Since I was a very small girl, I have been haunted with recurring dreams, dreams so vivid and so repetitive, it is as though when my eyes close, my neurons slowly drift to sleep, I am forced to watch the same film, over and over. Rather than a passive watching though, I am moving, speaking, acting, and yet seem unable to act of my own volition, stuck in an unconscious track, following the script word for word.
In recent years, one of these dreams, transpiring every few months, is elegantly simple in its stress-inducing dilemma: I am still a student, it is exam week, and I have discovered that I have failed to attend two of my courses the entire semester. For some reason, it is nearly always a European history course of some sort and a class on differential equations. Panicked, I wrack my brain, I fret, how is it possible that I could neglect such a grave obligation for weeks, for months. What was I doing instead of attending class? Was something else more pressing? In this dream world, have I been shirking responsibility for leisure, for pleasure? In the dream, it is never obvious if, up until that realization of missing the classes, I was blissfully ignorant and happy. There is only a numbing stress, which persists, bleeds into my reality when I wake. My breath seems to take a moment to recover, my heart thumps in uneven patterns, gesticulating wildly. Once the dream-state blurs, it always seems silly, to have such a pronounced homeostatic response to something which, comparatively, is insignificant. Even if these events were true, I missed classes, failed miserably, this is hardly a tragedy. A challenge, a setback, but a course of events that could, with the proper amount of determination and spunk and intelligence, be easily overcome. Later to be attributed to something that builds character.
Metaphorically, there could be something deeper here, a profound fear that there is something going on, something looming, that I am ignoring until it is too late. Temporality here is cruel, my enemy. How will I react when the monster bares its teeth, gnashes its jaws in my face, after leaping out from what previously were a set of plush bushes. Will I have the strength and the courage to take action, or will I be a coward, allow myself to be eaten.
Last night, I lived this dream. This morning, as with most mornings, I stayed cowered under my thick, warm blankets, trying to hide from the cold air and the rising sun, light creeping stealthily between the cracks of my drapes hung at the tall windows.
(image taken from Fine Art America)