How well do we know ourselves? To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t give it much thought. Then I was hit with a tsunami and trying to understand myself became important. I began to dig deeper, looked in the mirror and tried to figure out how to deal with what had landed on me.

In my last post, I wrote about my experience of changing the feeling of fear through the process of painting or drawing a dream. In that dream and others, I’ve thought about each of the characters representing themselves as they appear in the storyline of the dream.

In other dreams, I’ve wondered if maybe all of the characters represent the self. Many experts think this is the case. If the dreamer is the producer, writer, director and acts out all the characters, it’s important to try and figure out what the dream is trying to say. Next time you have a dream, see it this helps: imagine that all the characters represent you, and they possess all the information you need to understand what the dream is communicating. After all, you dreamed the dream. Why assign the power of the message to anyone else?

One night I had a dream that I was in prison, wearing an old, tattered dress. There was a dirt floor and a tiny window with bars. I was skinny, hungry and barefoot. A female prison warden came over to me and told me she could get me out of the prison. She said she had the key, and as she spoke I could see the keys dangling from her waist. At first I was quite frightened of her but later, as I began to sketch the dream, I realized that I could get myself out of my inner prison, if I could just trust myself. I could stay there, or decide to let myself out. Her key was my key.

The Dream Warden

The Dream Warden is lonely
keeper of my prison.
I’m frightened,
afraid of what might happen.

But she’s gentle
I’m shocked.
She’s creative
I’m surprised.

She’s powerful
and beautiful.
She’ll give me the key
if I trust her.

She wipes off my face
and wants my company.
“It’s nice to have company.

You can trust me
I can get you out of here.”

Dream Warden,  colored pencil sketch on vellum

Dream Warden, colored pencil sketch on vellum