Sunday! Spring! Sunlight! Things that are golden: the daffodils, the hearts of the evergreen clematis, the bright straw spread over the garden beds (and the dog), sunset after a day of work.
I know, I know. Everybody groans when somebody says, “I had this weird dream…” But I did! And it’s my blog, so there. Also, another dream post I wrote about being pregnant with elephants still gets a strangely high number of searches, so maybe it’s helping (?) someone.
So a couple nights ago, I had a religious experience in my dream. Which is already weird, because I’m not religious. I mean, I’m not a ninja either, and I dream about that. And I can’t fly, but that doesn’t seem to stop dream-me. But still, being religious in my dream was extra weird, even for dream-me.
I had been summoned to a prophet’s island to translate a mysterious carving on a silver rock (that looked like a manhole cover, but whatever). Apropos of nothing (as is SOP for dreams) Macgyver was the captain of the boat. (I’ve never even seen the show, but my brain is happy to supply pop culture references, I guess.) So we arrived at the island, and I donned a brown Obi Kenobi robe (of course) to climb the mountain, passing a line of waiting supplicants. The mountain was made of ice, and I had to find hand- and foot-holds to climb. When I got to the top, I walked up to the mysterious carving/manhole cover.
The prophet was hovering beside me, and everyone was eager to hear the Word of God. I FELT the power of moment vibrating through me. (It was garbage day, so it might have been the recycling truck pulling up out front.) It was like a true, real-life religious experience. My whole body was tingling in the dream. I felt a euphoria like a flying dream. I looked down at carving and it said:
“Tingles happen here.”
In the dream, I laughed. And not-dreaming-me was impressed that even dream-me is a smart-ass. Needless to say, everyone on the mountain was pretty disappointed. Except the prophet, who was furious. He chased me down the ice mountain. (Luckily, dream-me was in full ninja mode, so I slid deftly from foot- to hand-hold without plummeting to my doom.)
But as I made my escape, dream-me started to cry. Because I liked those tingles. They felt good, like a sugar buzz or hot sun on cold skin. And I was sad that the tingles were just tingles, not something “more”. So I’m crying and sliding down the ice mountain, and I hear a voice. Not really a god-like voice. There was no booming or anything. But it said:
“It will never be enough.”
And that made dream-me cry harder, because how sad is that? Why can’t it ever be enough?
But then the voice said, “There’s always a second chance.”
Dream-me stopped crying. The alarm went off and I woke up, still sort of caught between this laughing and crying thing. I lay there for a minute to make sure I captured the imagery and emotion of the dream. (If I don’t do that, I lose chunks before I can record them.) And I thought about it. I think maybe it IS sad — not just for dream-me, but for real-me — that tingles are just tingles and nothing is ever enough. But the idea that there’s always a second chance… that JUST MIGHT be “enough” of a powerful message.
I’ve read about how the human brain is wired for religious experience, which is really interesting to me. And in the real world, we see how religion and purported religiosity still affect us, sometimes in bad ways. I’m not inclined to think most dreams really “mean” anything except a chance for our busy brains to process some stuff during our down-time, but I think I’ll actually use this particular religious experience. Even if it wasn’t real.
I try not to get too political in my online life. I save it for inflicting upon my real-life peeps so I can enjoy their frothing in person. (Although since my conservative Republican MomMom died I haven’t had enough rousing discussions. Sigh. I don’t get disowned nearly as often anymore. I miss it.) But I will say this to you all… VOTE!
I know it can be hard and exasperating to vote. It’s especially hard for those who already are the faintest voices, which is so patently unfair I can’t even. For the rest of us, I know it might seem pointless and sometimes contradictory to the message many of us want to send to the elected officials we think don’t adequately represent us.
Vote because it’s your civic duty as the citizen of an ostensible democracy. Vote because other people don’t get to. Vote because you want to make a change. Or maybe you want to keep something the same. Vote because you are young and idealistic. Vote because you are old and disgruntled. Vote because if you don’t, I refuse to listen to you bitch. Just VOTE!
I’m a writer, so of course I believe in the power of a single voice to make a difference. But even if you don’t believe the same, if you vote for no other reason, do it for this: “THEY” don’t want you to vote. The nefarious forces at work in our society (and they do exist) are only strengthened by apathy and hopelessness. Even if you don’t think YOUR vote matters, VOTING matters. So VOTE!
Sometimes the world seems more dangerous and doomed than ever. Sometimes people are more confused and vile than seems possible. Like, does that troll have a hollow leg where he keeps his vicious, willful blindness? Sometimes I wonder if we’ll ever JUST STOP making the same mistakes over and over and over.
Then I take a breath.
Yes, there is fear. (Fear is the worm-eaten heart of the world’s evils. Hate is the fear of otherness. Greed is the fear of losing. Injustice is the fear of empathy.) There is static and, worse, cultivated entropy. There are wounds that go so deep the scars will never fade.
But I believe light and goodness, peace, love, and understanding will win the day. Do I have any proof for that belief? Er, no. Maybe I’ll say the mere fact that galaxies formed out of the interstellar dust shows that the universe* has an impulse toward order and beauty and forward momentum. (*You can call this God if you like. It gets us to the same place.) But I’ll settle for hope.
Sometimes I worry that hope is just the cheerful flipside of willful blindness… So then I take another breath. And each breath is a promise that we don’t stop here, that we can do better, BE better. We owe those steady, deep breaths to those who came before us and who will come after us, so that their hopes are honored.
How do we get there? So many ways. Pick one or two or three. Hug loved ones and be kind to strangers. Recycle. Seek the truth, even when it stings. Vote with conscience. Donate in constructive ways to worthwhile causes. Breathe. I dunno, maybe dream up a romance novel! Whatever you choose, share your hope with the world and we WILL make it better.