My Antarctica Dreaming
You know you love something when it gets in your dreams. Antarctica haunts my dreams.
My photomontages are dreams come true and Antarctica has become a part of every series – Reflection, Resonance, Revelation and all of the others.
Dreams show us things we need to understand in another way or on another level. Dreams help us maintain a healthy psychic balance between the conscious and the unconscious. When we dream we make ourselves whole again.
How do I understand a dream?
First, I turn to readings in psychology. There it is. A language for the soul. Association, projection, transference, deflection, repression, sublimation, incubation, gestation, dependence, codependence, individuation, integration … and they’re not just nouns but verbs, they’re processes and states of being. (There’s a reason that the titles of my images are processes rather than places or things.) These are the colors of the soul that give greater meaning to the colors within the frame. Freud got it right, “The mind is like an iceberg.” So much more lies beneath the surface of us, hidden until we learn to speak another language. But knowing how to speak a language isn’t the same thing as speaking it.
To know a dream I talk with it.
And I talk with myself about it. I initiate, cultivate, and sustain this inner dialog. I interpret my dreams, like art. That big dictionary of dream symbolism? It’s useful but it’s only food for thought. It’s my dream so what matters most is my interpretation of it. My understanding evolves over time. So I stay curious. I ask a lot of questions. I keep myself alive and dreaming; I keep the dream alive within me. I have faith that no matter how much I discover there is always more.
Awareness, interaction, and interpretation are creative acts, and ways to keep things and ourselves alive. In celebrating them we grow our understanding, through participation, into something fuller. It’s a way to love the world more fully. And there are so many kinds of love to give and receive.
More than records of places and times my images are about states of mind.
But they’re not just any states of mind. They’re states of mindfulness, which can be shared. In these states, we see ourselves more fully and we see ourselves seeing.
I find moments where …
Out of the fog a growing awareness emerges.
Extreme calm appears.
Greater clarity reveals not only the surface of things but also what lies below and above them.
Many perspectives are seen simultaneously.
Unexpected alignments appear.
Universal patterns arise.
Connections reveal greater wholes.
Time expands and contracts merging many moments into a single continuum.
Waves of energy flow and interact; turbulence gives way to a new coherence.
The energetic nature of everything becomes visible.
The life within all things is made visible.
It might be tempting to think of these as transformational and transcendent experiences;
I think of them as immersive and immanent experiences.
We are not apart from nature; we are a part of Nature. To participate in the miraculous we don’t need to become something else, we only need to tune into the universe both outside and inside us. Can we change the way we see it to we? If we can change our state of mind, imagine what else might change. Or just find out. Live in a beautiful way and be the change you wish to see. At least, that’s what I try to do.
When I think about this creative process I think about the Australian aborigines who believe that their dream life is more real than their waking life. Going on their walkabouts, they revive themselves and the lands they walk, through awareness, presence, song, story, making images, and dreaming. They believe that both the land and they grow barren if they don’t. And if they do both are rejuvenated.
I find that the place I’m in changes my dreams.
I wonder, can a place dream? Can a place’s dreams get into me? Do my dreams get into a place? I have found that the spirit of a place awakens the spirit in me. (We may even awaken each other.)
Within the land, I find the land within.
I choose to cultivate this garden of the spirit. We can all keep the lands inside us vital and in so doing we may also restore the health of the lands outside us. If dreams help us rebalance our psyches, our dreams of the earth can help us rebalance our relationships with nature. We can move to wholeness and even oneness if we choose to. I haven’t finished my journey, but so far it’s been remarkable. I hope yours is too.