Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | May 3, 2006

And so it is

How long does sunlight have to touch someone before they realize they’re no longer standing in the shade? What is the algebra equation for the span of time before one feels the effects of sunlight?

Forty. Fifty seconds? A week? A Month? Two Months? A Year? Perhaps Two?

The last several weeks I’ve had problems falling asleep, I’d settle for pretending to sleep if it was close enough to the real thing. Sleep has become of the fair weather type. Every time my heavy, aching eyes close, some scene from the months before shoot into my private inner-eye movie screen. I haven’t felt safe, I’ve felt as though something awful was going to happen. No. I felt as if the thing I most dreaded had arrived and reared it’s ugly head then retreated. It wasn’t death, it was me. I’m afraid of you. I’m afraid of me.

As little as two months ago I’d thought that finding out I might be single for quite some time was assuring and comforting simultaneously, albeit a cruel joke. Now, there’s a part of my close sisterhood (Celeste and Kim) we refer to as “The Monster”. The MONSTER rears her head after a drink to many making me realize this kind of fun, isn’t so bad after all and nowhere close to the scariest thing I can imagine. The result? Fizz and seethe then blow the top of your head off. I now know harboring those fears of singlehood are about as powerful as the kitchen bomb every kid has to make once or twice to blow popcorn at her friends. Ordinary madness would be like dating one of my last ex-boyfriends, B-O-R-I-N-G.

So imagine my surprise, the last few nights I’ve found my head hitting the pillow and waking 7 hours later with lapses of time involving strange dreams. I dreamt of memories and those yet to make. One in particular is haunting. I was sitting on the porch in the hills of western P.A. It was night. I could hear behind me the ping of a car’s engine as it cooled. It was a beautiful night. I was glad to be there. But I could tell, my life was about to change, irreversibly. Irreparably. Instead of sensing a change, in my dream, I heard a light step rustling in leaves. I turned in amazement to see my Grandmother walking up the steps to the porch, and she sat down beside me. There was more gray in her hair than there had been fifteen years ago. She looked worn and discouraged, but she smiled at me as I stared at her disbelievingly.

“I do not have much time, my dear,” she said. “Forgive me. But I had to come when I heard you weeping. When I understood what you wept for.” She picked up my hands – in a gesture very much like my Father’s – and then held them together, as she had done long ago when she taught me how to make the perfect shaped Christmas Star. “Honey, you’re doing fine. The people in your life are telling the truth, listen to them. There is nothing wrong with you except that you grew into your strength all too quickly, and all alone, which is not how it should happen – if it’s any comfort, this is not the first time this has happened this way to someone, and it will not be the last – and yet if it had not happened this way to you, you may not have done all the things you have, partly because the part everyone adores of you would have died.”

In my dream I felt the answer like a bowling ball buffet resting in the pit of my stomach, “Would that have been so bad?” I said trying to keep my voice level.

My Grandmother turned her head to look out towards the trees again reminding me of my Father. She was still holding my hands, “Would it have been so bad?” she said musingly. “I am not the one to answer that, for I am your Grandmother, and I love you. But yes, I think it would have been so bad. What we can do, we must do. We must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can, however little much or little we have for the task. What you have been given only appears hard to you or you would not have questioned if an early death is possible for you. But my darling, what if there were no one to be your crutches during the difficult times.”

Bitterly my lip quivered, “Grams, which difficult times?”

I waited for her to tell me to pull myself together or to ‘Buck UP’ in the manner my Mother does. Instead she said with mournful eyes, “Yes. There are many difficult times. You already have everything you need.”

We sat there with our hands resting in one another. I was lost in thought about the simplicity of dying and waiting for her to tell me everything would be alright. Instead I heard the pieces of my fragmented self clinging together. Finally I said, “I’d be sorry to never see the sun again.”

Endearingly she looked at me, “Imagine if you never felt the rain again as well. You’re doing just fine.”

I woke at 6:40 A.M. feeling pretty fucking swell.


  1. I have trouble sleeping too sometimes. Like right now. It is 12:43 here.

  2. Somedays it’s all about being able to step “outside” and see the blessings that we are too close to really notice…

    …sounds like a powerful dream.

  3. Hey, Jess. I am in Houston now. My dad had a medical situation so I here until everything is resolved.

  4. Aww, Jess. I’m sorry you are hurting so much right now. You can still call me whenever you want, if you want to talk. I always enjoyed our conversations. Although, I doubt they lack the power and profoundness of one that occurs in a dream. 🙂

    I’m glad you are feeling swell.

  5. Hmm, yeah, I had two different ways I wanted to phrase a sentence in my last comment, there. That should instead indicate that our conversations may not be as profound as one that is dreamed. *sigh* I can’t even convey heartfelt emotions clearly in text this morning.

  6. too much moondog again eh? try grape koolaid.. the crazy dreams will go to back of bus. caliber…

  7. Hey Babycakes (that’s my new nickname for you, mostly because babycakes sounds so funny and you make me laugh so much). That sounds like the kind of dream I’d like to have. Even without answering any questions at all, it answers everything. I agree with your grandmother, you are doing a damned fine job. And I’m damned proud to have you as my friend.

    I heart you babycakes.

  8. this one gave me goosebumps. i love the dreams, even the sad or scary ones, that haunt me. for some reason, they make me feel more alive.

  9. Wow. Total goosebumps here. What an amazing dream.

  10. I remember hearing somewhere that we all dream every night, but we don’t remember all the dreams. I never remember my dreams and, now, having read your post, I wonder what wisdom I’ve been missing out on!

    Your relationship with your relatives seems so, well, nice. I have the strangest feeling that my grandmother is sort of reorganizing her part of heaven with an iron fist. On the other hand, as a tough, German lady, she’s probably a pretty good guardian angel! Still, quiet wisdom like you seem to get would be nice, too.

  11. That is some pretty powerfull stuff there my friend. Thanks for sharing it. Gives me something to think about today.


  12. That’s swell, indeed! I love the opening, by the way.

  13. That’s some vivid dream Sass. I would be at a complete loss if I never felt rain again. I love that stuff. Dreams are funny in how they move you and who’s involved. Sounds like you got a nice positive message out of this one. Aloha!

  14. I hear it takes red heads about half the time to burn as it does for normal people. I’m sending you some sunscreen.

  15. Wow. My two favorite blogging red heads are going to meet? This is exciting.

  16. I’m amazed at all the detail and dialogue you remembered. My dream recollection is rarely, if ever, that vivid. As for sleep issues, try noise. Leave the TV on, distract your mind. I could also send you some accounting books that you could fall asleep to in seconds. And, is it true? You’re gonna meet up with Greek? This really makes me smile =)

  17. plantation, never heard from her

  18. Okay after having yet another near connection go wrong and thinking I just don’t want to do this anymore your post has given me pause to think.

  19. No my coke rewards points wasn’t what you made me think of Jess. I was think about my last three dating adventures, sometimes it’s eye opening to see that woman have the same problems gives me hope that one day i’ll find someone thinking the same as me.

  20. What an inspiring post… wow.

  21. Any dreams since, Sass?

  22. No just been sick as a dog and ignored Death when it knocked on my door last night.

  23. Wow.

  24. cool background music

  25. I had a dream the other night that my sister was trying to poison me through coffee.

    *Thinking of ya babe*

  26. I love deep meaning dreams like that. I know what you mean on the sleepless nights. I often lie awake for hours on end in bed with thoughts racing in my mind. I think I pretend to be asleep as well. Does the “fake rest” count? Maybe the sleepless hours are just preperation time for the eventfull dreams that are about to take place when one finally does drift off.


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