I was looking at a cliff of shelf-like rocks, each of which was named after a mountain, for example, Mount Sinai. I tried to understand what I was seeing because it made no sense. I knew but did not believe that all the mountains of at least the Middle East connected here somehow. It should have been enlightening and the answer to a lot of questions, but it was strange and disturbing.
I found myself in school, headed toward what looked like a botanical garden display of plants and trees in a natural setting, not at all orderly. The teacher was telling us to have lunch, then, with the rest of a smaller group, to talk or write about the calming beauty of this display. She pointed out a half dozen tiny trees behind us that some children had planted, and someone noted that one of them was a straggly dandelion towering over the rest.
There did not seem to be enough time for lunch and the assignment, despite the nature of it, and I did not know who my group was. I walked off with a girl I knew. When I turned around, I saw P. H., a quiet friend from grammar school. I beckoned to her, and she caught up. I introduced her as P. H., but suddenly I could remember the first girl’s first name only (and can’t remember even that now).
I don’t know why I introduce them; they knew each other. They seemed to be mutually jealous or suspicious, and suddenly I felt that I was missing something and had done something wrong. Between the lack of time and the tension, what should have been an easy, pleasurable assignment had become stressful.