temerity

yes that’s exactly
it — you’d think they would all stay
grounded by the storm —
but here is one brave creature
daring its wings into flight

In my dream I saw an aeroplane taking off into the heart of a fearsome hurricane. When I graduated in 1978, I had a series of dreams in which the Thames had flooded London. I now believe probably my unconscious was trying to alert me to a literal danger. Graduation is a momentous point in a young life. The adult society I was entering had the problem of climate change and sea level rise built into it, even in 1978 — even though nobody knew, back then. Maybe the storm in last night’s dream is also a vision of the future. I have a book on my shelves waiting to be read, called ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ by James Hansen, the climate scientist who headed NASA’s Goddard Institute for a couple of decades. The bravery of the aeroplane (like Thomas the Tank Engine!) strikes me as symbolic too at a deeper level. The odds are all stacked against me in my emotional interactions with other people, I sometimes feel. The law of my own emotional being (e.g. the need to fly) works exactly contrary to the conditions in which I find myself.

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