I am running a library, which is open twenty-four hours a day. I am in charge and my only staff are a bunch of small and undisciplined children, who are no help at all - in fact they give me more work because I have to keep them out of trouble. Now this library, which is vast and inexplicably hilly, has been created by the kindness of members of the public who have donated books they'd finished with. Unfortunately, they've done this by simply placing old books on the shelves and there is no order to them whatsoever. I'm trying to work out the quickest and most sensible way of putting the books in some sort of order, at least by genre, without closing the library even for a half hour.This is typical. Sometimes it is far more dramatic; one night I was climbing down a ladder (found under a manhole cover outside a particular Catholic Church I know) which descended into the fires of Hell. I went down there to talk to Lucifer and see if I could convince him to lay off the human race for a bit. It wasn't that I was an important or powerful person who might have this capacity, it was just that if I didn't have a go nobody else would. And it was very scary.
Meanwhile, a serial killer begins to operate in the library. I have to work out who is doing it and bring them to justice, at the same time as looking after my staff of children, who I am now very worried for. Also, the local mayor is coming to visit, so I also have to collect forensic evidence and shift the bodies which keep turning up, out of the way in record time so that the mayor doesn't see. Amid this chaos, I wake up.
I frequently have phases of these types of dreams when my health isn't doing so well. I've probably written about them before. The two features they always always have are
- some massive central and pretty much impossible task I have to perform and
- one or more small vulnerable thing I have to look after at the same time - this can be almost anything from a fetus in a jar (!) to a collection of hamsters without cages or suitable boxes to put them in.
I've written before about the perils of having a strong internal locus of control when events are, in reality, somewhat outside one's control. However, I do wonder whether this is also wishful thinking on the part of my subconscious; perhaps deep down I wish the things I do - which always require significant effort because of what I'm up against - actually mattered. Which they don't. Whilst I know I have value in all sorts of ways, I am the least important person I know. And of course, right now, I'm doing very little of any significance whatsoever.
No, I'm not sure that's it; I am feeling rather stressed out and muddled by my Things To Do List, the number of unanswered e-mails, etc.. Rather as I might if I was trying to save the world, I really wish I could turn off time for a few days to get myself together.
In any case, I'm boring you with this stuff in the knowledge that the mere act of putting it down often exorcises the demon. I shall come out from up my own arse shortly.