A Dream by Philippe La Sagna


I am at home, in my house. I am surprised to encounter men who come and go as if they were in their own home. One of them seems familiar to me. I am stricken with a kind of paralysis that, in dreams, indicates that action is in fact impossible. To act would be to question these people who are walking around my home and to ask them what they are doing there. Their indifference to my presence resonates with my inhibition, as if we were not in the same reality. Waking up thus arises in the place of an act that could have happened: when I might have said something, or protested. I go back to sleep, reassuring myself that nothing had changed and thinking I had grasped the explanation for my dream. Indeed, in recent months I’ve been having work done on the house and, in order to avoid being disturbed, some of the tradesmen have the key to a service entrance. So sometimes I find myself bumping into workers. The one I identify in the dream is one of the team leaders. In my associations when I wake up, he reminds me of a series of men in my family, all more or less long gone, who were also builders. So it is a way of being reassured, rather than think that these characters are ignoring me because I am alive. But they also make me think of the distress of the migrants we often see on our screens trying to come in. This is also, to some extent, a family trait, since many people in my family were displaced and came from elsewhere. This raises the question of the place we offer to others – a question that is fueling political debates today. I have to go to Switzerland soon, and this reminds me of the impassability of this frontier during the Nazi era for some of my mother’s friends who wanted to take refuge there. But, basically, I also think of the entrance of the clowns evoked by Lacan in relation to Freud’s dream of Irma. These clowns in turn lead me to Trump, a master of deception [trompeur] that America has let in; an “antisystem” Trump, who promotes those of the worst system, which lets them all enter, and wants to expel the others, the migrants. This slender dream thus opens a moral debate on how to welcome, or not welcome, the other – the strange and the stranger, with all its worrying strangeness. With one difference: that the other is also, in some ways, something of ourselves. Asking me if I wanted to communicate a dream, my friend, B. Seynhaeve, is also probably one of those others who breaks into my house and asks me, without saying it, to reveal something intimate. By opening the door to others, one consents to be examined and altered. One of the questions today is whether our identity is something to be found in the past, and if so, is this social identity to be preserved at all costs? Or do we, rather, exist in the present? Psychoanalysis leads us rather to take things into the future: to trust in what we want to be, and also to see what we defend in that very thing we do not want to see happen, which is sometimes closest to the desire that we repress. Nonetheless, the distress of some is obviously not that of others….

Translated by Janet Haney