Monday, October 01, 2007

Semi-Awake Dreams in the Early Morning

Sachel Paige, the old Cleveland Browns pitcher, a man who was denied access to the Major Leagues for years because of the color of his skin, said it best: "Don't look back; they may be gaining on you." The past is an unrelenting pursuer, with a Simon Legree-like relentlessness.

When I awaken every morning, I never remember my deepest dreams; they seem to occur during the dark hours of the night, as the mind mysteriously does its bit of muscle-memory stretching, creating surreal scenarios from my past, twisting bits of new and obscure facts into a new (and I believe healthy) logic for my overall well-being.

However, immediately after the completion of these deep forgotten dreams, a group of more recent shallow dreams occur; and stay with me; they are the dreams and ruminations of the semi-awake period, during the two hours after the deep-sleep-forgotten dreams, but before I get out of bed; before I can summon the energy and courage to abruptly toss off the covers, head for the bathroom, face the toilet bowl, flushing, turning to the sink, and with toothbrush active against my teeth and gums, and with warm fresh water tossed against my face and through my thinning hair, begin the new day; before heading down to life-saving breakfast.

During that period of semi-sleep, when more conventional dreams rule, the semi-conscious ruminations become more exacting in the re-creation of my past and recent events; present-world reality become more recognizable in their details and a common theme pervades: personal non-fulfillment.

In those semi-dreams of early morning limbo--which seems invariably to coincide with sunrise--I always find myself re-considering promises not kept, scripts unwritten, phone calls unmade, alliances unresolved and dreams/hopes dashed. Half-awake, I wrestle with these old events, hoping to change the course of their endings, promising myself to change, to become better, to close old loops and achieve for the past events a new ending. But in spite of my desire to find new fairytale endings to my too-real past unfulfilled stories, I find repeated failure, and the pain and disquiet of these repeated non-fulfillment's nagging at me, torturing me, refusing to let me go...until I conceive the one single act I am capable of positively accomplishing in that bed of torture: I get up.

I leap from bed, purposely kill them (the past incompleteness), shatter them, send them back to the past with my new chosen now-reality: I face the world with new tasks to perform, new goals to accomplish, new challenges, and, in the most proximate form: a new breakfast. In Satchel's terms, I windup and blow my fast ball past the past, end all those old events 'gaining on me'...and rise from bed, and trot downstairs with new hopes and new chores and new possibilities, including most especially fruit, cereal, coffee and the morning paper.


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