It’s a recurring dream I’ve been having a lot lately. In my waking life, I commuted to downtown Boston for ten years, but after eight years of working in the suburbs, a return trip is fraught with peril. The side entrance to South Station has been reconfigured, tracks have been moved, and I can’t find the giant board listing all of the departing train schedules. Not only do I miss my train, but it turns out I’m not in South Station at all.
A variation of this dream has me arriving at a familiar building on foot, only to discover that everything looks completely foreign to me when I leave the building, once again in a rush to catch a train home. When I take a chance and strike off in a particular direction, it’s the wrong one.
Fear of getting lost is akin to fear of losing control. Ironically, the sense of being in control is truly illusory given how little we are able to influence our own lives. I have to wonder if the satisfaction of knowing one’s surroundings is also an illusion.