I woke up way too early this morning—like 4 a.m.—and although I finally managed to get back to sleep for a while, I dreamed. Here is what I dreamed, along with my expert analysis of what it meant.

  • I dreamed that my bird somehow managed to dismantle her cage from the inside. Well, that’s obvious! Aren’t we all sick of being caged up and ready to bust out?
  • I dreamed that there was a big hole in the floorboards of my house. Representing the opening up of society? Let’s go with that.
  • My cat Mr. Bean was here! But given that he died nearly five years ago, this was obviously a zombie cat and so I’m letting him represent the coronavirus. (Sorry, Mr. Bean.)
  • The bird went through the hole in the floor, where she was caught by the cat. Oh, no! The virus is still out there!
  • I managed to drag cat and bird out of the hole. (Another lockdown??) The bird was okay, though looking sad, bedraggled, and frightened.

And the moral of this story is: Stay in your cage! There are zombies on the loose!

If you have a better explanation of this dream, let me know. Otherwise, I’m sticking with this one!

No Heroes



We yearn for heroes, for larger-than-life, superhuman beings who are always good, almighty, victorious. Heroes are reliable; we can count on them, trust them to save the maiden and the victim of misfortune, to slay whatever dragons threaten. The old sagas of gods and titans titillate our expectations, which are further fed by comic book narratives and blockbuster movies. Our modern media toss the word “hero” around like confetti, celebrating all kinds of activities, christening the most unlikely of characters.

There are no heroes. Human beings are capable of heroic acts, but they cannot help but remain human beings. Our favorite comic book characters – Superman, Batman – have their human alter-egos who remain vulnerable to the emotional upheavals of love, sorrow, anger. Yet it is only when they don their hero’s garb that we recognize them as heroic.

I long for the day when we can celebrate humanity rather than heroism, when we can honor the deeds of simple kindness and reason, when altruism doesn’t have to be spectacular to merit our admiration. Human beings are remarkable creatures. For me, they are enough.