I’m a Ukrainian-Jewish-American woman who is 34 years old. I’m a poet, mother, teacher, and academic. My immigrant story is that my family came from Odessa, Ukraine to Brooklyn, NY when I was 9 years old and we had refugee status. We’d been assimilated in many ways, but still very much keeping up the culture. My family and I talk exclusively in Russian (even my American husband and two-year-old daughter do!), and my mother has a Russian aesthetic center where we’re trying to get Russo-phone children interested in their culture; my sister, brother-in-law, and I all take part in this center by teaching art, sculpture, Russian and Russian literature. The dream I’m about to describe occurred in the Spring of 2009. I dreamt that I was in my apartment with my fiance and it was full of flowing green fabric. It was night and we were deep asleep. Someone had been calling very insistently on the phone. I picked up the phone and asked to opt out of all future marketing phone calls and communications. It felt oddly liberating to do so. Suddenly, the house tilted as if prompted by a giant’s hand, and all of this water started flooding it from ceiling to floor. I lost my ring in the water. I’m not sure what this dream means, but my hunch is that it had to do with carving out own boundaries as a couple lest we be drowned out by the concerns and demands of others, including people in the workplace and our own families. The water falling on us seemed cleansing and not dangerous. I think that my Russian background has made me a bit more superstitious and prone to placing more emphasis on dreams’ importance than my US counterparts. Because of “Master of Margarita” and similar novels, I’ve cultivated an interest in magical realism, symbolism, and the art of interpretation. Plus, being a poet and literary scholar helped with my interest in dreams as well.
Along with my earliest memories of life is a dream I will never forget, and one that has popped up in my thoughts throughout my life, and the memory of that dream is as vivid if not more so than my early waking memories. In this simple dream, I sit in the back of a car, my parents are in the front, and I gaze out in wonder as we cross over a magnificent bridge, akin to the Golden gate in San Francisco, but this bridge never seems to end. It crosses an infinite ocean of blue water sparkling in the sun and I feel as if a journey or adventure is about to begin. This dream has several meanings for me, one of being birthed and bought into this world by my parents to take the journey of life. Another interpretation is that being Indian and coming from generations of Indians but being born and raised in completely different western culture, the bridge represents a transition, the crossing over from one side, east, to the other, west.