I honesty don't know why these would be of much interest to anyone other than me because they are filled with my own personal symbols and metaphors and so clearly filled with very specific communications between my subconscious and conscious mind. But I find them interesting and I need to write them, so why not share them here?
The first dream is another one of my repeat theme dreams where I am caught between the vacation home we once owned in Rancho Mirage, (Palm Springs), where I spent so many years, and the new home in Palm Desert that we have just bought. In the dream these homes are never anything like either of the real homes we have owned. I think there is a part of me that is mourning the loss of this funny old run down place where I lived so much of my life, where so much happened, good and bad. We didn't really have to sell the old house in order to buy the newer bigger one, we got nothing for it, and I wish we had kept it and rented it instead.
The old house reminds me of my parents, of my Father when he was alive and young, of my grandparents, and my uncle Doug, (all dead except my Mother), of my childhood, of my friend Lorraine, (who I no longer see and am separated from), the Berkeys, (my childhood playmates -- brothers -- one who died in a car accident and the other who I miss and never see), my ex and how he used the house as a kind of bachelor pad, ( hurt and betrayed me in my own home -- left women's bikini underwear behind for my poor Mother to find when he had promised not to have women over because he had proven himself so completely untrustworthy), and of a part of me that I feel as if I have lost forever.
It wasn't the house's fault, but it's as if it broke my heart. Then when the new people bought it, they completely remodeled it, obliterated it, and changed it into something entirely different, when for years this strict closed social group, (who had built their sixteen homes in a rectangle surrounding a pool, and had even written rules about who you could or could not sell your home to should you choose to sell it), had governed what could and could not be done to these homes in terms of paint and decor. It was all so codified, rule bound, controlled by this group of golfers and their fashionable, social, and very judgmental wives, (who could also be very interesting, charming and fun), and then in time they began to die off and the houses passed down to the children who were very different in some ways from their parents.
Our new vacation house is different from the old one. It's much nicer but colder and more cut off somehow. There was a modern, magical, environmentally enticing and somehow connected element to the old house that the new one just doesn't have. The new one has high ceilings, bigger rooms, marble baths and floor to ceiling views of the golf course, but it's much lonelier and older in feel.
The old house faced in towards a great big pool that shimmered in the daylight and glowed bright blue at night. There were palm trees and flowers and paths that wound around the pool. There were always people walking by and it was hard to feel as if you had any kind of privacy, but in some ways that was the good part of it, the communal part of it.
In the end, when some of the older, grumpier, and let's face it, ridiculously snobby people died off, the people who were left were kind of wild and fun. They threw big parties and put the pool furniture in the pool. They decorated their yards and put their refrigerators on their porches so you wouldn't have to go so far to get your beer. They even hired cooks and butlers to serve drinks and hors d'oeuvres to us by the pool, and they had karaoke nights, lit firecrackers and set some of the palm trees on fire. I even remember my friend John getting drunk and riding his Mother's old Lincoln convertible inside the compound, (that's what we called the inside gardens and pool area), driving it around the pool, waving at us Kennedy parade style, driving over landscape lighting, crushing them as he went. It was pretty fun and wild, until it got out of control and people started to get drunk and fight and then Mom got put off by the whole thing and wanted to move on and be with her friends. So here, finally, is the dream.
I am at our old vacation home in Palm Desert. I'm confused because I don't understand why we're here when we have a new house and have sold this old one. Or did we? My Mom is here, as are Beau, Mom's creepy, scheming housekeeper Rosa, and my old best friend Lorraine.
My Mom wants me to be with her, to join her in the kitchen where she and Rosa are making brunch, but I am stuck in my room -- stuck emotionally and physically. There is so much left here that I want to save and bring with me to the new house -- stuff that Mom would be content to leave behind or throw away. I am sitting on the floor by the closet looking through old things of mine and my father's. There are papers, photographs, old favorite sweaters, shoes, and mementos, things we never were able to let go of. I feel that by touching these things, holding them, reading them, going through them, that I will find some way to understand why I am where I am in my life, and connect with my Father and his family history that should be mine as well.
