birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Naked Or Not, Here I Am

I dreamed I am at a workshop. I am in my room with three other women, and a man. We all strip to naked—I don’t know why. There is a knock on the door. The man goes to answer. We all gasp because he’s, well, naked! “EW! GROSS! WHAT ARE YA DOIN’, MAN!” The person, who knocked, cries out and runs away. His reaction is so adolescent. Our guy just laughs!

Naked. What does it mean in a dream? A sort of go-to is “vulnerability” or, perhaps, “openness”. That’s something to be anxious about, ain’t it?

I am in the middle of a professional writing project. I keep being told by my readers, “It needs more of you.” I haven’t been quite able make out what that means—almost as if they’re speaking a foreign language. It hangs me up—I lose my thoughts, my words. I can’t get it done.

It’s a simple sentence, albeit conceptual: It needs more of me. But what of me?

“You don’t have to get naked,” my analyst said last week. And, what does that mean?

What am I supposed to show? More of me—and not naked.

Perhaps the dream is suggesting I need to show different sides of me—three other women, and two men. It also seems to suggest a bit of nakedness may be in order.

The man opens the door to an offended adolescent who is grossed out at nakedness, but my roommate just stands at the door naked and laughs. That part feels so natural. Being grossed out is what feels unnatural to me.

And, in the room, before the knock, we’re ALL naked. I don’t know why, but it too felt so natural.

So, I’ll let it stand, that “go-to” understanding of "naked": “Get vulnerable. Open up.”

I am writing a story of my work as an analyst. Jung said our own particular personality is our tool, and that if an analysis brings change to a client the analyst will also be changed. He said the work is in the relationship. I am in a room with four other people—we are naked and not grossed out. Only the kid outside is.

I just now recall the story of Adam and Eve, after they KNOW—they are naked, and afraid. Maybe I'm afraid of naked.

I open to the souls of my clients, and they open, more and less, to me. It is no laughing matter! And, often the best work happens in the vulnerable, open moments when we laugh. Natural, naked and laughing - what a formula that!

Thirty-eight, and Counting

Marco Polo