Separated by glass

Windows show up regularly in the dreams I have and those I hear from others. Usually the reference is to looking through a window and seeing something on the other side. Having heard these dreams worked in groups, there is often a layer of meaning that the dreamer understands a certain situation or problem from an intellectual perspective, but hasn’t yet taken it in emotionally. This makes sense to me in the sense that if there’s a layer of glass between myself and an object I can view it but not experience it through touch, or feeling. In this case, if I dream of shattered windows or glass that’s generally a sign that I’ve understood the situation in a more emotional way.

Glass is a curious substance that doesn’t fit with comfortable categorization. It’s actually a liquid, which is why very old glass gets wavy and sags so that the bottom of a pane is thicker than the top. So even when I look through glass at something in my dream, there’s the potential for that barrier to flow away. And since, in waking life, I look at the world through glass all the time, since I wear corrective lenses, glass for me is a symbol of how my point of view is shaped and brought into focus.

Windows can also represent my general outlook on the world. If in the dream I’m looking into a back yard, that might be a clue that I’m glimpsing something that has been unconscious. If I’m looking out over a grand view, my dream might be giving me a larger perspective. I also have to mention the phrase “windows on the soul,” which is usually a metaphor for the eyes. In dreams, windows do indeed give me a glimpse into my soul.

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2 thoughts on “Windows and Glass”

  1. Now that’s interesting. Looking back, I remember almost no window dreams in all the decades I’ve been keeping dream journals. There was one about ten years ago where a Nazgul was hiding behind the curtains in the living room. And occasional stained-glass windows in cathedrals. Oh, and a lucid dream not long ago that included a view out that same living-room window and into the window across the street, where curtains were billowing into the shape of a woman’s skull-like face, a little creepy but mostly interesting. And now that I think of it, a couple of nights ago I dreamed I was looking through a window into a ballroom of a hotel, where a wedding party was playing hide-and-seek, and I thought of that horrible old Christmas ballad where the bride hides in the chest and can’t get out. But it seems like most of the windows I see in dreams are either stained glass or faceted, and it’s the detail in the window itself that catches my attention.

  2. I wonder if you don’t remember having a lot of them because it’s such a mundane sort of activity to look through a window that it doesn’t stand out in dream recall. Stained glass is interesting as symbol–I associate it primarily with churches and art, so for me it would be a spiritual view–maybe the light shining onto me rather than me looking through it. And faceted glass would suggest to me my ability to see multiple viewpoints, which is another way of expressing compassion.

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