Over time I
have become convinced that animals tend to have definite meanings in dreams.
Whether the animal is a frog or an owl, a wolf or a bear, the dream is more
understandable if the animal's intrinsic meaning is understood. After perusing
the fifteen dreams in which goats have appeared in my dreams, I was surprised
by the conclusion I reached concerning the nature of my dream-goats.
Dream of:21 March 1982 "Country Living"
I encountered Mrs. Weinstein (the mother of an old friend from my early college years) and I told her she had appeared in two of my dreams. As she showed extreme interest, I began telling her the first dream, which had taken place in my mother's 29th Street House in Portsmouth (my old hometown in hill-cradled southeastern Ohio). I first described the House's front door, which had actually consisted of two sets of doors, with four doors on each side, eight doors altogether. Each door had had a window at the top, and each door had opened so it folded back toward the wall. I described the doors to Mrs. Weinstein in great detail, and I even drew her a picture. As I first began drawing, the lines were straight and showed rectangular doors, but as I proceeded, the lines became more and more crooked and out of proportion. I could hardly find room on my drawing to insert the little windows into the doors, which somehow reminded me of doors which I had seen at Mrs. Weinstein's house. I told Mrs. Weinstein that the doors had made me realize she had had something to do with the dream. As I recounted the dream to her, however, I realized that when I had written the dream, I had forgotten to include her in it.
In the dream, my sister had also been in the 29th Street House with me. When some people in black leather jackets who looked like part of a gang started trying to break into the House, I ran over to the doors (which were open) and with difficulty pushed them shut. The doors, however, began to bulge inward as the gang members pushed them from the other side. I pushed back, thinking if I could push the doors back to a certain place on the floor, a golden bolt attached to the doors could be shoved down into the floor to hold the doors shut. I told my sister to push the bolt down, but we couldn't seem to make the bolt work, and the gang members continued to push from the outside.
As I related the dream, it occurred to me that Mrs. Weinstein had actually been in the House and had helped me fight off the gang members. I tried to think of a title for the dream and I thought of entitling it "Gangland". I intended to name the second dream in which she had appeared "Country Living".
After I had told Mrs. Weinstein about the dreams and left her, a couple days later I was feeling as if I would like to have sex with someone, and I decided I would like to go to bed with Mrs. Weinstein. I went to the place where she and her husband, Dr. Weinstein (an optometrist), were living in a modern house on a big hill in the country. I climbed up the back of the hill and reached the rear of their house, where I was surprised to find piles of cow manure all over the yard. I didn't think the untidy yard seemed to represent the way the Weinsteins would live.
I walked around to the front of the house, where I saw an old cow and a goat. I also saw a llama, which stood up and looked me right in the eye. When I looked at the llama's mouth (which was crunched together), I thought it was a cute animal. A fence kept all the animals in the yard.
When another furry animal jumped up and began making a shrill sound, I thought it might be a dog, even though it didn't look like a dog. It looked like an animal which I had never seen and which didn't have a name. A freakish little animal, it displayed a long gray with white hair all over it. The shrill sound the animal was making sounded somewhat like a pig, but I thought, "Well, surely the Weinsteins, being Jews, wouldn't be raising pigs."
As all the animals began making strange sounds, I walked onto the back porch, looked inside, and saw Dr. and Mrs. Weinstein lying on the floor of the living room. Apparently they had been sleeping, but the sounds of the animals had awakened them. Dr. Weinstein put on a pair of glasses and walked over to some wrenches and other tools scattered on the floor with which he had apparently been working. At first I stood outside, looking in, without saying anything, but finally I walked in and said, "Well, I just decided to come on up and see you again.
When Mrs. Weinstein smiled, I felt somewhat guilty about wanting to have sex with her, but the urge was still overwhelming.
I asked Dr. Weinstein where he had obtained all the animals, but he only replied that they were giving him a headache. I told him he could sell them, then added that he would probably hate to do that because he had become attached to them. He replied that he hadn't become attached to the animals.
To understand my goats, it was critical for me to draw the distinction between domesticated goats and wild goats. I had the feeling that goats represented something coarse and somewhat vulgar. But I had only been thinking of domesticated goats and not the beautiful and intriguing wild goats.
Dream of:15 September 1983 "Goat In A Glass Box"
After I had met my fatherand boarded his car, he pulled into a place which looked like a McDonald's restaurant. As he steered around a curve, we saw a gigantic animal which looked like a large raccoon lying on the ground. We pulled on around to the take-out window, near which were lying several more raccoons. The raccoons were lined up so we couldn't even pull up to the window.
I hollered out to the woman inside and told her I wanted several things including a couple fish sandwiches.
Overtop the take-out window was a large glass box which contained white stuff used for topping on food. Upon closer scrutiny I also noticed a goat inside the glass box. I wanted some of the white topping on something I was buying, but obviously the goat was getting mixed up with the topping. As the woman prepared to scoop the topping out of the glass box and put the topping on the food which she was going to give me, I told her I didn't want the topping since the goat was in it – I thought the topping would have hairs on it. I told her she needed to take the goat out and make up a new batch for me.
