Moving to a new house is a recurring theme in my dreams. The dream is always set in Pennsylvania, and the house I’m moving from (my house) always ends up being Mom and Dad’s house.
In this dream at varying points I was my adult self, my seventeen year old self, and my twelve year old self.
The only odd thing in the dream was that in the old house we were leaving behind a lot of stuff I thought we should be taking. The attic was full of stuff, mostly toys. I thought if we were selling the house to a family it would be nice to leave the toys for them, but we were selling the house to a baseball association. I found some of Grandma's afghans in the attic as well. I wanted to at least keep an all-white one, but had trouble getting to it because I spotted a huge black widow spider. Grandma was there in the attic with me.
The thing that vexed me the most was that we hadn’t taken any of the dressers. I complained to Mom that I wouldn’t have anywhere to put my clothes in the new house. She suggested a cardboard box, but I was complaining how ridiculous that seemed when we had all of these dressers. Jamie had a gorgeous, tall antique chest of drawers. She was talking about how perhaps she could get $150 for it if she sold it. I thought it would make a perfect dresser for me if only I could convince everyone else to move the dressers to the new house.
The dressers obviously symbolize something. Mom and Dad’s house (my childhood home) has always symbolized my Self, and these moving dreams always seem to be about moving into a newer Self, in this case also a more expansive self. Dressers contain our clothes, which we use to don different forms of self-expression. But it wasn’t that I’d be without clothes, it was that I’d be without a container to hold them. And a cardboard box wasn’t good enough. I wanted something beautiful, with character and the patina of age, like Jamie’s dresser. Even my dresser (from childhood) is probably, technically, an antique now. Any dresser would’ve been better than a cardboard box.
I was arguing vehemently that we need to have beautiful containers to house our self-expression, our various forms of self expression--but what does that really mean? If I move into a more expansive Self, I still want a beautiful container to house my various forms of self-expression. Each form of self-expression I don, each persona, is not me in my totality. All of those various expressions, together, should be a thing of beauty. But even all of those are not all of me. The whole house represents the whole Self. The dresser only represents the various aspects of self which manifest discretely.
The toys in the attic--they represent playful spontaneity. I wanted them to go to children who would fully engage with them—not to a baseball association—where play has become rigid and overly formalized.
And Grandma’s afghans….as far as I know, she never did crochet an all-white one. The color white contains all other colors, but is an absence of color as well. What does the afghan represent? It represents my connection to Grandma of course—to memories of my personal past, what’s gone before. It’s an item of warmth and comfort; it represents love. The purity of love. And how love contains everything. The afghan is made up of both matter and empty space—yarn endlessly looping back upon itself and interconnecting with other parts of itself. The form of it is created by the intersection of matter and emptiness. (Earth and sky?)
Back to the symbolism of the dresser. The dresser I was most drawn to was tall, wide, but narrow from front to back. In proportion and styling it reminded me of a Shaker piece—simple, and elegantly understated. But the finish on it was not Shaker—it was very rich, had beautiful depth, perhaps it was a wax finish which had been painstakingly built up over many years of attention. This seems to represent myself as I’m currently manifesting—in this context of voluntary simplicity.
Another interesting thing was Mom’s cardboard box comment. It was implied that the cardboard box would be one left over from the move. So I would’ve been basically living out of a box, as if the move were only temporary. But it wasn’t meant to be a temporary move. There seems to be symbolism there about living outside of the box too. A cardboard box is ugly—that was a big part of my objection to it. I wanted to live in a beautiful space.