Memories surface, unbidden, at the most inopportune times. Most often we are not even attempting to remember, but a smell, an image, a voice, will bring on a memory as if a flood gate has been opened. We cannot stop it. It rolls over us, sweeping us up into the emotion of an event that may have happened years ago. Yet here we are – older and wiser – succumbing to its influence.
Two nights ago, it was a dream that brought back unbidden memories that I wish had stayed buried. The dream was simple – I was being restrained by someone I could not see. My arms were being held down by my side and this person’s heavy, strong arms were around my waist, holding me fast, unable to move. I could not see the face; I could only see the arm that wrapped around the front of me and feel the pressure around my rib cage. The inability to move my arms, to free myself, caused a rise of uncontrollable panic.
I know – it was only a dream. But the images were so vivid that I was struggling in my sleep to release myself from this hold. I woke myself up, struggling to break free of the bonds of sleep, trying to call out to someone to help me. My garbled, muted voice woke me to a darkened room where I was free to move without restraint and peace washed over me with blessed relief.
Immediately my mind asked: where have you experienced this before? The answers rolled through my mind, images from the past, the ugliest rising to the surface like motor oil, slimy and blue/green, rising to the surface of the road as it begins to rain. Life is like that road, taking us to our destination - sometimes smoothly, sometimes not - and always there are those oily segments that aim to distract us, yank us, from our journey with their ugliness. We can continue forward, or we can stop – too long – to examine their depths and drown in them.
By putting these thoughts to paper, I hope to purge them from my soul and bury this dream where it belongs – in the past.