I sat in something of a lawn chair on the roof of my house. I looked out across my suburban neighborhood and I saw an odd sight: the fences and walls that my neighbors had erected looked strangely like a maze from my perspective, and I felt above that maze or superior to that maze. I remember thinking, “Everyone wants to feel above this maze.”
Its kind of an odd dream, but perhaps its worth exploring.
It seems like the fences and walls were visual representations of the psychological barriers that we erect between us and those around us. These psychological edifices belong to a specific time in our lives: the time when we move to suburbia and start a family.
Perhaps ones of my greatest fears in life is moving to suburbia and doing just what I saw in my dream. Indeed, this is something that I already started doing last semester. When things became too busy, I isolated myself. This semester, then, has been an attempt to tear down the walls that have been build up.
I hope that this dream contains a predictive element, i.e., I hope that my subconscious’ placement of me above the maze on my roof is indicative of my future success in fighting against isolation and loneliness.
The boundaries are constructed around the home. (Here, perhaps, I can borrow a bit from the literature on place and space.) The process of making a home is defined by Wise as making a space comfortable. Ironically, homes are often made both into debtors prisons and solitary confinement chambers instead of places of comfort.
I’m tempted to try and connect these practices with some of the practices of the ancient world or try and find a way that Jesus has recommended we deal with our disconnectedness. Perhaps, however, this is a fruitless connection to try and make. The isolation that we experience as 21st century Americans is a problem that is distinctly ours.
I can only hope that I will be given the wisdom and strength to see and tear down the walls, so that I can sit above them as the one who mastered the maze of disconnectedness, and found the joy of community, which is a consequence of image-bearing.