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Working with dreams

The business course in which dreams have their place? Here’s one I had within a month of getting married some eighteen years ago; there’s enough detail to remember it. This depth of analysis is something I’ve done with some forty or more dreams. Often they resolve a problem, alert me to a worry or spell out a plot.

Though unwell I fret unnecessarily about work; might I analyse some of the dreams I am having to resolve the issues?

Sail Away

A young couple recount their adventures on the high sea.

They had set off across the channel. They were both running from their parents, wanting to be adults, it was the holidays.

She is the daughter of a successful, public figure. The boy. Don’t know him, even if it’s me. Reminded me of a friend called Michael X who used to tell me stories of sailing in a lake near Oslo as a teenager during the summer with his girlfriend. They sail off to islands.

There was a sense of Swallows and Amazons … but with more danger, oceanic weather and swell.

We pick up the story once the couple have crossed the Channel. The weather and location suggest something more tropical. There’s a suggestion that they’ve travelled through time, and crossed the Atlantic.

Two stops suggest Cuba and then an ancient Cathay fishing village complete with beached galleons in the harbour.

The young couple are lucky to have survived the journey. The boat was awash. The drone had to be hauled in, the rudder was loose. They dodge mines, engineering works, shallows, currents from lakes spilling into the sea.

How do they manage? Barter. Steal. Seek assistance? They have no money. No goods to exchange. No food on board. The couple have little time for love, little time to do all the things they thought they’d be able to do.

What happened ?

A young couple take off in a small off-shore sailing boat. They hit land, foreign land. They have no money, don’t understand the customs, or the time (age).


On a summer holiday. Across the ocean. In strange ports. Havana and Cathay. There’s a definite sense of having travelled through time or into a 4th dimension. Like Narnia. As if they have passed through a mysterious mist and may not get back. There’s “an other worldliness” about it all. Surreal. Unreal. Out of step. Out of time. Disjointed. Foreign. Unusual. In the past. The shallows remind me of the river estuaries we have sailed in off the Turkish Coast.

Who are You?

Either the girl or the boy. I guess I’m the boy. At the tiller. Trying to keep the boat in motion. Making do. Its not my boat. Its all that I have from parents to keep us going.

Who are you with?

My young girlfriend. We are both in our teens. Neither of the characters looked like people I know. Perhaps I looked like this old school friend called Mike Bunney. The girl I had with me, whilst she undoubtedly represents my partner it may have resembled someone like Candia X (a girlfriend from my teens – 14/15).

What details stand out?

The boat. It’s modern. Sparse. For day trips, not for ocean sailing or long trips. Probably more akin to Dad’s Freedom on Ullswater. 20ft + Like a big windsurfer. It is apparent how inadequate it is as a home once the young couple find themselves in a situation where it has to become their home.

The places we visit. Unthreatening, we feel uneasy, simply because they are new. Places we have read about or imagined. Such as Cuba, but this is Havana soon after the revolution, not in 1994. And a small sleepy fishing and trading port with inhabitants who look like they’ve come down from Tibet. Possibly Hong Kong in the 18th or 19th centuries.

The creek reminded me of many places: the lake we stayed on in Poland as we rowed around the shore, a lawn coming down from a house on the side of Ullswater.

What do you feel about them?

Intrigued. Visibly strange. I can see us drifting into this creek, not harbour like at all. One or two small, squat, merchant galleon like boats sit on the mud – the tide is out. We sail up the mouth of this tiny harbour. There is a village built around it. A bit like Lynmouth. At the same time deciduous trees, far too close to the shore, lean over the harbour like trees which line canals in Paris. Its summer. The sun’s out. Tibetan looking villagers, straight out of National Geographic, sit on the harbour top fixing nets and watching us. We must have retractable keels. We “beach” the boat by pointing straight up the muddy bank at the head end of the harbour. We haul the boat out. How can we manage such a feat ! WE are sodden. The girl is beat. I must get us some food, find some money to phone home. But of course we are helpless. No money. Nothing to trade with. Us wearing synthetic clothes marks us out in sharp contrast to the locals in the woven clothes.

What are the various actions in the dream?

Sailing. Tacking. Looking for somewhere to moor the boat.

How am I as DREAM EGO acting/behaving in this dream?

