shrinky.

San said...

Paschal, I too thought the cake might be Mother Earth. Perhaps you'll consider letting your own dreams flow into the global sea one of the upcoming appointed nights.

Your indigenous joy/academia/inside/outside the box--such wonderful parallels. And yes, someone won't be able to choose. Then again, why should they?

San said...

Daryl, thank you for your forgiveness of my disappearance, and for chiming in with your own dream interpretation.

San said...

Laura, I love your "kinda square" association. And our being made of clay--such a sensitive interpretation.

"Teenage girl rebel snipers." How I would love to be a fly on the wall of one of your dreams. :-D

San said...

Kim, sharing--the work and the sweets--talk about distilling a dream down into the essentials. How lovely.

I'm glad you're going to join in. I thought it seemed like a natural process for you.

I went and saw the surprise. I LIKE.

San said...

Suki, why am I not surprised that you took the various threads of this dream and wove them so beautifully and with such wisdom?

Who was it who said something along the lines of "Everyone who dreams is a shaman"? Clearly, you know that.

San said...

Lee, thank you for such a thorough reflection on my dream. You have unearthed additional "layers" and tied it all in with the paintings. A rich recipe, friend!

I love looking at the Magician as a medieval Queen in control of her world. And the future dreaming potential you see with the mask is very exciting.

Hugs back!

San said...

Ah, Aims, you see the figure in the painting as an Angel. How beautiful.

And getting energy from the chocolate--YES.

San said...

Michele, sharing of all the layers--yeah. The physical and what's beyond.

San said...

Thanks, Carol. "Sensuous" is a good word.

San said...

Seriously, David. Prepare the guest quarters!

San said...

And David, since you know we're coming, do bake a cake!

San said...

Lynette, I couldn't imagine a better lesson to teach the young. I love your original take on the dream.

San said...

AnotherQ, the idea of choosing to write the future--either as renewed, or beaten down and tired--that is a profound notion.

Thank you much!

San said...

Sandy, how cool that you got an idea for an assignment. Somehow I know you have lots of ideas already--your students are lucky.

Days at the beach. How luscious!

San said...

Sandi, as a gardener of Mother Earth, no wonder you brought the rose metaphor into your intricate interpretation.

Thank you for your thoughts and for telling me about David's kind acknowledgment.

San said...

Dar, I too notice that my dreams are influenced by recent events, conversations, and obsessions. And they seem to influence future events a bit. An interesting meshing.

If you saw the whole painting, it might make more sense. Then again, you might be even more confused. It confuses me too. :)

San said...

Carol, I know that you mean about getting older and feeling a greater urge to give back. Cake as soul nourishment--for all--yes!

What does the dream mean to me? All of the comments here. A feast of reflection is mine.

San said...

Crystal, such an encouraging interpretation--thank you!!!


San said...

Mary Ann, you are most intuitive with your assumption that chocolate cake is a favorite. :-D

And Magician as tarot card--I love that!

I am really glad that you intend to dream in August. Thank you. We need your rich dreams.

Akelamalu said...

I can never remember my dreams and am useless at interpreting others'.

San said...

Akelamalu, ah, but you are adept at waking life.

Raven said...

I always love your paintings. The figure in this one feels to me like a mix of the Magician and the Fool from the Tarot. No idea why.

As to the dream... I have sort of a different take from other's comments that I've read.

First, I think that everything in the dream is you so you are both the nibbler of the cake and the giver (and probably the cake too) and that there is a sense of limitation... You aren't eating or devouring or savoring, you're "nibbling" and then another voice implies that even nibbling is selfish. Then you go to teach the excited young new minds even though they are eating up (not nibbling) what you have to offer, you feel it's stale, routine, dated... Then you are pulled away from that text (that view of the text?) to these loud, vital old people who are surprised that their music is heard (maybe a reflection of you thinking your text is dull?). Both young and old are full of life and vitality... and that inspires the project of the comparing the relative beauty of both the new and the old.

I'm not sure if I've made much sense here, but that's my take. You have all your magnificent creativity and a gift for expression, but it seems like you are devaluing it... or something like that... I want to say more about the cake but I can't quite figure out what....

