Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
My dreams this morning were--perhaps predictably--horrific.
The one-month anniversary, added to a late-night notice of my sibling having had a car wreck, combined with the upcoming neurology exam to produce a long dream about me having developed a (hopefully imaginary) form of cancer that caused systemic arteriovenous fistulas. Despite me waking myself from it several times, the dream--set in the grim green basement corridor of some dark, dreary building in which I was administered bouts of radiation therapy which left me writhing in pain and vomiting behind the rusting metal fire doors on the climb out, while my stricken mother looked on helplessly--would not let me escape. I endured it until I staggered shaking into my kitchen this morning.
Time was when I'd have set the whole thing to paper. Time was, not so very long ago. But time moves on, and people go to medical school, and nowadays my dreams stay in my head.
But I was reading through my dream journal with this morning's coffee, trying for perspective, and came across one that I set to paper three or four years ago. One that was somewhat frightening in the beginning, but gentled towards the end, and beautiful, start to finish. Its memory gave me comfort.
So I decided to share it. I hope that it adds something good to your day. (Note that the "you" I address is a person years in my past, with whom I'm not even "friends" on Facebook.)
Wind and Rain
I kneel in the middle of a wide lawn stretching to the edges of the marble paths which enclose it on all four sides, a square of living green bounded by the still cold white of the stones.
I am in the center alone, my hair unbound, falling down my back and across my white shift, blowing across my face in the rising wind. Above me the sky seethes, the roiling, predacious darkened grey moving swiftly over my head in a flight from the larger teeth of the storm stalking behind it.
The wind quickens, and now the paths are crowded with people, speaking to each other as they walk two by two along the dully glinting marble. None look at each other, none raise their voices above a murmur. None tread on even a single inch of the greensward.
I watch them, their measured steps and mellifluous murmurs forming a soothing pattern which underpins the thrumming rush of the wind, rising now as if in counterpoint to the rich susurrus beneath. The gale is whistling now: a high, rising whine which whips my hair aloft like a banner, stinging my eyes and flailing my skin, though the perfect silken green beneath my knees bends not so much as a single blade. The clothing of those on the paths around me is untouched.
I look up at the sky, and the black, ravening mouth of the storm is raging down upon me, the roar of the water growing as the drops fall nearer and nearer.
And then it is upon me, and as the raindrops hit the people on the paths they waver, like a refraction when some shadow passes through it, each globe interrupting my line of vision until the people still walking along the paths are nothing more than a flickering suggestion, flashing hints glimmering above the white marble like errant rainbows and nothing more.
When first it comes it is as though I have never seen lightening before, a tearing stutter of light that seems to have ripped through into some radiantly pitiless sun, and in a white-blind world I hear the pursuing thunder, howling into the backflash: a deafening, abyssal scream that shakes my body from top to bottom.
When I can see again, you are there.
My ears still resounding to the knell of the thunder, I blink across at you standing on the far side of the path, facing me. The faint, iridescent glint of the others on the walkway fade as they pass before you, and resume on the other side; the rain still falls in a shrieking torrent. I can see you, can see your lips moving.
But I can’t hear you.
You step onto the path, easily, as though it were no barrier, and instantly the glints of movement on it fade to stillness. You and I and the storm are abruptly alone.
Then you step onto the grass of the square. You stand there, on the near edge of the virid green, and the raindrops threshing against me lighten, strumming more kindly on my scoured skin.
You walk towards me, and at your every step the rain lightens, dropping with an ever-gentling touch until, when you stand five paces away, it is the merest suggestion of a fine mist clinging to my lashes. I look up at you in the increasing light, and my ears pick up a scant whisper of human tones as you smile at me.
It might be my name.