5. DISTANT JOURNEY
The following is the dream of 58-year old college professor:
Commentary on the Dream (HRM)
It is significant here that the dreamer has recently reconnected with an old college classmate and friend to go on a journey together. Life itself is a kind of journey, but what is the destination? As we get older, time seems to speed up, as it does in this dream where the dreamer finds himself "traveling at a high rate of speed" by an unknown technology. The forces that drive us into the second half of life are unknown but powerful just the same: "No one is steering whatever is carrying us."
The dreamer saw his companion (Ted) fairly recently, but infrequently before that, so it is natural that seeing him recently becomes a kind of trigger or marker on the journey of life. It poses an unconscious question "Where have you come to so far?"
The destination of this journey is Canada: on the one hand, another country but also one nearby, and not all that different. The unisex child is now a baby, full of potentiality, the future-not-yet here, like dreamer was in youth.
To travel on this journey-of-life involves some anxiety: in this case, will the dreamer have the medication needed to preserve well-being? Maybe the only medication to rely on is something very ordinary-- something like strong, black coffee, which keeps us awake and alert.
Clothing is a kind of costume, a mask we adopt to present ourselves to the world: it covers us but also reveals something of who we are. In this dream, the dreamer's clothing remains the same, yet miraculously fresh-- as if one's identity could remain fresh and clean despite the passage of years, like the clothing in this dream.
The destination here was supposed to be "some rural area in Canada" (why would anyone go there?) But the real destination turns out to be "New-found-land:" that is, a newly found, nameless city of unexpected interest. Like life itself, the destination of the journey is remarkable place, as the markets in this nameless city suggest.
But what about the traveling companion? In the dream Ted goes but Beth stays. Ted goes off to a distant place (San Francisco) while the dreamer remains behind with the feminine image and the young child. The dreamer's bonding with the feminine figure here is very powerful: the dreamer goes on walks with her and the child, doesn't sleep all week, yet remains very alert. Is this an image of what the dreamer might want to become in the future?
In the last part of the dream, the companion (Ted) returns and a now new journey begins-- this time to a place even more distant (New Zealand), using the same powerful mysterious transportation system as before. The companion, who is of course the dreamer himself, is strangely attracted to this distant destination-- "visiting relatives," though the real reason remains obscure.
So the journey continues and the dreamer has now been informed about why he must go this far-off place, even if he understands only a little about the real reason for the journey, as we do of life itself.