I love the idea of a global healing dream. Maybe part of the global healing is knowing that we are the giver, the cake and the eater and that all aspects of who we are have value... something like that. Anyway, I'm rambling and not making a lot of sense. Cool dream.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

What a great dream, and for a most magnificent cause - global healing for mother earth. Next level - to take the dream to reality.

rich, dark, sweet nourishment - a treat to be shared.

teaching eager ones.

your attention called to the music and dancing of the elders, which gives you the spark to facilitate learning of the young ones.

Very rich imagery!

indicaspecies said...

"I am eating a chocolate cake..." The first 6 words of your dream were enough to make me burst out laughing. Chocolate lover you, like I am.

I am not skilled at interpreting dreams but what the hell? Let me try. I guess you are a person who:

* appreciates and understands youngsters
* is original and innovative
* is a source of inspiration for others
* is ever ready to impart knowledge to others
* is ready to learn from others
* believes in celebrating life
* is artistic, creative and has a good aesthetic sense
* loves chocolate cake and can't ever have enough of it!

Mask looks like a beautifully decorated wall (I didn't say graffiti) beside which flows a serene river, gentle and smooth....

- celine

Sunshine said...

San, I love the painting and welcome back i was missing your painting. I was reading your dream... it was quite interesting i have to read it 2 times ... love the way you describe your dream.. Well Cake i can eat as many times as you want me to eat.. heheh but i was really glad you did work on painting because it was kind of starting missing from your blog.


WillSpirit said...

First, I must say how impressed and intimidated the number of comments you get makes me. I started my blog recently, so I suppose I should not expect too much, but if I get just one or two comments I am thrilled.

But to the interpretation: just the image of the two ceramic discs brings anything to my mind that has not (I don't think) already been said. The way I see it, either the older disc is lovelier because it shows more etching by time and wisdom, or the younger because it has not experienced harm.

I recently rented a Nicholas Cage blockbuster movie: 'Knowing'. In short, (stop here if you don't want to know the plot) the sun is about to flare and destroy 'all life on earth'. Aliens come and take a few children to a new planet, fresh and beautiful like the most pleasant dream one could ever have (leaving aside romantic reveries).

The image affected me as lovely and touching, but I also felt troubled by what I saw as the message: that if the earth gets ruined (in the movie by the sun, in reality it is more likely to be human activity), we can just start over on a new one.

It seems vital to me that we keep in mind that this planet is all we will ever have. Science fiction is exactly that: fiction. Could the two discs represent the earth as it was, and how we have changed it?

So maybe showing the class the two discs represented a kind of warning?

When we interpret the 'meaning' of someone else's dreams, we are more likely showing our own psychic principles. I guess my heart has this to say in the context of global well-being: as much as the damaged and worn is often the more beautiful, the young and untouched is healthier.

San said...

Raven, a hybrid of Fool and Magician. That works. :)

And you're making a lot of sense with your dream ramble. I love the idea of being the cake as well as the giver and the nibbler.

And what you have to say about my expression and the devaluation of it is very powerful and generous. Thank you!

San said...

Leslie, your "spark to facilitate learning" comment is in and of itself a facilitative spark. Thanks!

San said...

Celine, I love your take on the "Mask" painting detail--it flows!

As does your dream interpretation. I cannot believe you do not think you're good at that.

San said...

Sabi, so you're a sister cake lover? That fits. You are sweet and always supportive of my art.

Thank you much.

San said...

Will, you have enriched the dream commentary here. I hadn't thought of the discs as carrying a warning. That makes a lot of sense!

I'm so glad you've discovered my blog. I hope you will return.

Anna said...

Hi San, lol you wrote: 'I am eating a chocolate cake which is sitting on a table. I am nibbling, taking one small bite from the cake, then walking away, returning to the cake, taking another bite, walking away...' - that's sounds like me just not in the dream, lol, in real life....

Boy you are vivid dreamer, and I thought I was the only one. You know for the longest time I have this dream that I am back in school, but there is this one course I am taking, but always missing the class in the dream, and the exams are coming up. The scary part is that I been dreaming about this many many times already, and it is always the same...

Sorry, I am not good interpretting dreams San, I just think that dreaming is living a second life, except the day life is much better at times.

Take care for now, and up to next post of yours.

Anna :)

Celebration of Life said...

I'm back! Come see "Day One" on my blog!

Angel... said...


Do you often know you are in a dream while dreaming?

U know San, your dream is very entertaining and pleasant.

for me, I only dream when I am so tired and sometimes i wake, like we all do, and want to get back to the dream but never successful ahaha..what about u all?

take care