I had a dream recently.
Let me preface by saying that I have no opinion on dreams. If a certain person appears in my head at night, I do not think it a sign. Similarly, if I wake up with a particularly memorable one, I may sit on it for a moment. Just to think it through.
Dreams interest me, I guess.
A few nights ago, I was in a rowboat. There were no rows. The sea was before me in all respective directions, and I could see no land. The boat was an island, and the way it swayed, softly buoyant to the water, gave me a strange comfort.
I was neither scared nor excited to be in the boat. I felt as though I should feel something, being stranded alone as I was. But I felt nothing. For some obscure reason I remember that the rowboat’s white trim was tattered, and that its wear made me suspicious of the ocean, as though it had been through a storm – and more direly, that another storm might be on its way.
A storm never came. Instead, I began to live on the boat. I found an easel pad and a pen under its wooden bench that I much enjoyed. I wrote a bit about the ocean and the waves. Aimless things.
The sun never set while I lived on the rowboat, which interested me. I wrote and was happy. And it seemed when I did not give attention to the underside of the wooden bench, new objects would appear.
A bottle of wine came, and when I drank a glass, the bottle refilled. Books appeared, and each one I read was better than the last. Then, food – steaks and shrimp and green bean stalks, all seasoned and warmed over a skewer. And after the food came money. Loads of it, all bundled together by colored bands.
By whatever logic my dream allowed, I made additions to the rowboat with the money. In no time, it grew to a yacht, floating as still and simply as the rowboat once had. When I took time to observe all I had created, I had never felt such happiness.
The objects, though, while at the peak of my happiness, stopped appearing. I still had my yacht, my steak, my wine, my books, and my easel pad, but I grew angry. I began to hate the boat and the unsetting sun. I wanted more objects and did not know how to get them. My anger eventually simmered, and I laid quietly in order to think on the wooden bench, the cornerstone of the yacht.
My next thought was quick and stirring. I was greedy because I had no other person with me. No friends, no family. I craved material possessions because there was a void in me that was not filled by people.
I shot up from the wooden bench as though I had discovered something powerful.
Nothing, though, was changed. The yacht still floated silently. The ocean was still lonely. In the next moment, however, the sun slowly fell in the sky like it never had. Pallets of color melted above me, and I smiled. The ocean became dark, and for the first time, I slept on the wooden bench in peace.
That was a single day into Lent, and although I have no opinion of dreams, something tells me that the importance of fasting was itching to escape deep inside my head.
Happy Lent – and may having people always be greater than having things.