Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Essay on My Recurring Pete Dreams



I suppose if I were to confess to anyone that I frequently dream of Pete Townshend, here would be the place. But don’t worry—it’s not that kind of dream. No sex, no drugs, not even rock and roll, really. He’s just a presence really—one who fills the room with peace, love, and a sense that everything is all right.

Sounds like Christ, eh? Is this what they mean when they call rock stars gods?
For years I have wondered...

After these Pete dreams—which tend to happen two or three times annually—I wake up feeling blissful. I wake up feeling loved. I wake up feeling as if some real connection has been made, and I wake up wanting to maintain that connection for the rest of my life.

But then, after a few minutes, the grim reality would set in: that I was alone, seemingly unloved, and Mr. Pete Townsend—the man with whom I felt so intimate in my dreams—had no idea who I was. And never had and never would. What a terrible feeling!
(I had similar dreams about a man named Tony Stacchi, with whom I went to high school, and upon whom I always had a secret crush. I haven’t seem him since high school But this is another story.)

Getting back to the Pete dreams: in 2004, I finally consulted a therapist. Not about my Pete dreams—believe me, those were the least of my “problems.” Those dreams were pleasant, and gentle, and if they left me momentarily mystified, well, I wasn’t going to complain. No, this therapist was helping me recover from childhood trauma. She was a saint, that woman—so compassionate and wise—and once I started to discuss my Buddhists, Pagan, Jungian, and Native American beliefs, she told me she also happened to specialize in dream therapy. “I don’t tell that to all my clients,” she said with the smile. “Not everyone is open to that.”

So I told her about Pete. I told her the love I felt from him, and with him, in my dreams. “He’s wonderful,” she said, “I love him, too.” (For a second I was jealous. Because I wanted to believe I loved his music and connected with his lyrics more than anyone else on the planet, thank you very much.)

But anyway, I told her that sometimes Pete and I sang together. Sometimes we sang his songs; mostly we sang songs that I had written, that I couldn’t remember when I woke. Sometimes he encouraged me, and told me I had a good voice. Sometimes he would hug me—not in a sexual way. More of a maternal/paternal embrace—something I have rarely experienced in this lifetime. I would close my eyes and just absorb this love.

My therapist listened with a beautiful smile. “Everything in a dream is a representation,” she said. “What do you think he represents?

Music, of course. Singing, playing guitar, writing incredible, magnificent songs. He represented self-expression, channeling anger, channeling pain. He was an artist who could transmute those negative energies of anger and sorrow into something beautiful, the way the Buddhas are said to do.
“He’s encouraging you to make music,” my therapist said.

I loved this interpretation. And it made perfect sense. All of my life I have wanted to be a musician, but my parents discouraged that from the start (another long story for another day). Basically they told me I couldn't sing for beans, and could I please turn that god-awful music down?

Now, in my dreams, I was getting encouragement from one of the people I admire most in the world. (And the creator of most of the 'god-awful' music I listened to as a child). How cool is that?

The pure, almost celestial warmth and happiness I felt in his presence was simply Music was calling me back, the way they say God calls you back, i suppose.

This goes back to the question above: Is this what people mean, then, when they call musicians “gods?” Because they have the capacity, through their words and music, to call us back to a better place? Because they make us feel less alone?

It would be fun to find the person who coined this term (God of Rock) and get his/her opinion. But I’d argue that, yes, that is the role people like Pete have served on the planet. But this is another big topic I suppose.

What I can say for certain is that, in my reality, in the Jungian context of my dreams, Pete absolutely serves as an archetype. He is Music, embodied, in a half human/half ethereal form.

Would he be flattered, or appalled, to know this? Only he can say....
(Part of me wants to believe that his appearances in my dreams are true visitations; that he has traveled astrally across oceans and continents to give me—sad, special, talented, weird me—a reassuring hug.)

Regardless of what this all means, I shall thank Pete, again and again, for this role he has played in my waking life, and in my sleeping life—the world of the subconscious, the world of gifts from beyond. It took several years, but I finally got the message:

Sing, girlfriend. Reclaim your original self. Let it be pure, and easy. Amen.

10 comments:

Lucy said...

Here's wishing you a joyous and successful journey in fulfilling your dream of music. What a lovely post.

I too had a Pete dream, just a few days ago. Actually I think it was my first.

