Mar 5, 2008


Last night, I had this whopper dream. Sometimes I have these long, spic dreams and I remember every little detail and this was one of them. First, I was walking around this open bazaar in Istanbul and buying exotic spices and fabric and blank journals. I had a scarf over my head, sort of like a sari/pallav sort of sheer magenta drape, absolutely beautiful fabric, and I kept pulling the edges of it to hide my face slightly, despite the fact that nobody around me used head covering. But, in the dream, I loved this scarf and loved that I could hide behind it. It was almost funny to me. It felt meaningful, but not really religiously, more of a feeling of "when in Rome". It was as if I somehow thought I was doing the proper thing and the locals were somehow failing the proper norm. I spoke to the merchants in Turkish, and they each remarked my Turkish accent sounded like I was from the Darboor region. Upon Googling, I think the word Darboor only exists in gaming circles. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not a place in Turkey.

Then, I stepped through a brightly-colored beautiful door that was covered in tiny mirrors and tiles and paint (it stood out because most of the things around me were earth-tones-- adobe sort of buildings, wood, dirt footpaths etc.) I went through the door and was in Parisian flea market. I tied my scarf behind my neck, to cover my head tightly and let the ends drape in with my hair, which was suddenly long enough to touch my elbows. I shopped for small vegetables and cheese and ate each purchase as I walked and told people in French how delicious every bite was. Then, I ducked down in alley to find a boutique that sold a special olive utensil and realized the cobblestones had tiny Hebrew letters carved into them. So I followed and was suddenly in Mea Shearim.

I was initially afraid because I'm not ultra-ultra-Orthodox that I'd be an outcast there, but I remembered I was wearing the scarf and felt completely fine. I walked around and women kept stopping to talk to me, all already knowing my Hebrew name, and they'd all remark that my scarf was beautiful and that I must surely be "a woman of righteous heart" to have such a beautiful headcovering and I felt so proud to be there. A woman gave me an address book and asked me to keep in touch and told me I'll surely fill every blank in the book with good friends.

Then, I was in Santorini, still wearing the scarf, and I was pulled into this group of folk dancers. I knew the dance perfectly and we all laughed and joked, but I kept trying to tell the dancers I was only pretending to know the language and I tied the scarf around my waist. Of course, I told them this in Greek. They'd laugh, pour Ouzo (delicious, delicious Ouzo) and shout "Nastrovya!" and spit the booze all over each other and go back to dancing. I kept trying to tell them that "Nastrovya!" wasn't for Greeks. When asked what they were supposed to say instead, I couldn't remember. "It starts with a Y, I promise you. But, we shouldn't offend the Russians using their toast." I kept insisting. (If you find yourself in Greece, it's Yiamas, fyi.)

So, I ran away to wash the booze off. I was seeing water every direction I looked, but I wanted the right water. So took off the scarf and held it like a sail behind me with my arms out and ran as fast as I could and ran and ran and felt so good. I finally got to a shore I liked and took off all my clothes and did this perfect swan dive into the water, still holding the scarf. When I came up, I was in the Galapagos and surrounded by weird species of animals and was relieved to see turtles that looked like the turtles I've seen before. A turtle poked up from the water, smiled at me and we swam around and I was so happy to be naked and thought I'm going to stop wearing clothes when I wake up. I was so happy to be swimming around with the scarf in my hand.

Obviously, with my thinking so much lately about streamlining and simplifying my life, the overall dream interpretation is obvious, perhaps. It's still weird though. And the exotic locales? The languages I could magically speak and understand? The folkdances? And why is my issue about not offending Russians in particular? The scarf? I was attached to it, relieved by it, free with it, thinking I was blending in with it...? What is the scarf a symbol for?

I'm not as gung-ho about being a nudist upon further consideration. Aside from a litany of reasons ranging from modesty to avoiding germs in public, Chicago is, after all, going to be nine degrees on Friday.


Doreen Orion said...


Found you via Katie Schwartz. I'm a shrink, so professionally speaking - great dream! (Hey, what do you expect? You know what managed care is like these days.)

However, I will tell you that as part of our year traveling the country in our bus (that's what my memoir is about), we DID go to a nudist RV park. You get over the germ thing really quickly when the chef preparing your food is nude. (Either that or starve.) Then, there's the maintenance guy who walks around naked - except for his tool belt. Every time he turned around, I nearly shouted, "Hey! You dropped your... " Oops.

(I didn't want to go to the nudist park at all. My husband did and somehow convinced me. He's a shrink too and obviously a better one than I am. Maybe I'll show him your dream. Is he on your insurance plan?)

Anyway, very nice to "meet" you. Your blog is a riot!

Tracy said...

Holy crap Amy...

That is one heck of a dream. Here I was, spying on Tracy's email because I sent her something I wanted to print on her computer which happens to be closer to the printer... bla bla long story, I know. But then I saw your blog on one of her browser tabs. Being the curious cat that I am, I had to take a peek.

Man, I thought I was the one with vivid dreams. Great story too. No wonder you're a writer!

BTW, you have a great blog site!

Jared Delariman

Paul said...

The only dreams I ever have are seven-hour Fellini films. You're very forch, Amy.

Kami said...

Hey Amy,

Maybe the scarf represents the part of you that is essential yet adaptable to any sitch you might encounter? Your sheer magenta soul!

Lovely dream!


jewgirl said...

Such a beautiful dream. When I can remember my good dreams in vivid detail, it always makes me smile.