We drove away and went to a restaurant in Portsmouth across the street from where my father had his real estate office between 1963 and 1967 and we began eating. After a while, my sister joined us. I quickly learned that my sister hadn't been living with my father and that she had begun dating some fellows. My father was trying to prevent her dating certain people and was trying to require her to obtain his permission before she went out. My sister (rebelling against that idea) said she was going to date whomever she wanted. When my father told her to ask me what I thought about it, I told her she should do what my father told her to do. I told her she wouldn't be able to work for him if she didn't do what he told her.
I noticed my sister wasn't wearing a top and I tapped her on the back.
My father was a lawyer. He said he was handling auto cases and was charging 50 percent. When I told him most lawyers charged a third, he said he had recently turned down a case because it only paid a third. He said that he was charging 50 % and that he wasn't planning to lower his rate because he was satisfied with what he was charging. I thought his rate was exorbitant, but apparently he was getting away with it.
He talked about getting cases and he said he might even get a big muscular dystrophy case. He said much money could be made from those cases. He wanted me to stay in Portsmouth with him and help him practice law there.
Although the domesticated goats in my dreams basically corresponded with my original assessment of something coarse and vulgar, even the domesticated goats weren't nearly as nasty as I would have anticipated. To the contrary, I found the domesticated goats to be rather engaging, playful, clown-like creatures.Dream of: 02 August 1984 "Chasing Goats"
On my way to Europe, I arrived in New York City where I spent the night sleeping outside under an old sleeping bag and cover which I had with me. I was also carrying a bundle of clothes in a back pack. I didn't sleep well and was still tired when I got up. I found myself in a slum area of town and even though I didn't want to stay there, I finally decided to go to a nearby slum hotel.
When I walked into the lobby of the hotel, I had the impression that derelicts probably stayed there. I even say a derelict walk in and ask for a room. He was told the hotel was full. The man at the counter gave him a key and told him to go on up the street.
When I noticed other people had left their possessions in the lobby, I thought perhaps I likewise would leave my backpack and sleeping bag there. I had carried my sleeping bag and cover into the lobby without having first rolled them up and when I began trying to roll them up and tie a rope around them, I had enormous difficulty. Finally I packed everything in my sleeping bag and managed to tie it together.
I left my possessions in the lobby and walked outside where it was just beginning to dawn. Since I knew my old friend Steve Weinstein lived in New York, I wished I knew his phone number so I could call him and perhaps spend a couple days with him. But I didn't know the number and I didn't think it was listed. I didn't want to call Weinstein's parents in Portsmouth and try to get the phone number from them. Anyway I really didn't want to go to Weinstein's with just my back pack and sleeping bag. He would probably look down on me.
I walked around a while and then returned to the hotel. I walked into the lobby, which now looked like a small field. Two young girls, a blonde and a brunette, were in the field. I thought they were attractive even though they appeared rather rough. Since I knew my wife Louise and I had separated, I thought I might like to meet meet new women, such as one of these girls.
Besides the girls, some goats were also in the field; I soon perceived the goats had pulled open my sleeping bag and back pack. My possessions were scattered about on the ground and the goats were trying to eat them. I became angry, chased the goats away and tried to gather my possessions together. When I picked up a plastic sack and threw it at the goats, the goats immediately began trying to eat the sack.
Even though my apprehension of goats as something coarse and vulgar might have been correct, I found the domesticated goats to be delightful creatures which could talk to me in my dreams.Dream of: 02 December 1984 "Petting Goats"
One Friday I had gone to see a black woman at a housing project. Since her house had been posted for foreclosure for the following Tuesday, I wanted to talk with her about buying the house. After I stepped up to the door, she answered and invited me in. Probably in her late 50s, she lived there with several children. When I asked her if she had received any notices of her property having been posted for foreclosure, she said she hadn't. Quite concerned, she wanted to know what she should do about it.
Although the house was rather run down, I was still interested in purchasing it. She said that she wasn't interested in selling, and that she only wanted to catch up on her delinquent mortgage payments, which were apparently only about $35 per week. I explained to her how she could probably contact the people to whom she owed the money and pay it. I gave her my business card and told her to call me if she had any problem. Thinking I might even be able to loan her some money, I said, "Please call me."
After I had spoken, I thought I had been too obsequious by saying "please". I hadn't needed to say that.
I still wasn't ready to leave. After I sat down a while in the front room where some of the children were, two goats (a small gray one and a large white one) walked into the room. Even though I was afraid the goats might try to bite me, I began petting both, and they didn't bite me. After I mentioned that the goats were nice to pet, I thought I heard one goat repeat, "Yes, they're nice to pet."
When I finally stood up to leave, I stepped into the little reception room in front of the front door and looked outside, where I saw a large grizzly bear playing with a girl. Seeing the bear, I was rather afraid to go outside. I looked at the bear more closely and saw that its chest had been cut open so its hair was just hanging on it. I could see the bear's innards. Although part of the entrails-area was hollow, I could still see the bear's heart and ribs. What I saw was rather bizarre.