I dreamt I was walking in his house. I knew it was his house. There was no doubt. Only, the funny thing was (as one would expect in a dream) -- it was more like a two-storey shopping mall. And it was vast and desolate. Empty. And it was adjacent to a train station.

What do you think this means? I'm very curious.

I thoroughly understand what you mean about the jealousy -- I consider it a sort of possessiveness. I love his music so much it almost feels too personal to share with just anyone. Yet I know this is silly, and a fruitless way to feel. I can only really share it in places like this with people who totally get it. It's actually wonderful to share in it all together .. with likeminded souls I don't mind a bit. The more the merrier!

Lucy said...

P.S. Lee, I think what it is, is Pete's your muse.

Nothing wrong with that.

Lee Harrington said...

Hey Lucy
Interesting dream about P's vast shopping mall....
In many schools of dream analysis, an unfamiliar house is an unexplored part of you. Some go so far as to say the house is the neglected part of you. What one finds in that house is key.....was the mall completely empty? How did you feel in the dream? (I'd have been looking for Pete!)Were you seeking or finding?
(Sorry if this is too much--I love dreams!)
ANyway, thanks for writing, and take good care.
Lee

Lucy said...

Wow, thanks for the analysis, Lee.

I had the vague sense someone was with me in that shopping mall/house. But it's slipped away, exactly who that was. It was someone close to me, I'm pretty sure. I do recall that the train tracks were right next to the house. Maybe it was a shopping mall/train station I was in. But it was definitely Pete Townshend's place and it was definitely empty. Those two aspects I'm sure of. I guess I was looking for him! LOL

grace said...

Wonderful Essay Sidney. I often have dreams of giving Pete a Haircut, ( I am a Hairstylist) don't know what that means.

Lucy said...

Great answer Pete gave you, Lee! WOW. Hope it helps your dreams come true.

Oh and Grace -- that's funny about the haircuts. :-)

Mariah[Gabriella] said...

I have had dreams about Jim Morrison. I think this is weird, but I respect Jim Morrison too much to lust after him[not to mention he sort of scares me, yet I still adore him].

I see the real Jim. The bearded bloated one and he looks like a big teddy bear. He is at ease and relaxed. He is my friend, but he is more like my mentor.

Everything he says is in his dream-like parables. I think the last thing I remember before I woke up was, "What do you think about when you are in the wilderness?" This could mean many things. Maybe you could be of some assistance. Then again, I am the only one who knows at the end of the day.

Jim has inspired me to write. I have filled up 18 notebooks with poetry in a year and a half right after I read his biography and bought his albums. It is almost trancelike for me, beautiful subconcious words spill from my pen when Ray Manzarek pushed down on the keyboard, the drums beat, and Jim sings of ugly scenes in the most glamorous words possible.

I am glad that someone see's great artists as high as deities just like I do. I don't do it on purpose, but if it is true that people make up dieties [Aphrodite, Dionysus] then why can't admire something I have seen and know is real?

Lee Harrington said...

I love your reply Gabriella - very thoughtful and well-written!
xoxo, Lee

Lucy said...

I had a dream the other morning:

Pete and the band were playing "the super bowl" - but it wasn't in Miami. Indeed it wasn't in a stadium.

It was in my parent's yard in New Orleans ... the venue looked very much like a mini outdoor ampitheatre made of stone. A bit Roman-looking and overgrown. My dad was there. My mom was there.

I sat down on a concrete seat waiting for the show to begin.

Me totally unsuspecting, Pete came up, sat down next to me, and gave me a hug. As if I needed consoling. Then later, after a while, he came back and gave me a second hug. There were hardly any fans in the seats.

It was a very strange dream but very comforting. First time I've actually dreamt about Pete so vividly. Probably only the second time I've ever dreamt of him. I woke up feeling a bit stunned.

I think I've been taking this anti-Pete bashing too much to heart and he was trying to comfort ME!

Lee Harrington said...

Excellent dream, Lucy! I love the Roman ruins--often a symbol for feeling one's life is in 'ruins' (or you thinking Pete's life is being 'ruined' by the backlash?)
Lovely that he hugged you twice! Twice as nice....maybe one for you and one for him?
I am going to the Meher center in the spring--hope Pete visits me there :)
Enjoy the show lucy!
xoxox lee