brit_columbia (brit_columbia) wrote,

When I was 25, I awoke one morning from a dream that was so vivid that it was like coming back from a long journey abroad. I was returning to a familiar place and familiar faces, but I felt distant somehow, as though I hadn't seen them for months. I felt sorrow too, because I had been in love in the dream, and the man was an amazing human being who had loved me too. It was an epic dream full of war and stress, fighting and survival, so when I floated toward wakefulness and found myself lying in my own innocuous bedroom with the alarm clock beeping and voices I knew coming from the kitchen, I also felt a small amount of relief that for me, the danger and the struggle were finished. I wondered what the outcome of the conflict would be, now that I was no longer there to play a part, and I missed the friends I had left behind. But mostly I missed the man.

All day, the dream stayed with me and made it impossible for me to concentrate on my work. It had been so incredibly detailed and I had been so thoroughly alive within it, that I felt divided down the middle. Had it been real? It had had the intensity and the linear structure of reality. But clearly it had been 'only a dream'. After all, hadn't I woken up in my own bed? But it was like no other dream I had yet had, nor has the experience ever been repeated. My dream self had not been aware of my 'real' self and the ordinary life I was leading at that time. But, having awakened, I was aware of both and was trying to deal with my co-workers and clients and behave as normally as possible with two realities slugging it out in my head. Of course reality won and the dream world and the woman I had been in that world faded as the day wore on. I tried to cling to it, to snatch at its slowly unraveling threads and draw them back toward me, but they dissipated and left my hands empty.

I saw my then-boyfriend after work that night and he seemed to me like a relic from my past. I still felt affection for him, but he wasn't the one I wanted.

Every night since then, when I have lain down to sleep, I have done so hoping that I might be allowed to return and see that place and those people again. I can't see their faces clearly; that's the way memory functions. Everything is blurred and indistinct. One cannot bring photographs home from another reality.

That story had a beginning and a middle, but I couldn't stay to see the end. I wonder if I died there? Someday I'll write a book about it and chronicle the events of the months I lived through in the space of a few early morning hours. I'll have to fashion my own ending, though.

It was an awe-inspiring experience and I feel thankful to have had it. Many writers have used the "...and it was all a dream" plot device, but this really happened to me.

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