Professing * Reflecting

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Night Treasures (in honor of not sleeping)

Night Treasures

keeps me waiting
so I stand at the window
and watch night
turn small green pears
to silver
they hang like rare treasures
I dare not touch
from a tree
I never saw before

--Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel

Last night was the first night in some time that I did not medicate myself in order to sleep. Yes, I was incredibly restless. Yes, I woke up every hour on the hour. No, it was not what anyone would call a peaceful rest.

But my dreams are back! I had lost dreaming! I have always had elaborate, graphic, beautiful dreams. Last night I had one long amazing dream about being in a house with a man I know in real life, an acquaintance I have known for years. He is a bit of a madman but also a creative genius. I was in his great rambling house, which I have never been in in real life, with all of his books and poems and drawings.

It was one of those dreams that continued throughout the night. After waking every hour, spending some time awake and thinking about the dream, I would fall asleep for a little more time and dream a little more of the dream. I kept this up until morning. I just spent the whole night looking through his books, which all had notes and doodles and drawings in the margins. One was an elaborate book on flowers. It had photographs of every flower in the world. In the margins, he had made a sketch of each photograph and written a haiku about each flower. Another was a book of James Joyce's "The Dead," translated into a dozen or so languages.

The man, my acquaintance, would wander in and out with his friends. Each time, he was surprised but happy to find me still in his house. One time, he was drunk and he and his friend sat down, lined up shots of whiskey, and downed them before they left again. One time, he asked me to feed the animals in his back yard. I went out to find acres of brambles inhabited by foxes and gray hounds who spoke to me. I was delighted that the dogs and foxes could speak, and I tried to have conversations with them. We were completely at odds with topics, though. We could not connect. Their eyes were amazing, warm and incandescent but completely wild and dangerous.

One time, the man and I lay in his bed together. His skin was incredibly smooth, all over. We cuddled. He was uncomfortable. No sex. It was just understood that we were together now, and neither one of us really knew what to do. Unable to sleep, he left again and I went back to the incredible stacks of books of drawings and poems.

It was still night in the dream when I half-awoke this morning, cramped and dazed and tangled in damp sheets, thinking I would walk down to the public library and spend the whole day if I had to looking for that book on flowers. I was happy.

I feel like myself again. I am so grateful.



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