We’ve all woken from nightmares a time or two. Woken, sometimes gasping, sometimes screaming, sometimes just to an awareness, oh thank god that was a dream. The sweaty, sheets-cumppled, heart beating, terror-bleeding-into-relief feeling as dream fades.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the opposite of that.
Have you ever a dream that’s so good, so right, so perfect, that waking up feels like a nightmare? A dream of utter contentment, complete perfection, all-is-right-with-my-world.
A waking moment, floating up from the deep, warm, womb-like pool of dream, to find that all life’s problems and pains and losses and realities are terrifyingly still real, and the dream’s bliss, the dream’s utter perfection and contentment, is lost.
I had that moment a night or two ago. At, of course three am – what I call the worrying hour. How often have I had conversations with friends about middle of the night wakings; the eye of that storm turns around three am. AT that hour, life’s tiniest problems are magnified, life’s sturm und drang blown to operatic proportion. I woke, a little after that hour, from a warm and contented dream. Not a sex dream, nothing so raw, intense and carnal. No, a simple dream of simple uncomplicated pleasure, the details of which were fading away long before the night was over.
I woke, and drank water, and stared at the dark ceiling, and felt warm glow replaced by reality, and it feel like I was starting a nightmare, not waking from a dream. Work, and kid’s school, health, tasks to do. Things lost. Desires that live in my heart all the time, yet which are forever beyond my grasp. Wants and needs and fears. Age and aches and frustrations, like a drowning pool, quicksand closing over my head.
I want my dream back, I thought. I need my dream back.
How I envy people who can lucid dream; who can live out in dreams what they want in waking life. Though I fear if I could do it, I might never wake.
I wound up getting out of bed at three thirty, wobbling into my cold living-room, wrapping myself in a blanket, and finishing a book, Bujold’s Hallowed Hunt. (I’ll post a review shortly, that’s another topic). I was still awake when my kids got up for school, though I managed to slip back into bed for an hour of sleep; dreamless this time, no nightmares, no blissful contentment, just black emptiness, which was what I needed.
I want to find that dream again. Whatever it was, lost now in haze. I want it back.