On the evening of September 29, 2015 I had a striking dream: full of feelings of nostalgia and loss, a dream that I experienced as deeply affecting. I was wandering alone and lost in a city in the state of Missouri with what I would describe as an insatiable yearning for something that would allow me to feel centered, whole and complete. Just today, as I was recording these thoughts, an interpretation emerged out of a remote association. Is it possible that the word Missouri is a play on words? We can imagine breaking Missouri into two parts: “miss” and “our I.” Might we interpret the word miss as relating to feelings of loss and nostalgia? Might we interpret the phrase, “our I” as relating to the notion of a shared identity: the self and a mirror image? Also, might we imagine that the sense of loss in the dream was overdetermined? I was both physically lost in a place I had never visited before and I was also mourning the loss of something from my past: fragments of Self and Other. (I told my then treating psychiatrist, Alice E. Stone, M.D., about this dream in 2015. I remember telling her: “The only thing I can associate to is the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.”)
I blocked something out that was very powerful. During the dream I kept hearing this song by Mahler. The song talks about being lost. I suppose the idea of being lost is an overriding issue in the dream:
I am lost to the world
with which I used to waste so much time,
It has heard nothing from me for so long
that it may very well believe that I am dead!
It is of no consequence to me
Whether it thinks me dead;
I cannot deny it,
for I really am dead to the world.
I am dead to the world’s tumult,
And I rest in a quiet realm!
I live alone in my heaven,
In my love and in my song.
There was a secret message in my book, The Emerald Archive. I added the following chapter after the dream; it was a secret reference to the dream. You can see I added the chapter only days after the dream, on October 6, 2015. Read Comment no. 2 to the post. (Yes!! I can prove anything, Raben!! I am a lawyer!!):
I think of Anna Freud’s paper: “On Losing and Being Lost.”
Adam Phillips points to the Oedipal issues in being lost as it relates to Anna Freud’s paper. Phillips also talks about how Anna Freud’s father’s death weighed on her and how that was reflected in the paper: so the idea of being lost relates to the issue of pathological mourning for her.
Another intriguing idea is the implicit reference to the rootless or lost “Wandering Jew.” Never thought of that!! So perhaps there is a relationship to Michael Brown — racism and anti-Semitism. Uncanny!