When I am on the ocean I dream a lot. On dry land, less so, but last night was an exception. Maybe the monotony of the landscape we have been traversing since we reached Holland has triggered the same dream response that the ocean does.
My dreams are usually not much more than a re-hash of the day’s sensory input, jumbled up into some surreal juxtapositions – but while there is less sensory input, either on the ocean or in flat, grey Dutch landscapes, it takes less time for my sleeping brain to sort and assimilate it, leaving more time and headspace for dreams of a more interesting nature.
Last night’s dream started out in amusing enough fashion. Loosely based on Pirates of the Caribbean (but unfortunately not featuring Johnny Depp – boo!) I was the captain of a ship, breaking some news to the crew. The bad news was that all our booty had been plundered by another crew of pirates. The good news was that our boat had been chartered to make the next film in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga so we were going to have enough money to keep going.
But then a particular phrase popped out, which has been reverberating around my head all day – particularly this morning as we trudged through exceptionally flat and featureless surroundings, heads down into the rain.
The phrase was: He Who Controls The Wind Controls All The Ships.
Now, this might mean nothing, but given my current near-obsession with Copenhagen, and the fact that the phrase did not evaporate with the morning light as most of my dreams do, I had to give it due consideration. It does seem particularly relevant to Copenhagen. My goal in going to the conference is a little nebulous. What do I have to offer that is not already being offered by 350.org, the Climate Project, the Climate Group, WWF, or the multitude of other NGOs and individuals descending on the Danish capital?
Yet despite the smallness of my individual voice in all this hubbub, I have a powerful feeling that I do have a message that, provided I get the opportunity to deliver it, might just be the one straw on the back of the one camel that could make a difference. My message may possibly strike a chord with someone, or some people, and end up changing the chemistry of the debate. This might sound big-headed, but you just never know – and for my own satisfaction I needed to know, when I look back on 2009 and this crucial moment in human history, that I did all I could to make a difference for the good.
This phrase from my dream seems to sum up what I hope to achieve. The wind is invisible, yet incredibly powerful (and don’t we know it after walking into or across it for the last few days!). If the wind represents the invisible energy of the Copenhagen conference, and the ships represent the countries which currently are heading every which way – with some on collision course – then if the wind of change can become strong enough to get all the ships moving in the same direction, there may be hope for a satisfactory outcome.
But my next question is, what IS the wind? What is this invisible force that could make all the difference? Is it the attitude of the US? Is it the governments of China and India? Is it the NGOs? Is it public opinion? Or is it something more spiritual – the intangible energy created wherever large numbers of humans congregate, especially when united by a common focus?
I don’t know the answer, but I’d welcome comments and opinions. Given the lead-up to the conference, it might seem impossible that we will see any decisive action. But who knows – if we can generate a sufficiently powerful wind of change, we may yet achieve the miracle we need in order to create a sustainable future for humanity.