Saturday, July 14, 2007

The color of amber

I don't usually share my dreams with anyone. There was a moment in college when I carried on and on with anyone who would listen about what I was dreaming at night. I was young and had no children, giving me the liberty to lay there in bed and train myself to remember what had transpired in my subconscious during the night, and then write it down in a journal. In my last year of art school, I did a series of paintings based on my dreams that turned into my first real exhibition. I was convinced that the shadow was plaguing me nightly, and since I was 21 and in that special self-centered angst that one can enjoy only at that age, I probably was right.

My dreams are a mystery to me now, and I like the idea of this parallel life taking place during the night in my head, out of my control. But for the last few nights, the rare moments of sleep I have snatched have been plagued by strife. I can't get up the side of the mountain I am climbing. I keep swimming but the shore never comes any nearer. My husband is back in the mountains in Italy, and he is young again as he was when I met him and cutting wood, which he stacks into a huge pile. I tell him that it's time to go (Where? I'm not sure. But it's just time to go.) He looks at me and says no. He's not coming with me, and the desperation I feel welling up inside of me might strike me down.

So yesterday I broke down into a thousand pieces and told him of this dream. I've been trying to be the one with her shit together, which seems fair and fitting in the circumstances. I've been doing the cooking, I've organized all of the last minute overseas travel arrangements, I've made sure that the kids brush their teeth. But yesterday I fell apart, and confessed my subconscious fear of being left alone. Voicing this most ashamed fear of mine made it smaller, and finally absurd.

My husband took my sons on an overnight camping trip last night, and I slept alone here for the first time. I just awoke, and I'm sure that I dreamt, since this was the first decent night's sleep I've had since my father-in-law's passing. But I am gloriously unaware of what these dreams were about.

I only know that I awoke with a feeling like the color of amber, warm and solid.


Carol said...

Beautiful post. Simple. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.


Jenn in Holland said...

Mmmmmm. The color of amber.

I am a big dreamer and a dream rememberer. I like to think my mind is smarter in sleep than waking and uses those hours to teach me, myself some things which I miss in the daylight hours.

Love the post. You do have your shit together, don't kid yourself.

anno said...

My daughter just described a soul as small orange sun, all warmth, passion, and energy. This picture and this post are the perfect complement. Wrap this color around you; never let it go.

Rebecca said...

I agree with Jenn - I'm sure you have your shit amazingly together and need to 'lose it' a bit occasionally. In fact letting go a bit when you're awake will probably help make the frightening dreams go away..??

Cate said...

It sounds like all the stress that you have been under came to a peak, and finally crumbled so that you can concentrate on today. Are you living near family, Jennifer? If yes, then maybe one of them can come over just for coffee, to give you a break from unpacking and decorating, etc.
Also, jenn in holland is correct. Being under stress does NOT mean that you don't have your shit together, because clearly, your shit is "together" No pun intended.