Anxiety dream

Noam and I are living in some weird warren-like commune/ community/ educational institution. It’s underground, but not deep, just covered – inside a mountain, I think. There are hoards of people moving through the corridors, and lots of meetings going on in dimly-lit rooms. It’s like a mix between my old school (Holland Park) and some other place: with lots of long glass-sided corridors and childlike artwork on the walls.

It’s not hard to get outside – but outside isn’t pleasant: I scrabble around, find a doorway and see a vast, Styxian landscape in front of me; the air is scorching, dry and hot. There are huge rubbish heaps everywhere with people clambering over the heaps, all carrying out some kind of terrible, manual work. The point of their work is unclear. There’s sea, and a beach, but it’s all polluted, contaminated.

Then there’s a third place, a garden: above ground with manicured lawns, topiary, statues and deep, cool ornamental ponds to swim in. Some of my older women friends are there, sitting on the edge of the pools, with their bare feet dangling in the water. Somehow, if you dive right down to the bottom of a deep, dark pool, it connects with the warren-like commune below. 

Someone gives me a cup of bright pink ice cream and I’m compelled to go outside into the Styxian landscape to buy more. The ice cream affects my ability to move or talk, but I want to eat it. I’m slurring my words and fighting to move.

I’ve no idea what time it is, or whether it’s day or night. At one point I’m in an airport with a group of people. We’re trying to catch a plane, but I can’t work out what airline we’re meant to be on. Then the dream cuts back and I’m in the commune/ warren again.

I try to tell Noam what was happening. I try to warn him against eating the poisonous pink ice cream and I can see he’s trying to understand what I’m saying but he can’t because the words won’t come out of my mouth properly.

Just then, I notice that the corridors and rooms of the commune are dotted with hundreds of discarded, empty, ice cream pots. Look (I want to shout) – everyone’s at it!

Some random thoughts that passed through my head yesterday: 50 airlines are changing terminals at Heathrow (wow, that really is a big aiport); my watch is broken (again); Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl is pretty grim (but Lila likes it); my friend is working way too hard on her micro-finance business in China; China has a choice to follow the West or pursue a different path of growth (if the former, we’re doomed); two bags of landfill rubbish from our little household every week seems way too much and that’s just one small household; this Baileys is out of date but it tastes okay.

Photo: sea turtle

4 thoughts on “Anxiety dream

  1. Lawrence O'Connor

    Fascinating. Really appreciate this kind of expression. Helps give the rest of us permission to articulate our truth. Reading about Montaigne at the moment- he seems alot about connecting mind to text also. He also seems to have been the architypical blogger. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jemima Gibbons

    Thanks Lawrence. Just Googled Michel de Montaigne and found the wikipedia article – amazing! If that’s all true – what a brilliant man he would have been. This blog is new so I’m experimenting a bit with content, but the Posterous format seems to encourage a kind of scrapbook, fragmented, ideas-based approach.What struck me with this dream (and sadly I seldom have such vivid dreams any more) was the way in which so much of it could be related back to stuff I’d seen/ thought during the day. We’re used to striving towards order in our waking hours, especially when it comes to business. Ironically, chaos is more creative. It’s great to get a window on those unsettled/ing, subconscious thoughts. Doesn’t happen very often!

  3. Alan Black

    over the past 30 years I have given keynote speeches, 60 to 90 minute breakout or concurrent sessions, taught multiple 6-day training programs and over the past 15 years a graduate degree level course on leading today’s employees from the Greatest Generation to the Millenium babies. What you have said fits my primary points of the three roles that people who coordinate the work of other people:1) leader, 2) manager, 3) boss.We need to develop basic skills in each and then excell in one of the other.If you can not Boss when it is necessary you have not earned the right to LEAD.Just some thoughts on a Saturday morning in Athens, GA

  4. Jemima Gibbons

    Hi Alan,Thanks for your thoughts.I’m impressed that you deducted the leader-manager-boss model from this slightly crazy post – but maybe you’ve also read the following post about some good old-fashioned management skills still being necessary?Either way, your input is appreciated! What do your students think of the model you mention – does it chime with their experiences?


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