Dreams

Grayscale Photo of White Flowers

I think I lose people every time I wake up.

Sometimes people ask me if I am a morning person, and I am quick to assure them that I am not. The rest I keep to myself.  It is a strange thing to explain.

Here is what I do not tell them: the night haunts me with melancholic whimsy. Daytime plucks me away from the middle of a task; the details of my dream fast fading, leaving only the knowledge that something needed to be done, someone needed to be saved, and I had not the time to complete it.

I wonder if they—wherever they exist—wish for my return on every falling star. 

I lay in bed, sleepy-eyed and heavy, left with a faint impression of emotions that no longer fit in place.  Desires no longer clear.  Lives no longer lived.  I have been many things, most of which I no longer recall.

The early hours hold a strange loss for people and places that I have loved and forgot.  Perhaps that is why the words morning and mourning feel the same on my tongue. Bones and muscle remember what my memory does not. 

Sometimes, I manage to hold on to a moment before it fades.  It gleams in my hands like a fragment of stained glass; beautiful, but missing its context, its story.  Still, I gather them, like a collection of seashells empty of their inhibitors.  They hold memories only I could possibly know. 

I wonder about the people I knew when I was asleep.

Perhaps I will cross paths with them again, in another place, another time.  I might still see them, even if I do not recognize their face.  Even if I do not remember the connection we once had. I do not think they are forever gone.  Perhaps they will reappear in poetry, in games of make-believe, in the little stories I tell.  They could be in every imaginary friend that has grabbed my hand promising adventure. 

What if they broke through to find me, their heart pounding inside a cage of bones at the sound of my surprised voice, perhaps swallowing against a lump in their throat as I say ‘Oh, hello love.  Have we met?’

What if . . . I never really lose them?

Consider

Does it ever strike you, how the night is brighter when there’s snow on the ground.  How the darkness stretches from mid-afternoon to well into the morning, and yet the moon shines like a second sun, thinning the darkness into a silver midnight.

Does it ever strike you, how something so cold brightens the world.

The moon, I think, is to the sun what winter is to summer.  Cold and bright in silvers and blues, against warm and soft in golds and reds.  Think of how a candle flame stands out when alone in a snow-frosted window.  Think of how it looks to the moon looking in.

Life stands out in the contrast they create, and I am caught between the two.

Does it ever strike you, how yellow blends with orange and red.  How sunsets and flames and autumn leaves stick to your heart long after they’re gone, flickering and brilliant and changing, changing . . .

Does it ever strike you, how leaves slowly dying from cold can lead to such a beautiful sight.

I don’t think it strikes us often enough; and when it does, we are not patient to linger there.  What an odd fear we have against lovely things.  What a strange thing, how we want it all at once and then reject it wholly as too much.

Think of the muffled silence of a small snow-covered street.  Think of how different it feels to drive through it, like time has slipped away and left the streetlights glowing differently in its wake.

Think of the sound of bullfrogs, echoing across a still pond as dusk sets in, and how such noise can feel like peace.

Do so, and then think on this:

How beautiful the world is that we live in.