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Alder

Alder's a teacher in San Francisco who lives in a cooperative house full of artists and musicians. Her life's been unconventional and her dreams are downright kooky. So why is it that my (Wayan's) dreams use Alder as a symbol of sturdy common sense--or even stubborn conventionality? I'm not sure, but even a casual reading of Alder's dreams below, and my dreams of her, portray wildly different people.

Makes me wonder how arbitrary other figures and symbols are, in dreams. Maybe each dreamer develops a private pidgin language between conscious and unconscious in which symbols aren't the fittest but just historical accidents--they worked in one dream, so why not repeat them? Like a joke that becomes a cliche, and then an idiom you take for granted. Or like the debate in Darwinian theory over catastrophes--is it always survival of the fittest? Or sometimes, is it just dumb luck?

Maybe we read too much into dream-symbols... and into the world as it happens to be.

RELATED TOPICS: our mutual friends Lily and Patagia - individuality vs conformity - lucid dreams - nightmares - children's dreams - children in dreams - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

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AMPLIFIER: by Alder; 1999/11/13, a dream on self-underestimation
I was always the weakest magic-worker I knew. But when demons threatened my grandchild...
THE BELL CURVE: by Wayan; 1995/2/22, an essay on IQ
My take on IQ, racism, Murray and Herrnstein's notorious book, and the theory of multiple intelligence. As an (ex)child prodigy it's not theoretical for me: broken hearts, broken trust, broken ribs...
CAUTION: LONG WORDS, RAMPANT ELITISM, GENIUS SHOPTALK
CELLPHONE HEAVEN: by Alder, 2008/8/28, a dream of practical sainthood
I visit a Tibetan monastery with great cellphone reception from the gods. But all their calls are to help other people...
CHINA AND AMERICA: by Alder and Wayan; 1997/9/23, telepathic dreams.
Two giants wrestle in the Chinese mountains. Who'll win, Red or Yellow? But when I wake...
DIRECT ACTION SAVES THE SHIP: by Alder; 2006/11/5; a dream-fable with instant replay.
A bomb's planted on our ship! But when a teen finds it, rather than fetch a responsible adult...
FIRST LADY: by Alder; 2008/7/2, a possibly psychic dream-within-a-dream.
I'm the First Lady. I have a dream that my husband's assassinated, and wake and try to warn him...
FLOCK WISDOM: by Alder; 1958, a magic comic frustration dream
My eighth grade class is a flock of birds migrating south for the winter, but we donít migrate the easy way...
LIFE FORCE: by Patagia; 2006/8/9 & 8/31, three career-advice dreamlets
Out of a Campbell's soup can poured life force: someone's last breath...
MIKE DIANA, JAILED FOR SACRILEGE: by Wayan; 1994/6/23; a real-life nightmare.
Unfortunately, this is not a dream at all...
MOM THE MURDERER: by Wayan; 1996/3/7, a possible psychic dream.
My mom confesses to a killing, says tearfully she had to do it--but her reasons make no sense. When I wake..
RUNNING BIRD: by Alder; 1953, a kinetic nightmare with double selves.
I'm a flightless bird hopping down a line of marble columns rising from the sea, as they topple behind me...
SADDLED WITH AUTISM: by Wayan; 1999/10/1, a dreamtale.
I'm autistic; a TV host encourages me and another autistic kid to have sex on the air...
CAUTION: UNDERAGE SEX ON NATIONAL TV; SERIOUS FINGER-POINTING
THE SEX WORKSHOP: by Wayan; 1997/4/6, a dream on taking the next step.
The teacher of our sex workshop picks me for a demonstration in front of everyone. Gulp...
CAUTION: WELL WHAT DO YOU THINK?
SPIRAL LAUGHTER: by Alder; 1953, a child's feverdream
The world is a whirlpool, a black and white spiral pulling me down toward a black hole, and itís laughing...
STARVATION?: by Wayan; 1995/8/28, a journal extract on body image.
On a poster of a model who's around my weight, someone's scrawled STARVATION IMAGERY...
CAUTION: DEFENSE OF SKINNY PEOPLE
SYLVIA: by Wayan; 1997/7/29, an illustrated dream.
Sylvia, the fabulous Dog Singer, leads me through a spy film, a French romantic farce, Fellini's Rome...


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