Saturday, July 01, 2006

A vexing awakening

I woke up gasping and sweating from a nightmare. Not a single image remains, only the feelings of disappointment in myself, loss and fear. I wish I could remember this dream. I want to break it down and make sense of it. I want to transform it from the huge monster that lurks in the closet into something small and manageable. I want to fit it in a box that I can then seal and tuck neatly away. However, those boxes I've stashed away always manage to open themselves. Something ugly manages to get out and stain the edges of my consciousness. Though I can't see them, I fear that other people do see those horrors clinging to me and that they transform me into some big joke.

Cowardice and self-consciousness are not good companions for the pre-dawn hours. I want this time to be my time to be calm and feel the potential for good and happiness in each day. I want these first waking hours to be when I can open myself to beauty. I want angels, not monsters, waiting for me at the dawn. I can't help but wonder though if I'm cheating myself. Wanting true beauty, am I settling for cute? I'm so are of the duality of my nature that part of me needs the counterweight of ugliness, weakness, and terror to recognize, understand and appreciate true beauty.

The most significant moments in my life are those that have occurred on the crest of a paradox. I think of the birth of the womanchild. After three days of induced labor, my cervix was still stubbornly stuck at one centimeter's dilation. The slightest movement of my body meant that the monitors observing her health wouldn't provide feedback. As my body seized in contractions that caused only pain and no progress, I couldn't help thinking of things like oxygen deprivation, detached placentas, and that historically the primary cause of death in women has been childbirth. Each spasm sent me deeper into an abyss of fear where I eventually welcomed being sliced open. Each lonely moment poised between the potential for life and death made her birth more glorious than even I had anticipated.

In fighting this most recent bout of depression, I've consciously tried to avoid the ugliness in my life for fear of letting it suck me in and paralyze me. This unremembered nightmare might be a clue that I need to quit running from those disappointing weaknesses and fears and embrace both beauty and loss as great and terrible things.


Blogger redsneakz said...

The hard thing for me is that I obsess over my past failures. And they're always bloody damn insignificant ones too. The big ones, I somehow gloss over :-)

July 01, 2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

"This unremembered nightmare might be a clue that I need to quit running from those disappointing weaknesses and fears and embrace both beauty and loss as great and terrible things."

Bingo, darlin'!
And, listen, I've said this before: bad dreams portend great things. You are about to give birth to something wonderful--welcome it. Interesting analogy you chose to illustate this entry, n'est ce pas?

July 01, 2006 9:43 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

Cynthia you are so very gifted with your insights and your ability to describe them. I am often in awe after reading your entries. I found that in the last two weeks I have developed a distrubing pattern of waking @4 a.m. and staying awake for at least an hour. I then fall back to sleep and wake up as you just described. Knowing I had a bad dream but not able to describe it. The snippets I do remember can't be enough to grasp anything meaningful. I suspect you have it much more together than you know. We are often our hardest critics.

July 01, 2006 11:06 AM  
Blogger IndigoSunMoon said...

I find that during really stressful times that I have terrible nightmares. I've woken the whole house up screaming in my sleep. It's awful.
I hope you find peace in your dreams Cynthia.

July 01, 2006 7:18 PM  

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