The night I had a black face
In a September 4, 2010 dream, I am in a large Craftsman-style bungalow in Los Angeles. It is morning. Michael Jackson is there. He needs to shave. He walks to a veranda at the rear of the house and sits at a table. A white male caretaker or butler brings him a shaving kit. He still needs a mirror. The caretaker gets one.
As Jackson begins to shave, I am looking into the mirror and holding the razor, even though I see Jackson’s face. I shave carefully and thoroughly. The face is dark; this is probably the Thriller-era Jackson. When I/Jackson are finished, the white caretaker asks an older black man on the veranda, “What do you think?” The older man, who may be Jackson’s father, isn’t entirely pleased. I am now standing next to Jackson. I comment that the shave is fine but the hair is too large and puffy.
Does the mirror image suggest I want to be like Jackson? It would be nice to be thin and rich but I have no interest in sharing my bed with young boys. The dream could mean Jackson had wanted to be more like me. Seeing that Michael Jackson is the “Man in the Mirror,” I checked out the lyrics to his song, which suggest:
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
The message is similar to that in the Beatles song “Revolution”:
You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
Of course, my idea of changing the world is to burn down the forest so that new seedlings can emerge. If I am the agent or prophet of destruction, I still have to destroy something I see in the mirror. If we could do our fighting and struggling within our own psyche, we wouldn’t take the battle to the “outside” where it hurts other people, but that self-discipline is beyond the capacity of most people.
According to a dream dictionary, “To dream that you are shaving suggests that you are making a minor life-changing decision.” Perhaps I am only a small step away from attaining my full identity and potential. But I still have to work on the hair. If I think the hair is too long or too full, it may mean I need to eliminate unwanted thoughts or habits.
Image Michael Jackson in 1988, Zoran Veselinovic, Creative Commons