The morning after Halloween I awoke from a night of dreams that bordered on the stark disquiet that is nightmare. I felt as though my spirit journeyed along the thinning veil between the worlds that separates the here and now from possible futures and pasts lived by all who came before us.
I started on this journey in a an apparently symbolic borrowed home of my two grand-twins, girls aged almost 4, but who slipped between baby, toddler and child status in the first part of the dream that was at a vacation home of their parents. My husband was knocked down by cattle who had pushed into a ramshackle, un-renovated part of the home. We spent a very long time attempting to get the cattle out of our house and taken away.
Animal rights activists were trying to get us to not turn them back to their owners. Livestock was everywhere, climbing stairs, and asking for attention and kindness as though they were companion animals. They were mindlessly, unknowingly trampling people and possessions in their attempts to masquerade as pets.
We, who had blossomed into a small community, had to protect our kids and grandkids. But we watched in horror as the room we were in changed to a train car traveling along an elevated rail over cattle cars destined for the slaughterhouse being loaded with the cattle we had evicted. I spoke to someone in the car saying that the area south of Amarillo was nothing but fields of death, slaughterhouses.
The next several scenes all took place in the freight car. More and more people including activists who had symbolic street theater gags in their mouths along with anonymous others crowded the car until there was a press of people standing. The car doors would open but there was no way out. At the doors was a press of more people being shoved into the cars. Guards took boxes and planks and squeezed us back until we were stacked on each other, knowing the people below were smothering. At one stop the people who were to enter the car were concentration camp internees, it was at this point that all individuality was lost and no one knew anyone else. Even the relationships that I cherished at the house, before the train, were dissolved into nothingness with neither memory, recognition, or concern.
At times guards entered and walked over the tops of us with packs of dogs trained to sniff out the remnants of the street theater protest props such as pink fabric gags or specific individuals for whom they were still searching.
I woke before any destination was reached, although one of the last stops I remember was the train station of a city known for producing beautiful hand blown glassware. and boxes of this beautiful product filled every in of the platform.
I had thought that my dreams from where Halloween Night bumped into All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos might bring visits with departed family and friends, but instead I found metaphor and allegory.
Obviously, at least I think it is obvious, I am concerned about the future of the world and the un-sustainability of our consumption practices. I hear the activists and scientists telling us what will come to be, but I am on that train car along with everyone else and out future could be as bad as the Holocaust was to those in concentration camps. But the ray of hope I see in the dream is that we haven’t arrived, and that wonders like the City of Dresden, represented by the glassware, still exist.
There is still time. But we have to get off the tracks we are on and begin sustainable living right now.
After writing this post to record my dream I found out that yesterday, the day I awoke from the dream, was International Vegan Day. The coincidence, synchronicity, message from the ancestors, call it what you will, was quite powerful and I am now convinced that it signaled a need for turning away from meat-eating in order to keep us from sending ourselves into the mass extinction occurring on earth at this moment.