The essential nature of wild goats is that they are free. It is precisely this freedom which wild goats seem to symbolize in my dreams.Dream of: 30 April 1985 "Animal Stampede"
While I was in Portsmouth, standing on the levy by the Ohio River just south of the U.S. Grant Bridge (which connects Ohio and Kentucky), I heard a splash, looked toward the bank and saw a number of people fishing in he river. I also saw quite a few fishing rods standing on the shore with their lines out in the water. The splash had apparently originated from one rod which had fallen into the water. The fishing line of the fallen rod was stretched taut and the rod was being pulled toward the left over the surface of the water. Someone realized a fish was on the line and the person managed to grab the rod. Finally the fish was pulled up on the bank – it was as long as a person. I felt sorry for the fish; I disliked the idea of so many people fishing in the river and depleting the fish.
When I looked toward the bridge, I thought I saw some logs floating under the bridge, but looking closer, I realized the objects were seals crossing the river. A long line of seals was moving north along the opposite Kentucky shore of the river. On the opposite bank I could also see other wild animals, including antelope and zebras.
I also noticed that behind me on my side of the river were some white cows walking along the levy. I had the feeling the cows had come from India.
The animals on the other side of the river apparently were crossing the river under the bridge; when the animals reached my side of the river, they began running toward me and the many people around me. It was a virtual stampede. I quickly ducked behind a tree as the animals raced past me. I didn't see anyone being run over, but I realized if I were to trip out from behind the tree I could possibly be seriously injured.
Glancing to my right, I noticed a small white goat standing near me. The other animals raced past the goat.
When another man crowded in next to me behind the tree, I thought other people were also going to crowd in. Some policemen were attempting to control the stampede and finally it stopped; but it looked as if the animals might begin running back in the opposite direction.
I ran over to my left to some concession stands on wheels and took shelter among them.
I thought my ex-wife Louise might be down close to the bridge. Concerned about her safety, I thought I needed to reach her so the two of us could board a car and watch everything from the car.
I was not quite free to run like a wild goat. My goats were still more of the domesticated variety.
Dream of: 15 December 1985 "Running Like A Goat"
My ex-wife Louise and I were at the House in Patriot (the home of my maternal grandparents when I was a child, located in the small rural village of Patriot, in southeastern Ohio). Louise and I were getting along quite well – she had been learning French and we were conversing in French. She was even considering going to France with me. She seemed as if she had matured quite a bit recently and was on the verge of accepting some responsibilities in life.
After walking into a room by ourselves, we began hugging, kissing and being affectionate. Gradually we took off all our clothes and I decided to have sex with her. When I climbed on top of her, however, my erection had disappeared.
Nevertheless, I inserted my penis about half way into her vagina. She was very wet and seemed rather loose. I reflected that she was planning to marry her new boyfriend Vernon and that she had probably been having sex with him. I also worried that she might have had sex with someone else besides Vernon, and that she might have contracted a venereal disease. Having sex with her was probably dangerous for me (I didn't think she had a venereal disease – but I was unsure). Since the thoughts were causing my erection to disappear, I stopped and climbed off. After we both rose, Louise said she was going to leave and come back later. She left.
After a while I thought about calling her on the phone. I knew she had gone to the house of her mother, Violet Halley. I knew Violet didn't really like me and I didn't care to talk with her. I didn't know whether I should try to call and simply hang up if Violet answered. I thought perhaps I should just wait for Louise to return.
I walked into the toilet, looked into the mirror, and saw my hair had grown quite long. It was hanging down to my nose in front and was also long on the sides and the back. Since I was going to France soon, I wondered if I should cut my hair before I left? The more I looked at the hair, the more I realized I liked long hair. I thought, "Why do people cut their hair when it looks so much better long?"
My hair was still at a stage where it didn't look that good – but I thought if I let it grow a little longer it would look fine. Why didn't I also let my beard grow? I looked better with a beard and I thought having a beard seemed more natural. Nevertheless I thought I needed to get a haircut – finding employment would be more difficult if my hair were long.
It was Saturday, either the eighth or ninth of June. I was still in law school. The day actually seemed like Sunday to me because I had just had a two day vacation on Thursday and Friday when I hadn't had to go to school. I was only going to have a few more days of school in the coming week and then I would be out for summer vacation.
Since it was Saturday, I thought the barber shop in the little town of Gallipolis (about 30 kilometers away) would be open. Plus I knew there was an open barber shop in the village of Rio Grande (about 12 kilometers away) where I had once had my hair cut.
I walked back into the kitchen where I found my mother and my maternal grandmother Leacy. I looked through the window outside and saw large snowflakes – as large as softballs – falling outside. My mother and my grandmother commented that they had never seen snowflakes so large. I was surprised that my grandmother, as old as she was, had never seen snowflakes that large.
I looked at the flakes more closely; the large flakes were actually made of many smaller flakes which had accumulated together on the earthward fall. The flakes reminded me of a kind of wind-blown seed I had seen before floating in the air.
After I walked outside, the flakes suddenly stopped falling, but I saw one large flake lying on the ground. I picked it up, held it in my hands and examined it. It was indeed composed of a number of snowflakes. In the center of each flake was a nucleus which looked like a seed. I examined the large flake more closely, showed it to someone standing next to me, and said, "Look at this."
