The dreams started about a week ago and continue today. They are vivid, powerful, as real as any memory I have had. They linger into the afternoon unbothered by the summer heat. They differ from my usual dreams, which have to do with being lost, running from someone or something, flying, drowning, or being woefully unprepared. The woe comes from the fact that I often appear naked or in my underwear while everyone else remains fully clothed. I’ll leave the sexual nature of those dreams to your imagination with my apologies.
The dreams I have had lately differ in that they seem to communicate something rather than express an underlying emotion like fear or despair. That is, it feels as if they come to me rather than from me, which is unusual. Something similar happened prior to 9-11 when I would dream of an airplane crashing through my bedroom window. I wrote it off as nonsense, the result, perhaps, of having seen a popular poster at the time depicting the same. But then the dream became a collective reality.
I do not claim any prophetic, precognitive, or psychic ability. I’m just a guy who dreams, although Joel 2.28 comes to mind in which Yahweh promises the delivery of Judah from exile in Babylon. “Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Yahweh promises delivery not just from exile but from a plague and drought that have struck the people. It’s hard not to make comparisons to today.
Three dreams in particular have stayed with me. In the first, I am riding a blue bicycle in a canyon toward the top of a bluff, but the path narrows gradually until I am stuck. Eventually, I find myself in a room with a sinister presence that hovers nearby, ready to strike. In another, I drive in a city but neither the car’s clutch nor brakes work. I approach a traffic light and try to turn left but cannot. In the third, I try to reunite with my college sweetheart but am prevented from communicating with her by a sort of veil. Then I find myself in an auditorium giving a speech about children and their protection.
In all three, I am prevented from achieving a goal–reaching the top, turning left, reuniting with a loved one. Normally, I would treat this as a private revelation and leave it at that, but at issue here is the possible relevance of these dreams for others, particularly at a time when little in civil society can be called “civil.” Certainly, the revolution some demand and are working toward abhors civility. Could these dreams indicate a collective inability or failure, and, if so, what do they mean at that level?
In addition, I have felt a general sense of unease. Again, it’s not as if the unease comes from me. Rather, it seems to come to me from an external source. While I may not be the most perceptive of fellows (e.g., I can never find anything “on the shelf” in the refrigerator), I can report that nothing in my personal life has taken place to account for this, at least that I am aware of. And I am not given to bouts of anxiety or unease.
I remarked to a friend this week that nobody likes a braggart. Still, I predicted the election of Trump in 2016 and described a feeling of anticipatory dread back in December 2019 about the upcoming year. I’m not sure you can take that to the race track, but then you can’t even go to the race track because of sheltering in place, which didn’t exist back in December. That feels like a lifetime ago.
There is another interesting phenomenon that may lend my dreams credibility. I have found an entire genre of revelatory dreams on YouTube from people making claims about the country, its future, and an impending judgment. Of course, this isn’t unusual during periods of societal unrest, when predictions about the end of the world run–forgive the term–riot. They’re certainly running riot now. And these videos have popped up like mushrooms after a summer shower. That could mean nothing more than I should spend less time on YouTube.
So far, the dreams continue. I accept them for their personal significance and as part of something taking place collectively. Hopefully, like Joel, they won’t turn out to be nightmares.