Good morning, midnight

I dreamt that my mother lived in the bedroom upstairs in the house I grew up in. She was sweaty and sick, but I was outside looking for someone on the street. She pulled her light blue robe around her, the one I didn’t remember she owned but she did, and said “The doctors can’t tell me why I can’t eat.” I almost forgot to go home and make her dinner. This is like the homework dream, the exam in the class you didn’t attend in the classroom you couldn’t find. Only it was my mother I had inexplicably forgotten, who was sick and alone in the upstairs bedroom waiting for me to come home.

I am cranky and inconsistent. I have let down people in my life, even today before breakfast (long story, uninteresting). But not my mother. For years I felt guilty that I didn’t live nearer to her when she was sick; but she loved the city I lived in at the time and wouldn’t have wanted me to move just for her. And I would have been lonely and miserable in [hometown redacted]. I am searching for 200 words of resolution for a dream.

After she died, I stopped looking for mountains in the clouds on the horizon. I did not need their steep shadows the way I used to. But thinking of them today gives me a sense of space, a pause. I don’t have to remember the sick room, the bedroom my mother never slept in. I can think of the crest of the hills, blue as the ocean in the distance. I am not usually a person who remembers dreams, but I am good with physical memories. I can remember the shape of the mountainside I used to cross on a regular hike. I could find my favorite boulder outcrop below the spring by the angle of the hill in the summer when the leaves were thick and the flies buzzed around my head.

What is buzzing around your head today?

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7 responses to “Good morning, midnight

  1. Your dream *is* like a final exam dream, or a *teaching* dream, even a *parenting* dream. Even before I had children, I would sometimes dream that I’d found a baby under a blanket somewhere, red and suffocating, and remember, “Oh my God. I was in charge of this baby, and I left it here and forgot about it, and it almost died.” Now that I have kids, I don’t dream that dream very often. When they were really small, I often would dream that they’d fallen into murky water and that I couldn’t find them. I hate those kinds of dreams–the murky waters ones–because they are too close to the possibilities of reality.

    But today, it’s my first day of spring break, and I’m trying to figure out how to get a shit-ton finished this week while also maintaining a chillaxed vibe so that the week will still feel like vacation.

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