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    The Skunk (one of many excellent childhood dreams)

    by , 05-10-2018 at 01:08 PM (76 Views)
    Morning of August 21, 1965. Saturday.



    In early morning, I am walking through an outdoor maze-like area in an undetermined location with about six other children of whom are unfamiliar. On each side of the old and broken sidewalk are various unusual plants in flower boxes of about two feet high of which are adjacent to the sidewalk. Some of the plants are as high as about three feet, but many seem to be drying out, some stems almost straw-like. Some of the plants seem like oversized sandspurs (Cenchrus), though a few have attractive flowers. The area is possibly an abandoned plant nursery or the forgotten large garden of someone who had moved. There is conversation, but I mostly had only recalled a girl saying something about “the garden bed”.

    Someone’s forgotten private garden may more likely be the case, as we eventually seem to be in the unmaintained backyard of a suburban residence.

    There seems to be the presence of an unusual odor, firstly thought to be coming from some pale flowers.

    We all walk closer to the back of the house. A girl in our small group opens the back door of this house. There appears to be something moving in the darkness in the center of the room. It is seemingly a skunk, but we can only see the white part of it very clearly. I suddenly become aware that it is startled and puzzled by our presence, and curiously, and very interestingly, the white part (body and tail) quickly form a question mark. The formation of the question mark, which seems to hover in the air (though I am still aware that a skunk is there) creates an intriguing sense of awe and surprise upon waking, as if the skunk’s surprise and puzzlement are my own; as if I am the skunk being awakened by the girl in the doorway.

    At this last point, I am seemingly also immediately (without implied to have walked here) near the center of the dark room, looking at the white vertical question mark while seeing the girl’s silhouette in the doorway. I eventually consider that it is my mother coming in to look in on me as I am sleeping (a puzzling transformation of the girl around my age suddenly becoming an adult as well as briefly perceiving myself as a skunk).



    This is one of many childhood dreams that taught me that dreams were based on the autosymbolic nature of the dream state and waking transition rather than having a waking life “interpretation”. The phrase “garden bed” in this case is an indicator that I am asleep and dreaming, though I do not become lucid here other than in the final moments.

    The transition of the preconscious shifts from my dream self’s perspective to seeing the skunk as my emergent consciousness. As with many other dreams, the autosymbolism is directly based on the puzzlement of becoming aware that I am dreaming. (This is inherent to the foundational meaning of all waking process autosymbolism.)

    The unknown girl in the doorway establishes this as doorway waking autosymbolism (a very common waking process). The door is autosymbolism for the impending exit from my dream in the final scene as well as the door to my real-life bedroom (and in fact, I have often used this knowledge for both liminal dream control and deliberately vivifying the dream state). It is a girl around my age due to the downscaling of my mother (who is usually the one to wake me while standing in my doorway).

    The skunk and its intriguing transformation into a question mark represents my puzzlement in liminal space (dark featureless room in this case rather than a more defined autosymbolic liminal space construct such as a porch or parking lot), as well as a form of defense against the preconscious factor in my liminal focus of not wanting to get out of bed just yet even though my dream self’s vague intent is to find my way back to my conscious self identity (which is basically what a dream is).



    I believe that this dream also had a precognitive thread, first validated in 1978 when my parents and I moved back to Wisconsin. The backyard and the back of the house in my dream seemed to match, in appearance, color, and orientation and distance (relative to the 901 Rose Street building we lived in on the second floor years previously), to the house my sister Marilyn (who had lived in the apartment across from my parents and I on Rose Street) was living in years later. (This is curious, as the majority of my dreams otherwise have unique fictitious composites as a setting.) Additionally, my father built cinder block flower boxes (similar to those of my dream) onto the front of our house after we had moved to Florida in 1967.


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