Society Dreams: Karen LeFrak

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The Upper Manhattan skyline. Photo: JH.

Friday, April 12, 2024. Springtime rain, off and on; sometimes light sometimes heavy. Not warm but … not cold. Something to warm me up what with all that cold out there looking at us.

Today we’re running Lauren Lawrence’s Dream analysis for Karen LeFrak. Karen and her husband are popular members of their communities — New York, Southampton, and Miami. She also happens to be a friend Lauren as well as a friend of mine.

Karen LeFrak, backstage, before a performance.

But Karen is also a composer. It so happened that once upon a time when she was a child of three or four, she was seated at the family piano one day, and as if pretending to play, she played it! She was born to it.

Ironically, as she grew and matured, her talent was put away for a life of marriage, motherhood, and philanthropic volunteering (she did however get a Master’s degree in Musicology from Hunter College). It was well into a conventional lifestyle that The Music returned, and she is now a prolific composer. She recently released an album called Verdure of 10 solo piano pieces that will be available May 10th on all streaming platforms.


by Lauren Lawrence

The Dream: In a recurrent dream I am circling the single story building of high school or college, peering in the windows. Students are taking an exam. I realize that I should be in the room taking the exam, too, and become anxious. They are taking a French exam, but I never studied French. I know I never attended any of the classes and don’t remember if I was even enrolled. It is disturbing. What does this mean?

Lauren Lawrence with Karen.

The Interpretation: I often refer to dreams with missed examination motifs as “caffeine dreams” because they act as powerful stimulants that keep dreamers on their toes, ready for action.

Self-deprecating in nature, these dreams stem from early memories of failed attempts or enterprises, which serve as negative models of what not to do.

Similarly, these dreams often serve to maintain structure, discipline and introspection wherein the dreamer may chastise herself as a way of keeping herself in check. The shock value of missing an exam insures against being unprepared and highlights the importance of vigilance during wakefulness.

In Karen’s dream not only is she missing a test but she does not speak the language necessary to comprehend the test questions. A communication issue must be reexamined.

Ironically, these dreams are dreamt by perfectionists, the best students with the highest grades, and successful and ambitious individuals. On some level, forgetting is an issue. When the dreamer realizes that she wasn’t enrolled, one understands the dream is a mixed brew of self-criticism and self-consolation, wherein reproach often turns into a congratulatory pat on the back.

In another view, the dream itself is a test — a crisis situation the dreamer must deal with. A dry run through, as it were, often the day before some important action is required of the dreamer.

Looking through a window reveals the wish to reflect on something that needs to be sorted out. For at the core of the dream, the wish is to maintain control, where value is placed on knowledge and preparation.

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