Not about the classroom, not really, my dream. It’s about now, today, living in the U.S., in a world where we must be guarded against terror at all times. Classrooms are supposed to be safe, secure. We shouldn’t fear for our lives in a classroom. Same with being alive here, in this historically powerful and allegedly peaceful country. But not anymore. Now it’s a world of “Orange Alert,” of “War Against Terror,” of bifurcation: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” I guess that makes me with the terrorists. But I’m a pacifist. And I dream of a bodyguard in my classroom, a murdered bodyguard — and in the end my dream’s not about education at all, but about the state of the nation — a world in which we accept living in a place where the administration strips us of rights in the name of protection, where if we’re not fearful, we are automatically on the side of the enemy.
I don’t accept any of it. Not the fear of strangers or muggers or rapists. Certainly not the fear of terrorists. I walk my dogs alone in the Canyon. Several of my friends won’t walk there at all, let alone alone. I walk my dogs on the dark walkway behind my condo at night and early in the morning, when the path is lit by starlight only, or so shadowed by the sun’s absence that I have to feel my way in certain spots. I can’t see the gang graffiti at night, and if I could, I would ignore it.
I will not eulogize those who think they must protect us from threats, whatever those threats are. I rode my horse over big cross country fences for years, knowing that the wrong jump, a tilt in balance at the wrong time, could leave me like Christopher Reeves, or could kill me. I did it anyway. I don’t need protection from my own willingness to take risks. Nor do I need it from terrorists. And yet I conceded in my dream. Is that what’s happening to me, giving up, simply accepting the country’s plunge into f*scism?
Dang. It’s been a hard week, and I’m tired, and I have to drive three hours across a mountain pass. I’ll focus on something I can do something about, like driving carefully, and forget about my dream. That’s what we do, these days, isn’t it?