Monday, January 11, 2016

Sudden Total Darkness

Moneta and my grandson
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I am riding at night in the car with Keith driving. Street lights cast pools of light into the street, bar signs flash different colors, and store lights and house windows are lit up.  It’s a normal night driving scene.  Suddenly, everything goes pitch black.  No scrap of light shines anywhere.  The quality of the darkness has changed, from deep transparent darkness to a hard opaque darkness.  I am frightened, afraid I’ve gone blind, had a stroke or even died, and say aloud, “what happened?  Can you see anything?”  

Keith says no, but keeps driving.  Then I think something has happened to both of us, or all of us, some terrifying global change.

“You can’t see?  Can you see anything?”  

“No,” he days, and keeps driving.

“Please stop driving!” I say, but he does not.  I can feel that we are on pavement, but what about other cars?  What if they can’t see, either?  What about obstructions, turns, etc.?  It’s not like feeling your way along a path through the woods at night.  That is difficult enough, but this—this seems suicidal.  “Please stop driving,” I beg, over and over, but he keeps on going.

I wake up in a sweat of fear.  Monday, January 11, 2016

What does this remind you of?

The first thing that comes to mind is a general, pervasive worship of light and a fear of darkness.  Night vapors.  Blindness.  Death.  Predators in the woods, predators in the city.  I sometimes believe in a positive darkness, a deep shining, singing darkness.  A supportive and loving darkness.  I had written about that a few days ago, but that was a different darkness than this one.

If a tree falls in the woods . . . It seems to me that when one dies, one sees no darkness, because one needs perception to perceive darkness.  And in death, there is no perception, except perhaps in the few moments before brain starvation/death.  Of course, I do not know we don’t perceive darkness in death.  I only imagine/believe that is most likely what happens.

What happens to perception during a stroke?  What does a person experience who is having a stroke?  Nothing?  No perception?  Darkness?  Lights?

The dream also reminds me of my fear of driving or riding in a car, especially under certain circumstances, and how Keith often drives too fast (for my comfort) and does not slow down, sometimes, when I ask him to, or does other scary things while driving, e.g., racing other cars.  I hate driving in bad weather (icy, slippery roads), or riding in a car when the roads seem slippery.
I sometimes feel our lives are out of control, careening down a street through the darkness to who knows where with only a shallow pretension that things are progressing in an orderly and acceptable way.

It also occurs to me that, in the dream, Keith could represent the part of me that continues with “suicidal” behavior, such as eating too much or eating foods that make me sick.  Everyone I know, including myself, makes unhealthy and death-inviting choices fairly regularly.
Dreams feel real and important to me because of the intensity of the emotions and the often heightened senses and perceptions; that is, sometimes, I inhabit dreams more fully and deeply than I inhabit portions of my life, which seem somewhat dull in comparison.  Chores, tasks and daily activities (e.g.: sorting through ML’s old clothes, making an omelet, washing the dishes, brushing my teeth) often don’t have the same depth of experience as some of my dreams.  The dreams tend to focus in closely on the more powerful (scary, upsetting, or joyous) moments.
I can’t remember if I mentioned that we were at Eastland Mall when a man was shot and killed, and we observed security guards pushing families into stores, the closing of the mall, people running (one guy running toward the closed portion of the mall very fast, most everyone else running away), racing cop cars, etc.  I did not feel terribly frightened.  Consciously, I only felt somewhat worried.  We were told shots had been fired and of course, what came to mind, in part, were mass shootings.  But that night, I had two dreams, or one interrupted dream, where the shooter was chasing me through the mall.  I woke up scared, walked around, went back to bed, and the dream continued, with me climbing up rough cliffs to escape the shooter.  The dream was much more terrifying than what I was consciously aware of at the mall—was some part of me more scared than I realized?

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