Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD
(1910 - 1995)
Since my childhood I have been a restless sleeper, waking several
times during the night and having vivid dreams. I can still remember
a nightmare from my childhood, when I was seven-- years old and had
a high fever. I dreamt that I had been put into a long oil hose and
was suffocating. Perhaps it was the book my mother read to me the day
before that insinuated itself into my dream: Ali Baba and the Forty
Thieves. I never again read the book or even touched it.
Most of my dreams are pleasant, and I may have five or six different
dreams a night. I may remember some of them as I wake up during the
night but after falling asleep again they have melted away by morning
and only wisps of them may follow me into the day. I do not wish to
interpret them. In my childhood one could buy a “Dreambook” that
interpreted dreams long before Freud appeared on the scene with
his sexual and erotic interpretations; I wonder whether the old dream
book interpretations and Freud's analytical interpretations coincide.
Anyway, I will never recount my dreams, for fear that my friends may
examine my subconscious life.
The other night, however, I was awakened by hearing loud and urgent
calls; "Mommy” the voice said. Waking up I answered "yes
Susan," and then realized that I was here in bed and that the
cry of my child for help happened a long time ago. When my daughter
called me the next day I said reproachfully "Susan, you woke me
up last night" and then told her my dream. She said: "That's
funny, several nights ago you woke me up calling ‘Susan’ ".
In my dreams I am always young. Although my husband has been
dead for twelve years [George Rosen died July 27, 1977, thus this essay
was written in 1989], he is at home in my nightly wanderings and I
accept him as if death had never occurred. My daily life goes on peacefully
and only after I wake up do I realize my eternal loss.
I was once asked whether I dream in German, my mother tongue, or in English,
my second language. I “watched” my dreams the night after
this question. I discovered that I dream in English and in color.