Reach for the Top -or- Remembering Mr Roger's Neighbourhood

Canadian Graffitti -or- The Canadian Neighborhood

We all grow up in neighborhoods. Usually when we grow up, we move out in pursuit of our dreams. This is one of the many youth plotlines found in the coming of age film "American Graffitti". In search of our dreams, many find careers and reach for the top. Many Canadian communities feature "home of..." signs, of those Canadians who have achieved. Interestingly before the long running American TV host Alex Trebeck came to "Jeapardy!", he actually hosted a CBC show called "Reach for the Top". As North American children, we watched the long running PBS TV show "Mr Rogers Neighborhood", Rogers much like Trebeck found his career running through Toronto and the CBC. In reality, as so much else, Mr Rogers was a Canadian cultural export. The dream below features a natural setting, yet modern technology and culture intrudes into the dreams landscape. James crosses a threshold where cars and buses can no longer enter, thereby entering a place where nature and rural Canadian music culture meet. James is a successful Canadian musician, unfortunately because the dream was sent directly to the IIDR, I cannot disclose who it is. Here is his dream. 

James, 32 Canadian Musician 

"As I walk through the misty night air in my neighborhood on a late summer's eve, I see a tour bus white and dirtied by highway driving, parked at the end of the street. As I walk through the neighborhood I reach the end of our dead-end country street. I walk into the woods as I see a stage and cool blues with fiery red lights on display. In the middle, a deep grassy green shade from ambient colored light meters away from us, all my friends in my band and I were finally at the top. In the woods in the summer amidst an extreme realistic setting. Nearby I see a lake, and it is suddenly daytime with a desert's noon sun and a clear milky blue sky behind the rocks and horizon. 

I remember crawling up the railroad that went beside (not over) the lake and rocks perpendicular to my front side. I crawl for hours to get onto a plane at a railroad (?) nearby. The plane has not arrived yet and my mother and a few family/neighborhood people pull me inside a large helium beercan. The sky was grey outside and the sense of something complete had arrived. The dream ended when I was locked inside a dirty all white lenolium tiled office building without anything in it. The elevators were gushing water and large bathrooms with rusted walls and dirty basins in the middle. This is all I remember." 

Sense of the Completion of a Dream -or- Cultural Musical Paradigms of Time 

We are informed that every story has a dramatic beginning, middle and end. The dream as you state is one which from a music artist's perspective, features an "extreme realistic setting". The artistic sense of the beauty of the natural order of colors, summer, the night air, the woods, the dessert sun, the sky, the horizon, the lake is offset by a tour bus "dirtied by highway driving", the "dirty all white linoleum office building", and the dirty basins in the large bathrooms. In the end you are locked in this office building which is empty, with rusted walls, a sign of the wear of time and abandonment. As the proverb states; "All good things must come to an end." 

You state in the middle of the woods and/or cultural stage; "my friends in my band and I were finally at the top." In the middle of your journey of hopes and dreams, they have payed off, and they have taken you from your beginnings and you have now reached "the top". However, as Gladys Knight and the Pips sings to us about another musician's LA "superstar" dreams that have been shattered, "he couldn't make it". He then decides to buy a one way ticket on the "Midnight Train to Georgia" (watch music video) to find "what's left of his world". "Dreams don't always come true." 

There are many paradigmatic ways to perceive time, time being a dominant theme that we can also find circulating in our dreams. From a syntactic temporal tense perspective, past, present and future are culturally inculcated in our language. From a literary perspective, Frank Kermode's, "The Sense of Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction" sees in the Bible a literary temporal model to visualize time and cultural history. 

The beginning = Genesis, the end = the Apocalypse. It could be argued from a Christian perspective that the middle = Christ, from an Islamic one, the middle = Mohammed, and from a Hebrew perspective it is the saviour yet to come, the machiach. Let us not forget that Hebrew music is inculcated in the Bible such as "The Songs of Soloman". 

From a different perspective, the psychiatrist Eugène Minkowski saw the subjective perception of "lived time" as key to understanding the nature of psychopathology. Minkowski argued that many distort time, in this sense, many dream interpretations posted at the IIDR website speak of people who are traumatized like rape victims, Holocaust survivors, survivors of war or 9/11, they cannot free themselves from flashbacks to the traumatic past which acts like psychological knots in memory. 

Others fear the future because it means facing the social reality of retirement which will force them to reorganize their work time which is coming to an end. Some careers are longer, others are shorter. Staying on top is impossible, unless of course you're immortal. On a final note, as the Eagles tell us, there is always a; "New Kid in Town" (watch music video). 

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.