I am so full of grief over the loss of my Father. I have found a pair of small shoes that are strongly attached to him -- in the dream they mean him. I am holding these little shoes, cradling them and sobbing, weeping as I rock back and forth, hoping to recapture the feel, the smell, the energy of my beloved Dad.
Someone has made a mess somewhere else in the house -- spilled some sugar cereal or something and Mom comes in to the bedroom to blame me. I am emphatic about not having done it, and when she tries to get me to let go of my memories, to leave this stuff behind I am ridiculous with grief and attachment to these things. When she sees the little pair of shoes that I am clutching to my chest she understands, finally understands that her husband -- even though he had adopted me and perhaps never wanted me -- had come to love me in his own way, and was my only father. She understands that he did not belong to her exclusively, that he was mine too, and that this great loss is mine as well as hers.
I am caught between these two houses, wanting to take Beau and Lorraine to the new house, but needing to gather up all of our old things; old furniture, photographs, letters, and things that we keep leaving behind at the old one. I have gone to get my car to bring it back to the old house but I am having trouble driving it forwards and end up driving my car backwards over a bridge. The colors here are so beautiful -- lots of vibrant natural desert colors; bright shades of orange, green, blue, brown, and red.
I end up losing my car in a parking lot. The keys I am holding open the doors to the wrong car. I keep pressing the automatic key opener in my hand, hoping to locate my car, but the car that unlocks is a big black Escalade and not my little convertible. I go back to a nearby restaurant and realize that I picked up someone else's keys by mistake and am wondering how I will get my own keys back.
I am suddenly on a Santa Monica beach, at some kind of beach club, one that is semi-familiar to me but strange at the same time. I am worried because I have become separated from Beau, Lorraine and my Mother. I am really concerned about Beau and need to tell him where I am. I need to get to a phone to call Beau right now!
I have been standing on these bleached wooden stairs talking to a bunch of people, who are here having drinks. They are all much younger than I am, but I don't really get this at first. I feel close to them, as if we have this love of the beach, the sand and the sea, and children in common. We're having fun catching up, comparing notes about growing up here in LA, spending weekends and summers at the beach. But then when I ask them how old they are I discover that they are all younger than I am by at least a decade and. this makes me feel less than, for some reason. I feel a separation from them because of this age difference. I suddenly feel old and awkward and insecure, as if once they discover my age, the won't like and accept me socially, even though they are giving every sign to the contrary.
I have to leave to find my son. One of the beach boys, (young men who work for a club, who set up your beach equipment, and in this case act as waiters), at the bar where I have been visiting tells me that he will show me how to get back to the highway so I can head back to the beach club to find a phone. I follow him down some steps towards the beach. There are people everywhere. The beach itself is rocky, rough, and full of shells. The surge is close to the seawall and I am worried that the seas are getting rougher. But everyone is acting as if this is just another normal day at the beach. There are two young women in bikinis and a guy in styley boxers playing in the water on giant shells that have been turned into beach chairs.
The young man leads me to the entrance of an enormous estate next door to the beach cub or bar where we had just been. I stop at the edge of the beach because I see two beautiful pink and brown speckled cowry shells in the sand. It's surprising that there are so many gorgeous shells here that no one has collected. I want to pick them up and take them home, but not if they are alive -- if there are any little sea creatures who are still living inside them. I ask some of the many people who are here leaning against the wall if they know if the shells are dried out, but as I pick one up it spits water at me and I realize that it must be alive, so I set it back down in the wet sand where it was.
There is a narrow unremarkable entrance with a security guard watching the place. The beach boy introduces me to the security guard and explains my situation -- that I need to get to a phone to call my son because I am worried about him. The security guard agrees to help me and I thank the man who brought me here before he leaves. I can't tip him because I don't have any money. If I had money I would have been able to call Beau from the bar. I need to get back to my own club where I can use the phone for free.
I follow the guard away from the beach through a narrow overgrown path towards a hill that leads up and away from the beach towards PCH, (The Pacific Coast Highway). While I look up at this great big hill with small foot holds carved into it and vines climbing up beside them I wonder who would have created such a challenging way to access their property and why. There are three separate climbing paths that you can use to get up to the grounds of this resort-like estate. They've been set up like some kind of fitness challenge going from the least challenging on the left to the most challenging on the right. I think they're all challenging, and just as I'm thinking this, someone comes up behind me and practically bounds up the hill as if it's the easiest thing in all the world to do.
