The last two nights I’ve had nightmares. Really scary nightmares. I’m not sure why
The night before last I dreamed of a dangerous and very large snake that had escaped confinement. I don’t ordinarily fear snakes (although greatly respecting them) but this snake was super aggressive and homicidal.
Last night’s dreamed was more nuanced but also far more troubling:
I was visiting a friend at his house where we discovered that one of his relatives had murdered and dismembered people, refugees, who were staying in their yard for some reason. In my dream, I didn’t actually see these crimes but only evidence of them (blood). I didn’t flee immediately because the crimes were emotionally remote since they were not visible, but instead waited for my friend in his living room.
In the living room where I waited people, refugees, were sleeping on the floor, including children. I wondered why they were there and whether they were safe. As I sat in the room, I too became very sleepy. I was drowsily watching the news reporter on the television cover the very murders my friend’s relative had performed. I tried to stay awake, but I could barely hear the newscaster because I was being drowned by sleep.
My friend’s relative was absent from the dream. He had wrought death and destruction before disappearing. He might return, but in my dream I initially felt immune from his madness. I wasn’t so sure about the others on the floor, but felt helpless given their sound slumber. Then I too succumbed to the fatigue, unable to resist. In my dream I felt immune but then discovered that I was not when the sleep dragged me down.
I wrenched myself awake and could not return to sleep.
I tried to make sense of the dream by relating it to my waking experiences and emotions.
I feel like I’m living in a madhouse: Accelerating ecological collapse engineered by human greed is the house’s foundation but rising war atrocities in the Middle East also disturb me greatly. Signs of economic collapse portend more conflict and refugees.
Perhaps the foundation of death and despair is the accelerating mass mortality events of North American sea lions and murres, among many other animals. These reports weigh on my heart but I don’t see them and they are distanced from my day-to-day life.
Most recently, I have been sickened by the starvation of Syrians covered over the last few days in the western press because of great powers’ meddling in the Middle East. I’ve met people from Syria and their standard of living used to be good until the US embarked upon its regime change plans and exacerbated and/or caused chaos throughout the region. Were the starving Syrians the murdered refugees in my dream, who were killed by my friend’s relative?
Who were the sleeping refugees? In the dream I thought they were different from me (because they were refugees and I was not), but then I discovered that I too could succumb and become equally vulnerable.
What was the significance of the newscaster? The news told me of the crimes and I could see the evidence of blood (although no bodies). I could sense danger, but I couldn’t stay awake to flee when I discovered my vulnerability.
I couldn’t flee until it was too late despite knowledge of the crimes. I thought I was special because of my status (citizen/professor) but then I realized was not. I was equally vulnerable.