When I first came to Turkey back in 1994, my life was in a bit of a confused state. Around that time, my roommate lent me a copy of the book, Dream Power, by Dr. Ann Farady. It describes a way of looking at dreams devoid of all the symbology of conventional dream books, where instead our “overdog” (superego) is engaged in a competition with our “underdog” (id/ego) for control of our lives. As far as I recall, the book seemed to recommend that we overthrow the overdog, the conventional, the rule makers and abiders if we want to live our fullest lives. At any rate, I kept a journal / dream diary for a bit more than a year after I arrived in Istanbul and only stopped because my jealous girlfriend – now my wife – had photocopied portions of it. I’ll write more about this book and how it helped me in future blogs. All my dream entries would begin something like this: “I was in my house on ____ Street,” or “I remember doing (something or other,) or “I had the strangest dream last night.” Sometimes I would just state plainly:
“This is what I remember…”
This is what I remember. I was on holiday with my family in a small Turkish village near Antalia. But the landscape was from a repeating dream I have where I’m in Italy on the Amalfi Coast, skipping from town to town. I am aware of this, even as I understand that in this dream I’m in Turkey. Our accommodation was small and broken up. It seemed we weren’t sharing the same room. We kept having to leave our rooms and knock at each other’s doors to arrange our outings.
I took a small bus to another nearby village where I stopped at a crowded restaurant. It was very busy and I had trouble getting served. This “scene” semed to go on forever. At last, I left but got on the wrong bus and ended up in a shipyard. I got on a ferry going down a crowded canal with a main lane for traffic and boats slotted in diagonally on the far side. Somehow I fell in the water. There was a small child in danger of drowning and it seemed I was there to rescue him. I held him with one arm while treading water, my back to the canal wall, while pushing the fiberglass hulls of boats that came too close away to prevent them from squashing us. They were surprisingly light.
Then it was evening and my family were going to meet me at a kind of fairground but they hadn’t arrived yet. We were going to visit a hamam (Turkish Bath). At first everything was fine and relaxed but as the scene progressed, things took a more sinister turn. I was harassed by a gang of young Turkish punks who singled me out as a foreigner. There was a bit of an altercation where I used karate to protect myself. My wife and son turned up but we kept getting separated. My phone had been stolen so I couldn’t get in touch with them. The last thing I remember was going to the hamam and finding that it was just a bunch of stalls filled with steam and a shower. The walls were transparent so there was no privacy.
More to Come
That’s all I can recall but it seemed to go on all night. In fact, I woke up to go to the toilet at some point and was aware of the powerful dream I’d been having, which continued after I went back to bed. This is the first dream I’ve committed to paper since 1995 and it gives a sense of some of the pressures and disconnection I’m going through these days, being back at home and at work for the first time in a year and a half and filled with ambivalence at the prospect of my son moving to Canada to begin his first job in a few weeks. I hope the reader will indulge me if, from time to time, I publish some of the more outstanding dreams I recorded in my dream diary from October, 1994 to November, 1995.