Dreams and nightmares
The other night I had a dream in which I was trapped somewhere, kind of a jungle-type place.
There were other people trapped there with me, but nobody I knew.
Some of these other people had health problems. And in this place, there were lions roaming freely amongst us.
We walked, I for one, rather nervously, but the lions didn’t look the least bit nervous. They kept walking past us, ignoring us.
But it was obvious the lions were aware of our presence just as we were aware of them. The lions clearly knew they had nothing to fear. The people, almost zombie-like in their stunned, sick silence looked oblivious.
I struggled to avoid eye contact with either the lions or the other people. I knew that this was a precarious situation, one with which I was in no position to do much — I couldn’t see any way to save myself.
As the dream went on I kept thinking, “I gotta get out of here and go home” but I couldn’t ever see how.
Eventually, it dawned on me that we weren’t keeping the lions, like in a zoo or something, they were keeping us for their future use, like a well-stocked pantry just off the lions’ dining room.
Over wake-up coffee later, I figured out that the lions were death, in no big rush to kill and eat us. After all, none of us were going anywhere or escaping.
The Lions were not my friends, but neither was I theirs.
We were all just there, waiting and watching one another: The lions, me, and everyone else.
In my dream, in many of my recent dreams, threats of death are ubiquitous, almost like a killer virus lurking around every corner, or in every handshake avoided, or in every social gathering canceled, almost like a fascist take-over of our country that moves from little brown kids in cages on our southern border to all the rest of us designated as “enemies of the people being herded in boxcars for a trip to our own cages.
If dreams are where our minds go to help us/force us to deal with matters too difficult or horrifying for our conscious minds’ to handle, lions are the least of my worries I suppose.
But to be honest, dreams about death and lions don’t make the nights of sleep all that restful.