Tag Archives: dream interpretation

In the Dream. . .


. . .  Jack is in the back seat and I’m driving.  My car dies at the entrance of the cemetery.  I ram my foot down on the pedal and turn the key over and over, but my car won’t start.  It does however float off to the side of the cemetery gate.

We’re walking among the graves. There is a train, a small one, like in an amusement park. It’s dusk.

E.’s casket is unearthed, or maybe it has never been buried.  It is open and we can see her.  She is on a little hill of green, grassy earth and even though it is shadowy, there is a sort of fairy tale cheer about the place.

Someone approaches her and runs their fingers through her short, gray hair.  This does not seem weird to me, but also it does seem weird to me.  At her wake, I remember, we all remarked how they had not done her hair quite right.  It was too spiky, too piecey.  It looked like they had used too much product.  We all sat and laughed, but it was a loving and fond laugh, about how she used to sit in her office and brush that short hair into a fluffy little puff.  Oh, how we loved her.

Wait, I think.  We’ve already done this.  Why are we doing this again?  

Someone bends down to get a closer look at E.  Someone strokes her cheek.  Someone kisses her forehead.  I like seeing people touch and love on her.  It comforts me.  I want to touch her again too.  I want to kiss her too.

But then we are all sitting in chairs.  E. is sitting there too.  She’s wearing her wedding dress, the royal blue suit in which she was buried.  She’s there.  She’s talking to us.  She’s reading things from a paper in her hand.  That seems right.  That seems normal.  She’s a born orator, even though it makes her nervous.

“I won’t be around forever,” she tells us.  Part of my brain is wondering what this means because she is already gone, but she is also here.  “I’d like to have one more party,” she says.  We start talking about what we are going to wear.  I get excited about the idea of digging up my pink tutu.  We all laugh.  “I might only be here for another ten years.  We will have a party, and then you will have to live with whatever happens.”  She says this and she looks right at me.

I’d love ten more years I think.  

I’ll be good, I think.  I won’t put pressure on you or try to change you.  I’ll let you be. Just stay with me.  I’m thinking all this and she’s looking right at me.  I think maybe she is thinking that I need to let go.

Her face is changed.  It’s her, but it’s not. I’m strangely mute.  I can’t say any of the stuff I want to say.

We walk away to prepare for the party.  I remember that my car is dead and I will have to call for a tow truck.  My friend agrees to give me a ride, but she’s walking far ahead of me and I’m nervous that she will leave without me.

I walk past E.’s grave.  It’s a big hole.  I look down into it and the earth is deep and brown, but it is empty.  I look up, and a little ways off, I see her casket.  I look and it is open.  I look and it is closed.  I look and it is open and she is not in it.  It all makes sense, and I’m more nervous about my car now.

And my kids.

Jack is with me, but Emily has gone off.  We need to board the train.  I yell for Emily to come.  She comes.  There’s not a lot of space on the little, amusement park train, but we cram into it.  I am squished on the seat next to my friend. My kids are with me.

I’m nervous about my car.  I’m excited about the party.  I can’t wait to see E.  I’ll be so happy to see E.  There’s so much I’ve got to tell her.

I’m so excited to see E. . .

. . .  and so sad to wake.

Snapping Turtle Dream


 If you google “Turtles in dreams,” a whole bunch of stuff comes up.

While dreams are vivid and moving, I never give them much attention.  I figure they are my extremely busy subconscious playing out stuff that has happened in real life, some of which I maybe did not even notice.

But the turtle dream really made me think.

I love turtles.  They have always been a totem for my family.  Turtles symbolize home, wisdom, and longevity. Other people claim turtles represent femininity, fertility, and family.

So turtles are cool and I’ve always loved them, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream about one.  I don’t put much stock in dream analysis, but there was something striking about this dream.

In the dream,

I was out with a bunch of people by a pool–  one of the small above-ground ones.  There were people in the pool, splashing and having a great time.  I looked down on the ground and saw what I thought at first was a snake–  something scaley and reptilian-looking.  But as I followed the wrinkled limb, I saw it was a turtle, partially buried in sandy earth.  On the turtle’s back was something resembling a blow-hole, and out of it crawled a smaller turtle, clearly a baby.  

I looked around and could see turtles all about, crawling out of the earth.  They are huge!  I exclaimed to a man standing nearby, possibly my husband.  These are way bigger than the one that came to lay her eggs a couple months ago!  We gave them plenty of room.  They were snapping turtles, and at that size could probably bite off a finger, or even an arm.  

Then I was in my bed, swaddled in sheets.  There was a creak on my stairs and the great, big snapper came up and into my bedroom.  She had her baby with her.  I started screaming for my husband to come, but it was like I was screaming underwater and couldn’t be heard.  

The baby turtle, which was comically big, about the size of my head, sped over to my bed and began climbing into it.  I thrashed a bit, trying to fend him off with my flimsy sheets, still screaming.  

I jolted awake; my daughter who had come upstairs beckoned to me.

It was hard to wake from the vivid dream-state I’d been in.  My eyes were heavy and puffy.  I got up and grabbed an iced eye pack from the freezer and went back to my bed.

I pondered the turtle attacking me where I lay, the fear I felt at the prospect of being snapped and bitten and clawed.

And yet, I love turtles.  They are not a creature who I find fearful, especially since they are typically slow moving.

When I do attempt to analyze my dreams, I consider everything and everyone in the dream as a representation of myself, or of some part of me.  I believe turtle was not some external force of malice, but a part of myself.

Turtles have a hard shell which protects them from predators.  What did this dream say about the “shell” I have put around myself lately?

And what of the fact that they were specifically “snapping” turtles in my dream, as opposed to red belly turtles, or sea turtles, or giant African tortoises?  Is this a subconscious commentary about my demeanor of late?

How about the freaky speed at which turtle was charging at me?  Could this have anything to do with my constant rushing, my preoccupation with schedules and being bound to time?

What was subconscious turtle trying to teach me?

It is a lot to dwell on, which is why I typically do not get too deep into dream interpretation.  I read a quote from Dalai Lama once that “if we spend all out time interpreting dreams, we have no time for dreaming.”  You could get lost in the subconscious, right?

The morning after my turtle dream, I sat with it–  the images, the fear, the questions it brought up.

We had a beautiful, big snapper come up from the stream next to our house this past spring.  She trundled up and crossed the street to lay her eggs in our neighbor’s yard.

We watched her progress for several hours.

She was all business.  She got to the spot where she would leave her clutch of eggs, and used her hind legs to claw into the dirt.  Over the course of an hour, she laid her eggs, and then she started her progression back across the street to go down to the swamp from where she came.

Emily was scared turtle would get “squished” by a car, so we went outside to watch for traffic so “Greenie” could make it safely back to her home.

It brought us joy.  Excitement.  Wonder.

Could that be why subconscious turtle charged at me?  To jolt me back in the direction of joy and wonder?  Because in that case, the dream was a beautiful gift. . .