Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Dreaming of Oprah
I had a dream last night that I want to recount to you. It took place in Chicago, a city where I have never been, but with which I am familiar because of its depiction on TV and in movies. In the dream I lived in a high-rise apartment, but I had moved from the side of the building that featured a view of the city to the other side of the building where there was no view. I was walking down a boulevard with one of my colleagues who I invited to my home to work on a research project. I was trying to write down my phone number for her so she could contact me, but the color of the ink in the pen and the color of the paper on which I was trying to write were similar, so it was difficult to see what I was writing. Additionally, I had difficulty remembering my phone number. Walking along the boulevard (I think I was on the median strip) who did I spot in her green Porsche convertible? It was Oprah Winfrey who was on her way home from work. It was about six o’clock when I spotted her; that’s how I knew she was on her way home after work. I recall that the Porsche was not a new one. It was a 911 and about 9 years olds. It was a warm sunny day, which might explain the convertible top being down, making Oprah so easy to spot. Oprah – that’s interesting, I think. I have to admit over the years I have had successive dreams of Oprah, some of which I have recorded. I recall when my book was about to be published that I dreamed Oprah and I met at Sara Beth’s a restaurant on the Upper East Side of New York to discuss my appearance on an upcoming show. It was kind of a pre-interview. I don’t know why Oprah Winfrey repeatedly shows up in my dreams. I’m not a fan, although I admire her greatly. I’ve seen her television program, but I don’t watch it regularly. In fact I probably haven’t seen it in a year. I know enough about dreams to realize that Oprah is a metaphor; she’s standing in for something or someone else. I won’t go into a deep analysis of my dream, although over the years that I have been doing dream research, I’ve learned much about dream analysis and can usually apply it to my own dreams with some success. It’s important to point out that even though Oprah appeared in my dream, she appeared as an expedient substitute for someone or something else. Like all media figures that appear in our dreams, she is convenient. And, that is one of the roles that media figures play in our dreams, as a replacement for something or someone else that is perhaps more meaningful. I also want to point out that when celebrities appear in our dreams, according my research, they invariably are our friends. In other words, while we recognize them as celebrities, they lose their celebrity status in our dreams. Oprah. A green 911 Porsche. A well-known NYC restaurant. These are the things from our everyday lives—what Freud called day residue—that show up in our nocturnal world.