PORtLAND, MAINE: INSTALLATION OCTOBER 1, 2016
"...the dream was:
We were riding our horses against the current of oil.
I didn’t really know what it meant, but it was about… I assumed it was about the Keystone XL Pipeline because I’d ridden horses with the Lakota. You know I’m a horse rider but you know... since I’ve had a little injury, you can see not the best, but, you know I rode my horses and I assumed that it was there. And I told them about it and they said, you know we’re going to have some ceremonies and think about what you said because the horses have power. The hooves have power when they dance on the earth - just like a buffalo. There’s power in those animals. And you know of any major migratory herd – a caribou herd, the earth hears that. And it’s you know, it’s this resonance that is created. And that, is what I dream about. And that’s the sacred, you know it’s a resonance of life. And it was against the current to not let that come this way. So for two years now we’ve ridden our horses. " –Winona LaDuke Transcribed excerpt from video interview, Honor the Earth, 2015.
DREAMING and the environment
Dream Interpretation by Maine-based Psychoanalyst, LAURA MAZIKOWSKI for CHATTERMARK.
"I am at my family home situated on a peninsula on the coast of Maine. The front of the house looks out to the ocean, the back of the house faces the a beach on the cove. From the porch, I look out and notice that the water is gaining and slowly rising. I can see it happening from a distance. It is more than a high tide. It begins to creep up to the house. I can see it happening for a while. Then before I know it, I am knee deep in water. I frantically call out, “Someone get the kids!” I have had different versions of this dream countless times. There is one version when whales appear close to the house. When I see the whales, I feel awe, know something is really wrong." –Lisa
When I work with a dream, I first ask for all of the dreamer’s associations to the dream: the content, the action and the emotions. I also pay attention to my own emotional response. In this case, Lisa has a deep visceral connection to the land and the water. She says passionately, “I lived in that water”. The water links her to her deep bodily experience of freedom, play, wonder and creativity; they are some of her earliest memories. Water in dreams is often connected to emotions. In Lisa’s case, water is connected to the vitality of life.
This dream speaks to both the personal and the collective unconscious. Houses in our dreams can be connected to the body, the home we live in. For Lisa, it may represent both her body and the family home; with all of the mixed emotions that come with family experience. From a broader perspective, this house is a symbol for all homes/people threatened by rising sea levels, hurricanes, and fires associated with global warming. If we widen the scope even more, the dream refers to the biggest house we have, our home, planet Earth. There is a threat to a sense of security, that deep feeling of needing to count on that home and the desire for future generations to have a home.
And then there are the whales. Lisa mentions that at times these repetitive dreams feature whales. When Lisa associates to them, she says, “I am in awe when I see them. They are beautiful creatures, but I am also a little worried. They are too close to the house as they come in on the rising water level”. They are mammals that inhabit or “live” in the sea. The whales, while awe inspiring are not in the right place. Are there personal feelings that are out of place, fears that flood and disturb the sense of peace that Lisa felt as a child in that place? And now with children of her own, do these fears pose bigger existential worries?
A dream often provides us with information about both the pathology and the cure. In this dream, the pathology might be located in the collective sense of impending doom of the rising sea-level as well as the personal flooding emotions that threaten stability, accompanied by whales of emotions both awesome, worrisome and out of place. A powerful dream such as this offers us the opportunity to look within, to examine and respond to overwhelming emotions and events in our life and in the world around us.
" ...All consciousness separates, but in dreams we put on the likeness of that more universal, truer, more eternal man dwelling in the darkness of the eternal night. There he is still whole, and the whole is in him, indistinguishable from nature and bare of all egohood. –CG Jung, from The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Princeton University Press, Volume 10, Civilization in Transition, 2nd ed., 1970, Collected Works 10, Paragraph 304 '