I've been having this strange dream for two weeks now: it lasts all day and well into the night.
In the dream, I went to a huge party. I was deliriously happy. Like only can happen in dreams, I kept seeing people I know or who looked familiar but with the contexts all mixed up: school friends were there with distant relatives, childhood neighbors with current students, people who I know full well live thousands of miles apart standing and chatting with each other. In a similarly dream-like way, the cultural contexts for the party were all mixed up: we'd be dancing to bhangra one minute, to ABBA the next, then to something in Spanish I could almost make out before circling to the strains of Hava Nagila. I was flying, or at least floating, at one point, then Kira was floating above me--there was cake, there were old men and women falling deeper in love with the universe. We walked outside and the stars had come down out of the sky to glow in people's hands--"we" meaning me and this beautiful woman dressed in white with touches of gold, jewelry on her face and around her neck, mehndi on her skin, and my heart wrapped up in her soul. Kira left us, then, to join the night stars and we walked off past the stars, out into the darkness, past what would have been the edges of the universe if the universe had that kind of shape.
What it feels like to get to those edge-like points, where (at least in dreams) the universe folds back in on itself so that you are both transported and translated from the edge of existence to arriving back, naked, in the center as an entirely different being--this dreamed experience is beyond my capacity to describe in written form.
In any case, we arrived shortly thereafter into a land where the wind makes love slowly, gently, over thousands of years to rocks, where time compresses itself in a fruited valley such that ancient Americans and Mormons whisper together into and out of the fertile creekside earth. Ships are built upside-down there as shelters from the storm over old rock enclosures where dead Mormons danced. A room called a kiva is built at once under the earth and into the sky, reaching both ways to remember what it was once for. Trees grow improbably out of crags in the earth on plateaus above and when you look out, you can see for hundreds of miles.
When we looked to the north, we saw ourselves on a road near Manti in the year's first snow. It fell hard, almost like small hail, and very white. We drove in the snow and in fog, we felt completely lost although we were on the right route the entire time. Music played out of our minds as if memory had grown speakers. The food was delicious: as I drove, I would also cook, wrapped in a towel, with strong-smelling spices and fine olive oil.
We arrived in a cave that was filled mostly with books. We saw a star in the distance, and went to see it up close, but by the time we got there it was daytime and the star was gone and so it was Kira instead, having come back to us from the night sky. We went back to the book cave and ate and slept: when were sleeping were the only times I would wake up enough for the dream to stop, after a few hours away from the dream, I would try to fall back into the dream-sleep, a process which could take up to an hour.
When I finally fully awoke into the dream, I would see the woman moving around the book cave and approach her slowly, so as not to frighten her away. Then I would leave for the day, desperate to gather stories from off the ground to bring back and share with her so we could have a sweet meal for the night, one which could go on for hours, one which could take us to a ladder from which we could climb up forever, all the way to the edges of the universe, from which we could fall back, night after night, into the center.
I never intend to permanently awake from this particular dream.
On Drive and Contentment in Hamilton and My Life - I first listened to the musical Hamilton just after my friend Mel Leilani Larson got back from a trip to New York raving about the show, when she told us t...
6 months ago