I dreamt I was moving somewhere and dishes were a problem. Dear Freud, Dear Jung, they kept breaking in my hands. There was tremendous urgency. Something sinister was happening. It was one of those offstage dreams. And I reached for the dishes and they fell from my fingers and shattered repeatedly. And someone who I couldn’t identify but who seemed to know me said: “leave the plates. You won’t need them where we’re going.” This is around the time I woke up.
Dish comes from the Latin “discus” which transformed in Medieval Latin to “desk” so maybe I was supposed to abandon my desk. I won’t need a desk where I’m going. I wonder if there are desks in the afterlife. Could there be a room of one’s own in heaven or hell? Would hell be ok if you had a study with a lock on the door? I wish I could ask Philip Roth. Meantime I’m reminded of the old “desk in the afterlife joke”:
“A writer died and St. Peter offered him the option of going to hell or to heaven. To help decide, he asked for a tour of each destination. St. Peter agreed and decided to take him to hell first. As he descended into the fiery pits, the writer saw row upon row of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes by demons. “Oh, my,” the writer said, “let me see heaven.”
A few moments later, as they ascended into heaven, the writer saw row upon row of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes by demons.
“Hey,” the writer said, “this is just as bad as hell.”
“Oh, no it’s not,” St Peter replied, “here your work gets published!””
Meanwhile I’m in mind of the old piece from The Onion about the pros and cons of “stand up” desks:
“Standing desks are becoming more popular in workplaces where employees would otherwise sit all day, but not everyone thinks a standing desk is right for them. The Onion looks at the pros and cons of using a standing desk.
Improves ability to talk about having a standing desk
Encourages more natural spinal curvature while staring at screen for eight continuous hours
Increases blood flow to your feet, where your best thinking is done
One step closer toward the ultimate dream of flying desks
Easy way to create illusion you actually give a sh*t about work
Could wind up forgetting how to sit entirely
Might be happier not knowing how difficult it has become for you to stand up for longer than 30 minutes
More visible target for office shooter
Eliminates satisfaction of leaning back in your chair with your hands behind your head after sending a killer email
You’ll still eventually die.”
The dream was filled with broken dishes and a prevailing sense that a nameless but terrible enemy was coming.
I’m praying for refugees everywhere.
As Jung would remind us, our dreams ain’t always about ourselves.