Thursday, November 1, 2007

Meet me tonight in Dreamland...

(Yep, title nod to the B-52s.)

Years ago, during graduate school, I was discussing insomnia with a friend - let's call him Nightbird. Despite the fact that I loved sleep, it did not always come easily to me. I sought it with a vengeance. Said friend, on the other hand, seemed to avoid it. When I asked him why, he told me he didn't want to face his dreams.

For decades, I've had a mundane dream life, at least to my knowledge. Even when the bad ones come, they are firmly rooted in real world situations, peopled with familiar faces. Every once in a while I get to fly (more often, I run effortlessly), but for me a wild night in the subconscious is when, say, OF and I are asked by Benjamin Netanyahu to write the menu copy for his
soon-to-open New York restaurant (don't laugh...this is an actual dream from about ten years ago).

But something's going on. Change is afoot.

It's not just the calendar, although I suspect that's part of it on both micro and macro levels. Fall is usually my sweet season. The glory time. I come to life. Frolic outdoors and such. But this is a bizarro autumn in Texas, and it's a bizarro autumn in my heart. Nothing is as it should be.

When I began this blog last spring, I remarked upon the number of friends and acquaintances going through difficult transitions. It appears to be my turn, but in ways I can't seem to identify, much less articulate.

I can usually find my way through the tangles with a comb made from words, but that's not working this time around (hence my sparse postings these days). But at night? Things are hopping.

My dream life is changing. I crave sleep, not just because I'm tired and not for escape, but for a return to the stories I'm telling myself, stories I know I'm hearing but can't always recall. Last night, as I was drifting off, I was reminded of this speech, Caliban's, from The Tempest:

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.

I can't begin to tease out all these lines have to offer, although I now wish I'd offered the first two to Nightbird back in the early 80s.

I do know that, most mornings these days, "when I wake....I [cry] to dream again."

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