The skipper. But out of his depth. Adept at sailing the boat, but not so in such harsh, or rather unfamiliar waters. Nervous about the responsibility I have taken for both of us.

What relation does this dream have to my personality?

As a bloke? Because I am at the helm. Because our resources are inadequate. A desire to set out and explore despite not having the means to manage.

What does this dream want from me?

Either not to set out on the journey, or to go better equipped. To use it as an allegory on life. Life is a journey. Leaving home is a journey. Setting up home is a journey.

What are the various feelings in this dream?

Nervousness, not fear. Resilience against the odds. Putting two fingers up at the parents in Nigella’s case. Breaking away. Finding out things for yourself. Suck it and see. Managing. Getting by. No regrets for the journey. We (they) get back safely.

What relation does this dream have to what is happening right now in my life?

Married. Renting a flat together. Is it where we want to be? Can we afford it. Drifting along waiting to see how it will turn out. Trying to stay afloat. Still dependent on parental money. Wanting to have the fun of being off on our own within the financial security of parents (perhaps.)

Why did I need this dream?

Need? To remind me of what is out there? The need to keep afloat come what may. The need to avoid difficult situations. The pleasure of remembering how much could be enjoyed whilst living at home and on parent’s money.

Why have I had this dream now?

Our circumstances. The combination of fears over whether we can manage financially and if being tied down is what we want. WE would like to get back to Paris, perhaps visit other countries too.

What relation does this dream have to something in my future ?

The desire to set of again. The chances that we won’t have any money or resources left to do so. The need to have a home. If it was a boat or a dormobile we could take it, like snails, with us.

What new questions arise as a result of this dreamwork?

GO with the flow ! Why resolve to settle down if we always like to be on the move ? We are only temporarily tethered as tenants. We need to be more able to get up and go – spend less on rent and have fewer belongings to hold us back (Or get used to packing them into storage).

Who or what is the adversary in the dream?

The weather. The ocean. Hidden obstacles. Our equipment, Potentially the people we will be seeking assistance from.

What is being wounded in this dream?

The belief that we can manage on our own without coming to harm.

What would I like to avoid in this dream?

Being unable to get the boat back in the sea. Being trapped in a foreign place without resources which will enable us to manage. Splitting up with my partner. Her being unhappy. Having anyone turn around and say “We told you so.”

What is being healed in this dream?

The desire to go somewhere new and strange. The desire to travel.

What or who is the helping or healing force/agent in this dream?

Just being away from wherever we are running.

Who or what is my companion in this dream?

My wife. A girl. Doing our own thing. Taking our own risks. being responsible for each other. Independence. Finding our own way. Doing it our way.

Who are my helpers and guides in life and in my dreams?

My wife. Parents. People I meet along the way.

What symbols in this dream are important to me?

The boat. Small enough for us to manage. Modern, but not special. In need of repair, or rather, has suffered from a storm and excessive use. The tiller. The sail. Our journey through life together with all its problems. An adventure. A responsibility.

The small port we eventually put in to. Where we pull in the boat. Not a big town. We had stayed somewhere along the way and not liked it, possibly Havana, a big town, a city, possibly industrialised. Where I’d like ultimately to live. A village. A community. A quiet backwater.

What actions might this dream be suggesting I consider?

Getting a sea worthy boat together and setting off with Wanda to find a sleepy backwater in which to set up a more permanent home or to accept the desire to be on the move and go with it from place to place. But beware the need to have the resources to buy food and shelter !

What can happen if I work actively with this dream?

It reminds me of the need to keep the ship shipshape. Better to blow along in a gentle breeze making short journeys and spending little, rather than trying to do it all in one go in a storm and blowing all that we have.

What is being accepted in this dream?

We haven’t found our home port. We’ve set off, and as long as we make ends meet we won’t have to go back (live with parents).

What choices can I, and will I, make as a result of having this dream?

Looking for a new port isn’t the only answer, keeping our house in order is just as important to ensure we are sea worthy when we decide to set off.

What questions does this dream ask of me?

Do I want to keep on the move? Will we ever want to settle down?

Why am I not dealing with this situation?

Was it thrust upon us with the move from Newcastle? With our getting married ? With our need to find work? With our desire to live in a certain kind of flat/home?

What do you want to ask us your dream spirits?

Give me a bigger, better equipped boat. Send me to a village which isn’t so foreign and in which we have a chance of earning a living.

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