I had a couple of interesting dreams over the holidays. In the first, I was biking home (from work, I think) on Broadway through East Vancouver (which in reality would be out of my way). The sky to the north, over the mountains, was a gorgeous sunset gold, so I decided to take a picture. I turned north and biked a few more blocks looking for the perfect view. The street where I stopped was also the inside of a house (or large building) in the process of being renovated. There was a roof overhead but somehow the mountains were still visible.
One of the people there (worker? owner?) and I started talking. Apparently the place was going to be turned into low-income housing. The guy somehow knew what I did for a living, exactly how much I made and where I lived, and made me feel guilty about how relatively privileged I was. Also, I think I was trespassing. And I never got to take a picture of the northern sunset.
In the second dream, I was in a school—possibly a high school, possibly a university. There were bits of Ottawa U, at least. A friend of mine, a nice-looking FTM transsexual guy (blond, short, a bit chunky, with a wispy soul patch; nobody I knew in real life, but probably a composite of a bunch of people) was dealing with harassment and bullying, and had set up a meeting with the school administration. I went with him, mostly for moral support. The meeting took place in an empty classroom, with spectators and guests sitting in those little schoolkid desks. My friend’s issues were never actually discussed, because there were a lot of invited speakers from a bunch of big corporations including McDonald’s. While the McD spokeswoman did her spiel, my friend stood up and started an anticorporate protest chant. A few people joined in, but I didn’t. I just sat there, grinning silently, enjoying the show.
Okay, I get it already. I know what my subconscious is trying to tell me, and it’s nothing I haven’t known since the US elections last November: I need to get political again, to be better informed and more active. It’s a fact that I’ve grown pretty (well, hugely) apathetic in the last few years, what with my burnout, followed by a touch of introspection that today seems a little self-indulgent… followed by graduation, and work. I don’t think my politics have really changed—though I’m on the sidelines, I’m still grinning with the activists—but my angry activist self is gone, maybe forever. Which isn’t such a bad thing: I don’t need anger anyways, just compassion and a sense of fairness. And the will to use my privilege for the greater good. Which maybe sounds really trite, but I don’t care since right now The Incredibles is my most favourite movie of all time.
I don’t think I’ve got the time to volunteer anywhere, but I can make monetary contributions. The only question is, to whom? Well, there’s the UNICEF Indian Ocean Earthquake Appeal—a no-brainer, really (plus, all donations received before January 11 will be matched by the Canadian Government). The James Randi Educational Foundation: another great cause, and I’ve enjoyed Randi’s weekly commentaries for the last couple of years. Some donations to User Friendly and Fametracker, two excellent sites I’ve loved for a while. They’re not out saving lives or changing the world, but damn do they brighten my day. The Vancouver Independent Media Centre? Yeah, I think freedom of speech is worth some of my money. And… other groups. I’ve got time to think about it, the year’s still young. The point is to do something.