I have never analysed my own dreams. Somehow the idea of interpreting the symbolic meaning of my unconscious thoughts seems too obvious. Or contrived. But the dream I had last night lends itself surprisingly well to a fairly straightforward symbolic analysis, I think. A vaguely defined elderly woman was standing in the main room of the community house in the village where my father lived during the last years of his life. She wanted to show me the content of a cardboard box that was placed on the table in front of her. I was standing at the other end of the table so I couldn’t see the content of the cardboard box. She pulled out some newspaper clippings and photos of me from my childhood and early youth, which depicted me in situations of happiness and joy: me playing music, sitting in my grandfather’s garden, hanging out with friends.
I don’t remember anything else from the dream. But I have an idea about how to interpret the situation of me standing in the village community house. My father was an alcoholic long before moving to the village where he spent the last years of his life. The shift of scenery didn’t do him any good. It was an extremely dysfunctional community with massive social problems. And lots of drinking buddies with whom my father could entertain his vices without being challenged on their detrimental effects.
I think that the dream is telling me that there are crucial parts of my past, which are tied to that place. And in order for me to balance my relationship to my dead father - and to alcohol - I need to figure out why the cardboard box is held by a vaguely defined woman in the community house. This blog is probably the reason why I had the dream in the first place. By writing the daily posts and thereby continuously having to reflect on my own problematic relationship to alcohol, I invariably commit myself to the task of trying to figure out what is in the cardboard box and why it is still placed in the village where my father died of alcoholism. Maybe not the most elegant analysis but I feel that it might be at least partially accurate.
I am not comfortable with the idea of meticuously excavating the traces of my own dysfunctional relationship to my father and to alcohol. While I have no difficulty in addressing the baggage that I still carry with me from my childhood, I am usually too restless for longterm analyses. But I guess that the project of doing 365 blog posts is precisely that.
When I was around 10 years old, my mother left her second husbond shortly after they had bought a house together and, so, suddenly we had no place to live. The mother to a girl in my class offered to house us until we found a place of our own so we ended up staying with them for three months: my mother slept in the same bed as the girl’s mother and I was put on the floor in her brother’s room. It was during that period that I first thought about running away. I remember buying a map of Sealand in order to figure out where to go. I decided that I wanted to run away and live in a not so remote forest that I had visited several times. I hid the map behind the frontcover of the brother's loudspeaker. If he has kept the loudspeaker, the map might still be behind the frontcover.
I have always liked the idea of getting away from things. When I was a child, I was captivated by the idea of running away and living in the remote forest that really wasn't that remote. Now I do it through my work. But the blog posts prevents me from running away, I think. It forces me to stay with the problem. And maybe one day allowing me to figure out why the cardboard box is in the community house in the village where my father died.