“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?'”   ~ George Bernard Shaw

Last night I dreamt that I was in the Southern United States after the Civil War, during Reconstruction.

I was in what must once have been a beautiful and affluent city.  From my vantage point, which allowed me a nearly aerial view, I could see wide streets lined with large buildings, Georgian and Neo-classical in design.  Elegant and enormous and entitled…

However, the presiding mood of the city held none of this.  Instead it had been replaced with chaos and rivalry and fear.  The large avenues, once symbolic of an ordered existence, were muddy and torn and often un-navigable.   Many of the once graceful and imposing buildings were falling into disrepair, some reduced to rubble, and some burning, crumbling, turning to ash right before my eyes.

I knew of the enmity that reigned there.  Former military leaders, Majors and Generals, men used to power and authority…  struggled to command control of the city’s restructuring, desiring to maintain their status in the face of defeat and disenfranchisement.

And this new civil-contention kept the residents, the already physically, mentally, emotionally displaced men and women, fearful and confused.

I was not alone in my observation.

I had a companion who watched over the scene with me.  A man who was clearly part of the story, yet who possessed neither the fear nor the compulsion present in the other characters.

He, I discovered, was a Mineral Engineer.

He knew of the resources that lay beneath the stone and wood and failing dreams…  He knew how to unearth them, name them and verify their worth.

He was the principal upon whom the various other factions were depending in order to guide their new conceptions, their new decisions, their new realizations of a new life.

He was calm and confident and clear.  And he was my friend.


I awoke feeling strangely satisfied and secure.

Sensations of smoldering edifices and crying children still evident and alarming…  But it was the certainty of my companion that left me feeling strong and certain as well.

According to Jungian analysis, dreams of fire represent psychological transformation and may indicate either destruction or purification.

Houses are meant to symbolize the emotional self… and I don’t know that the razing, crumbling, looting of my emotional self sounds like a comfortable undertaking.

But I do know that my cohort was unafraid.  He had knowledge of what lay beneath that I did not have and could not see.

He saw treasure and possibility there.  And he was excited for what would come.

So, that is my focus today.

To look below the seeming chaos and disaster of my current situation.  The dying of my love.  The collapse of my friendship.  The trepidation of the unknown.

To know that there are plentiful and untapped resources there, within me.  And that out of the destruction will rise something new and intentional and flourishing.