Dreams are as personal as anything gets. Normal dreams are some kind of weird, twisted personal experience, set in a hazy backdrop of ordinary things turned upside down or sideways. This particular dream was unique because it wasn’t personal.
It was a real dream — I’m not making this up — which wasn’t about me and mine, except tangentially. It was the “all of us,” the giant “we” of the world. I didn’t like it. It made me angry. Sad. I don’t know which emotion was stronger or more painful, but probably the sadness which I am still feeling.
Last night I dreamed about the world. Not our personal, individual world. It was about the “real world” of politics and malaise. I dreamed about migrant workers who pick grapes and were starving because the pay they got was not enough to live on. I dreamed about a bunch of people I was supposed to be caring for. For whom I had been preparing special food, but when I went to eat something, they snatched the food off the plate and ate it before I could. And laughed because they thought it was hilarious.
I thought: “I’ve been spending my days trying to make their lives better, yet when I want something, they take it and laugh.” Not a happy moment.
I woke up twice. Tried to shake the dream. It was not exactly a nightmare, but it certainly wasn’t pleasant.
I remember at one point, my guests in this big hazy house in which I was living were throwing food away … and the migrant workers were starving. When I suggested we give them the food, they laughed again.
And I woke up thinking: “Why, in this country, is waste acceptable … but charity is scorned?”
Why are we so uncharitable? Why are we so uncaring, so unloving, so cruel? What is wrong with us? How did I stumble into this place I do not understand?
Why did I have that particular, strangely impersonal dream? It is hours later. I’m still wondering.
What is wrong with us?