Saturday, August 09, 2008


Last night I had my recurring dream. This is the third recurring dream I remember, and the only one of the three that has no obvious explanation. As a child and teenager I used to dream of fire, which was my greatest fear at the time. I remember going to the cinema as a teen to see Towering Inferno, of all things. What possessed me? I spent the entire time under the seat! This was the worst of my dreams. A nightmare.

In my twenties and thirties my recurring dream was a frantic effort to catch a train that I must catch in order to get somewhere important. As this was a time in my life when I travelled by train frequently, and I am not the world's best timekeeper, arriving at the station just as my train was pulling out was a regular occurrence. No surprise, then, that this translated into a "missing the train" dream.

In my forties, my recurring dream has been one in which I am exploring a new house. I am aware that I will be living there, although I am also apparently seeing it for the first time. The house differs from one dream to the next, but is always large and typically has an unusual layout with twists and turns. It is never a new house, but neither is it particularly old. Usually somewhere between Victorian and 1930s, I should think. It is a comfortable dream. I am always happy and excited to be in this new house, and any surprises as I explore new rooms are pleasant ones.

It is easily the most pleasant of my recurring dreams, but also the most mysterious. What does it mean, if anything? What bit of my subconscious is surfacing? I guess it may be a reflection of the domestic, home-based nature of my life these days. But why the new house? I am not a very introspective person, so there are probably things about myself that I am totally missing. Curious!


Shari said...

I think it does reflect the happiness of your life now and that you are also happily looking forward to the future. How charming!

Melanie B said...

Interesting. I've had similar recurring house dreams at least since I was a teenager. (Other recurring dreams I have are tornadoes and tidal waves.) Sometimes in my dream the house is supposed to belong to one of my grandmothers (though otherwise it bears no resemblance to their houses.) Sometimes it's an odd mishmash that morphs between a sort of boarding school or dormitory and a private family home. Sometimes it's a castle-like structure complete with secret passageways and palatial furnishings.

Mine aren't always pleasant dreams, though, sometimes I'm searching for something, sometimes they are rather creepy.

I found this explanation about the possible meaning of houses in dreams. It gibes with what I remember reading elsewhere and at least gives an interesting place to start thinking about the meaning of the dreams:

The meaning of a house often suggests either the psychological or physical place that we inhabit. The house and what is going on in it may suggest something of what is occurring in our body or our mind during our waking life. The house may remind us of our childhood home with its attendant feelings of belonging and alienation, security and insecurity, conflict and harmony. The house is a psychological extension of our identity and physical being in the world. The different areas of the house may represent different areas of our inner psyche. Sometimes the house or some of its rooms may be unfamiliar representing unexplored areas of potential within the personality. Exploring an unfamiliar house may represent a new journey of exploration into our own personalities or to work out some psychological problem that resides within our emotional living space. It is fairly common to dream of returning to a house that you knew in childhood. It may represent a return to a familiar situation but with new possibilities. The feelings and reaction to the house and its inhabitants or contents is crucial to understanding the significance of the house in the dream. It may represent a wish to return to a time of childhood innocence or of a need to move on and leave home by getting on with some unfinished part of one's life.

C Kinslow said...

Get the book Dream Language by James and Michal Ann Goll, and it will tell you the answer. The house usually represents your church or your ministry. Email me if you want to know more, but definitely get the book.

Alice Gunther said...

I have two recurring dreams--

The first is that I am late for a final (or have missed a final or have shown up to the exam room without studying for a final). I guess I put myself through a lot of pressure in college, because I still have these dreams to this day.

The second is that I've lost (and am searching for) one of the kids!

Ah, the stresses of motherhood!

Dorothy said...

Ah, the missing the train one I can relate to. I still have dreams about turning up late to a classroom full of children, which actually never happened once when I was teaching, but I suppose it was a fear.

I also dream of houses, ones I've lived in but also one unfamiliar one (always the same unfamiliar one). It is interesting, isn't it?

Melanie B said...

I have a similar school stress dream, except that it's not an exam I need to sit. I've usually found that for some reason I didn't take all the classes I needed. And in my dream I'm aware that I've graduated both from college and graduate school but I still need to complete a course in high school--or elementary school even--or those credits won't count.