As the person looked at the flake, I scrutinized it further and began pulling on the nucleus until I finally jerked a large evergreen branch right out of the snowflake. It had seemed as if the snowflake had actually just turned into the evergreen branch, about 10 centimeters long. I held the branch in my hand, uncertain what to think of the development.
My father and my maternal grandfather Liston walked up. My grandfather was a very small and a very old man. He wasn't getting around well. When my father said he was going to go for a ride and asked me if I wanted to go with him, I replied, "Yes."
The three of us walked over to my car and boarded, my father in the driver's seat and I in the back. My father wanted to take a ride to see the countryside and he began driving down the snow-covered road toward Gallipolis. However, he was driving the car backward instead of forward. The road was scenic and had farms along it. As he drove, my father talked to my grandfather about another road which might have been even more scenic.
As we rode along, I was concerned that Louise might call the House for me, and I wouldn't be there. So I wanted to return as quickly as possible. I thought my relationship with Louise shouldn't be so fragile that I would worry about never seeing or hearing from her again if I weren't there when she called. Nevertheless, since I couldn't really call her at her home, I was worried about what would happen if she were unable to reach me.
The road became clearer and clearer until it was free of snow. I made an uncertain comment to my father about his driving backward – but he seemed unperturbed by my comment. I asked him if he were able to see (apparently he was looking through the rearview mirror as he drove) and he said he could. I looked out the rear window in the direction we were going to see if any traffic was coming. As we were going down one hill I suddenly saw a car coming toward us very fast up the hill and said, "There's one coming."
My father saw the car and stayed on the right side of the road and the car passed. We continued on until the road gradually became smaller and smaller. We went up a hill and crossed over some wooden bridges so small (they looked like foot bridges) I didn't even think the car would be able to get across them. I advised my father to be careful. Some stakes were sticking up out of the bridges and I was afraid he would tear up the bottom of the car, but we made it over the bridges.
We continued going up a hill. By the time we had almost reached the top, we were no longer in the car, but were walking. My father was in the lead, followed by my grandfather and finally by me. The hill was very steep – almost like a cliff. We continued climbing until we had almost reached a thick cloud right over our heads.
I thought it was a shame the cloud was there because it would block our view. I didn't see much point in being there on the hill in the first place if we weren't going to be able to see anything.
My father seemed anxious to get into the cloud. When we reached a tiny plateau, my father and my grandfather walked into the thick cloud – I didn't. I could hear them talking in the cloud and I thought they might be trying to play a game with me. But I wasn't sure exactly what was going on and I was unsure I wanted to enter the cloud, which was so thick that a person wouldn't be able to see his hand in front of his face.
As they wandered around in the cloud, I listened to them talk. Right beside the cloud was a steep cliff. Suddenly my grandfather stepped out of the cloud, didn't see the cliff and fell over it. He bounced and plunged down the side of the cliff. It was a ghastly sight. After he finally hit bottom, I looked over the edge of the cliff and saw him lying at the bottom, moaning.
When my father stuck his head out of the cloud, I warned him to be careful and pointed out what had just happened to my grandfather.
For an instant I was uncertain what to do. Suddenly I began running down the side of the cliff. Although I had experienced trouble coming up the cliff, my feet were now steady. I ran almost like a goat. I was able to jump from rock to rock as I darted almost straight down the precipice.
I knew I must reach my grandfather immediately if there was to be any hope of saving him. We could jump into the car and drive as quickly as possible – I wished we had flashing lights to put on top of the car. I thought I would need to be very careful when I picked up my grandfather because he might have broken bones. Since he was so old, he had little chance of survival; but I thought I must try my best.
Meanwhile, even though my father was having difficulty descending, I confidently raced ahead. I heard my grandfather moan and I hollered, "I'm coming. I'm coming. Don't worry. I'll be there soon."
I knew my grandfather must be in terrible pain and I wanted him to know that someone was coming. I continued hollering out soothing words to him. His moans seemed to diminish somewhat when he heard me speaking to him.
Having realized that wild goats to me symbolized freedom, I began to have a sense of how to obtain that freedom.
Dream of:13 April 1988 "Entangled"
I went to a movie theater and sat in a seat about half way down the aisle. The movie to be presented dealt with a famous writer and directly in front of me, an exhibit had been set up which told about the writer. A boy walked up, picked up something off a shelf of the exhibit and then showed it to me.
Part of the exhibit consisted of what appeared to be a fireplace, including the chimney and mantle; I figured the fireplace must have derived from the writer's home. Suddenly the same boy began digging into the bottom of the chimney with his bare hands and soon dug down quite deep, pilling up black dirt in front of the chimney. He was obviously looking for something which I imagined the writer must have once hidden under the chimney.
The boy disappeared into the hole which he had dug. When he finally reappeared, he handed me what he had found. Examining closely, I saw that it was a tablet of lined yellow paper. When I opened the tablet, I was surprised to see very precise, neat printing in blue ink covering all pages. The writing seemed done in numbered paragraphs. Some headings of the paragraphs were underlined and I read one underlined part in which the words "awareness" and "expressiveness" appeared.
