Monday, April 02, 2007

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily?

In my dream, I stand by the edge of a giant body of water. It is murky and dark – looking still and rigid and cold against a white-gray sky. For as far as my eye can see, there is just this listless pool pressed hard and straight against the ominous sky. Although this world my slumber has dropped me into is deafeningly silent – the noise in my head pulses and beats and screams. There are voices of those I love and those I once loved – and there are the voices of people I work with and those of people who want something and people who just want me to hear them and there is music and poetry and there are worries and desires and ideas spoken in my own voice.

I try to focus on the water – on the sky – try to find something rippling, something moving, something living – something to help me silence the bleating in my brain. I figure if I can look at something and form some opinions – some thoughts about that thing alone – then I might find some solace from the noise. But there is just this stillness. When I attempt to speak, nothing comes out. The words I want to put out disappear, even as my lips move to make them heard. And then they appear again – a pathetic whisper in the cacophony that is in my head.

I walk along the water – realizing that I am strictly an observer here. There is a line - as distinct as the line that separates the pool from the sky - that keeps my toes from venturing into the pool. The ground is flat and dark brown – and covered in small colored stones. I can feel the stones beneath my feet – hard, rough globes pressing into my soles – but when I reach down to pick one up, I see they’re like paintings made to look like the real thing – as ungraspable as smoke. I suppose a stone hitting the water would disturb the utter stillness – and its wet plunk as it rippled the pool surface would certainly make noise that I’d be able to hear – instead of noise that I can only feel.

It is at this point in the dream that I come to know that I’m in a perpetual state of standing. Somehow my knees don’t work in the way they should and sitting is impossible. I also understand that if I stay in this place, my pacing along the line between earth and water is a true constant. I simply cannot stop myself from moving.

The voices in my brain are getting louder and louder, like children from a family of ten, all trying to be heard above their siblings – all succeeding only in making a clatter from which I can extract no sense. I can’t seem to focus on just one voice – because there is such urgency – such need – such panic in every single one of them. How can I not listen to them all? How can I be the judge of what fear, what anxiety, what horrible happening should take priority? And how can I satisfy any of them when all I can hear is the sum of their – and my – personal agonies – and not their – and my – individual – personal - concerns? I am starting to panic.

And I wake up.

I am thankful to be in my room. There is outside noise here. The cat purring near my face, the alarm sounding its wake up call, my love breathing soft, the birds outside of the window. The noise in my head is still there – and I know I’ve still got to figure out how to sort things out – but I am grateful for the "distraction" - the joyful, soothing noise - of my everyday life.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Nicole, thank you for bringing me through that very real journey through your magnificent writing.

I was there. Right there with you. Your words, descriptions, everything - it was incredible.


Hannah said...

Wow, what a great post. I am always amazed at the simultaneous reality and surreality we experience in our dreams.

Unrelated to your post but in response to mine...a sof-serter is about the length of a pen (but 4x as fat) and a quick-serter is a short, squatty thing, probably as big around as a Red Bull can. Something like that. If you have the Sof-Serter and you still wanna send it to me, email me at nrrdygrrl-at-gmail-dot-com.

Johnboy said...

Nicole, your expression is wonderful, but I feel your sense of being overwhelmed and can relate.

I hope that things settle down for you soon.