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Dream Yourself Awake

I don’t remember what this post was meant to be. The draft, with only the title, was saved on December 11, 2011. During the light-blue, crystal light time of the holidays, I would guess it had something to do with waking up early and realizing with surprise that I felt all right. Cartoons were on, somewhere, and someone was watching them.

More likely it was about the long loss that is rising out of sleep. True dreams give up their total reality, their enhanced colors and richer wall-of-sounds as memories of reality filter in: you can drink coffee now if you want, the bus isn’t a school bus, the TV is not always on because there is no TV. Floating to waking’s beach my eyes open and the room shivers and fits to shapes in stages: the old wood framing around the doors of a East Coast house I don’t remember, Rusty’s bedroom in 1979, my Boston dorm room, the bedroom of the house I stayed in during grad school. Now is tenuous for several minutes. Now is only solid when I brush my teeth.

A larger waking has happened, so subtle and profound I didn’t notice until this week. I feel calmer in a bedrock way–unpursued. I am not desperate or wanting for whatever it was that had me on edge, cowering in corners, unable to focus to unpack boxes in October. Household objects are pleasantly rooted: not immutable from sitting so long, not in the wrong place, not too new they haven’t found their places yet. The dishwasher is less efficacious than I would like; I can get the car in the garage without running into the door jamb. I walk around Georgetown’s nineteenth-century leftovers and Mid Beacon Hill’s nondescript Seattle house boxes and feel it’s known but not deeply explored. It is new but not shocking. It doesn’t shine so brightly I can’t see it.

The bigger dream is the old shadow voice, the one Monkey spoke for. All the worry from junior high school, all the tests, all the high eyes to look up into and read judgment from. The need for money to buy toys, then to buy the right to have a place to go. That thing in high school you have been running from all this long time, the thing that everything else grew from. That dream is played out at last, though some echoes are strong. But it disintegrates as I rise up from it, its diminished colors and deadened smells shifting into something else. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s different, and new. It is not a dream when you are awake.

Spring buds

Spring buds

 

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