Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stone Statue of Ayn Rand

I'm at a cocktail party with the ladies that I had met at the BMW Performance school. Supposedly, celebrities are also coming to this party.  First Ann Coulter shows up and I'm not impressed.  Then Ayn Rand shows up.  I definitely want to meet her.  But there is a huge line and I am holding someone's baby.  The baby is a boy around 18 months old.  He is round and solid, but pretty happy to be held by me.  He is half Asian and is the son of a Japanese woman there.

I listen in on the people talking to Ayn Rand and I see Ann Coulter actually go up to her and say that she was a huge influence on her life.  Ann Coulter reading Ayn Rand?  You've got to be kidding me.  How could I have something in common with that piece of trash?  People come by and ask whether I'm in the "receiving line".  No, no, I tell them, I've got to hold this baby right now.  Finally, I notice that no one is in line anymore and the baby has fallen asleep in my arms.  I look at the baby's mother, motioning whether she wants to take him, and she simply motions to just put him down somewhere. I find a spot on the couch to put him.  The couch is a day bed with a quilt covering.  I see that he likes his legs tight against his chest, so I lay him down on his side so he can keep his legs curled up.  After I'm satisfied that he is in safely on the couch and won't roll off, I leave him.

I walk into the kitchen to find Ayn Rand.  She looks very stately and almost larger than life. In her hands, she has a tea cup filled with coffee, but there is a lid that is still on the tea cup.  A man in the kitchen tells her that she can't drink the coffee with the lid on.  She immediately takes the cup and throws it against the wall with a triumphant look on her face.  I think this behavior is kind of odd, but I let it go.

We start talking and I tell her that I closely related to Dominique in The Fountainhead.  I also mention that I am in graduate school.  She says that nothing changes your life as much as writing a thoughtful thesis for your doctorate.  I reply, nothing changes your life like having children.  I remember that I have a 9-year-old son and think, this isn't right, how could I be in graduate school and have a 9-year-old son?  I'm not really 21 and in graduate school, I am 43 years old!  (I hate when logic trips me up in my dreams.)

Ayn Rand walks away from the party and I watch from a window as she wanders into a park.  I'm looking down at her and she looks very small, like she is a toy that is about 6 inches tall.  I see her lie down in a small square clearing lined with wood railroad ties, that just fits her body.  She looks like a little stone statue.  Suddenly I realize that she is indeed a stone statue.  The statue rolls a little bit and there is a frail old woman underneath.  The real Ayn Rand was just tiny woman hiding inside the stone facade.  I realize that at the party, her stone statue was being controlled by strings like a marionette.  When she threw her tea cup, it was the puppeteer doing it and not her.  But why did she need to hide inside the stone statue?  She was frail but still beautiful.

Observations:  This dream was directly caused by reading this PostSecret last week:

From PostSecret.  Other responses:
It could've been worse, he could've read Dianetics or something.

-----Email Message-----
Reading Atlas Shrugged gave me the strength to pull myself out of an eating disorder; it saved my life.
The puppet analogy was in reference to updating this 6-year-old post on the puppeteer Igor Fokin last week.

I read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead shortly after Adam was born. My friend Claire had given it to me years ago, but I slowly plodded through the first few hundred pages over the course of several years. She gave up on me, calling me a non-reader.  Finally, when I was on maternity leave, I read the rest of 700 page novel while nursing Adam for hours on end.  And then I read the entire thing again from the beginning.  This was in an extremely small font, densely packed paperback.  I have often thought about how I could have strove for individual greatness with my many talents, but have always settled for safe mediocre corporate jobs.  I claim I don't have the creativity or the energy to create something great by myself, but in reality, I just don't have the guts.

It's also interesting that I mentioned relating to Dominique instead of Howard Roark.  For years I always assumed that I was supposed to aspire to Roark's potential and ideal.  Looking at it nine years later, I can see that my life choices more closely follow Dominique.

After this dream, I looked up Ann Coulter and Ayn Rand and did find references that "I've heard [Ann Coulter] revere people like Ayn Rand for her staunch right-wing idealism". Comments like this infuriate me because I believe that Ayn Rand is not a conservative.  Anti-socialist does not equal conservative.

Obviously this dream means that it is time for me to read Atlas Shrugged.  1200 pages here I come!

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