|What: “Dreams of Obama”
Where: 211 W. Main St.
When: Tuesday, January 20
The day itself was like a dream—maybe even that dream where you’re taking the oath of office in front of millions and you flub it—so why shouldn’t the evening end with dreams as a theme? After all, Barack Obama himself has penned a bestseller about dreaming of his father. True, the lineup of guests for Len Worley’s “Dreams of Obama” workshop was not what you might call robust (there were four of us, including Worley, in total), but we here at C-VILLE look for the connections. Ensconced within calming green walls with soft instrumental music wafting through the air (which smelled faintly of cinnamon), we were making the connection between the New Era and the New Age. Our host, a tall, placid man with graying hair, poured tea into ceramic mugs as we sat down, uneasy to share but eager to learn.
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One of the first things we learn is that Worley has been sitting on the president’s lap. Well, sort of. “Dreams will be more honest than a friend could ever be,” he says. Worley is a local psychologist who conducts monthly dream interpretation sessions in his Downtown office. He advises his dreamers to think of dreams as an x-ray, something that reveals what’s happening in the deepest part of you. In his deepest place, he’s getting close to BHO.
He tells us he’s been having recurring dreams about Obama, which prompted him to theme inauguration night’s session around the president and dreams we’ve had about him. We’re curiosity-seekers, but perhaps not all that curious as none of us in attendance, outside of Worley, had ever dreamt about someone in office.
So Worley shares this of his own dream: The President invites him to sit in his lap, much in the way a father would do for his son. Intrigued by this vision, Worley began to think of the qualities in Obama that he respects—qualities that Worley may himself possess, but might need to work on. “I admire [Obama] for his inclusiveness,” he says, “his integrity, how he crosses so many boundaries and how strong his hope is—his optimism.” These, certainly, are qualities most of us could use more of.
Now, you should know, as Worley does, that dreams, whether of Obama or anyone else, should not be taken literally. “Dreams are like a school to increase our ability to face the challenges we’re being given in life,” Worley says. “And if you already know the challenges, you’re at the head of the class.”
Most of the 90-minute session focused on interpreting nonpresidential reveries, which Worley does with a regular group twice a month, and like any good therapy session, what was said in that calm, green room Tuesday night must stay there. But no one will mind if we give away this: If dreams are a channel from our psyche to ourselves, then to dream of a president is to dream of the part of the self that is in charge; the part that, as Worley says, “is responsible for everything,” including change. It’s a call to challenge how you’ve lived previously.
“I ask myself, ‘If Obama had my life today, what would he do with my life?’” In other words, WWBOD?