Dreams are Doors to Other Worlds and at times, We Travel Back

How many times have you felt brush of childhood while snuggled deep in blankets at night and the sea of fantasy washes up? I woke this morning feeling as if I went back in time to where life was simpler and more dastardly.

This is a world that takes my breath away. It’s where little fey creatures take offense too easily. It’s why I was trying to save my sister/daughter/niece/friend from the wrath of Bugaboo Prince. She called him a sweet little girl. But it wasn’t her fault. He was merged half in and half out of Faerie land. I suppose any one of us could assume a wisp of fancy floating on the breeze in decorous otherworld fabrics might be female.

And, oh so many faerie creatures floated on the wind this morning. I watched transfixed! This garden is where the colors of flora transcend into more than sight and smell and feel. It’s where the green and flower colors explodes throughout your very heart and cross-links every cell like a warm internal hug.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the giddy free sensation of floating weightless and it’s strange that I questioned its logic. I wouldn’t have when I was eight years old. I think that was the age when I floated weightless for the first time. I turned somersaults in my parents’ living room before I floated out to the garage. I would soar into the sky and travel to Venus but my mother stood before the door like a Samurai warrior, broom in hand and even though I flew and became invisible, I could not pass. She saw me despite the fact I defied reason.

This time traveling to a place where I could float, I wobbled at first but the more I breathed in the dew-drenched morning air, the more I lost my reserve. I sailed between tree branches, brushing dainty petals and smooth leaves, weaving around the bumbling bees. I sailed up into the blue, blue sky and I lost myself for a time. I became sidetracked, I think, by a warm bath sitting in a crystalline room with little songbirds trilling on spindly vines wrapped daintily around the walls. The water called like a siren song. I could see out a tiny window above the enchanted garden but I hesitated, uncertain of what I wanted to do first and in that hesitation, I woke to see a little cherub’s face grinning up at me.

I’ve had versions of this dream countless times. It’s one of two reoccurring dreams: the weightless floating and the door that isn’t always there. And when I wake from these particular dreams, sometimes I leave a part of myself behind unintentionally. But the sea of fantasy deposited me gently upon reality’s door when I opened my eyes. I sit here typing, occasionally looking out my backdoor window to April’s green.

An Old Childhood Memory

(I was working on an writing exercise.  If fear was incarnated into a walking, talking entity, what would it look like?  How would you react?  This is what came out. )

Fear came to me when I was six years old as a twisted tree, warped and ancient. It lived a half mile away from my house, over the railroad tracks along an old dirt path. I could never bear to go passed it alone, especially after nightfall. Its limbs hung like murdeous hands, stretching out to hurt, to maim, to kill. And it had a face. No other trees had a face. But it was its overwhelming presence that frightened me most. I could feel it looking through me to my very heart and I trembled at the pleasure it took.

It watched me. It didn’t stay locked into place like any other tree. It warped itself. It tiptoed on knarly tree roots down the path to my house. Yes, I was afraid of the shadowy figure who crept and lingererd in my closet, staying quiet except for the occasional creak, motionless, except for the occasional thump, until all the grownups went away and the lights went out. But when the lights went out, I didn’t know whether it would be the dark killer or if it would be the tree. The shadow killer would jump out of my closet to shoot me. I could lock my closet door or at least, I remember a lock. The tree though, it would push itself twisting through all the knotholes in my paneling with skinny knobby arms and jabby long fingered hands and it would rend me apart. There was no way to lock it out. I never slept near any of the walls.

Perhaps its coincidental that the fear of that tree happened around the same time as when my uncle was murdered. Over a five dollar pool bet. Shot five times. Stood over by his killer until he bled out. His wife’s jaw blown off. Their baby temporarily missing. My aunt found lying on my uncle’s grave throughout the night. The grisly details are lengthy even when recited in short sentences and as many times as I heard my mother crying into the phone as her grief spilt out, I knew them. I knew every sentence. I knew them all.

And more sentences came until my mother blended into the dark story and functioned without really being there. Six is so early to try to figure out how to fill in the gaps. How to keep a family together. I had no power. I couldn’t make my mother smile but I could keep from causing her more harm. I kept my feelings to myself. I didn’t talk about my fears. I didn’t talk about my sorrow. I slept on the edge of my bed away from my wall with my closet door firmly shut and locked.