Dream of: 07 November 1997 "Awareness"

Carolina and I were walking across a parking lot, toward a building which we intended to enter, where I was supposed to be taking a class about something. At the moment my mind was preoccupied with two words, the meanings of which I was trying to understand. One word was "awareness." As the word repeated itself over and over in my mind, I thought the best place to begin would be with a dictionary. Typically a dictionary would list several meanings for a word; by comparing and sorting through the different meanings, I was usually able to develop a better understanding of a word.

I had been so intrigued by the word, earlier I had even called Louise to ask her to help me with the meaning. I hadn't actually talked with Louise, but I had left a message for her, asking her to help me find the meaning of "awareness" and the other word. My memory of the call to Louise was now returning to me, because I actually saw Louise walking across the parking lot. She was walking with another woman, and was wearing a snappy light-colored dress. She looked young and healthy, thin and trim. She walked so close to me, I could hear her talking to the other woman. I heard her mention "dictionary" and "the a's." Obviously she was talking to the woman about looking at the "a" section of the dictionary. I concluded she must have received my message, and she was talking about looking up the word "awareness." I would have liked to have talked with her about the words immediately. But she didn't even look my way, although I was sure she was aware of my presence. I didn't say anything to her, thinking I would probably talk to her later.

***

I had reached the building, entered the classroom and sat down in a room full of people. A professor was standing in front of the room, a black-haired man (not more than 40 years old). He had pulled out a news magazine, had opened it to a page with a large picture on it, and had begun talking about corporate mergers. I was immediately interested because I had recently been doing some research on two corporations which had planned to merge. I knew substantial money could be earned by anyone who understood the intricacies of mergers.

The professor explained that the corporate merger to which he was referring had failed. However, one party to the merger had still made 97 million dollars. The professor asked if anyone in the class found it interesting that a merger could fail, and that someone could still make that much money. I certainly found it interesting. I was all ears. I wanted to know as much as I could about this kind of situation.

The professor directed the class's attention to the large picture - a photograph - in the magazine news article. He pointed out that if we would look closely at the photograph (of a crowd of people apparently standing in a park), we would see something quite strange. Straining over the photo, I finally saw the curiosity: some of the same people appeared twice in the photo. The two images of the people were the same - same pose, same clothes, same lighting. And there was no line within the photo to suggest that a second picture had been taken and laid next to the first picture. Scanning the photo from left to right, I could see no break in the crowd of faces. All the faces mingled together as in any normal photograph of a crowd. Only in this photo, some of the same faces appeared on both the left and the right side of the photo.

The professor pointed to another photo of a group of trees. Apparently the same photo-technique had been used with the trees, so the image of some trees appeared twice. But it was much more difficult to discern the same trees, since all the trees seemed to look alike anyway. It was a bit of a strain to try to find the similar images. Besides, I failed to see the point which the professor was trying to make. What did these photos have to do with corporate mergers anyway?

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