Goodnight…And Pleasant Dreams, Plus Other Updates

By Bill Oakey – April 21, 2014

Last Friday night I spent a cool and very pleasant evening at the Lenoir Wine Garden on South First Street.  It was an Authors Party, sponsored by the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation.  In addition to the opportunity to mingle with literary standouts such as Elizabeth McCracken,  I happened upon a chance meeting with noted psychologist and Austin resident, Dr. Gemma Marangoni Ainslie.  Little did I know at the time that my curiosity would lead to…

Goodnight…And Pleasant Dreams!

A Google search for a few of the intriguing folks on hand for the party turned up a disturbing New York Times article.  You might be better off reading this in the morning, rather than right before bed.

Entitled, “The House of Your Dreams,” the article was published in 2009 during the height of the real estate bust and economic collapse.  “Foreclosure, eviction and an uncertain real estate market are providing material for disturbing dreams and nightmares about home, which has an especially powerful place in the psyche,” the story begins.

As I continued reading, I began to discover an eerie parallel between the housing collapse of the Great Recession and the feelings of hopelessness felt by many Austinites as they struggle to hold onto their homes today.  Just yesterday, a realtor in my neighborhood told me that quite a few of her clients are sellers who can no longer afford to live here.

Back to the article, here is another interesting quote.  “At a time of collective angst and fear of economic insecurity, psychologists say more patients are recounting stressful dreams that revolve around the theme of home.”

Some psychological studies suggest that people’s dreams reflect actual real life situations that they can act upon as a result of what they learn from their dreams.  Austin’s own Dr. Gemma Marangoni Ainslie, whom I met at Friday’s party, cautions against taking dreams too literally.  “Things are not necessarily what they seem to be,” she stated in the NY Times article.  In her view, dreams are simply “clues about personal struggles and ongoing conflicts.”

As you turn down the sheets tonight, try not to think about Austin affordability.  Goodnight…and pleasant dreams.

Presentation to the Austin Neighborhoods Council on Wednesday

On Wednesday April 23rd, I will give a presentation at the Austin Neighborhoods Council meeting at approximately 7:53 PM at the Austin Energy Building, 721 Barton Springs Road.  The title is “Affordability –  Goals And Reforms to Maintain Austin’s Economic Diversity.”

“Above and Beyond” – The First Award From This Blog

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement.  The first ever award will be presented to a public official who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the face of the inertia of Business As Usual.  She has definitely gone above and beyond her peers.  It will be a happy occasion, but the time and place have yet to be determined.  (As you probably already guessed, the tittle for this award was inspired by the classic Harlan Howard song, first reaching number three by Buck Owens in 1960, and then number one by Rodney Crowell in 1989).


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