Tuesday, April 11, 2006

dream :: war and perfume

A strange dream I had before I woke up this morning:

I am in a desert-like place with Steve and a few other people. We are part of some sort of army, and we have learned that we are to be attacked shortly. A white airplane flies overhead, slowly and low. It is an enemy plane; it looks kind of like a cross between a jet and an SUV, with big windows and a boxy shape. I watch it pass, and then turn around and see that dozens - maybe hundreds - more airplanes are following it. Alarmed, I hide behind a nearby wooden structure like a shack or an outhouse. But a soldier - a uniformed young man with brown hair - sees me and shoots toward the shack. He misses me.

Then there are all sorts of people around. There is an older Japanese woman, not in uniform, who shoots at me with a rifle. I take the rifle from her and shoot her, and she falls on the ground and collapses in a heap. But then she lifts her body up and pulls out another gun and points it at me. I shoot her a second time, and then a third time - and possibly Steve is helping me - until she finally dies.

By the end of the battle - and we know the fighting is only temporarily over - I am drained and traumatized. It is time to go back to the base camp and eat. Our group walks back there, and now I am aware that Susan, one of my closest friends from high school, is with me, too. As we enter the building, people look at us, and I realize they have no idea what hell we have just been through. I am crying and need to wash my face. Susan and I stop at a perfume counter on the way to the cafeteria. She starts trying on perfume, and soon I follow her lead, thinking it will get my mind off the war, or help me stop crying. I try on a scent that is deep and full-bodied and reminds me of plums or some rich-colored fruit.


There are so many unusual and potent characters and symbols in this dream - the soldier, the Japanese woman, Susan (who has been in other dreams of mine), perfume. I keep thinking of archetypal qualities they might represent. And I can't help wondering if this dream is about my sexuality. Or womanhood. Or youth. Or motherhood. Or all of it, coming into conflict. I say this only after having Googled some of the symbols here and finding these references in an online dream dictionary:

War: To dream of a war signifies disorder and chaos in your personal affairs. You also be experiencing some internal conflict or emotional struggle. You are feeling torn between aspects of yourself. Perhaps the dream may indicate that you are being overly aggressive or you are not being assertive enough.

Airplane: To see an airplane in your dream indicates that you will overcome your obstacles and rise above to a new level of prominence and status. You may experience a higher consciousness, new-found freedom and greater awareness.

Soldier: To see a soldier in your dream signifies your staunch attitudes and how you may impose your opinions and feelings on others. Alternatively, you may be preparing yourself do battle over an issue and defend your values and opinions.

Woman: To see a woman in your dream represents nurturance, passivity, caring nature, and love. It refers to your own female aspects or may also represent your mother. Alternatively, it may indicate temptation and guilt. To see an old woman in your dream indicates aging and growing old.

Gun: To see a gun in your dream symbolizes aggression, anger, and potential danger. You may be dealing with issues of passiveness/aggressiveness and authority/dependence. Alternatively, a gun can represent the penis and male sexual drive. Thus the gun may mean power and impotence. To dream that you shoot someone with a gun denotes your aggressive feelings and hidden anger toward that particular person. To dream that someone is shooting you with a gun, suggests that you are experiencing some confrontation in your waking life. You may feel victimized in some situation.

Perfume: To dream that you are spraying or wearing perfume suggests that you are seeking for more pleasure in your life. It is symbolic of your sexuality, sensuality, and indulgence.

Plum:To see or eat a plum in your dream symbolizes youth and vitality. The plum may also represent you self-image and the way you are feeling about your body. You may be feeling a little "plump." (
Uh, yeah!)

Now, I never really put too much credence in dream dictionaries because I think dreams are more complicated than just one simplistic interpretation. And this is really only the first dictionary I saw on my Google search. But you have to admit, when you take it all together like that, it smacks of these ideas ... Sexuality. Conflict. Pleasure. Anger. Fulfillment. Lack of fulfillment. Womanhood. Vitality. Motherhood. Changes. My changing needs and urges during pregnancy. How becoming a mother will affect my feelings about myself as a woman.

For God's sake, I SHOOT an old woman until she is dead. With a gun. That was a horrible-feeling scene, even though I know she would have shot me first if she could. Do I feel some hidden anger or aggression toward ... my nurturing, caring side? Do I feel threatened by that part of myself? Am I in some way freaking out about becoming a mother, worrying that it will drain my freedom and my vitality? That the role of mother will reduce me to a non-sexual caregiver? And what about Susan? What does she represent? Has she gone through this herself, as a mother? She was the one who encouraged me to try on the perfume. Is she a guide of sorts? Is she part of the answer? Because the dream seems to end with something of an answer - a good note, at least, one that lifts me up, makes me feel optimistic. It's the part where I am able to find some pleasure in something I love - something rich and indulgent and womanly and fulfilling.

(And yes, this post has been edited.)

No comments: