Recently I had a dream. It went as follows:
I had to go back and play tuba for my high school band. But the Tuba sounded terrible! Halfway through the song, I realized the tuba was full of water. I emptied it, and it sounded a lot better.
It was a pretty short dream. But clearly, full of symbolism.
I e-mailed out the DREAM TEAM to help me figure out what was going on. Here are a few of the responses:
Ryan Schenk said:
Despite being unsure on how it will impact the other parts of your life, you still really want try TUBA DIVING!
Megan Ledger said:
In short, the dream represents your inner desire to become an extremely hairy kangaroo.
The tuba is the continuation of your life as something other than yourself. The fact that the tuba is a low brass instrument shows that you wish to carry out your life somewhere low – as in, under the equator. John William, a famous composer and tuba lover, had a second cousin that grew up in Australia; a second cousin that he was madly in love with, I might add, and he dedicated every one of his symphonies to this cousin. This narrows “under the equator” down to Australia.
The fact that you are going back to high school is reminiscent of a small animal going back to it’s parent, as a small Joey returns to it’s mother. Tubas have long been regarded as strange instruments. Kangaroos have long been regarded as strange animals. Tubas sit upright. Kangaroos sit upright. Mike D, as you play the tuba, one could say you were serving as it’s locomotion. Kangaroos are the only large animals to use hopping as a means of locomotion.
The water represents two things; when the tuba is full, the water represents your constant desire to take a shower and thus grow a thick and glossy head of hair that will protect you for the rest of your life (also note that a tuba in a symphony serves as a reinforcement to the strings section, and string is the essence of hair), but by emptying the tuba we know that in the future, you’d like to cast off showering desire, and live as an animal in a very dry place. We’ll combine this clue with the Australia clue and conclude that you wish to live in the desert.
Or maybe you had to pee really bad.
You will be asked to preform a task that you once considered yourself proficient – nay, even good at, and people remember, and they will ask you once again to perform this duty for them – they are depending on you! Unfortunately you’ve been resting on your l laurels – too happy to simply sit back and think of glory days gone by, and haven’t been actually practicing it at all.
You will set to the task at hand with the vim and vigor you used to posses but will quickly come to a roadblock, and you will be consumed with frustration – BUT, take heed!! there is a simple solution that you may have overlooked, and rather than struggle against this allegorical road block you will simply be able to walk around it, or perhaps pole vault over it. But be creative! Stay sharp! practice Tuba 20 minutes a day lest they ask you to play at the next company picnic and you aren’t prepared!
Alicia connected the dream to common symbols:
What was the FEELING you had in the dream?
Some symbols –
high school = returning to your roots?
Tuba = something that you chose to be unique – something singular. With the saxophone, you were one of many. With the tuba, you were a soloist.
Water = something that is impeding your performance.
Is these something that’s getting in the way of you being as unique/important as you felt in the high school marching band?
If so, it seems like it’s probably easy to get rid of.
I think that it hinges on whether or not you played tuba before. I’d say that if you did, you dream is just symbolic of your return to something in you past, but now that you have had so much more experience, you will be able to overcome things that you would never even dream of experiencing(tuba full of water) when you had done such things(playing tuba) in the past.
I think the tuba full of water represents your secret desire to play in an underwater marching band. You think it sounded better when you emptied it, because you couldn’t convince anyone to join you in your underwater crusade. You secretly knew that underwater the tuba sounds ten times more powerful and you would definitely be the all star of your underwater band and lead everyone to harmonious glory! Nonetheless, you had to empty it so you could fit in with your lame high school buddies who won’t risk their lives in the face of good music. Obviously, this dream was set in the past because you left those losers behind.*
*Disclaimer: If any of Mike D’s high school friends read his website, I was just kidding about that last part.
And of course Theresa’s:
Two latent themes resonate from the manifest content of your dream: that of incompetence and that of self-efficacy. First, the image of the tuba. Music generally has a positive, self-affirming, and relaxing role in your life, but in this case the image of the tuba is situated in a negative context: that of high school band. Instead of signifying happy recreation, the tuba playing is deliberate and required (“had to go back”), and playing is work. The tuba, therefore, represents your work life: effortful and (unfortunately) leading presently to feelings of incompetence and ineffectiveness.
Water, here, represents the pressure and overwhelming feeling suppressing your ability to be effective in your work. Perhaps the pressure is on, and it is frustrating. Note, you are not drowning in a pool, nor are you submersed in the ocean facing a tidal wave. Rather, only one part of your life is affected by this particular feeling of overwhelmedness (a word? maybe!). The rest of your body is dry, meaning you find satisfaction and success in other areas of your life outside work, and your self-worth is not completely tied to your occupation. Further, you pour the water out of your tuba, which suggests your agency in improving your work situation. This emptying of your tuba signifies your ability to take action and change how you feel about your work performance. You have the ability to let loose your potential for feeling good about your ability to do your job.
So there we have it. If you’d like to contribute your dream interpretation feel free! Special thanks to all the members of the dream team for today’s post.