Saturday, September 28, 2019


I dreamt that Ellie and I had rented or borrowed this house to host a party/conference of some kind, a big place, with lots of polished wood—columns, walls, floors and stairways—something like one of those posh old ships. The conference concluded with a celebratory feast, and the participants had cleaned up only superficially, leaving a lot of work yet to be done. And Ellie and I still had our things to pack before leaving, with some kind of deadline ahead.

We started work on the completion of the clean-up. I was annoyed to have been left so much to be done. Outside, I found quite a number of the others continuing their conversations, sitting at two tables in a kind of bower. At the head of one of them was a man I’d known as a leader of the men’s work I was once heavily involved in. He greeted me as I arrived, wanting to enlist some help.

I tried to quiet the company and tell them there was still work to be done inside. I would appreciate some help. But they pretty much ignored me, went on with their conversations, laughed at my attempts to quiet them. Instead of shouting out a firm “Listen up! Here’s what I need,” I shrugged at their unwillingness to help and marched back in to get the job finished with Ellie.

I was starting to clear one the tables of debris when I woke, still overwhelmed with a feeling of dread at all the work that needed to be done. Then a hearty sense of relief when I realized it had been a dream. No clean-up!

I began to expand on the apparent metaphor suggested by the dream—the political mess we’re in, the degradation of the environment, my own overburdened sense of responsibility for it all. But then I focused on a more personal issue: the reticence I learned as a child, the “me last” ethic I have carried with me all these years, the difficulty I have always had in saying plainly and forthrightly what I need; and the resentment that I feel when put-upon by others.

A rich dream, then. Much to reflect upon…

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