Early this morning I awoke from a strange and distant dream. Already fading, it is, like cotton candy on my tongue. So sweet. So transient.
(Please! Please stay. This is what I would say to this dream, if it were a person, if it were tangible. If this dream goes, dissolves, fades, then I fear that a piece of me will go as well, to where I know not. To that place where dreams go to die, I suppose, that section of our soul that is reserved for all those late-night thoughts and theories that die a short and lonely death, blinded by the harshness of morn. That place we access, occasionally, in those lonely hours before the rise of dawn. That place I long to understand and translate. That place.)
I had returned to my old elementary school's gymnasium, except that it wasn't the one that I actually remember, the one I used to play crabwalk soccer in, the one that housed my Grade 6 graduation dance, but another one, a dream-one, yet somehow even more authentic than its real-life counterpart. Up on stage, my father and other fathers were doing a little dance to the delight of the audience. At a certain point Joyette Heron, all grown up, approached me as I sat in my chair. (Joyette, the only black girl who attended my elementary school, and one who once, near the soccer posts, lifted up her t-shirt and, unsolicited, flashed me a glimpse of her tiny, burgeoning breasts, giving my eight year old self his first up close and personal sight of female nipples.) She handed me a rather clumsily constructed paper bird. I thanked her with a great deal of emotion, realizing, for the first time, that it must be my birthday. Why else would she be giving me paper birds?
The dream was so vivid, so real, so dense, that I did not want to awake. I wanted to wallow in this dreamstate for another, two three hours -- not because that particular dream itself was particularly alluring, no, but because it was other, and that otherness has a depth and a clarity that the 'real' world lacks. That the 'real' world rejects. I wanted to run down the corridors of that dreamschool and knock down its walls, gain entry to the basements and cellars that dwelled within.
My groggy, almost-sleeping mind started to make connections, forge links, construct theories. I imagined a series of corridors connecting dreams to dreams, visions to visions. Those moments of clarity we have in dreams, those intensities of insights -- they are not random, I thought, and they are not lost. They can be found, those moments, and they can be harnessed, and, upon awakening, can be used to alter the very nature of reality itself. If we walk down the corridors long enough, dream will give way to dream, one after the other, each blending into the next, each adding a layer of complexity and confusion that will form their own intrinsic alchemy. If our subsconscious selves are nothing more than the eclectic brew of the twisted madmen that populate our dreams, then perhaps that potion can be digested and synthesized, and ultimately utilized for a larger, nobler purpose.
These were the thoughts I had, insane but logical (as dreamthoughts always are), as the soft pull of sleep tried in vain to tug me further down, while the light of morning, dim but insistent, urged me to rise up and face a more harsh and tactile world.