Can’t anybody see? :: SOTD


Keep Art Alive :: “Persphone’s Scream” :: Art by Margarita Georgiadis

Never found our way,
regardless of what they say.”

A few nights ago I had a dream that I was in the middle of the desert, stark and wide-open, nothing but the sand and the dark night sky surrounded me, standing in the middle of a deserted road. The night was arid and cool. My skin was at pin-prickled attention, and I felt that ripple of fear pass through me, the way it used to when I would walk home alone as a child, far past when the street lights went on, flushed with that overwhelming sensation that someone was following me.

But, in this dream I found myself to be very alone. It was just me, in the dark, with nothing for miles but desert sand, worn asphalt, and the stars. I looked up and saw them, more than I recall ever seeing in my entire life, that saying “blanket of stars” coming to life right before my very eyes. I started counting them in my sleep, and spinning around beneath them. When I awoke my head was dizzy, my stomach butterfly flutter winged sick, and when I closed my eyes again, all I could see was a circling array of light above me.

I have never been one who held much belief in dream interpretation. It always seemed to me that the definitions and explanations were surface simple, and pliable enough to fit into anything you wanted your dreams to mean. I think about the decisions I have wrestled with over the years, the questions of to trust or not, to proceed or not, to fall or not, to hang on or give up, and of course I could link that all up to my dance in the desert with the stars, or of my stark silent stance in the middle of the road – but would any of that interpretation be accurate? When we face choices, when we know that our answers will be our own, and that if we hurt, if we fail, if we implode in our own footsteps, we will have no one else but ourselves to blame – well in a case like that wouldn’t it be nice if our dreams could message our subconscious, nudge us and say, “hey you, yeah you, go this way.”

But, there were no answers in those stars, nor in any single grain of sand the I let slide through my hands. I was dancing in it, skin chilled and heart beating, fear pulsing through my veins – but the fear wasn’t stopping me. The choices I’ve faced in my life, some that I still face, well they haven’t stopped me either. But, there is a copious amount of fear that still persists, tickling at my insides, percolating like a late night pot of coffee, reminding me that this is life, that this is real, that what I decide matters. That inner war never ceases to beat its drum.

The dream was missing something key though. It was missing sound. There was no music. There were no voices. There were no wolves howling at the moon, tumbleweed rumbling as they blew by, not even the sound of a cricket’s chirp – and most of all – there was no sound of my own voice. I was silenced in all that night sky, in all the sand and stars and disappearing highway. Perhaps it was because I was alone, though I have been known to sing and talk incessantly, even to myself (really, you should hear the discussions I can have with the tile in the shower some mornings, or the sing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs car concerts I have during many rush hour commutes). Or maybe it was because the fear, and the awe of the night, were holding my voice hostage.

Or, did I just wake to forget the words I’d spoken out into the night?

I know parts of my past have been rough, and that often along the way I forgot so many of my own words. I’ve had moments where I let myself fall into the constraints of limited space, keeping myself locked up and only sharing what could fit in a micro-sized word count, painting tiny sketches of myself to let everyone know I was still alive. and we live that way so much of the time, don’t we? Three sentence conversations through a phone we don’t even talk into anymore, 140 characters being our new form of poetry (will this replace the haiku?), and the short-attention spanned relationships that seem to end before they have ever gotten a chance to begin. We run, leaving bits of skin and torn fabric and bread crumbs in our wake, pieces of ourselves that people take as the “all of us”, and then, well, we run some more.

Though in those late hours of night, when we stand in the desert of ourselves, basking in the light of so many stars, awash in loneliness, we are all the same, aren’t we? Are we becoming mere blips on a screen, no more significant then our last reminder that we exist, and forgotten as quickly as someone clicks refresh? Or are we more than that?

I know I want more than that. I want meandering sentences that twist and turn, jump subjects sometimes, wander off and then connect back to some point we are trying to make. I want conversations that last through the night, and phone calls that last more than five minutes. I want to know people, really know them, and I want them to know me back. and I want to remember what our voices sound like again, what the words spell out, and what the songs sound like as they fall from our collective lips.

I want more than 5 minutes of your time. I want the stars to chase after us and the chill in the air to huddle us close, while we dance under the stars and let our words co-mingle and intersect, as if we each have in our grasp giant permanent markers that we reach up and play night sky dot-to-dot with – connecting the stars, and ourselves.

I know we all have so much to more to say, much more than anybody can ever see.

Roads (live) :: Portishead

Leave a Reply