Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What is my Niche?

You might notice that your dreams tend to illustrate a point by going over the top. In this dream I get a message from my inner drama queen.

The Dream: I have been ill, and it is determined that it is time for me to die. I am in India, wearing a flowing costume, but the street looks like the one I live on. My “father,” who looks and acts nothing like my real life father, accompanies me on the journey to my burial. This father is very tall, relatively slender, with a fair complexion and close cropped hair. We are escorted by a large rabble of young children who are merrily running, frolicking, and occasionally falling down, scraping a knee, and crying. I note to myself that they are behaving exactly like children. This odd procession walks through streets now citified and comes at last to my gravesite.

The site contains an open tomb, a simple rectangular box with no lid. Inside the box are the do-whap songs of two early rock groups. The songs have been shredded and are being stirred, with the expectation that they will turn into a peanut-butter like goop. Father, holding a copy of one of Nietzsche’s works, becomes intellectual and starts to lecture about the writer. He tells me his name is properly pronounced Niche these days. I am exasperated. “Must they change everything?” I say.

I tear the binding off the back of the book so it can be shredded and added to the coffin with the songs. Father opens the partially destroyed book and shows me a list of questions Nietzsche thought people should ask themselves. I read the questions, which invite introspection, and realize I’ve never asked myself these things. “I want to live,” I exclaim, with a certain desperation. “I want to live!”

I had this dream seven years ago. At that time I was recording my dreams, but had little idea what to make of them. In a rather histrionic way, the dream tells me to find my niche (Nietzsche). It tells me that life without introspection is not life at all.

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