During a particularly difficult juncture in my life (I was trying to decide whether or not to continue working for a company that was sucking the spirit out of my life or the life out of my spirit) I had a vivid dream in which I was wandering through a city abandoned during some apocalyptic event.
The streets were deserted except for (cue the Western music) tumbleweed and mounds of sand. I came to a road over which hung the steel intestines of a highway overpass blasted apart during an invasion or military retaliation. The road was lined on both sides with stores and Big Bold Signs that my subconscious clearly took from some of other depression-era photograph. Baker, Butcher, Fish Shop, Tailor…There was dust, possibly ash, everywhere. Dust and ash in my hair. Dirt under my fingernails. Dust and ash in my mouth. The sun began it’s slow descent and for a moment my dreamscape was a glorious palette of hot pink and burnt orange but whatever pleasure I gathered from that sunset was quickly replaced by this deep sense of dread as night encroached. You know how night falls in slow, malevolent inches in horror movies…well, that’s how it happened in my dream. Darkness chased me down that street until out of desperation I tried one of those shop doors and disappeared inside.
It’s the scene that greeted me on entering this store that makes this dream so memorable. Inside, there were people. And there was light. The kind of soft, liquid light that spills out of warm rooms on winter nights. Or in this case, the soft, golden light that fills a room with survivors after an apocalypse. My heart soared at the sight of so many people gathered in this small space. They seemed to be attending a meeting or from the sight of the young gentleman beside a large blackboard, some sort of class. I was offered a chair and I took a seat and watched as the man beside the blackboard wrote the following words in Big Bold White chalk letters:
ASK ASK ASK
Now I know there are religious/spiritual undertows to this dream and certainly on waking I turned to the New Testament for confirmation but the thing that struck me the most – perhaps oddly enough – was the need for questions.
This dream compelled me not only to ASK for what I wanted but to begin with the question: WHAT DO I WANT?
So today I’m wondering not only if you are brave enough to ask for what you want but if you’re brave enough to ask the questions that need answering.