Strange Dreams Last Night

I had a dream last night that I bought a cow and buried it in the front yard. I buried it alive, but I left a little tunnel from the surface to its head, so that it could breathe and I could provide it with food and water. Other than that, the animal was buried – its body completely encased in soil. The thought was if I could figure out how to make this work, just think of how it could revolutionize the beef industry! Besides that, domestic cows are not exactly active creatures. They just stand around and eat grass all day. They could do that any old place – like in a hole in the ground!

Of course, in real life, the thought of treating a living creature in such a manner is revolting, and it is very clear that there are many reasons that this would never work, but the dreaming mind doesn’t necessarily consider all of the same implications that the waking mind does. My friends and family were excited about my cow. They were constantly asking, “How’s that cow experiment going?” My initial thought was that I would bury the cow, making provisions so that it could live, and I would dig up the animal after a week to record and analyze the results.

About two days into the experiment, we had a get together at our house where we cooked on the grill. Our friends and family came to eat and have a great time with us. Someone in the party was asking me about the cow and my experiment. That’s when it dawned on me – although I had made provisions for air, water, and food to get to the animal for its consumption, I had made no provisions for the urine and feces. And even worse, I had the animal’s body buried with no room for it to expand as the cow breathed. I was mortified and discouraged as I realized what I had done. I answered the question at the party, “I’m pretty sure my cow is dead.”

Now, please allow me to interpret:

I believe the dream represents my latent fear in going into business for myself. The cow directly represents my leatherwork, and indirectly the financial investment in the tools, equipment, and raw materials. The experiment – burying the cow, digging the air/feeding tunnel, pretty much every effort of the experiment represents the real-world effort that I’ve put into learning how to make great leather goods. The very fact that I did something as outrageous as burying the cow both represents that I want to accomplish something truly unique with my efforts, and it represents planting a seed – in this case, planting the seed of my business.

The fact that I came to a sudden realization that I had done something horrible, and destroyed all the investment, and that all the effort was for nothing – that represents my fear of the unknown. In real life, do I have any idea how much money I will or will not wind up making by the end of the year? No, I have no clue. Do I have any guarantee that The Holster Site will make a living for me and my family? No – but I had no more guarantee this time last year that I would continue to work in a traditional job.

The fact of the matter is that the fear itself is kind of freeing. In traditional employment I enjoyed the illusion of stability, when I had no more job security than I do now. Frustration then came in the form of not feeling like I was being appreciated for my accomplishments and abilities, but that was the price I paid for the illusion of stability. And, I accepted a ceilinged-out paycheck that was probably less than I was worth in return for the false security that the next paycheck would be exactly the same as the one before it.

Had the dream with the cow continued, I would have liked to see myself do something wily and industrious with my failed experiment. Perhaps I would have discovered that burying beef for several days tenderizes and seasons the meat and makes it uniquely delectable. Conversely, maybe I would have discovered that my fears were in vain, and the cow had actually thrived in those bizarre conditions. I don’t know, but I think that’s the point – the dream was supposed to be a cliff-hanger. The lesson I take away from it is to not let my fears win. I will win. I will make the best of my situation, take the steer by the horns (as it were), and make my own destiny.

As I continued dreaming after the cow dream, a neighbor down the street had a shack in their back yard. In that shack was a hideous creature that appeared to be a cross between a human child and a piglet. They kept this child-pig in a chicken wire cage in the shack. There was a six-inch tall bi-pedal dinosaur that was in the cage with the child-pig. The child-pig would draw the dinosaur in and snuggle with it, but the dinosaur was uncomfortable with this and wanted to escape. A ninja-like character crept into the neighbor’s yard and entered the shack. He used a shovel to pry the chicken-wire cage open and scooped out the tiny dinosaur with the shovel. He tossed the dinosaur into the trees behind the shack. The child-pig was furious! It screamed and squealed and threw such a tantrum that the entire shack swayed and creaked. Just as the ninja made his escape, the child-pig’s tantrum peaked and he literally exploded in a burst of fire which leveled the shack to splinters and ash. And, that was all.

I don’t have an interpretation for that last one. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I watched Beowulf before bed last night. That makes more sense than anything else I can think of.

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