My sister says that there is a building somewhere in Virginia which was designed to confuse the sense of direction, to force people to stop each other in the halls to ask, “Do you know the way to Conference Room C? Or even how to get to the third floor from here?”
The labyrinth of halls and underground passages and stairs and places that seem to go nowhere is designed to force the wandering souls to interact, to find their way together. I find the idea intriguing, and something in my waking self steps forward with excitement at the challenge, at the genius of creating a space which intentionally unmoors people in order to force them to depend on each other.
But on the other hand, this is the landscape of my most deeply frustrating dreams. I am always wandering down hallways, running up flights of stairs, only to find that I’ve arrived at the wrong end of the building, my appointment was set for an hour ago, I’m late for class, and I haven’t studied for the test. The year is nearly over and I forgot to go to class all year, and if I could just find my way through the halls to the office, I could set everything straight.
Perhaps those dreams lie at the heart of my own anxieties, social and otherwise. There’s a structure there that everyone else seems to get, to understand. I seem to be the only one in the dreams (and sometimes in life) who can’t find my way, who can’t figure out how it’s supposed to be laid out, who has forgotten where to go and even why I was there in the first place.
Next time I find myself lost in the labyrinth of an institution in my dreams, perhaps I’ll stop and ask someone for help, see if I can inject a new way of interacting with the space of the dream. Perhaps that will in turn inform something in my waking life, give me a new perspective on my own ability to wake up more fully to my own story.
1. Simple Musings, a new booklet written by a whole group of friends–reflections on the season of Lent
2. Snow Geese: a large flock (hundreds?) circling a corn field north of Columbia
3. This image: Just a few fields down from the geese sits a farm that is bisected by an old railroad siding. The siding is raised on a little bank to keep it level, and a fringe of trees grows along it and in front of a farmhouse. This afternoon an old long-horned bull was standing on the siding as we passed.
4. Storm downgrade
5. Benediction, blessing.
May we walk in Beauty!