Working It Out
Remember that it's possible to act as your own interviewer. To help you do this successfully, Gayle Delaney suggests that you list particular questions about a dream. For example, what is the location of the dream and your feeling about it? Are there colors in the dream, and if so, what do they mean to you? Are there common objects used for unusual purposes, and if so, what are they? Jot each one of your questions on a cue card. Later, you can use the cards as an interviewer might—to extract the meaning of the dream.
Go back to the beginning of this chapter. Read through the young woman Toni's dream again. Then, acting as though you are the interviewer, create a list of questions for yourself. Compare these questions with those in the following interview with Toni, in which her husband acts as the interviewer:
One of the things missing from this dream is a specific location. Do you recall where the dream took place?
Now that you've brought it up, yes, I think I remember a room. We were in a room with pale pink walls. There was comfortable furniture around, but I was lying on a massage table, my head elevated slightly on a pillow. I don't remember anything else about the room.
Was there a window?
I don't remember one. It's as if I was supposed to focus only on the procedure.
You described the object your friend used as resembling a stick of incense. Can you describe it in more detail?
It was twelve to eighteen inches long. The end that my friend rolled between her fingers was thinner than a pencil, but it gradually thickened, just like a stick of incense does.
Do you know what color it was?
A rich, dark brown, like chocolate.
What does the word “incense” mean to you?
It means … oh, good point. I see what you're getting at. I completely overlooked that in my interpretation. What am I incensed about, right? What is it that has made me so angry I don't want to hear about it?
Exactly. It's definitely a metaphor, a play on words.
I don't know what I'm angry about. Maybe it's just things with my parents in general. It infuriates me that two people who have taken such good care of themselves have ended up in a health crisis. I don't understand everything that's behind it.
What significance, if any, do you think there is about this humming occurring in your left ear?
I'm 90 percent deaf in that ear. The humming has made me think a lot about the accident that caused the deafness. It was from a fractured skull, when I was five, and it is supposedly irreversible. But lately I've been wondering if it can be healed.
When your friend began inserting the stick in your ear, how did you feel about it?
Very uneasy. I nearly told her to forget it. But I sensed she knew what she was doing. It struck me later that my unconscious created the ideal figure to act as the healer. If a typical physician in a white lab coat had attempted the procedure, I would have walked out. But I trusted her and associate her with the healing arts and alternative medicine.
You describe a milky liquid that comes out of your ear. Was there any kind of noise associated with this? Anything that indicated a blockage had been punctured?
A soft popping sound. It got my attention.
Was there any pain?
None. Absolutely none.
The liquid was white, like milk. What do you associate with that color?
Understanding. It's the amalgam of all the other colors in the spectrum.
Do you have any idea what time of night you had this dream?
Morning. I woke at seven, realized I didn't have to get up, then remembered I hadn't gotten the dream I'd requested and felt disappointed. Then I went back to sleep and had the dream.
As a result of the interview, Toni remembered more details of the dream. Thus, her insight deepened, and that, really, is the ultimate goal for all dream work. The key is to believe and to ask for healing and guidance before you go to sleep, as Toni did. Toni believed it was possible to heal herself and asked for a healing dream—and it worked!