Friday, November 12, 2010

Mary Shelley

Though dictionaries insist that mornings are beginnings, there is a finality about them that cannot be ignored. Most mornings start off by trying not to begin at all. The alarm clock bloats the room with sound, some announcer’s voice scribbling news of dawn showers across the black slate of pre-morning gloom. Mary Shelley once said every beginning is an end, a moment linked with something that has gone before. I think Mary Shelley wise on those six’ o’clock mornings when the alarm blares and I’m headed off to yesterday, catching phrases of dreams and fingering moments of memory like soft sweaters in a clothing store. The cotton mix caresses fingers, soft like the cloud settling over my brain as I realize I’m tired, I can’t think, I don’t want to do anything but dream. There’s a connection, like the weave of the threads, between the moonset and the sunrise, the stars fading and birds awakening. They lead to each other, feed each other, vines twisted into a living infinity symbol, rooted firmly in themselves.

I know a woman who says she controls her dreams, sits thinking to herself before her head attacks the pillow, pondering exactly where her thoughts should travel, what form they should sculpt. She says she used to see dreaming as abstract art, no thought, just random chance when eyes close to one place and open in another no memory can do justice. Psychology textbooks say dreams are just fragments of daily events sliced to shards by the resting brain and reconstructed, like a drunkard piecing together a puzzle, during the frantic rush of the REM cycle. So when the ancients saw dreams as portents of the future, were they only looking forward to a jumbled collage of the past?

And when the walls occasionally flit into view, where am I exactly? Green numbers glow ghostly, garish music flares, and again a hand that doesn’t appear to be mine fumbles to murder the noise. It’s all an overlap. The dream is the waking, or I’m waking to a dream, and, eyes closed, I’m confused as to which place belongs to me now.

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