I took this photo on the platform of the 14th Street subway station in Manhattan. It's part of a larger installation called "Life Underground," which consists of all sorts of little figures and creatures around the station doing all sorts of things, from sleeping to sweeping to working to standing on piles of money. This one, of course, depicts the story everyone's heard about the alligators or crocodiles that live in the sewers.

Lately, I've had some weird dreams. I'm not someone who remembers dreams or who does much analysis of them. I know the basics. Our subconscious is working out all sorts of things in our dreams. Many of us dream that we are caught in our underwear or worse, that we show up at an exam unprepared, that we are flying or falling or being chased by monsters or that we went back home.

Many of us have recurring dreams. The one I remember most is when I dream that I open a door of my house and discover a whole new wing. Or even that my old house has turned into a whole new house. I love those dreams (more bedrooms! more closet space! a new kitchen!) and understand they may be associated with one's subconscious wrestling with the potential discovery of new skills (or vocation!) or opening new chapters in one's life. So even though I'm not much of a dream interpreter, I do pay attention when I'm dreaming about new rooms in my house.

What's your favorite recurring dream?


Rich said…
Oh, Penny...You might drop me from your friends list if I tell you my recurring dream. Suffice to say...

All kidding aside, I have had "flying" dreams from as far back as I can remember. This is non-mechanical flying; just me, without any visible means of support, hovering and streaking across the countryside.

I have been told that this is one of the most common recurring themes in dreams and most theories about meaning seem to settle on freedom and controlling one's own destiny.

I like this subject and your willingness to open up a discussion about it.

Thanks, Rich - I realize there are certain recurring dreams we probably ought not to discuss here.

When I was young, I had the flying dream. Not so much as an adult, though. I guess I gave up the idea of controlling my destiny or something. :-)
Ray Barnes said…
I have quite disturbing dreams fairly frequently, and the theme which recurs most often, though the details change every time, is of being lost.
I turn a familiar corner and suddenly there is nothing I recognise. This always results in my waking in a panic and the distress stays with me for quite a while.
Swap you mine for yours.
Anonymous said…
Best recurring dreams? I discover I am delivering another baby. (I'm 57; this is not likely to happen, but it still makes me really happy to have that dream.) Or, like you, I discover a whole new wing on my house. Or, best of all, I discover, after having crashed my car into deep ocean water off some bridge, and I MUST take a breath... that I can breathe underwater and swim like a fish. What a great question to ask your readers!
Ray, no wonder you don't sleep well. That is distressing, to frequently dream a or being lost and panicked. Believe me, I feel fortunate that I seldom have bad dreams. Actually, for a while I had dreams about being in a tunnel that was getting smaller and smaller and I thought I was going to suffocate. And then I discovered that I had a breathing issue and I really was fighting for breath! Medication fixed that, but those were very scary dreams.
Mary, I don't think I'd be happy discovering that I was delivering another baby. I like the breathing underwater thing, though. I forgot, do you have asthma or anything?