I immediately showed the tablet to a woman sitting by me who was my mother (not my actual mother). As I told her the tablet might be worth a million dollars, I tried to hold the tablet low so no one else in the theater would see it. I immediately decided I was going to try to take the tablet, and holding it behind me, I headed for the door. When I reached the front of the theater, I saw a woman who worked for the theater and I became afraid she might see what I was doing; but I quickly slipped past her without incident and found myself outside.
I felt exuberant. I was sure the tablet was an important manuscript which no one had ever read. If necessary, I could show the tablet to a handwriting expert to prove that the famous writer had actually written it himself.
Off to my right, something else caught my attention. A boy (around 15 years old) had tied several ropes around a goat and had tied big rocks to the end of each rope. The goat had strayed into some small trees and the ropes had become entangled in the trees. The boy was trying to untangle the ropes. I scrutinized the boy's face and saw that his face had very unusual goat-like features itself. His goat-face seemed very unusual.
Several children were gathered in a circle and were talking about what to do with the manuscript. They seemed quite solemn. One of them said that a girl there would have to marry a boy there who was smaller than the girl. The girl accepted her responsibility, although she indicated the actual decision would have to be made later. Trying to choose her words well, she talked about the "weightiness" and "ponderousness" of the decision.
Only art could set me free. This was the surprise message of the goat. I had never realized that my artistic goal was to become free.
Dream of:25 May 1988 "Goat-Like Face"
I was in a room with several other people, all sitting in chairs in a semi circle, except for one standing woman who talked and talked and talked, until it seemed she was trying to take over the group. Since I didn't care about listening to her, I finally decided to get up and leave. As I started to depart, some people began protesting that they wanted me to stay. I replied that I would love to stay, but that I thought everyone in the group should be talking and that the one woman shouldn't be monopolizing the group. I pointed to several people who I thought should also be talking.
I also thought it would be easier for everyone to talk if the group was arranged in a circle instead of a semi circle.
My old friend Steve Weinstein was in the group. He seemed to be wearing a dark blue shirt and blue jeans. I wondered what he thought of the whole situation.
I had gone to visit Weinstein in a house where he was staying located about 25 kilometers from the house where I was presently living. My house was a large old house which didn't have much furniture. Both our houses were located in a secluded area and as soon as I saw Weinstein, I mentioned how strange it was that we two were living so close together.
Weinstein had been studying painting and he wanted to show me some paintings he had done. I walked into a large room with him, where I first noticed about five panels of paintings arranged like Japanese silk screens. A couple panels looked as if they had almost completed paintings on them.
The first painting I noticed displayed the life-size image of a seated man who was wearing a cap such as a Frenchman might wear. The background was quite red. Although the painting wasn't yet completed, I was amazed at its exquisite execution. The man's face was very white and seemed to have a goat-like quality which reminded me of paintings by Marc Chagall.
Weinstein talked about the painting, which apparently was of a brother of his who had died when the brother had been quite young, even though the man in the painting looked as if he might be in his early 40s. Weinstein had somehow figured out what the brother would have looked like if he hadn't died.
I looked over the paintings on the other panels, but they weren't yet finished. I told Weinstein how impressed I was by his work. He hadn't been studying painting long, and I was surprised he had such obvious talent. This was what I had always thought Weinstein should be doing. He seemed so happy doing this and he seemed as if he were finally able to express himself. He seemed so different now from when he had been doing a different kind of work which he hadn't really liked. Apparently he now worked constantly every day on his paintings.
Weinstein asked me to help him do some painting. He had a sculpture and after he gave me some red paint to put on the sculpture, I lightly painted part of the sculpture with the paint.
When I had finished, I began brushing some beige paint on a painting, but I suddenly realized Weinstein hadn't told me to do that. I pointed out what I had done, but Weinstein was unperturbed.
A man who was Weinstein's father walked into the room. It was difficult to tell how old the man was. He told me he and his wife had always liked me because I had always been able to detect Weinstein's artistic abilities, whereas most people couldn't. He thought I knew Weinstein's talents would someday blossom.
I thought I was a lot like Weinstein. I also had been doing some painting lately, but I knew my real art was writing dreams. I could sit and write dreams for hours and hours, just like Weinstein could paint. I told Weinstein I had also been doing some art work. I also knew I liked to make collages, but I didn't think I could use the same skill needed to make collages that I could use to write dreams.
I mentioned to Weinstein that I was living close to him in a big old house which was really a run-down mansion. Fixing up the house would require quite a bit of money, but I liked the house.
Weinstein and I were at my house, and I was going to show him a painting which I had done. It was actually a painting and collage combined. Basically it was the life-size image of a reclining man. The man's head, clearly visible, was tilted forward, as if he were looking out over his body, but his eyes were closed as if he were sleeping. His body consisted of abstract designs and pictures, and new ideas for the design came to me even as I was perusing the work. I had a small Christian cross which I wanted to put among the other pictures on the body of the man. The cross was supposed to be very symbolic of something.
To achieve freedom through art, I needed to unravel the mystery of beauty. Even though I sometimes hesitated to create something beautiful, I could not deny the enthralling beauty of a wild mountain goat.
