In my dream, one woman shows another woman her palm. That’s it. That’s all I remember. I wake up with the image of an open hand and not much else.
If I were psychologically inclined I’d say: I am one of the women; I am the other woman; I am the palm.
But symbolic thinking only confuses me. Also, I’m one of the People of the Book. In our tradition, when there’s a question, you refer to The Text. I interpret that to mean any text.
So I turn to my dream dictionary.
I look up palm. It isn’t there. I see painting, parachute and paradise, but there isn’t palm. I turn to body, to the sub-section for hand. It says: The hand represents self expression. Then there’s a bit on fingers: manipulation; penis; dexterity. There’s also handshake: contacting an aspect of self.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to go back to that word penis for a minute. I wasn’t surprised that it turned up in the definition. I had a tongue dream once and on my way to the tongue section of the dictionary, via teeth, there was penis. I had a dream about crocus soup and came across penis among the vegetables. And now here it is again.
This time I’m not going to shy away from it. I am finally going to look it up and see what the fuss is about, once and for all.
On the way to penis I see parasites, parrots, and penguin. Then, finally, penis. See body. A sense of deja vu washes over me.
I turn to body for the second time, and there it is: For a man, it says, the penis represents more than simply his sexual appetites. How nice. I wonder if the dictionary is similarly generous with vagina, so I look it up. It’s basically the same, except the word appetites has been changed to feelings.
Back to penis. In a woman’s dream, it says, a penis represents one’s relationship with, or desire for, a mate; relationship with one’s own male self. It defines male self as: ambition, work capability, aggression and intellect.
I don’t like this. Nor is it particularly illuminating. After all, I didn’t dream about a penis. My dream didn’t go: “One woman shows another woman her penis.” I admit, that would have been an interesting dream, but it just wasn't the one I had.
I dreamed about two women and one palm. A palm, the inside of a hand. An open hand. An upturned, unclenched, friendly, receptive, welcoming hand. A clean hand. This is a palm dream, which is not the same as a penis dream. A penis dream is okay, but this isn’t a penis dream. This is a dream about two women and a palm.
I sit and look at my palm. I wait for a tiny movie screen to appear just beneath the surface of my skin and show me the story of my life. But all I see are three long lines and a few shorter ones. There doesn’t seem to be much of a plot, and if there are any subtitles, I don’t see them.
I suspect I’m not finished with this dream yet.
+++ +++ +++ +++
The Palm Dream, Revisited
I go out and buy a new dream dictionary. The back cover promises: “Your Innermost Thoughts Revealed.” I’ve always liked the word “innermost.” It’s so much more internal than simply “inner.”
The very first word my eyes land on, smack dab in the middle of page one, is Abbess: If you see an abbess in your dream, the future will be bright, particularly so if she smiles at you. I like that. I've never dreamed about a smiling abbess but I think it’s entirely possible that I will one day, and it’s good to know that when I do I can expect my future to be bright.
I decide to go right to the heart of what I’m searching for. I look up palm. It’s not there. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a bit disappointed that there is no palm. There is, however, palmist: Having your palm read in a dream presages a period during which you will do considerable worrying about your home life and finances. That is not comforting. I don’t like to see the word “worrying” in print. Frankly, it makes me worry. And what exactly is “presage?”
I turn to my non-dream dictionary for assistance: A presentiment; foreboding. Yeah, that’s basically what I thought. Now I wish I hadn’t bothered to look it up. I didn’t need to see the word “foreboding.” I hate the word “foreboding.” And “presentiment” isn’t so good, either.
I turn back to the dream dictionary and look up penis, figuring I might as well get it over with as soon as possible.
There is no penis. Honestly. My new dream dictionary does not have a listing for the word penis. What’s more, it doesn’t even refer you to another entry. When I look up penis all I see is pencil, and penny.
I can’t resist; I read the entry for pencil: Trying to write in a dream with a very blunt, badly sharpened pencil portends being criticized for slovenly dress. Then I read about penny: To give a child a penny in a dream foretells pleasant experiences in the woods and fields.
Oh, right. Neither of these bodes well for depth and insight to come, but, on the bright side, there is no penis.
A disturbing thought creeps in. If there is no penis, can there be a vagina? I have to know. I turn to the V section. Vacation, vaccination, vacuum cleaner, vagabond, valentine, valet, vampire. There is no vagina. I am hugely disappointed.
To comfort myself, I read up on valentine: If you receive a valentine decorated with lace and perfumed, you will kiss someone of the opposite sex. According to this I think it’s safe to assume that if you receive a valentine decorated with lace but not perfumed, you will kiss someone of the same sex.
I know by now that this book does not hold the key to my palm dream. I’m about to give up entirely when I realize that I haven't looked for women; I haven’t look for two. So I look up two. I look up women, then woman. Nothing, nothing, and nothing.
I’m thinking maybe it’s time to leave my palm dream behind, to get on with my life, to pick myself up by my little purple ankle socks and move on.
I can’t. I just can’t stop cold like that. I must try one more search, just one. But what should I look for? I’ve gone to all the obvious and not-so-obvious words, in two dream dictionaries. I decide it is now time to go the route of the Dadaists. I have nothing to lose.
So I take three deep, slow, cleansing breaths. I calm my heart and relax my mind. I tell myself that I am within seconds of having the Secret of the Universe revealed to me.
Then, holding the dream dictionary in my left hand, I let the pages fall open, willy-nilly, take my right pointer finger, approach the exposed page, and point.
Okay, it could have been worse. I could have gotten nausea, or flyspeck, but I got sneaker instead.
Which means nothing to me. I never dream about footwear. Never. In all my life, I have not had one dream involving sneakers, shoes, sandals, socks, flip-flops, moccasins, boots, slippers, clodhoppers, loafers, clogs, mules, pumps, sling-backs, ghillies, mary janes, ballet shoes, espadrilles or galoshes.
Sneaker is not the Secret of the Universe.
I could give up already. I should give up already. But I don't give up already. I pick up the hefty non-dream dictionary, that old blue volume that's been with me for decades and doesn't include a single word of the modern technological age. I put it on the table and open it up. I put my right pointer finger down on the page. I move my nearsighted eyes closer, to read the small print.
Laureate. Worthy of the greatest honor or distinction.
Okay. I'm happy now. I really am. Laureate is better than the best fortune cookie message.
One honored or awarded a prize for great achievements.
This is good. I can relax. True, I am no closer to the meaning of my palm dream. But I don't care about the palm dream anymore. I landed on laureate.
Hallelujah. Anything is possible.