Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. — Terry Pratchett
So, after four weeks, I’m back. Back at my desk. Seated on a meditation cushion with a rocking chair beneath that. My elbow already hurting from typing again. Things feel familiar but somehow disjointed. I pass a hand in front of my eyes. Repeat the gesture. I’m awake.
Four weeks away and so many dreams. Camped by the ocean and eating simple, beautiful food. Avocados halved and salted and eaten with a spoon. Eggs with yolks yellow like the rising moon. Sprouts from seeds we bring from home. Nights full of stars, waterfalls to jump from, waves to surf or to watch erase my footprints or just to listen to. As I sleep. As I dream. Stars to orient me in the night. And dreams to orient my waking life.
Only now have I started to trust what these dreams have to tell me. Messages whispered in my ears as I slumber. Symbols and secrets that come in the form of forgotten friends or cars that I cannot steer. Truths so honest that I cannot witness them in their brutal nakedness. So, when they come, they come at night. Wrapped in darkness and gossamer. Cloaked in symbol.
My lover tells me, “You were talking in your sleep last night and you told me all your secrets”.
Disappointment follows relief, when she brushes the joke away with a wave.
For I want to know them too.
We abscond with treasures. Dolphins skulls, prehistoric shark teeth, antlers, shells – bones on which to hang fleshy memories. Proof of dreams lived.
Why do we go to sleep?
In order to wake up.