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A Work of Art

Dreamed mid-1970s by Carla Young


Have you ever had a dream that feels like a revelation? This is the first dream that I remember--not the first dream I ever had, but the first one to stay with me for the rest of my life. Abstract by Carla Young, from a dream: red drips down a grid of black lines on white.


I am being led off to my execution. As they lead me away, a group of soldiers in khaki uniforms are chanting, "It's important you enjoy what you're doing. It's important you enjoy what you're doing."

We come to the place of execution, a large chopping block covered with a black and white grid. I have the realization that when my head is chopped off, my red blood flowing over the black and white grid will create a work of art.


This dream came to me in my young adulthood: I had graduated university and was living on my own in a big city, working for a corporation and wondering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was attracted to the arts but had not made the leap.

In the dream, the forces of constraint and propriety and doing the practical thing are leading me off to my doom. They are also telling me what I need to do to survive: I need to enjoy what I'm doing. Life is not infinite. They tell me that easing up on my overly intellectual tendency (losing my head) and combining discipline and precision (the grid) with passion (the blood) will create a beautiful life: a work of art.

       --Carla Young

LISTS AND LINKS: cops and soldiers - dying in a dream - also facing execution: Jenny Badger Sultan in My Ritual Beheading and Anna Kingsford in A Square in the Hand - dream advice - dream chants, songs, music - heads up! - blood - dream paintings - abstracts - Carla Young - Jungian dreams -

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