Dream of US keyworker delivery driver Mason told online for one of our Covid Lockdown dream events. In waking life Mason was relocating across the US. Dream: 'I am trying to drive up the incline from a suburban house garage but the gears keep crashing and so I can't move into the road to join the traffic there. I release the clutch but find the car is not in gear and it moves backwards and stops. I get out to check that it did not hit the white garage door and am surprised to see that it has damaged the door badly. I get back in the car and see a man and a woman in an old white car looking at me almost with disgust. I feel embarrassed as I was not being able to drive the car, even though I should be able to do so and as it is my job to drive. The car was a brown Mazda Miata, which is not a car I drive in waking life and is a color I would not choose.'
I am sitting at my desk in the hospital at work with blue medical gloves on. I have a purple woollen furry blanket from home on my lap. I am peeling quails’ eggs which are to be used to treat Covid patients. The phone rings and I am being asked lots of questions about the eggs as they are needed for patients. More eggs are being heated in a white medical bath, but they are soft and egg yolk spills when I try to crack them open. I push my red glasses up with my wrists. The phone starts ringing again but I can’t answer it as I am covered in yolk and bits of shell.
I leave a room by revolving so as to get past a strap on the doorway. I go down a corridor to see my wife. She is in the next room and has a present for me on the table, a box about 30x60cm, and about 5cm thick with a clear plastic top. It has various novelties and small activities in it. In the middle is a table tennis set with green bats. On one side in the box there is an old black mobile phone, with a few other small components, and the words Funeral Preparation Kit. The kit is partly a joke rather than being serious.
[On the day before the dream the dreamer had heard of an acquaintance who had died in hospital, possibly with Covid-19.]
National Health Service nurse Libby Nolan, who is currently under quarantine with the virus and having breathing problems, shared online a nightmare she has been having. Her nightmare, had twice during her confinement, repeated but changed a nightmare she has had before. In this, she was looking through the open door of a house and could see strange trees with strange leaves and knew it was very dangerous outside and the danger would soon come into the house. She couldn't close the door as it was so large. Inside, she goes upstairs and to a large hall. A party was happening and everyone ignored her warnings and didn't look at her. She then saw a man with red trousers who is a composite of all past loves for her, he looked at her and knew what she was warning about, but with a smile looked at her to say without words that all was actually fine and that she should not worry. She went into a side room, which is a hospital room with a dead man on the bed and an old ventilator. Her deceased mother is there with a cat on her lap. The cat jumps onto Libby and onto her mouth and stops her breathing. Libby then woke up.
We are grateful to Libby for her dream, for sharing and discussing it, and for the work she has been doing and will return to for the health service. We thank also everyone worldwide who took part in the event, on Facebook Live.
The painting is made onto two pages taken from Freud's book The Interpretation of Dreams. Online here the viewer can enlarge the painting when looking at it, so as to see details made during the two hours that the discussion and painting took place. For example, the stairs, the trees, the man at the party with his glass of red wine. The pages were chosen by Julia when she was first hearing the dream, on the basis of the shapes of the paragraphs found in Freud's book, but during the painting process she incorporates words that happen to be on the page. Some of these do have coincidental but eerie references to Libby's dream. Such as, in the trees, in reference to Libby only being acknowledged in the dream by the one man, red-trousered, who is based on her current and former loves: 'My beloved is mine, turn again to me my beloved..', and reference to her quarantine, 'sweet dove, already you are enclosed in my cavern', and on the left page (i.e, bottom half of painting) there are many medical references.
Goldsmiths, University of London, event for Humanistic and Psychodynamic Counselling course members, 19th February 2020
Dream told at event for counselling course students. Dream of escaping a tidal wave by going to a five storey building, sitting on a bed with female friend, and feeling very guilty about hitting a goat.
Dream of being confronted by a woman in class after making inapproriate remarks with four male friends.
Details and other dreams from the event are below. This is a dream of a 60 year old, happy in the company of people in their 30s whom he admires because they care about the planet. It is a bohemian atmosphere in the room, as they get ready for a meal. Note the appropriate words that happened to be on the pages from Freud chosen for this painting, 'I am in the company' and 'The whole dreamer back to the year of revolution.' As always, the pages are chosen for the shape of the text, paragraphs and headings, specific words are spotted and incorporated during the one hour dream discussion and painting session. The highlighted words are relevant to the dream and dreamer, and provide a serendipitous link from the event now to Freud, writing the words over 100 years ago.