Dream of:27 March 1989 "Cheetahs And Mountain Goats"
I was riding in the back seat of a car driven by my old high-school friend,Mike Walls, while someone else was riding in the front seat with Walls. As we rode along a country road, I looked down into a little dried-up creek, and saw what looked like a cheetah crouching behind a log. I was so astounded by what I saw, I could hardly speak. I began trying to say, "Cheetah! Cheetah!", but either my words weren't coming out, or Walls simply couldn't hear me. I kept my eyes on the cheetah and watched it crossing over the road behind me and up the hillside on the other side of the road. It looked as if there might even be a second cheetah.
Finally I did manage to get Walls' attention and he stopped the car. He began backing up, but I was afraid it was too late. To my surprise, however, right up above us on the side of the hill, sere a large cheetah and a smaller young one. They were truly beautiful. I sat in awe admiring them. Not far from them I also saw two large, white mountain goats, the kind with long hair and short straight horns. They likewise were truly beautiful.
Although I was responsible for writing and compiling my dreams, the old question of the origin of the dreams remained unanswered. I did not create my dreams. I did, however, provide the raw material used for their creation. So in that sense at least, I was responsible for the content.
Dream of:03 April 1990 "Stuffed Animals"
I was with my father and my motherin a car which my father was driving through a mountainous area. As my father took a road which meandered up and down over the mountain tops, I became enthralled by the beauty of the scenery. When I noticed many of the trees had been cut down, however, I said something about how man had simply come in there and chopped down the trees. On one mountain stretched a long power line; large trees had been cut down to make way for the power line. Some extremely large logs were piled up on top of the mountain; one log was placed to hold the others from rolling down the mountain.
Sensing my father was driving too fast, I asked him to slow down, but he wouldn't and he continued racing over the mountains. We ascended one mountain speckled with ornate old houses. As we passed one house, my father said my grandmother used to live there. I concluded thatmy paternal grandmother Mabel apparently used to live in the house when she had been growing up. I asked my father to stop, but he wouldn't - he just kept going. When we finally reached a town, we began circling through narrow streets on both sides of which stood small shops selling various items. Since it was Sunday, however, all shops were closed. We continued to the very top of the mountain, where we finally found a small shop which was open.
My father circled around the shop and finally stopped. My father, my mother and I stepped from the car, walked into the shop and looked around. The shop contained many stuffed animals, one of which was a large black mountain goat lying on the floor. The stuffed goat cost over $400. I continued looking around until I saw some live animals on the shelves. There was even a live pony on the shelf which I began petting. It liked the petting.
On the floor stood a sculpture of a large horse which had been intricately carved out of wood. It was a bit taller than I and was standing on it hind legs. My mother said something to a woman running the shop about how expensive everything was. I continued admiring the horse for quite a while until we finally left.
Wild goats must be protected if the fragile freedom of the mind is to be maintained.
Dream of: 04 August 1990 "Safe From The Wolf"
I was walking on the large hill behind the Gallia County Farmhouse (located on the 386-acre farm of my paternal grandparents in southeastern Ohio), looking at how the brush and trees had grown up. I had been farther up on the hill looking at walnut trees, and I was now returning to the Farmhouse to fetch a chainsaw so I could cut some brush away from the trees. I also wanted to cut down some old trees which had died and I especially wanted to cut down some of the large grape vines which I saw around me and which destroyed the walnut trees. Earlier, while up on the hill, I had noticed one group of about 20 trees in a row, as if they had been planted that way.
The area where I was walking was quite steep and rocky. Finally I came to a large old tree which was lying on the ground and which appeared to have been there many years. I lay down next to the tree and wondered if I pushed it whether it might dislodge and go tumbling down the hill. But I thought if I did that, the rocks above me might break loose and come tumbling down on me. After lying there a while, I realized I was in a sleeping bag. Being in the sleeping bag was fortunate, because I saw a large white wolf walking up the hill toward me. I was immediately alarmed, fearing the wolf would attack me. I pulled the sleeping bag closer around me for protection. When the wolf was almost on top of me, it turned and bounded away.
Looking around I noticed a large brown antlerless deer climbing over the rocks not far from me. I attentively admired the beautiful sleek animal as it climbed up the side of the craggy hill. I recalled that at one time white mountain goats used to climb over the rocks, but they had long since disappeared. However, when the deer reached some of the upper rocks, some other animals joined it, and they looked like they might be mountain goats. From where I was, I couldn't tell whether the animals were goats or deer. When they entered a cave near the top of the hill, I wondered whether they were safe from the wolf. Apparently they were.
Yes a goat can be eaten, and I will learn to eat my own freedom and be sustained by it, even if I must rearrange the sky.
Dream of:04 March 1997 "Southern Sky"
I had been in South America for a while, and I was getting ready to leave, when I realized I hadn't looked enough at the night sky. I had looked some at the night sky -- I had seen some falling stars. I also recalled I had recently been looking at the stars in Chihuahua, Mexico withmy friend Donna, and I had seen a very bright falling star. I had hollered at Donna to look at the falling star, but it had passed before she had looked. I still recalled how bright that particular falling star had been that night.
Now I realized I should have spent more time on my trip to South America looking at the sky. I wouldn't often have such an opportunity to look at the sky of the southern hemisphere.
