And she was writing a book I would love to read
I rarely dream about celebrities. It is a rare occurrence, and in order for it to take place, I would have had to watch a movie or read a book about that person right before going to sleep. And I certainly have never dreamed about the incomparable Oprah Winfrey before; the woman whose net worth is 2.5 billion dollars.
The dream I had early Sunday morning on September 11, 2022, struck me as peculiar, yet intriguing. I was in a dark room and the only area with an inkling of light was the small space where Oprah sat.
She wore her famous square-rimmed, flashy glasses, her hair was pulled up into a neat bun, and she donned a white blouse and brown slacks. She was shouting, “I am writing my book in Chicago about the children I never had, and I will need my fucking space!”
It echoed throughout the room. I simply stood there in awe. I could not move. Both my body and mind knew exactly what was taking place. I was in the company of one of the most influential Black women who was shouting repeatedly at the top of her lungs about a book she would need space to write, and I could not move.
There aren’t usually smells in my dreams, but in this one, I could smell a sweet and earthy scent. It was welcoming — a scent that provided safety and peace. Could it have been a signature perfume of her choice wafting from Oprah’s body? I don’t know.
I just knew that there I was, watching one of the most beloved women in the world declare frantically of the book she was writing. And it was both painful and motivating to witness.
Oprah does not have children and neither do I
Why did I have this dream? What does it mean? I do not fancy myself as someone who analyzes dreams. I simply try to understand them in my own way. Of late, I have had my share of weird ones, though, and this one is no different.
Oprah Winfrey does not have children. She has been open about this in many of her interviews and speaks about it candidly without regret. Her career path did not have room for the time, support, nurturing, and care she would have needed to allow for children, so she passed on that opportunity.
She endured giving birth at 14 years old to a baby boy who was the product of familial rape from an older cousin. The baby died after just two weeks.
I think about what she must have lived through — how she had to cement herself — become hard enough to keep moving, and I tear up.
I realized, ‘Whoa, I’m talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is.’ I don’t have the ability to compartmentalize the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don’t know how you do that all day long, Nobody gives women the credit they deserve. — Oprah Winfrey
I do not have children. Not for the same reasons as Oprah, but my reasons are also valid enough for me. I have always had an incredible fear of not being able to love my children how I would need to or losing myself enough to forget my past and not burden my children with my baggage.
I also found out in my early 30s that it would be difficult for me to have children naturally, so I did not take that risk. Not to mention, I have yet to have a partner worthy enough in my eyes to share such a responsibility as parenting.
“I am writing my book in Chicago about the children I never had, and I will need my fucking space!”
I have watched many women give their all to their children — love them unconditionally — lift them up where they have faltered; teach them right from wrong, and these same children grow up to leave their mothers crying senselessly about the choices they are making or have made.
How much of it is nurture? How much of it is nature? One can never know who or what their children will become until it has happened. That is a weight too heavy for me to carry.
And there was music and tears and nervousness too
I am no stranger to music in my dreams. Music seems to be the way I love — the way I lean into life when everything else becomes too tough to tackle. I speak using music and the world around me silences itself to hear me.
The song that played in my dream was Maze featuring Frankie Beverly’s “We Are One.” It repeated the following lyrics:
Sometimes I feel
That we try and make each other sad
(I don’t know why)
The things we do
How we make each other feel so bad
We’ve got so much
We could all be having so much fun
This song sends me to a space and time that is both nostalgic and a sad reminder of my past. My mother’s family always had these wild cookouts and family gatherings. I say wild because there would inevitably be an argument, an altercation, and someone or more than one person would head home in tears or angered by the day’s events.
Her family frightened me. So much anger. So much intensity. And oddly enough, amongst the pain, so much love, too.
Funny how the mind works, huh? To have this song on repeat in a dream reflected around the non-existence of children, Oprah Winfrey, and me as the voyeur — there’s more here, I know it.
I try to dig a little deeper. A fellow writer left a comment for me after we’d been conversing regarding my most recent article in An Injustice Mag, stating, “Exactly my point, leave their table for yours. In fact, write a book about the hypocrisy you face to become a writer. Be the change you want to see. Prove them wrong and exceed their limitations.”
His suggestion sent my mind swirling, and several moments of creativity flashed before my eyes. I can do what he is suggesting.
In the dream, I was nervous. I have yet to figure out if it was because I had been standing in the presence of the great Oprah Winfrey or if it was because of all the things I have lined up for me in the coming months. I am excited. I am full of fear. But it all will be worth it in the end.
I have always had an incredible fear of not being able to love my children how I would need to or losing myself enough to forget my past and not burden my children with my baggage.
And there were tears from both me and Oprah. With Oprah’s frantic shouting, came free-flowing tears that streamed down her face gently. Her declaration hadn’t bothered her. Her voice bull-horned without the bullhorn. Everyone, I am certain, who was anyone, could hear her.
I cried. Watching her in this intense state shout about needing the space to write about the children she never had, moved me — both in the dream and when I woke up.
The truth is in the details
We miss, sometimes, what we never had. And perhaps, that’s our link in this dream — knowing we have not and want not, but we sometimes regret it, even if we tell ourselves we don’t.
The truth is always in the details if we’re willing to plow through the dirt of us and retrieve a cleansing state.
I had a dream about Oprah Winfrey, and she had been writing about the children she never had while I stood there as a witness, which led to me thinking about the children I never had. Maybe it is a coincidence, this dream. Maybe there is nothing there and nothing I need to search for within it.
But I would love to read that book.
Originally published in The Narrative Collective via Medium.