Of Leopards and Jackals and Dreams

“Dreams are symbolic in order that they cannot be understood; in order that the wish, which is the source of the dream, may remain unknown”.          CARL JUNG, Psychology of the Unconscious

I woke up nice and early the other morning, all bright-eyed and ready to start my day. Plugged in the coffee maker, turned on CBC radio, crawled back into bed to await my perked cup of joe…

and promptly fell asleep. Just to dream about leopards and jackals.

Interesting that such feral entities should be hovering just below my conscience.

In my dream I was in charge of a wild game reserve. It was beautiful. Green rolling hills, waterfalls leading into crystal clear streams, flowers blooming profusely boarding on vulgarity. The leopards were friendly enough, almost domestic in nature, deafening purrs, gentle pats with paws…

but the jackals were another story.

And it wasn’t as if I could see them. No, not once in my entire dream did they appear, but I knew they were always there.

In the periphery, waiting.

And I tried fixing their enclosure with a door screen and a staple gun. Totally ineffective I know. But I had a 2×4 near at hand just incase I needed to use it.

But it turned out the stick of wood was unnecessary because my mother phoned to arrange our routine Saturday morning coffee date and pulled me out and away from my duties at the game reserve.

Now I haven’t placed much credence on dream interpretation and usually just chalk up my bizarre meanderings of the imagination to subconscious processing of the day’s events but this one has me perplexed. Who or what are the leopards in my life? Who or what are the jackals? And what is that wish, that Jung so tantalizingly suggests? It would be nice and neatly finished if I could go back to that dream and find out if I was successful in my efforts to keep the jackals contained. It would have been really interesting if they had actually manifested themselves,

front and centre to my line of vision,

revealing details of their appearance and meaning of their existence.

But, alas, unfortunately we never return to our dreams where we last left off and therefore never know how the story ends.

Just like life.

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