Trying to catch the train

Dream 4: Trying to Catch the Train

Friday morning, April 3rd, 2020

Scene 1

The dream started with me realizing that I was going to miss my train from the station. I was in a shopping centre up on the main street in my city but this shopping centre is more like the one we go to in Norway where we ski. There were glass walls. Suddenly, Sophie, a work colleague, was by my side. She told me she could help by showing me the track from which my train would leave. I knew my train would be leaving from Track 4.

Scene 2

I followed her and we ended up at Track 11. What we thought was Track 4, turned out to be Track 11. We both realised the mistake. The time was 3.50 and the train would leave at 4.15. I decided to run.

Scene 3

Suddenly I was back in the shopping centre. I rushed out of it, passing a dark green ski bag and ran all the way down the street to a place behind the old, main Post Office  just next to the station. It took me five minutes. I barely got tired, even though I had a few bags in my hand.

Scene 4

Before I could catch the train I had to pick up something at the Post Office, I think it was a shirt. I also had to pick up two suitcases that I had left in a storage box and buy a train ticket. There were probably seven people in the queue in front of me at the Post Office, but this queue was more like a group. Then I woke up.

While waking up, when I was half-awake, I realized that I could have bought my train ticket on my mobile phone.

This dream and waking life

After reading through this dream, you will see that it’s closer, than many others, to the thoughts, preoccupations and goals we have in waking life. The dreamer is concerned about catching a train. This goal is maintained, albeit through some disruptions, throughout the dream. S/he is short on time, a typical preoccupation in waking life. Whilst doing some things, the dreamer is concerned about others, as we often are when awake. For example, while s/he is waiting in the queue, s/he is thinking about picking up suitcases and a shirt. In contrast, dreams are usually single-minded, while immersed in the dream action we don’t have alternative, simultaneous thoughts or images. For example, dreamers don’t usually think things like: “Did I remember to lock the door when I left this morning?” or “Shall we have fish for supper tonight?”.

In Scenes 2, 3 and 4, the illustrations depict the dreamer’s thoughts, concerns and objectives as words or objects.

But, despite this dream being somewhat different from the other dreams decoded so far, it’s still possible to see it as a web of memories and concerns.

Memories and concerns with associations to “Trying to catch the train”.

Scene 1

On-going concern 1

I have been commuting by train all my life  and often have to run to catch the train – usually the train home. I thought I would stop doing this when I resigned from my last job, but, one morning in early October 2019, I found myself running madly to catch a train to my new place of work . I told a male colleague about it, he thought it was funny. The same colleague also inspired me to download the “To-Go” app to facilitate buying train tickets, this app is the first thing I think of upon waking from the dream.

Scene 2

On-going concern 2

I have a difficult decision to make between retiring for the sake of my family and my own well-being and staying on at the university to continue my work, which I think is worthwhile. This decision, sometimes, keeps me awake at night. I think the times (3-50 and 4-15) are, probably, the consecutive times I woke up and looked at the clock during the night before the dream.

Remote memory 1

At first Sophie’s presence in the dream surprises me but she sent me an email in early March telling me that she or I had made a mistake about academic book authorship, we don’t know which of us was responsible for the mistake. Sophie had discovered this when reading the memos I sent her from a meeting we had.

On-going concern 3

I have two events which have been changed. The first was a visit to a theater on Saturday April 4th to see a play about Socrates which was cancelled because of the coronavirus. The second is to see William (my elder son) and his family. The plan was that George (my husband) would help with the renovation of their living room and I would take care of the kids. I found out I was mistaken about the date, 4th April, and we were going to start the renovation work seven days later on April 11th.

Scene 3

Remote memory 3

Due to the coronavirus, we had been waiting to know if we could go on our ski trip to Norway. I had tried to contact the company we booked our ski cabin with but failed. We couldn’t even reach them by phone. When the Norwegian authorities closed the border the week before we should have left, we realized that there would be no skiing holiday this year. Finally, we got an email reply from the booking company, which arrived after we should have left.

Scene 4

Remote memory 4

I posted two parcels recently, one within this country (a national delivery) and one to Paris (an international one). However, neither had a shirt in it. The national parcel arrived as it should but not the one to Paris (and I still do not know why). However, some time ago, while, my younger son, David was working in the US in 2017, I posted him a dark blue suit and some shirts. I placed three ties and two bow ties in the pockets of the suit before sending the parcel. David wanted these clothes because, as a post-doctoral student employed at a US university, he was attending a gala for doctoral students. We both made complaints about this parcel because David didn’t get it but then suddenly he found out that the package had been delivered to a back door where he had never looked for it. Although I knew David and his girlfriend could not come on the 2020 ski trip, I was hoping that they would both be able to come in 2021.

Remote memory 5

George and I often travel by train during our holidays. We leave our luggage in storage boxes whenever we have spare time to look at cities while waiting for the next train.

Remote memory 6

When we go to Norway, George and I pack our things in “pairs of bags”. We have two big suitcases, two small ones, two ski bags, two bags for the ski boots.

What does “Trying to catch the train” mean?

In terms of the non-obvious associations, which underlie the meaning of the dream. First, the shopping centre in Scene 1 is associated with the shopping centre in Norway where we go to ski. Second, the tracks 4 and 11 in Scene 2 may be associated with the two dates (4th and 11th April) which I mention in remote memory 2. Third, Sophie, my work colleague’s presence in Scenes 1 and 2 may be associated with on-going concern 2 over the decision between staying on at work and retiring. Fourth, her presence may be associated with the possibility of making a mistake (Remote memory 1) when taking this decision and the other mistake (Remote memory 2) over the date of the renovation. Fifth, the dark green ski bag, which I pass as I exit the shopping centre in Scene 3, may be associated with the package, which was left by the back door but, which David didn’t notice, in Remote memory 4. Sixth, the shirt, which I have to pick up in Scene 4, seems to be associated with the shirts, which I sent to David in Remote memory 4. Seventh, the two suitcases, which I have to pick up from the storage box, seem to be associated with leaving our luggage in storage boxes when on holiday (Remote memory 5) and with the pair of suitcases which we take on skiing trips (Remote memory 6). Eighth, the seven people in front of me in the disorganized queue/group may be associated with the seven days between the 4th and 11th April when I mistook the starting date for the renovation work.

Green means go. I think the dark green ski bag in Scene 3 may be a metaphor (see metaphors in Decoding dreams) for some doubt (no clear green light) regarding the way out of my dilemma (on-going concern 2), I think this is probably retirement (track 4) and the way home. Sophie, my work colleague, is showing me the wrong way, which is continue working (track 11). Also the dark green ski bag may be a metaphor for another uncertainty because we had been waiting to know if we could go on our ski trip to Norway or not.

I think the dream clearly means I am stressed (short of time, making mistakes, running, rushing, much to take care of, queueing). In my waking life I definitely would deny being stressed. I only work part time and have flexible hours. I tell everybody that I have a wonderful situation and enjoy life very much.

What does it reveal about me?

The dream happened when I realised the pandemic had struck the world fiercely. I think that the world situation (first the climate crisis and then the pandemic) has triggered a life crisis in me which I try to handle being awake but can’t in the dream. I desperately want to find a solution (catch the train, receive help, find a way out/back door). I perceive that time is running out and I have two choices (track 4 and track 11) which are in conflict. I am both in a hurry to retire for the sake of my family and myself and in a hurry to make a difference with my work.

What Do Dreams Mean?