Jennifer had a dream, shortly after her five month obsession with Dale ended, that she was in charge of a medium sized motorcycle – of using it, repairing it and handing it back over to her sons, to whom it belonged. In the dream she worked alongside her sons in some type of factory yet nothing was being produced. She was visiting them but took the chance to be closer to them by getting their motorcycle, which she had used during her visit, back into shape. She sat at a desk where she opened a little hatch on the front of the bike and then, in her dream, she would take it over to a machine, insert a nozzle to the electrical device located inside of the hatch, plug it in and recharge the bike. It now worked quite well and she could give it back to her sons. She even remembered riding the bike, showing to her that she was both in control of her life and was balancing it. But then it had to be give it back, so she got it in good working order before returning it.
She wondered how much this followed her own life pattern, especially with Dale, having really been out of balance since she met him - her passion had thrown the rest of her life completely out of whack. She had forgotten her mate and family, casting them aside mentally for her newly discovered lust. Still, they were all there for her, not knowing how confused she was – she had even contemplated leaving her spouse and running away with her new lover. Not a practical plan as she knew as he would have to leave his wife also, which he was reluctant to do. Dale recognized, much more than Jennifer, that their lust was temporary and that sooner or later they would have to return to a regulated life pattern.
The placement of her sons in her dream, and the role they played, was much more difficult to analyze as both were now in their forties, one with grown children, and they had not lived with her for well over two decades. And the fact that in her dream they owned the bike, and not her, was puzzling. According to her Dream Analysis book, the interpretation for this part of her dream would run something like this - psychologically they were the owners of her thoughts. Jennifer regarded herself as an excellent mother and grandmother, although she didn’t see her family but every year or so because of proximity. Psychologically, they had always been close as a part of her. When Dale came along Jennifer gave everything emotional, spiritual and mentally over to him. She hadn’t known he realized this; however, lately she recognized that he indeed did and that he was afraid of losing both his independence and the relationship he had with his wife, although he claimed they had not enjoyed sex in many years. Still, because she had not enjoyed a physical relationship with her husband in ten years, she gave her body to Dale along with all of the psychological history that went with it.
Not acknowledging this at the time, she had thought she was simply experiencing another fling, of which she had enjoyed many over the years. It was Dale’s expertise in making love that had won her over. He was so very sweet, tender and anxious to please her; again psychologically she had so enjoyed being cared for, pursued and honored. The thrill of it all was overwhelming to her senses.
When they had stopped seeing each other, more out their travel schedules, etc. rather than an argument or falling out, she realized that the relationship with Dale had been mostly one-sided – hers. As a man, he was simply enjoying something with her that he could not get at home. She basically understood and accepted this fact, conceding in her heart that she knew women always brought more of their total selves into a relationship than men – especially older women as they rarely had the opportunities that older men had, which was not fair of course, but then that’s life.
Her dream indicated to her that she had lost her balance and needed to return whatever it was that was causing her stress in her life to its proper owner. As she and her husband were planning a two month holiday soon to visit their respective families she acknowledged that being together, once again, with her family and grandchildren, would restore her sanity and allow her to regain her place as the matriarchal leader of her family.
The ending of her dream contained two more fragments that she was working on. The motorcycle had suddenly switched into her son’s car and she was driving – her dream book indicated that she was in control when at the wheel of a vehicle. Somehow she ended up behind a police car that suddenly stopped; she swerved and hit his door on the car’s right side. The policeman continued driving while she turned left, went down a long ramp and secretly entered her son’s garage which shielded her from discovery. The police then realized that they had been sideswiped, turned around and retraced their route hoping to find the culprit. Jennifer was safe but she realized that she had lost control.
One of the realities in her daily life she was having internal problems of realization with, was the fact that she was slowly losing her sense of place. Just recently she had been in a large Latino market and had become separated from her group. Not speaking Spanish with any degree of fluidity and being able to communicate, she found herself lost among people who knew she was stranded and yet realized they could not help her because she didn’t understand their language.
Her only saving grace was her cell-phone. She called the leader of the group, who fortunately spoke Spanish. He told her to hail and taxi and to meet them at the other side of the market, which she did. Hoverer, she collapsed into tears upon the reunion, not because she had been afraid – Jennifer was a truly independent woman and had taken many long trips alone in her life – but because she realized that her previous independence was no longer possible. She literally needed the care that her husband devoted to her – his concern for her safety and health was his highest priority.
Upon this realization she also acknowledged one of the primary reasons that older couples stay together as they age - they take care of each other in a way that a new lover could never do. This caused her great emotional concern as she conceded that her independence was slowly turning into not only dependence but a curtailing of her solo activities. She just couldn’t handle it anymore, especially in a foreign country. She would be glad to get back to her own country where she could understand people, ask directions and carry on conversations.
So all in all, the events of the past half year had helped her in making some final adjustments to her life. Affairs, and all of the subterfuges they involve, are really for those younger in years and energy. Growing older was about that – growing. In realizing this Jennifer knew that she had been psychologically fighting the aging process in her affair with Dale. Although she did not dye her hair and had not yet had any cosmetic surgery, at sixty-eight she was no longer, not only young or middle aged, but older. And being older, with the knowledge and experiences that she had shared with Dale, could bring to her one of the most simple secrets of life – that of her senses – of totally enjoyment of the physical world, in all of its bountiful nature and beauty, and in simply being alive.
GREY LINE WITH BLACK, BLUE & YELLOW
GEORGIA O'KEEFFE - 1928