In your dreams

28th September 2001 at 01:00
Ever wondered what your dreams mean? 'Friday' magazine helps you find out

Mary Bland teaches English to adults in Cheshire

I get up for work, shower and put on a smart outfit with a short skirt. (My legs are long and flawless in my dreams.) My husband and I breakfast silently, and kiss woodenly before I leave. In the car, I glance at the staff meeting handouts and check my diary. By the time I've slowed to walking pace on the M56 I'm writing my "must-do" list.

The cars glide slowly past some shops. I hop out for a paper and reboard at the off-licence. We halt at the lights, where I slip into Nirvana, a dress shop with garments I know I've owned in a former, more affluent life, and buy a purple silk evening dress.

When I come out the road is empty. The street that had been flat now curves down so steeply I can't see the bottom but I know what I will find. A child lies broken in the road, surrounded by weeping relatives. A nurse has her head rammed through my windscreen, the red cross on her bib real blood.

I stumble down, and spot my purple car as it makes its way sedately up the hill to traffic lights on the horizon, where a police car waits. Two officers circle it but when they see me, they nod and leave. I mouth "Sorry", as if I'm late for a meeting, and drive on. I wake up thinking I have had a warning and that I must be careful.

I first had this dream a couple of years ago and have had it three or four times since. My son is a medical student so he might be the nurse.

Petruska Clarkson writes: Mary describes her recurring dream as "a warning". Her journey ends in the death of a child and a nurse (a healer). But she was not driving the car when the accident happened.

When she meets the police, she apologises, but as if it was something trivial. There's a gross disproportion here.

Her underconsciousness is informing Mary that there is something potentially dangerous in her life which she is taking too lightly.

Cars often symbolise the body in dreams. If we allow ourselves to become overburdened by work concerns (the "must-do" list) or world affairs (the newspaper) or distracted by unfulfilled needs, we may fail to notice early warning signs. The fact that this is a recurring dream emphasises the urgency.

There is a contrast between the "wooden kiss" and the sensuality of having long and flawless legs and dressing in beautiful garments. She may also be concerned for her son. When the problem - whatever it is - is resolved, it may be indicated by the presence of a healer who is alive and well in one of her dreams.

Mary Bland and Petruska Clarkson were talking to Harvey McGavin. Petruska Clarkson says anyone wanting to understand their dreams more fully should contact a recognised psychologist

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