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A Piece of My Mind
September 24, 2014

Code Green

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center; American Family Physician, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2014;312(12):1201-1202. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5242

More than 40 years ago I had a dream: the earth was getting warmer and warmer, and people lay prostrate on the streets, lethargic from thirst and heat. That dream I recite only from memory, but here is another one I recorded in a diary I kept in those days: “I found myself in a house with many people. Suddenly I looked outside and saw that we were surrounded by sea. Huge waves crashed in the distance. The end of the world! Water was seeping through the windows. A girl was using a cup to scoop out the water. ‘Is the house sinking?’ I asked. While we were trying to stay afloat, I was rescued by the alarm clock.” And lest my theme here isn’t yet clear, another dream I wrote down, dated March 7, 1969: “I dreamt there was a huge fire; the flames were everywhere, destroying everything. That is not the first time I have dreamt of fire. Always the hot flames. … ”

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