Mom & I up late one night chatting about everything!

One night, during a recent visit with my mother, who is suffering from age-related memory loss, I went to sleep feeling sad, small, angry and frightened over what is happening to her. This is the woman I have known all my life as a smart, cultured, loving and generous being. And now she has trouble remembering the names of her closest friends, how to calculate a tip, and what errand she left the apartment to run.

That night I dreamed that I was telling a friend that “Nothing matters.” There wasn’t much more to the dream than that.

I woke feeling oddly reassured, but also confused. Could the dream’s message be true? “Nothing matters,” sounded nihilistic and hopeless in the light of day.

I brought the dream snippet to Justina Lasley of the Institute for Dream Studies. “It’s just a little dream,” I explained, almost apologetically, before we began our dreamwork.

Justina led me in an exercise in which we engaged in a dialogue with the dream.  Justina asked questions and I responded in the voice of, and from the perspective of, “Nothing Matters.”

Here is an edited transcription of that conversation between the Dreamer and the voice of Nothing Matters:

DIALOGUE WITH Nothing Matters

Where do you reside?

High in the clouds.

What are you?

I’m a lighter view.

What is your purpose?

To hold everything.


To help it make sense.

To whom?


Why do you care?

I love them. They are burdened.


Because they are attached to all that happens.  They’re on a roller coaster with ups and downs.

How can you unburden them?

I remind them it doesn’t matter.

Why would people do anything if nothing matters?

They do things anyway. They have to do them more lightly, with less attachment.

Does it have to do with enjoyment rather than purpose?

The enjoyment should be higher.

How do people get to understand and not resist?

When things start coming apart—then they see it. When you see it from a high perspective, what looks like coming apart on the ground, looks like a pattern of flowing, unified movement.  It‘s neither good, nor bad. It just is.

What is your worst enemy?

People being blind. Not seeing me.

What causes them to be blind?

They are so individual and separate.  They cling and hang on.

What are they hanging onto?

Meaning. Their own self-importance.  The ego.

What does matter?

Connection, the big picture. What they can’t see.

How can they understand it?

They need to trust it and feel it.

How would you teach that?

By bringing them up here with me so they can see for themselves.  It’s a helpful view.  A loving view.  It would help them tolerate things. I’d tell them to think back and forward as far as they can.  Play with perspective.

But I’m losing my mother. I feel devastated, angry. It feels like the end of the world!

Nothing is lost. You are always loved.  You are part of everything and so is she.  Just breathe, relax, and trust.   I know it is hard to do that without a mother.

Where do I find my strength?

It’s inside.

I feel empty.

Close your eyes and let go. Little by little you will understand.

I need to come to your perspective.

I will find you in your dreams and bring you up here so you can see.


Mom and me.