Last night I dreamt a dream…
It was a familiar place, dimly lit, almost claustrophobic but, more womb-like than anxiety producing. Before me a stairway ascended to another floor. Old, worn, brown-patterned, carpet covered up the treads. No windows but a light came from somewhere. A stuffed leather-covered chair sat on a hardwood floor beside a long-cold wooden mantle piece. I was surprised there was no dust on it as I caressed a tattered doily spread across the top.  I turned and squinted to discern the shapes against the wall, to define their edges. An end table and lamp, a coat-rack in the corner I think. As I took a step toward a portrait on the wall, from the stairs a small footstep fell, I turned and saw the figure of a woman across the room. Then with no apparent motion she was immediately before me. She reached up silently and touched my face. There was no apprehension in me. There were no words, but I seemed to understand that we had known each other once. A thousand thousand faces streamed through my mind as I struggled to find a memory somewhere that I wasn’t finding. Then I realized her eyes were closed because she opened them, only inches from my own. Like the glow of pale green honey their warmth surrounded me. And there I was looking back at me- reflected on that mirror of her soul. I saw myself floating on the surface of an eye ocean. With her hands she drew me close as if to kiss me, yet never quite touching. Closer and closer she pulled me toward the reflection until I found myself standing before myself, before the reflection of myself. A watery vague-on-the-edges image of myself on a raft on that green-eyed ocean. I could still feel her hands touching my face and yet I was alone with myself. Like a mirror image each movement that I made was matched by my other me until I reached to touch my outstretched finger. And with a jerk he pulled away his hand and spoke.
You know you don’t deserve to touch me. You know you’ve left me here in this place always intending to return and yet not brave enough to seek your purpose. You had a gift once, perhaps still do but can you find it? He waved his arm across the vastness of this deep green sea. I’ve waited here for your return, we’ve waited. I’ve prayed that somehow the fates would weave your path around again. But can you hear her, feel her? You always could before. And now she’s searching for you once again.
I looked behind me half expecting to see more ocean, but it was as though I was inside those eyes, looking out at me frozen there in time. I became conscious that the faint drumming that I heard was a heartbeat. For a moment I was so confused that I put my hand on my chest to see if it was my heart I felt. It wasn’t, but even as I felt my skin against my skin I felt our two hearts synchronize their beats.
I felt her say, or I guess I felt her think
“It’s time again to dream your dreams. It’s time again to let quietness wrap you into her dark wings. It’s time to allow the darkness, the aloneness to hold your heart again, since that’s all you have.”
Then that voice that has only ever needed one syllable, one sigh to be recognized pulled me off the raft and back into myself. Her hands still warm against my face I could taste her breath, cantaloupe or maybe strawberries. I inhaled her ah and reached to pull her close as I opened my mouth to kiss her. But even in that instant as our souls and lips touched she vanished. I stood stunned, empty armed. Dumbfounded, aware that I was dreaming, that I had come so close to holding her again and yet again alone.
From left to right my eyes searched the room to see any trace of where she may have gone. Behind me, by the coat rack I had seen before, a large mirror reflected my perplexity. On it’s hook hung something I had not noticed there before. I stepped across the room and lifted it. A shriveled piece of rawhide that somehow seemed familiar, I twisted it in the dimness to see if I could make out what it was, almost half a human shape. Written, or maybe stamped into the flesh were letters that made me draw a quick breath and then quit breathing all together. It was in a language I seemed vaguely to remember, SVEMIR- all peace- space.
Some fool had torn off half his soul and left it hanging there. He’d labeled it and left it there to wither up and wait for… I wondered what
And then, you know how weird dreams are, I was lying on my bed staring up at the ceiling but there wasn’t any. Above me floated clouds on blue sky. A long time I lay there pondering that piece of dried flesh and tried to remember what the words meant. I could hear a piano playing far away in the background and maybe a flute, Pachelbel’s Canon in D I think. And then I woke up and all I can see today are those eyes…

 

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