While studying the Handless Maiden, I had this dream.
“Peach Cart and Missing Finger”
In a building, I can’t find my car key. Somehow I realize it’s in my shoe.
I’m trapped in a game of Cocoman, my friend S. is one of the people running it. I’m looking for a way to escape. On the street I see a dad trying to comfort his child, who’s crying at a creepy ghost-like sound. A small cart like a grocery cart comes through the crowd on the street. It’s full of peaches and some peels. I go out and tell the man with the cart that the food processor bowl in his cart is mine. I dump grape seeds and skins by the grape vine in the divider to the road. I tell the man to take the cart and forget he ever saw me.
At one point, I find my missing finger (middle or ring finger of the left hand). The finger I find is black like an overcooked hot dog and I doubt it’s reattachable, but I put it back on and later (when helping the peach cart guy), I look down at my hand and my finger is reattaching well, still discolored, but healthier.
When I woke, I couldn’t remember which finger it had been, because I could remember it equally well both ways. This isn’t uncommon in dreams, and suggests that both scenarios apply—I can work the dream with either image, and ultimately both. It’s only our linear, waking mind that needs to have it be one or the other. The dreaming mind is comfortable with it being either/both.
If it’s my second finger, it’s the finger of flipping the bird at someone. This would suggest anger, standing up for myself, and a defiant energy that is unafraid. In my waking life, it’s not a gesture I use, nor an energy I’ve claimed as my own very often. I preferred a peace-keeping role to a standing-up-for-myself role, which would explain why the finger was missing and blackened from being disconnected. Yet the dream suggests that I have the ability to re-integrate that energy into my behavior.
If it’s my third finger, it’s where I wear my wedding ring, and so is a sign of commitment. The fact that it’s been missing would suggest a lack of commitment until now to the task at hand. Perhaps this is a spiritual task, with the grapes’ seeds and skins suggesting the left-over matter from juicing the grapes. I’m returning this material to nurture the grape vine so that it can grow more grapes in the future. All of this suggests that maybe I’ve been preparing to make wine (often associated with religious ritual), and I in my act of composting, I participate in a practical and spiritual approach to nurturing the plants that sustain me.
Whatever the commitment the dream refers to, if I think of both fingers together, I think about how sometimes I have to assume a rather defiant attitude toward the demands of the world if I want to protect my commitment to my creative work. The middle finger serves as guardian to the commitment of the ring finger.
Laura K. Deal