At the moment, I was at a hospital, visiting a fellow who was lying in bed. We were talking about this subject and he told me about books which showed different portions of the sky of the southern hemisphere. He also said falling stars were more prevalent at certain times. Right now the falling stars weren't numerous, but the books would tell me when they would be.
As we talked, I developed a mental image of the night sky of the southern hemisphere. I envisioned a constellation of a cow or goat on a spit hanging over an open fire. The constellation seemed to cover the entire sky.
The truth, however, is that I was often less than courageous in seeking my freedom. I often regressed to the guise of the old lascivious goat who cared about nothing but himself. At least I kept a record of it.
Dream of: 14 March 1999 "Black Goat"
My second wife Carolina (who strikingly resembled ex-wife Louise) and I had just moved into a house in Portsmouth. (The small house appeared to be the same one where an old girlfriend, Jan Hughes, had lived when I had been in the tenth grade. She had been the first girl to let me put my hand in her pants.)
As I was standing in front of the house, looking across the street, I noticed a flock of 20-30 white chickens in front of a neighboring house. Curious that the chickens would be running loose in town, I moseyed over to the neighboring house to have a better look. Once I reached the house, I was surprised to see quite an assortment of animals white pigs, white ducks and a black goat. I reached out my hand to try to pet the goat, but he pulled back. I also noticed a swarm of ants on the sidewalk. The ants appeared to be part of the menagerie, and I specifically noted that they weren't dangerous fire ants, but smaller ants that probably didn't bite.
I realized why all the animals were there: this was some kind of day care center for children, and the animals were kept to entertain the children. Even the ants were part of an ant colony which the children could watch. Harboring the animals seemed like a good idea to me.
An elderly man and woman who ran the house walked out and spoke to me. They told me my wife had visited them the day before, and they related a rather bizarre story about how my wife had started an argument with someone at the house. The police had been called and my wife had been arrested.
This story was a bit upsetting to me. At the same time, I was intrigued that my wife had been arrested and hadn't told me about it. I turned and hurried back to my house, anxious to confront my wife with the story.
She was standing in the front room when I walked in. She acted coy when I asked her about having been arrested. I wasn't angry. Instead, I began to feel aroused by the whole incident. Being arrested seemed out of her character, and the thought of it made me want to make love with her. I suggested that we escape to the bedroom. She was willing and we headed down the hall toward the back room. The only problem was that we had two children also in the front room, and I didn't want to leave the children there alone. I hesitated to take the children back to the bedroom with us, but I decided they were so young, even if they saw my wife and me making love, they wouldn't know what was going on, and would never remember it.
My wife, the two children and I were in a car which my father was driving along curvy country roads, headed from Portsmouth to the Gallia County Farm. My father was driving quite erratically and much too fast. I had noticed that he had seemed to be having mood swings lately. Sometimes he seemed bloated and lethargic, hardly able to move. At other times like now he seemed manic and nervous, full of energy. When I mentioned my observations to him, he just ignored me, and began telling a story about the Farm.
He said that the field behind the Farmhouse had recently caught fire, and that all the grass had started burning. The fire had traveled so quickly, it had almost reached the tobacco barn at the top of the hill behind the Farmhouse, but fortunately, the fire had been stopped, and no serious damage had resulted.
As he continued speeding down the road, I suddenly remembered I had loaded some boxes of my belongings in the back of the vehicle, which had a rear-end like a pickup truck. I looked back through the rear window and saw two large boxes in the back. On top of one box lay a thick folder which contained pages of dreams which I had written. Suddenly the folder flew off the back and off the side of the road, onto the other side of a barbed wire fence, landing in a field.
I screamed to my father that he must stop – I couldn't leave my dreams out there in the field. After he pressed on the brakes and came to a stop, I jumped from the truck and ran to the field.
When I reached the folder of dreams and picked them up, they weren't lying in the field, but inside a small white room which looked like a classroom. Two other people, a man and a woman were sitting in the room. I immediately recognized them – they belonged to a group of people who regularly came together to talk about their dreams. I was only tangentially involved with the group. Although I had participated in the group before, I didn't lend much importance to it.
I certainly didn't have time to stay there right now, even though I knew a meeting was supposed to take place in a little while. A clock on the wall said it was ten till eight, and I knew the meeting was supposed to begin at 8:30. Obviously several more people would show up before 8:30. I quickly mumbled that I couldn't stay now, but that I might return later.
The man and woman were already talking about a dream. One of them held it up in front of me – the dream was neatly typed on a piece of paper. They said the dream contained a "truism", and I stopped long enough to agree with them. I even mentioned that I had often found that dreams contained truisims. But actually, I wasn't even sure what a "truism" was. The word wasn't one which I normally used. Although I thought a "truism" had something to do with the "truth", I wasn't quite sure.
That clown, the goat, has so many predators. Yet images of the goat remain fast in my mind and I have come to love it.
Dream of: 05 June 2004 "Torn Image"
As my pet Dalmatian Picasso and I were passing through a country field, I suddenly realized several lions were in the field. I was somehow familiar with these lions, almost as if they belonged to me, and I wasn't particularly concerned they would attack me. However, I did fear the lions might hurt Picasso, and I hurried to the nearest fence, opened a wire gate and with Picasso, stepped through to a second field on the other side.