The prestigious Economic and Social Research Council included and funded us to be part of their 2019 Festival of Social Science. For this we were hosted at three venues, the Freud Museum London, RSA, and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. The Freud Museum dreams and paintings are shown here, the other venues are below.
I am on a dark moonlit country lane. I am with a man, we are holding each other and kissing. I feel happy and excited as this is new, but I also feel something is wrong. A large car drives past with a woman driving, it is his wife. He turns around, with his back to the road, pretending to urinate. He says ‘she hasn’t seen you,’ then pushes me and tells me to walk away. I walk down the dark road and the car follows me. I see a public toilet and go in the women’s side. It is cold, horrible, with a concrete floor. I go into a cubicle and can hear her footsteps, but think she must think I am only here to use the toilet. It appears that she has gone but then I hear she is in the cubicle next to me. Suddenly there is a knock on the metal cubicle door, I open it and she is there with a smartly dressed bouncer. He is smoking and stubs out his cigarette on me. I am in pain and wake up.
In my dream I wake up. I am hovering three feet above my own body, looking down on it. My friend Kiran is hovering next to me. My body looks like a shamanic representation of a body, a rather primitive drawing. It is entirely colored in a deep green blue. I am surprised, I find myself wondering at the speed of this transformation. Next moment I am standing at the top of The Meadows in Edinburgh, looking down the lovely greens. I am holding hands with Kiran, on my left. It is a bright day. Now I find myself in a large receiving hall in a castle. The room is rather bare of decoration. A large wooden table dominates the room. At the head of the table a man is sitting, it is obvious that he is the king. I am waiting on him, bringing something to drink. He looks rather tired and melancholy and I worry for his wellness. A guest arrives, it is a young man in his thirties, with pale skin and ginger hair. I walk over to the shelves on the wall and take one of the whiskey jars that fill the shelves. I think it is the jar from the area he is coming from. It is grey stoneware and has a small violet flower on it, like heather or lavender. I pour them both a cup. I am invisible in their service. Now I find myself in the shrubbery on the edge of the castle terrain and the surrounding woods. I am on a mission to fetch something from the outbuildings, which I can see ahead of me through the leaves. I have some time so I have decided to take the longer, scenic route through the woods. I am following a deer trail. Sunlight flickers through the leaves. There are small birds flying around and squirrels. I feel relaxed and happy. I am enjoying the beauty and quiet. All of a sudden I hear a small noise in front of me and I look down the path. I see a misty sprite attacking a young boy and girl who are walking down the path, hand in hand. It looks like a dragon made of water and it hovers above the ground making figures of 8 around the children. The boy has a red sweater and blue trousers, the girl’s clothes are yellow ochre. They crumble down to the ground. I am shocked, and at the same time I realize I cannot tell anyone, as they will think I did it and they will hang me. I am in no position to speak. I walk out of the woods.
I am in a room with a group of young people. One young woman, maybe Sophie, stretches out a tea-bag over a candle to give a nice smell to the room. She goes to get food, saying that she will be back and asking me to prepare the table. Rather than setting the table I see I have to build one, as there isn’t one, and I make it with clamps taken from the futon-like sofa. A young man who may be her boyfriend helps me. I am confident in building it as I have glued tables together before. The young man has the confidence of youth, I am happy with this, not fazed even if he is clever, but in a way we are competing for confidence. I am glad we are not in a hurry. I dance, left and right, twisting my feet on their heels, twisting my hips, with my arms following my body. There are others in this bohemian room, which is all natural, raw, nothing superfluous. I feel I wake up in the room, Sophie is bringing back the food. We have nearly made the table. I am about to sand and polish it with a wood colour. We might be in a house in Greece, with whitewashed walls. The other people are soft and dreamy, not as switched on as the young man and me. I have a quiet supremacy. I am older, with more knowledge and can be generous. I admire the talents of the next generation. I am sixty but admire the young people here who are in their 30s and have understanding, which fills me with confidence that the planet will be OK. It is a relaxing dream, although with some ego.
Dr Julia Lockheart