Friday, November 21, 2008
February 17, 2002 - Dream
Along with the anonymous dream people, I'm exploring a huge warehouse full of treasures. There are props from famous movies like the Wizard of Oz, but also historical objects.
I find a pair of Abraham Lincoln's shoes gathering dust on a metal shelf in the back of the warehouse. They're plain black boots, quite large. I am thrilled. Immediately I put them on. Once the boots are on my feet, they function like roller skates. I'm skating around and around the warehouse space as fast as I can go. The experience is exhilarating.
Scene changes. I am in a canoe, sitting behind Lincoln. He is facing forward but I know it's him. He's wearing a stovepipe hat and black jacket. We are rowing together. Looking at his hands and the back of his neck, I think, "I had no idea he had African-American in his heritage." Clearly he is half black, half white. I wonder why this is never taught in American schools.
Now I'm back in the warehouse, carefully placing Lincoln's shoes on the shelf. It's time for our group to leave. Alarm clock wakes me up. The dream stays with me, vivid and appealing, all day.
During my first few years in DC, I was obsessed with the Civil War. I read book after book, visited many Civil War landmarks, thought about it, dreamed about it. I've posted repeatedly about the rituals my colleagues and I enacted on the battlefields that surround Washington DC. I also made it my habit to stand in front of the Lincoln Monument while reciting the Gettysburg Address backwards. The tourists found that performance quite amusing. I believed I was unwinding something. Whatever. It was a crazy time, but I learned a lot about American history, so I guess it was all for the greater good.
It's gratifying to look back on this dream from the vantage point of this moment in history. I love the mirror effect. Our president-elect is half black and half white, a senator from Illinois coming into the presidency in the midst of one of the worst periods in American history. Obama quoted Lincoln in his acceptance speech on election night. Comparisons of the two are common in the American press.
I think it's cool. I had a "true" dream! Wow. It doesn't mean anything, not really, but it's fun to think about. Isn't it? At least it is for me.