When I turned around toward the gate to fasten it (turning my back on Picasso), one lion in the first field walked up to the other side of the fence and I lowered my left hand to its nose. The lion took my fingers in its mouth and began lightly nibbling them. I was wary, aware the lion could rip off my fingers if it wanted, but I allowed it to mouth my fingers a while longer, until I finally pulled my hand away.
When I turned back around to resume my walk through the second field , Picasso had disappeared. I immediately became alarmed, especially when I spotted two lions in the second field. The lions were male, but they had no manes, and they were a gray color, rather than brown. They scurried ahead of me, so fast I quickly lost sight of them. I didn't know if they had followed me through the wire gate while I had passed through, or if they had already been in the second field.
I ran across the second field, into a rocky ravine. I had a grave presentment of what I was about to find, and suddenly up ahead of me, I saw one lion, atop the ridge of the ravine, chewing on something white. I ran toward the lion and screamed, aching because I knew the lion had killed Picasso.
The lion dropped its mouthful and ran off. I rushed up to the spot and picked up the remains of what I assumed to be Picasso. He had been reduced to no more than a flat piece of cardboard partially wrapped in cellophane and partially chewed. On the face of the cardboard was a partial image of Picasso's head -- only the image resembled more the head of a white goat than the head of Picasso. I had seen this image before: it was exactly like the image of a happy white goat which I had seen in a painting by Marc Chagall. I starred at the torn image, mourning my loss.
In a world of constant conflict, I have somehow managed to stay free. Now, more than ever, I must nurture that freedom.
Dream of:17 March 2005 "Goat In My Lap"
I was in an auditorium (like a converted basketball court) watching a movie. Perhaps 100 people were in the room, sitting in fold-up chairs. I was down in the front. Even though a movie was playing, the room was lit-up, not dark, so I was able to look around and clearly see the other people. Gradually I realized the other people in the room were gay, and that this was a gay movie. Mostly men, but also a few women were in the room. I looked at the men more closely. I couldn't tell by looking at them that they were gay (they looked straight), but I knew they were all gay. I was unsure whether the women were lesbians or just friends of the men.
The movie ended and people filed out. I also walked out, still looking and wondering if I knew anyone. I hoped no one I knew saw me there and concluded I was gay. I would have to explain that I had never gone to a gay movie before and I had only gone to this one because I was out of town and hadn't seen anything else to do. As we exited into a mall-like area, I realized I was in New Orleans. Hundreds of people were in the mall. I thought I would like to meet a woman there, but I didn't know how. I looked at the women I was passing, wondering if I should just go up to one. When a woman finally looked at me, I could tell she was interested, but I didn't like her looks. She was probably about 30 years old with black hair. She had a pretty face, but was a bit overweight. I walked on.
I decided if I were going to meet a woman, I would have to pick out one and follow her around. I would have to find a woman who was alone. I began looking and worked my way outside. Finally I sat down on the curb of a street, still watching.
A fellow (probably in his mid 20s) walked up and sat next to me on my left. He was dark-skinned and wearing a turban. We talked and I asked him where he was from and he said Pakistan. I held out my hand and told him my name. We shook hands and he told me his.
We stood up and began walking. I asked him where Pakistan was. I was just being evasive -- I knew very well where Pakistan was and I even knew quite a bit about Pakistan, but I wasn't quite ready to let him know that. As we continued walking, however, I became more trusting and finally I told him I knew a lot about Moslems. I thought I should have probably said that I knew a lot about Islam, because that was what I had meant. I thought maybe we could even discuss some of the finer points of Islam and I began thinking about a passage of the Koran which I had recently read which had intrigued me.
By now we were outside of the town and were crossing a field. As I was talking, I looked around and realized my companion had disappeared. I called out several times but no one answered. Finally I turned around and headed back toward the town, but I took one last look, saw a black car in the field, and realized the fellow was sitting in the car. I walked toward the car and since the fellow was sitting in the front seat, I climbed into the front beside him. The fellow was in the middle and another man was driving. Two other men were in the back seat. They were all dressed the same (with their turbans) and they all had dark skin. Apparently they were all Pakistanis.
Only after the car had taken off and we were driving down the road did I begin to realize the folly of my move. I didn't know these men and now I was in a car with them. I turned to my companion and asked "Are you kidnapping me?"
He said no, but from the looks on everyone's faces I knew I was being kidnapped. This was not a new experience to me. I had been kidnapped twice before in Afghanistan, so I had an idea of what I was facing. I knew if I wanted to escape, right now was the best time before I was locked up somewhere.
We were still inside the town, and I contemplated jumping out of the moving car. It would be dangerous, but I was confident I could survive. I had one problem however: on my lap I was carrying a small white goat, a kid. I was afraid I might injure the goat. Nevertheless, I felt compelled and in a flash I flung open the door and jumped out.
I was surprised. I landed completely unhurt and still holding the kid. I stood up and watched the car continue down the road. It looked as if they were just going to let me go and not try to come back and catch me. I began looking around me for places to hide anyway.
Free at last. Free at last. Thank God I am free at last.