I got back to the apartment and fell asleep for about 90 minutes this evening. I started to drift into dreamland — the one and only place I know I will find some modicum of relief and comfort — and I found myself walking easily down the stairs of a narrow downtown building until I stood before a brightly colored door. "Just turn the knob to the left and walk through the yellow door," the voice said, "and you will find the answer you seek."
I did, and I did. And then the chime of a text message intruded and I was wide awake with one thought: I believe I know the Holy Grail I am seeking.
(A parenthetical aside: I am impressed by the tenacity of my dreaming mind over the past seven months. Ever since Thanksgiving it is completely unfazed by whatever roadblocks I have throw its way. Tranquilizers have done nothing to stop the dreams; other strong drugs have only amplified their vividness. Whether it's wine or vodka or Benadryl soaked in NyQuil I have heard the same voice in my dreams every night, clear and certain. It has replaced the phone's alarm clock, waking me long before the phone begins playing the elegant piano riff from "Layla." But anyway.)
I will not lie to you: I am filled with trepidation at the road of trials that now lies between me and the boon. It makes all I have gone through over the past six weeks seem like a stroll through the garden. It is an uphill path marked with indifference and solitude, with signposts that remind me of Maynard James Keenan's caution of feeling a little bit disappointed and passed over. But it's apparently what I'm supposed to do.
The talismans — the perfect skipping stone, the origami crane, the bobby pins — will be put in a safe place, in the hopes that one day they will again have the joy and magic that used to reside in them. For now I can't rely on them bringing me any protection.
I awoke to find a Facebook message from Amazon Addie, a snippet of a song from Mumford & Sons:
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
I'm scared of what's behind and what's before. But it is time to climb the hill. The ultimate prize lies just over that crest. I can see it from here.
Peace be with you.
Peace be with you.