Putting His Daughters to Bed

imagesBarack was sitting at a table with Michelle standing beside him. There were others around, aides and such, and he was already sworn in as President. Somebody introduced us, and instead of shaking his hand, I hugged him. Then I stood back and hugged him again. I don’t think I spoke, but he laughed and took my crazy adoration in stride. Then he made me the girls’ and the dream skipped ahead to me standing by a black suburban, picking up Sasha and Malia from school. I even put them to bed that night. They slept in these huge double beds, side by side in an enormous bedroom.

 From a 30-year old married woman in Minnesota, January 2009.

About herself she says, “I have wanted Obama to be president since he won his Senate seat in 2006. I work in nonprofit development raising money for ACORN and Project Vote. THERE WAS NO VOTER FRAUD! It was a dirty scheme to make the public distrustful and suspicious…lo and behold! It worked! And McCain still lost. Funny how that worked out.””

As with many other reports elsewhere on the site, this one features a strong Obama supporter in waking life who dreams of expressing that enthusiasm directly and intimately with Obama himself. 

The apparently fragmentary text just before the point where “the dream skips ahead” makes it hard to tell what has happened to the dreamer–has she become the Obama’s nanny? or has she replaced Michelle as mother? or is she just a very close family friend?  The ambiguity may reflect the complexities of her “crazy adoration” for Obama in both dreaming and waking life. 

When a person feels so passionately about a politician, it seems likely that deeper dimensions of a person’s worldview and life experience have been aroused, so that supporting (or attacking) the politician becomes a means of expressing the person’s ultimate values and self-identity.   

Without knowing anything else about the dreamer and her personal life, we can still interpret her dream in collective terms as a vivid fantasy of safety and nurturance within the inner sanctum of American political power, a fantasy made possible (in the view of his supporters) by Obama’s rise to the Presidency.

He Loses His Temper

551ceaefe802201547_lbm6bh3agI dreamed that President Obama and the First Lady were doing a TV interview. They were older, both had more grey hair and both had put on weight. Michelle was not as glamorous as we’re used to seeing her–she was wearing her hair kind of puffy–straight back, exposing a lot of curly grey edges. As the interview progressed, Barack’s breathing was a little uneven. He apologized and said that he had just come back from playing basketball. But then he began to hyperventilate really badly. The scene became tense. Michelle was so upset that it looked like she was about to cry because it looked as if Barack was about to have a heart attack. She turned to him and asked something along the lines of, “I don’t understand… Why would you do this? Why would you play basketball so soon before this interview?” Barack became very irritated and snapped back and said that it was the only time he had available to play. When they return in the next segment, Obama apologizes to his wife and the audience for losing his temper.

From a 29-year old woman in January of 2009

Michelle and Barack Get Married, Again

It’s the day after the Inauguration, only instead of attending more balls or parties, the entire world is bursting with anticipation over the first White House wedding. Barack and Michelle will be getting married today. Twin Oprahs are the bridesmaids. Apparently they’ve been so busy these last few years that they haven’t had a chance to get married yet. They still have their two daughters, and were always planning to get married once they finished the campaign trail. barack_obama_weddingNow that he’s President they finally get the chance. The wedding is inside a massive sandstone Cathedral, but Michelle doesn’t think it’s appropriate to wear white (I mean, they’ve got two kids; going for the virginal look seems a bit twee) – so instead she walks down the aisle in a lovely, deep orange dress. Sounds awful but it works, very classy. She’s got beautiful jewelery too, and everyone keeps nodding and approving, still comparing her to Jackie O. Barack wears black tie. The Oprahs wears red.

From a 27-year old American woman in Australia, February 2009.

She adds: “I ended the dream feeling grateful that we Americans were finally relaxed enough in our ways to just be happy for this incredible couple; even giddy that we get to help celebrate their long-overdue wedding. The media are being supportive, but respectful. It took a few minutes of being awake to convince that alas, the Obamas are already married.”

“About Myself : I’m a 27 year old American woman who’s lived in Sydney, Australia for the last 10 years – came here for college and just ended up staying. I’m a founding partner in a boutique creative communications consulting firm that specializes in helping progressive companies and causes “do good, better”. Now that Barack Obama’s in the White House, I may even move home one day.”

I Feel Like We’re Going Backwards

I was walking down the street and heard someone yell “Sasha!”; then two little girls ran past me. I turned around and there was Michelle Obama…I asked if I could have my picture taken with her; by then a crowd of paparazzi had gathered and they went into a Dominican restaurant in my neighborhood in NYC, where I ‘remembered’ Obama had campaigned (as if!). Somehow I managed to squeeze in through a crack in the glass window, and there was a big bed where I snuggled up next to Michelle — then I realized Barack was on the other side of me in bed, and felt a little disappointed…There were blue strobe lights and “Stairway to Heaven” was playing; the bed felt like it was moving b/c of the lights, and our pictures were being taken — I said “I feel like we’re going backwards!” referring to the bed, but then worried that Barack would take that as a criticism of his efforts as president… when I woke up I thought “are we building a stairway to heaven or are we going backwards?”…

From a 46-year old mother in New York City, in March of 2009.  She was a Hillary supporter during primaries and Barack supporter during the general election who spent time campaigning for him.

Priestess in the White House Basement

In the dream I lived in the basement of the White House and was the Santerian advisor. I was middle-aged, African American, wore a long white dress with a flannel plaid shirt of mostly blacks and greys turned into a jacket and a red tatted lace shawl and a dark grey scarf over my hair. I had a hearth with a fire going all the time and a big vase of summer flowers at my table. Otherwise I kept things pretty spare in case they had to sneak me out of DC in the middle of the night.  Obama was on his way to a diplomatic dinner and came down to ask my advice. I told him he looked spiffy in his tux and that Michele needed to wear a white dress with red flowers that night.  And the campaign thought they had problems with Reverend Wright, just wait until the press finds out there’s a priestess in the basement.

From an “almost 40 southern work at home mama,” in the summer of 2008.

Church Scuffle

My dad and I happen upon a church where Barack is speaking. Entering, I feel a strong sense of being different from the mostly black congregation. Barack stands at the pulpit, but he is old and pale with a receding, red afro. I am surprised that he is so much less attractive than in my mind. I know the religious right in the congregation are plotting his downfall. Then something odd falls from his person. It is a round object that resembles a child’s rubbery, flashing Spike Ball. I know that in the ball lies the success of Barack’s campaign. Only one other person sees it fall, and in her eyes I can tell that she also knows of its power. The average-looking woman and I tussle for the ball and when I come up victorious, I notice a change in the congregation. About half of the African-Americans are now white. I hand the ball to Michelle, who doesn’t thank me. I exit the church and shrug my shoulders at the woman I scuffled with and say, Sorry.

 From a dreamer in Brooklyn, NY, a white woman married to a black man.

 This came in the spring of 2008, before Obama became President.  It envisions a religious assault on Obama that weakens and ages him. 

Bodily misfortunes in dreams (e.g., losing teeth, hair falling out, etc.) can be metaphors of emotional concerns about losing power or influence in waking life.   Seen in this light, the dream reflects a fear that even if Obama reaches the pulpit (and presidency), he will not be able to defend his strength and vitality against his attackers in the church.

In a twist on the hero theme, it’s the dreamer who must rescue Obama so he can continue his mission.      

The racial dimensions of the dream seem very complex, in light of Obama’s mixed racial background and the dreamer’s mixed racial marriage.  A black church would seem to be very friendly territory for Obama, though in fact he struggled early in the primaries to persuade African-American pastors to support him rather than Hillary Clinton.