My interpretation of dreams (recently, anyway) has been recognizing that the content is always about the 'Dreamer' and their psyche specifically (no matter who strolls in and *especially* because of that appearance).
"Characters" that inhabit the unconscious are representative (e.g. - I once dreamed about my brother doing something extremely out-of-character and that the imagery was so powerful I had to contact him the very next day to say, "Hey, you all right?". He assured me he was just fine and then turned the 'mirror' about-face to ask, "But, are *you* all right?"). Touche.
However, this most recent example of very lucid sleep-cinema was
particularly exhilarating for me; where as in the other dreams I had
mentioned with Jen's appearance, she was mostly a comforting and pleasant presence showing up and assuring me, and whomever else was a part of the dream theater, that 'things were going to be just fine', here she was far more of a "lead" if you will (caveat: stop here if other peoples' dreams drive you absolutely bonkers, though ...):
The setting was New Years Eve, perhaps 10 or so minutes before the actual'Hour', in the basement of some unknown school or community center. The environment a bit linoleum-floor-sterile, with those metal 'lunch-room style' tables and chairs for furnishing, and gray fluorescent lighting. Not entirely a place for any kind of revelry or celebration me-thinks: drab, dreary, dark & depressing.
Many familiar and friendly faces were there milling about and conversing jubilantly. I was becoming very unsettled and agitated for whatever reason (not a big fan of New Years, I guess, and its whole "prefab/build-to-suit/must-have-fun-at-all-costs" designs). Matter of fact, so 'under-joyed' was I that I quickly made for an exit of stairs heading 'up and out of basement land' and to where ever they were going to lead me.
Having made my eventual way to the top of the stairs and into a hallway above I saw that there was no one up there. Wandered up and down polished floors for a bit. Slightly brighter lighting, even double-doors to...?
But, nah. Not exactly sure what I was looking for anyway.
Reluctantly, I made my way back down the stairs, passing some laughing young men (and, pardon the comparison, but real stereotypical fraternity-types...) guffawing away in an inebriated stupor. We bumped each other as we passed. Snorting laughter. This managed only to irk me even more but I proceeded down hoping to find some solace in the party-group.
My arrival at the bottom of the steps was greeted by people starting the traditional, "10! 9! 8! 7!..." etc. count down chant. Gee, just in time for New Years...
And there was Jen.
Sitting alone in one of those molded, plastic chairs in the middle of the raucous crowd. She was lovely in a white, floral patterned dress.
"...3! 2! 1! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!" (horns, fanfare and all)
But, why wasn't she hugging anyone? Why wasn't she jumping all about with the rest of our friends? And why, above all, was she crying? Heaving sobs into her palms.
I went over to her and took both of her hands, "Happy New Year, Jen."
She stood up and said something that I couldn't understand over the shouting and cheering but whatever it was it ended with the statement "...should be happy." ("...should be happy?").
I responded in an attempt to cheer her up, pretending I understood what she had said, "Don't you think we have a very happy group of friends?"
"No.", she said (as in, "No, you dope, that's not what I meant.").
I shook my head indicating I was confused. And again, she repeated, but inaudibly amidst all of the hullabaloo "...should be happy."
Huh? Please, please(!) repeat that, just one more time...
The mayhem was too loud, too out of control for any further conversation. I could only stand there, all crooked-faced, as we were beginning to get swept up into the crowd.
Just then I saw her looking up and squinting, but beaming. It was at that moment I realized, in fact, she wasn't crying out of sadness or frustration or pity at all. She was overwhelmed and crying out of pure joy. She was tear-stricken by all of the beauty of the basement crowd and the noise and the chaos - and even by the dull gray lights.
And, of course, it became quite apparent to me what it was she had been trying to declare:
"(Despite/Because of all of this you) ... should be happy."
I woke up at that point. A bit shaken, actually (oh, if I could only call
you just now and see if you're okay...). Couldn't fall back asleep. Thought about it for a long time. Still am thinking about it, obviously.
Reminds me of this little magnet my wife gave to me for Christmas as a stocking-stuffer one year that we've stuck on our fridge:
"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."
OK, Freudians/Jungians, et al., have a field day with all of that, but I
thought it was just great that Jen was my "be thrilled and be over-joyed to be alive no matter what, you jerk" symbol in my dreams.
Queen takes night. Checkmate.
Thanks, again and again, just for having happened, Jen.
Peace (and carpe diem),
p.s. - Oh, and, Happy New Year, everyone.