Why is it that when a problem seems insoluble, the decision to give up can make a difference? I decided to give up and resign myself to gloom forever. And then the dam gives way a little.

I dreamed that I was with a laughing madman. He was strangling me with a string and did until I was knocked out. It was in a room with many doors and glass doors to outside with a lot of light. He dropped me on the floor and I thought he might kill me, but a bell rang and the room filed with children, 10-12 year olds. They had books and packs and were changing classes. Many ignored us but some stopped. A girl said, "I'll check her pulse," and did so. "She's alive. Her throat is hurt." Another child said, "You need to call 911" to the madman, who was no longer laughing. He was looking much less insane. When he didn't respond immediately, three children pulled phones out of the backpack and called. I woke up.

I am the strangled woman. I am the madman. I am the practical children. I lay in bed and spoke to the madman. "I'm listening." I said, trying to hold on to the dream details. "What do you need? You definitely have my attention, I'm happy to listen, you do not need to strangle me. Please tell me more. Why are you so angry? I am listening."

I dreamed that I was with my Sisty and her husband Devin. We were putting away vegetables. I was hungry and kept starting to make something to eat but Devin and Sis kept saying we had to put everything away first and taking vegetables away. We were in a large house under construction that they were living in. Wood scraps and tools and nails everywhere. We were up in a loft sort of place. We were going to have sausages -- bangers. Devin said it wasn't very fancy but good. I said, "Can I start cooking?" and Devin said, "No, no, you just relax." I couldn't relax because I was hungry. Then Devin and Sis went off and I thought they were going downstairs to cook. After a while I got impatient, thinking surely the food must be ready. Then Sisty came in with a headdress of leaves, a leaf pointed down to her nose, with berries and bracken on her crown. She said, "We were in the back yard and your friend Eric was there." I couldn't think who Eric was and then realized he'd been a lab partner in medical school. "He helped us make these hats." My dad had been out there too and Eric was gone. They hadn't called me. "He's married and has two kids. Sis seemed to see from my face that I wanted to know why she hadn't called me and as if to forestall me said, " He's a bit dull really." My thought was that he was conventional but not dull and I would have enjoyed seeing him. Also that he'd loosened up a bit if he was making leaf hats. I went to another room.

I came back to the loft and looked over the balcony to see if they were at last cooking. Devin was down there with a fancier headdress on with lots of leaves and branches and berries and was, praises be, cooking sausages. I ducked back, because Sis looked up, and I decided to go hide until the food was ready. I knocked a two by four off the balcony, but it landed lightly in the dust below (the kitchen was under the loft). A cat was lying near it but wasn't even spooked. I felt guilty that someone might have been hurt and then relieved that no one was. I raced up the steps that ran the length of the loft and got to the bookshelves near the door. I heard someone and ducked down, hoping to be unnoticed. Pretended I was looking at the books. Sisty came in. She was still glowing and had the headdress on. She said softly, "You should want to touch me." I burst into tears. "You had a ceremony without me in the backyard, you didn't tell me a friend of mine was here and I am so hungry and you won't let me cook and I am supposed to want to touch you because you did something sacred out there?" I left the room and sat on a couch in the next room, distraught and trying to be calm. My son was there, reading a book and my 11 year old daughter came in. Then Sisty came in and I covered my face and wept.

I wake up, profoundly happy that the madman is speaking. I get out of bed and write the dreams because otherwise I lose the details. I lost some details of the first dream. Dreams are a sacred gift. The madman is me, now female, in the second dream. Devin, Sisty and the kids are also aspects of myself. I am feeling a bit impatient and wondering why I can't speak up and say I am hungry, I am jealous. Not angry. I need to incorporate the madman. Sacred things have happened without him, though I never meant to. I thank the madman and say I am very glad not to be strangled in the second dream. And back to warm bed.

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