I rarely dream in color and allegory. I wish I did more but have come to understand that something in my constitution limits these dreams for my own good. The ones I have had have stuck with me for years, and I could tell them to you in detail. Each of them have been deeply meaningful, and still bring me guidance years later.
A few nights ago, finally, I had one of these dreams. It was so quick, and I woke up too fast, but it was vibrant. My friend had taken me to an edge. A cliff. Or the sea. The sky was a brilliant, burning, glowing, orange and red. Everything else was silhouetted in black.
I woke up.
The thing you don't know is he had painted me an image in black and white of the sea and an impending storm, the rainclouds rolling in. And he had painted it over the last few months, when our worlds were imploding in more ways than one and we spent hours on the phone, keeping ourselves together.
It's in my hallway. At night, it's a black hole. In the day, the highlights glow. It's an homage to storms. To heartbreak. To the sea. To me, it's deeply personal, a poem about my childhood. A poem about the present. The kind of ocean we both went to because we happened to grow up on the same island.
And now, I'm on an island of my own.
A dull ache, kind of subtle but ever present, permeates the day. Haunted by fears of the future. Trapped with dreams of travel and adventure. The soft carpets, a space cultivated for my own safety, wood and sage green, pale pink light and twinkling lights. sandalwood, rose, jasmine. Homemade dinners with no one to share them with. Desperately wanting to, but the fear of infecting others or myself too real to deny. Missing the feeling of a solid body, reassuring physicality. Another voice. Not virtual. A real one. In my space.
And no mask covering over the most expressive part of our body.
I question my mental stamina. How long can a human take this. This soft and luxurious isolation. Because I know I should have gratitude for the situation I am lucky enough to have. I am safe. I am still employed. I can accept this. Appreciate this. But still. The dull ache of solitude. I am a human after-all. I miss tangible love. And even when I am near another human, we are both wary, afraid, dance around each other like fireflies. Unique galaxies, circling stars. I can't quite FEEL. It's all twisted and trapped inside. Busting open at the seams. And it feels like I'll never be able to function quite right again, like I did before.
Will this break me?
It was always like this, and still I cascade into caves of dreams;
I want to go to my aunt and uncles on Long Island and be able to breathe that vague familiarity that only comes with the legacy of family memories; for better or worse. The grounding nature of bloodlines. Bagels piled high with cream cheese. Crumb cake slices thicker than plump pillows. Lobster, butter, cream. Clean sheets. Photos of my grandparents and me. And the ocean at night. Secret pebble oceans and plastic cups with beer I'll never drink. Crystal lighted highways and fast cars. The echos of teenage late night drives. The vast sky. NYC a convenient mountain range of lights. My uncle, his heart shaped face. So much like mine. Who swung me over the sea when I was 3 in my hot pink coat and velcro shoes.
I want to go back to Ireland and smell the sea, eat an Irish breakfast, slabs of bacon, buttery toast, beans tomatoes and mushrooms. Get lost in a crowd of music and talking, reading books and drinking tea. Disappearing in a crowd of joyful humans laughing and drinking. Letting them brush up against me. Feeling the buzzing energy of beautiful people being alive. Smelling sweat. Search out art galleries with statues that tell stories, find secret passages and smooth rocks, foggy hills and bakeries.
To be quiet on a mountain in Ireland. To be in a crowd.
I want both.
I want to visit friends, listen to their stories, hug them tighter than I've ever hugged anyone before. Get on a plane and watch the land drop out from under me, my suitcase tidily stowed in a mysterious cavern beneath the metal bird. Shifting in my seat as the plane plummets. That joy filled moment of seeing a face. That gorgeous moment of recognition. My favorite part of flying.
Journey around the world, opening up my sketchbook, reading fantasy novels in pubs, making new friends. Seabirds. Native plants. Tumbling stones beneath my feet. The breeze at the top of a hill. Pasta in Italy. Fields in France. Stonehenge. Wearing out my shoes. Finding love that will last.
Breathing out this whole year into the universe.
I want to be a human in the world, flowing in and out and feeling love as much as possible. I want to see things, really see them, feel myself firmly on the planet but able to expand.
The dream, the one with the vibrant sky on the edge..I know what it was about. It filled this precious painting up with what will be. It time traveled. unveiled itself. An oracle. A seer. The future is vibrant. Full of love and the things I long for. The people I value and fiercely love.
For now I wait, in sage green and silver thread. I feel everything I can possibly feel in the span of a day, endless compassion and painful and excruciating love.
From my soft island to yours