Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Suicide Dream

I went to bed last night tired but ebullient. 2011 is starting out well for me and I have only the most positive outlook. Considering what an incredible challenge 2010 was for me, that’s an incredible statement for me to make. So when I woke up from one of the most incredibly vivid dream I’ve had in years, it shook me.

A few days ago, I had an idea for a new story; actually it was a TV show about fraternal twins. Now, I don’t know where that came from because I am not a twin and I have the same passing curiosity for twins as the next person, but nothing more.

Last night my dream began in medias res, as dreams often do. I was a fraternal twin but I was the male twin! Something had happened to my sister twin and I was devastated. I’m only assuming she had died because the sorrow was unceasing.

So in the dream, I decide to take my own life. I have a number of sleeping pills and I take them. But somehow I know that from the time I take the pills, I have time to sit, compose my final thoughts to say good bye. As I try to gather my thoughts, I reach for a folder on my desk, there is paperwork and something that looks like a newsletter, I can’t remember. But whatever they are, they set off a melody of memories in my dream self’s consciousness. And my life replays in my head.

Suddenly I am faced with the unexpected realization that my life was filled with small quiet moments of joy and bliss. There were memories of people who slipped through the cracks of my life but left a semblance of grace and warmth. Moments of grace that I did not recognize at the time I was living through them. But only in hindsight did I see all the things I had missed and realized that life could always be more than just the pain and sorrow that I felt and if I had just hung on a little longer, the hindsight would have come.

But for my dream self, it was too late. I had taken the pills and my eyesight was starting to darken. I knew I didn’t have as much time as I thought I had, I realized in a panic, I did not want to die. I wanted to live because I saw that the joy was there, I just had to look. But as I panicked, I knew it was too late, my dream self was dying and my eyesight faded away and I died.

I died in my sleep and I woke up gasping. Relief flooded through me like an immersion into warmth, I was alive and it was all a dream. But what was the morale of the dream?

Life is a mosaic of emotions, riotous moments of unexpected joy, inexplicable anger, unbelievable love and a multitude of intangibles that made life worth living. When we only stare at the dark colors of grief and sorrow, we miss out on the bright colors of joy and love. We must step back and allow the picture to evolve into the landscape of our lives. With each color providing the depth to our existence, each color having its place and adding meaning to our lives.

But what was the meaning for me? I’m not suicidal; I’m too stubborn to ever admit that kind of defeat?! Then it dawned on me, I was close to giving up on something I loved, but for all the frustrating moments I’ve had, there were moments of giggles and laughter that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I was about to hang up my sword and relinquish my general duties. The dream told me, not just yet.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter is the graceless season.

Those of us who labor under wintry skies know that to truly be warm, one must dress in layers. There must be an undershirt, thermal pants, a shirt, a sweater and for me, a hoodie then my coat. Actually I don’t have an actual winter coat; I just have a thick jacket that I bought in Vegas for $20. It’s thick, made of some strange fake velour and I’m happy with it. I don’t like to spend money on outerwear; it’s the optimist in me. Winter will only be three months, why buy clothes that I can only wear for brief time? So I have a baseball-type jacket which I can wear for several months, fall, winter or spring. I add a thick hoodie in the winter for added insulation.

I bring this up because by the time I get out for the day, I feel like a bumbling, stuffed sausage. Sometimes, if it’s really cold, I wear double socks; don’t laugh until you’ve walked in my shoes. That’s where the gracelessness begins.

How do you swing your arms in careless abandon as you walk down the street feeling the sunshine on your face? Your arms are in a permanent position of being stretched out, bending them is a feat of strength and the only thing exposed to the sun, if you have sun that morning, are your eyeballs.

I have a knitted sweater hat (handmade by mom) that is itchy and scratchy and makes me look like I have a really big afro hair do with no forehead or eyebrows. The hood comes over that and the scarf that has stretched out to 4ft long (It’s my homage to Doctor Who-although it isn’t multicolored) wraps around my neck twice. Effectively cutting the range of motion for my neck, with the hood narrowing my peripheral vision, when I turn to glance around me, my shoulders have to rotate completely. It’s a bitch when I drive. When I drive, whatever freedom of movement I could pretend I had is effectively taken from me.

So inevitably, when I get out of my car, I do my version of ‘spilling out’ I open the door, release the seatbelt and roll sideways in a 360°. When I am on both my feet, I am facing the back of my car, as if that’s exactly how I wanted to be. Two days in a row, I have caught my seemingly growing scarf in the seat belt and any movement to straighten out jerks me back towards my car as if I’ve just been clotheslined.

Then as I grab my things and stumble in the parking lot, spinning around to make sure no one saw me, I have to watch the ice patches or I will do a double back flip and an inadvertent roundhouse flying kick that results in my landing spectacularly on my back. Which I have done before as someone (a stranger) who was heading towards me, simply walked over me as I flailed like a turtle stuck on its shell. At that time, I had on a backpack full of books which cushioned any actual physical damage. Then it took some tries to get back up before anyone else saw and try to regain my dignity.

Winter is a graceless season where one learns that embarrassment is one snow boot away.