While my daily life has taken a quiet turn, my dream life has intensified of late. I dream of my brothers with an overlay of long gone relatives, aunts and uncles, and a shimmer of my grandmother standing on the sidelines watching. My dreams are colorful, intense, and vivid enough to follow me through the day.
Last night I dreamed of a boy. His name was Suluman.
Suluman was a dark-haired, dark-skinned, dark-eyed little boy of about ten, small in body but with a vibrant radiance. Suluman was shy yet mischievous and seemed to be constantly in trouble at school. His teacher often kept Suluman after class where she felt it was her right and her duty to slap and hit him, to malign his behavior, his family, and his intelligence, all in an effort to make him better. Suluman suffered this treatment in silence.
The teacher, who prided herself on her civic responsibility, was involved with a group of women who worked to rescue orphaned or compromised children. They had heard of a child who was in dire straits, a boy who was beaten and mistreated, starved and maligned, a child hunted and terrorized. The teacher would attack poor Suluman and then run breathless from the school to aid in the search for the boy.
Suluman showed up at my house to play with my children. His face was swollen and bruised and although his demeanor was that of a happy little boy, I could see the pain in his eyes. “She hits me for no reason,” he said. “I don’t do anything wrong, I promise!”
I confronted his teacher (in that no time lapse way of dreams) and she admitted that she often had to correct the boy, punish him for this misdeed or that. “He’s lucky,” she said. “He thinks he has problems but you should hear about this other boy I’m trying to save. He’s beaten, starved, hunted and terrorized. We must save him!”
“Who is this child you’re searching for?” I asked.
“We don’t know where he is or how to find him, but his name is Suluman.”
I put my hand on Suluman’s thin shoulder. “This is Suluman,” I said.
I woke up with Suluman’s little face in my mind, thinking about the teacher, the boy, and the search for someone to save. I’m not sure how to interpret my dream but it seems important to understand how we can look for salvation far beyond ourselves while ignoring what’s right under our noses.
“Don’t ignore your dreams, in them your soul is awake and you are your true self.”
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls of Eternity)