I never used to have dreams about plays, but in the last seven years, since I first read about existentialism, I’ve had them over and over. One of the existentialists (want to say Sartre, but I’m not sure) called life a play for which we know not the lines but in which we stand center stage. Since I learned that, I’ve had dreams about being in plays for which I don’t know the lines quite frequently.
Last night, in the play, my stage directions (I did know them) said that I was to emerge in the last scene with “signs that represent my plight.” I had no idea what they meant, so I began gathering props from backstage. If I remember correctly, I grabbed a couple books (no big surprise), a newspaper with a headline about somebody winning (I suppose that means that my dream-making faculty feels pretty good about my life right now), and a pink flamingo (no idea on that one). As I was about to step onto the stage, the alarm went off.
I finished Barth’s Dogmatics in Outline, and although I didn’t agree with every one of his points, it’s undeniably one of the most powerful works of theology I’ve ever read. I’m already imagining things in Barthian categories, something that no theologian since Milbank has done to me. Now I’m trying to catch up on my Marva Dawn for Monday and to read a Robert MacAffee Brown book which, although it’s very good, just can’t measure up to Barth.
Another day of classroom moving and syllabus writing lies before me… bummer. Oh, well–it could be worse. I could still be cleaning toilets in Johnson City.