Freeing My Caged Birds




Last night I had a disturbing dream. In the dream, I stood in a room full of caged birds: parakeets and parrots. Even though I didn’t recognize the room, it was mine, and the birds were mine too. A young, good-looking man, whom I didn’t know, appeared. He wore a pressed white shirt and dress pants, had shoulder-length curly hair, and seemed quite arrogant. He ignored me as he released a macaw first and then moved onto the smaller birds. Not only did he open the cage doors, but he also assisted each bird in its escape out a nearby window.

His actions confused and angered me. But my distress only amused him. In fact, the more I protested, the more he seemed to enjoy himself. When my verbal resistance didn’t work, I broke into tears and slapped him across the face.

He smiled at me and said, “I thought this is what you wanted.”

Once all the birds were gone, I ran outside and tried to catch them. But I only retrieved one elderly parakeet (my budgie, Lola, from my waking life.)

I have spent the better part of the morning trying to understand this dream. As far as I can tell, the birds are my books. Several years ago, I had abandoned my writing and, as a consequence, dreamt about dying birds for weeks after I had stopped. However, this past year, not only have I returned to writing, but I have also committed to it full-time. In fact, I am about to release the first book of a new series within the next two months. So I’m not surprised about the birds showing up in my dreams again. But I am confused by the young man. Who is he? Why did he let my birds go? And why did he laugh at me when I tried to stop him?

Well, after thinking about him for several hours, I’ve concluded he is part of my psyche. Clearly, I identify with the fearful, self-doubting part of my psyche represented by my own image. But the cocky, self-assured side of my psyche, represented by the man, remains outside my actualized self because I find those qualities undesirable.

Perhaps, I need to integrate this part of my personality to succeed as a full-time author. Or maybe I just had a dream about a jerk letting my pets go.