The security guard tells me that I can use this private property, that I can cut across it to go to the Beach Club, and then come back, but that I only have fifteen minutes in which to do it. I don't understand why, and it seems impossible for me, but I agree and he lets me go.
It isn't long before I understand why he has put a limit on the amount of time I can spend here. This place is amazing -- like an eco-tourist amusement park for the wealthiest of people. There is a tremendous mansion that sits atop a knoll in the middle of the most elaborate gardens I have ever seen. The house is beautiful and fine but the gardens and water features that surround it are the main attraction.
In order to get to the street I have to walk up and around the grounds to the north of the property. The first area that I have to cross, traverse, or get through is the swimming pool area. The pools are amazing. There are so many of them in every conceivable shape and size. There are larger ones surrounded by comfortable deck chairs that are easy to walk around and then there are many smaller pools filled from mineral springs. These smaller pools are arranged in small groups and the water travels up and over ledges and cascades between them. They range in temperature from boiling hot to cold and are so inviting. I have to navigate between them to continue heading in the direction of the exit but the way this place is designed makes it hard to simply head out, you have to follow a path, and there are several. The most direct path is marked, but there are so many wonderful distractions along the way.
The security guard has followed me to this point, to ensure that I do leave the property but I would so love to lean a little to my left or right just to fall into one of these pools so I could swim in the water for a minute. The man who passed me earlier is just ahead of me so I follow him. There is one of those slow moving water rivers here that winds it's way around the entire property -- the kind that water parks have that people can float lazily along on, going with the stream, or swim or walk upstream, against the current, in order to get a better work out. I have to get in the water and walk upstream to continue my journey through this place.
When I reach the point where you are supposed to get out there is this complicated human washing element that you can go through. It has all kinds of massage and wash settings that you can select before stepping into and crossing through it. It smells minty like toothpaste or a nice herbal sauna. I can choose to have my whole body, legs, feet, scalp, face, or teeth washed or brushed. I can choose whichever herbal preparation I want to have mixed in with the fresh water that cleans off all of the pool water. I am concerned about time so I pick something simple and fast and cross on through.
Now that I am out of the water there are more paths through this garden that I must follow. They go up and over bridges made of wood and stone. There are plants and flowers and more obstacle courses and physical challenges. At one point I end up walking into a restaurant filled with people and am surprised to see this here. I thought this was a private estate. I look at the packed restaurant, at all of the people having an early dinner, remember that I am wet and wearing only a bathing suit, talk to the hostess, take a business card and move on.
I meet some more people along the path, I could join them but I want to go at my own speed. I really want to take all of this in since I may never get to see any of this again. Up ahead I spot something laying on the grass and realize it is a cat -- a group of cats, with big beautiful fluffy tails -- so I veer a bit off of the path to meet them. They are beautiful rare breeds and remind me a lot of some of our cats. I am so happy to see them. Cats! Yeay, cats! I loooove cats! I don't care if the security guard gets mad at me, I am going to stop and pet these guys.
These are clearly some very special and super pampered cat people. There is a glossy home brag magazine laying on the ground near them. It's opened to an article about the people who own this amazing estate and their collection of cats. I am so curious about them and want to know more. I want to read the article, or at least copy down the name of the family, because I know I won't be able to remember it later, but there is this feeling of pressure I have to move on.
There is a group of people on the path ahead of me. They're wearing green tee-shirts, are carrying clipboards and taking notes. They're walking up a covered wooden stairway that leads to a bridge. I catch up with them and ask them about their group. They plan eco-tours and are interested in how this property has been constructed and how it's gardens and water features are being maintained. We talk about this resort in Tahiti that I recently visited that is completely self sustaining, environmentally friendly, and natural.
I finally make my way to the highway. The sidewalk in front of this estate and the many others that line the beach is very narrow. More aware than ever of how important it is to get the Beach Club to find a phone and contact Beau I begin to jog and then run full out. I am amazed at how easy it is to do this. Where is the pain that I would normally feel? This is thrilling, exhilarating, no wonder people love to run. I think I'll do this every day. End.