Dream of a competition to solve four puzzles. Told at the 40th annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Ashland, Oregon, 19th June 2023.
I am at a puzzle competition. My ex-husband is there as well, trying to solve the puzzles. I am excited as I want to win and am good at puzzles. The first one is a very large jigsaw with large but flimsy pieces. Many people are doing this, indoors on a carpet, but I am dismissive of it as it looks like a children’s puzzle. I also see an art game with blue, yellow and white shapes on a canvas, and, outside, an action game, like dungeons and dragons, with actors playing it. I don’t want to do these and instead try a fourth puzzle, placing scrawny, long weeds, with daisy flowers, on the middle of three concrete steps that are outside. I also place many of the flower heads on the bottom step, following a pattern I have for them. The environment is concrete, like a campus. I am very happy to focus on arranging the flowers rather than doing the other three puzzles, which my ex-husband is working on.
In the discussion the dreamer related the theme of the dream to her work in a high-pressured role that involves much collaborative problem-solving, and to seeing some small flowers growing when told of the death of a person close to her. Julia chose pages from Freud's book that have four paragraphs, so as to match the four puzzles in the dream. At the top of the right hand page was found the words and phrase 'all the problems discovered in the dream remain unsolved', and, below it, 'call for a long examination', and, on the left page, 'reconciliation with a friend' and, in two places, the number 4.
Dr Julia Lockheart