Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Waiting for people to move

I had a dream where I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. It had the best reading material I’ve ever seen in such a place. While I was waiting I looked through an atlas of the world that it so happened I donated to the room.

I had to wait for all the patients to go in. Then I could rearrange the chairs. There was this empty spot over there that cried out to be filled with a chair. There were three rows packed together, making it hard for patients to climb into the more interior chairs, as on an airplane or at a theater. So I moved those so some were back to back, and some fit elsewhere in the room. There, every chair now has easy access.

I suppose I could have tried to do that before the people went inside. People might have even welcomed the diversion of standing up so I could move their chairs. It’s not as though I would have had to pick up people while they’re still sitting in the chairs. I might not have realized that there were other options to just waiting.

That’s a strange thing about dreams. Dreams are incredibly creative in terms of the look of things, the symbolism of things, the diversity of things, including many things that can’t exist in reality. Yet when it comes to imagining other possible courses of actions in the midst of a dream, it’s like that part of my mind is still asleep. I just do what I do in the dream. I don’t ponder my options until after I wake up.

I know what it’s like to have to wait for people, though. If that were just a matter of minutes, even hours, as at the doctor’s office, it would be easy. But I’m sure the rest of my life is not long enough to wait for some things. I think of all the things my needy clients need, such as health care, a job they can hold, and housing they can afford.

Of those, at least health care is as straightforward as rearranging chairs so none are blocked. Some group has to decide what care is necessary. Some way has to be established for everyone to pay for that care. There haven’t been the votes to do that on a comprehensive scale in the US. Some people here don’t want limits. Some people here don’t want to pay for others. Maybe the US can keep up that attitude toward the poor for centuries. We certainly have kept it up for decades while other countries have decided it’s not OK to leave people without health care. There isn’t a doctor that’s going to call us out of that waiting room of a position.

I don’t dream of frustration, of waiting for things that won’t happen for years, if even during my lifetime. My dreams last minutes. Something has to happen on that time scale to fit them. But it does interest me how quickly I connect a dream to something that’s real once I awake. Maybe that’s why I always remember my last dream of the night so well. It always connects to something.

I can describe the connection to waiting for people to move politically well enough. Now about people moving spiritually, which might be the only way they’ll be much movement politically, that’s harder to describe. What do people have to abandon to move toward the real God? That’s something more than a chair. Will people alive today ever do that? Not many of them will. And the next generation? Probably not many of them will either.

Can you imagine a waiting room where people stay so long that they keep making new generations of people? It makes it much harder to rearrange the chairs. Fortunately there are indeed more possibilities than were in my dream.

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