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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website,


Just in

This is the kind of breaking news the world is missing out on by my conscientious objection to Twitter: I just came back from the library! My requests were in! (Yes, that is the DVD of The Secret. I know, I know.)

This Cheese Stands Alone

I am so far holding out on the Twitter front. It's not easy. All the cool kids are doing it. People I like and follow around bleatingly.

But in this, I just can't. Look, if things get to point where I am compelled to update you hourly on my comings and goings and you are compelled to keep track of them, well, we probably both need to start seeing other people. Like licensed therapists.

Besides, I like to think I have cornered the market for people who can follow blog posts that exceed 1,000 words. All five of you.

That's my stance today, anyhow. Considering that I recently did That Which I Said I Would Never Do, and consented to (alright, suggested) putting a television set in our bedroom, I'm not sure I can claim to be principled on any front.

And Now, Some Woo-Woo

So anyway, when I am not giving my husband a lapdance to Kellis at backyard Cinco de Mayo parties, or watching tv IN BED, I have been going around giving talks about dream interpretation as a spiritual practice. This is part of my life I have hitherto kept on the down-low around here, but Jungian-oriented dreamwork has been a big part of my life for nearly six years. It is part of my paid work, and I am enrolled in a certification program to lead dream groups, something I have been doing off and on for a while anyway.

I took a break from teaching about dreams for a little while, because as with anything spiritual, there's a time to talk about it and a time to shut up about it, but I guess my quiet time is up, because I am suddenly getting invitations to teach again. It's good, because it forces me to work with my own dreams in a more focussed and disciplined way than I have been doing. It's putting me in touch with some internal conflicts that are lately heating up. A dream of a few nights ago epitomizes this:
A friend of mine who I think of as a very protective and devoted mother calls me up to say I can't be around her child anymore unless I cut off my hair. I am very upset, as the child and mother are very dear to me, but I don't understand why I should have to cut my hair.

I go into a diner, where I am seated across from a funky artist woman. She is with a male partner. I tell her about the ultimatum and she gives me a look like, "that's bullshit" and tells me I don't need to cut my hair. I like her energy. She seems carefree and confident.

That, in a nutshell, reflects the war within. The creative part of me that wants to let her hair down, and the mothering part of me that worries it's not good for the children. Annette Bening gave an interview with Teri Gross a few years ago where she articulated this divide beautifully: the mother needs things to be safe and stable; the artist needs risk and change. My dreams show that this is never going to be a winner-take-all proposition— both aspects are too vital and too strong. It's more like an ongoing set of negotiations, at times more intense than others. I'm just glad both sides are talking.

Other dreams are hinting at conflict about where my creative focus is. This blog is fun, and freeing, but it is getting the biggest piece of the pie right now, and I have nagging doubts about how it fits into the whole picture. It's not clear yet to me whether the dreams are saying, go with it for now and don't overthink it, or if I'm being nudged toward something less instantly gratifying. More will be revealed.

If you haven't fallen asleep, and are actually interested in learning about working with your own dreams, from either a spiritual or a psychological angle, here are some books and websites I recommend as starting points:

In the words of my mentor, Dr. Lucy Van Pelt, Thank you. That will be five cents.

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Blogger Schmutzie said...

If it helps you to stay away from Twitter, I tried it and quit. After a few entries, I could not find any purpose for it. I even put the Twitter widget in my sidebar, but I but I took it down due to a complete lack of being necessary.

I figured that if I wouldn't even pick up the telephone to tell someone what I was writing on Twitter, why would I bother publishing it?

9:39 AM  
Blogger jen lemen said...

i heard lisa stone once call twitter "fritter" because of how much time it sucks away from you. i'm with you. until i'm in some situation where i have to stare at a blackberry all day long, i think we can just pass.

on the dream thing, i would LOVE to be able to go to one of your classes. dreams as a spiritual practice sounds just about right to me and i can't think of a better way to stay connected to the down deep reality of things.

and while i'm writing a novel here, it seems that the mother/artist dilemma is a real one that is constant in my mind. someone should write an article about this or an essay or something. the whole push/pull is endless.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Kyran said...

Jen, you can write an EPIC here, anytime, and I will hang on every word.

Thanks to you & Schmutzie for showing up on the picket line ;-) I feel strengthened in my resolve to avoid yet another timesuck.


6:21 PM  

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